The Goldbergs (S04E16) “The Kara-te Kid”

Review: This week it was time for The Goldbergs’ annual movie homage episode. I was really looking forward to it and this episode, inspired by Karate Kid, did not disappoint!

Adam F. Goldberg’s feud with his ‘namesis’ Adam J. Goldberg has been going on all season (and is based on a real Twitter ‘war’ between Adam, the creator of the show, and actor Adam Goldberg) and to see this fight portrayed on TV is something a lot of fans of the show have been waiting for.

It all starts when Adam F. writes a review for the school paper about the movie Karate Kid. He forgets to write down his middle initial, which makes the other Adam freak out. Adam J. doesn’t want his reputation to be ruined so he forces Adam to a fight, to decide which Adam can keep his name. After a failed attempt from sensei Uncle Marv to teach Adam karate (by using household chores, like in Karate Kid), it’s time for the school’s karate tournament.

Something Adam doesn’t know though is that his mom is working very hard not to make this fight happen. While usually Bev’s interferences make things worse, this time she helps out Adam when she makes Barry sweep his little brother’s leg in the first match, injuring him so he can’t fight the other Adam. When Adam F. hears this, he’s very happy until Murray explains to him that he will never get rid of the other Adam’s bullying unless he stands up to him. Inspired by what his father told him, Adam stands up to the other Adam and tells him that he’s sick of this whole thing and that he’s ready to fight. But that’s when the other Adam confesses that he actually doesn’t know how to fight and was just bluffing. The two Adams make up and to make sure they don’t look like idiots in front of the whole school, they ‘fight’ each other by acting out the final scene of Karate Kid, even ending it with a double crane kick which leads to a tied match, meaning “both nerds get to keep their name”!

Meanwhile, Erica and Geoff have to keep their kiss (and the ones in the three weeks after that) a secret because Geoff hasn’t found the right time yet to break up with Evie. When Geoff accidentally mentions that there’s something going on between him and Erica, Evie gets mad at him, but now that it’s all out in the open, Erica and Geoff can finally officially be a couple. They feel good about it until their friends point out to them that they are the bad guys in this situation. Erica disagrees, even after Geoff comes to the realization that they are clearly the Zabka’s (which was a hilarious scene, by the way), but when she sees in how much pain Evie is thanks to her, she breaks things off with Geoff: “We don’t want to start our relationship by hurting someone else”. They decide to wait for the right moment to be together.

I have always wanted Geoff and Erica to be a couple and last week I was very happy that they finally got together, but I also realized that they weren’t there yet because of Geoff’s relationship with Evie. I think it’s a great move that the show pointed this out right away with this episode, and while I don’t like it that Geoff and Erica are done for now, I think it’s good that the writers showed that Geoff and Erica should’ve handled things differently. I don’t think this will be the end of Gerica and I’m very curious to see how this situation progresses.

I LOVED it that this episode focused on the other Adam Goldberg. The running joke about him throughout this season has been one of the funniest things the show has ever done, especially if you know the background of the real ‘fight’ between the two Adams. I think it’s hilarious that they actually worked this into an episode and I thought this fight worked very well with the Karate Kid theme as well. Kudos Adam F. Goldberg for ‘fighting’ the other Adam Goldberg with this clever episode.

I thought this was one of the best The Goldbergs episodes yet, not only finally addressing the feud with the other Adam Goldberg, but also dealing with the consequences of cheating. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

The Goldbergs returns next week, March 8th at 8/7c on ABC.

Rating: 10/10

Favorite line of the night: