The Goldbergs (S05E08) "The Circle Of Driving Again"

Adam turns 16, and just like his brother in the pilot episode of the show, Adam gets a Mom locket. As opposed to his brother, Adam is actually happy about this because he doesn’t want to start driving. He’d rather be sitting behind the driver in the backseat, like a rich guy. Murray doesn’t care though and wants to teach Adam to drive. Adam tells him he can’t because of the horrible things Beverly has told him. After Murray tells him to get in the car 13 times (yes, I counted), Adam finally does, but even without driving he gets the car door wrecked. When Murray tells Bev what happened, we learn about what Beverly’s plan has been all along: she tells Adam terrible stuff about driving (like she did with Erica and Barry) so he will become a cautious driver, but her plan seems to have failed because now he’s too scared to drive.

Pops then takes Adam out to learn how to drive (apparently Pops is still driving even after cutting up his driver’s license in the pilot episode), and Murray and Bev go with them. This leads to maybe the funniest scene of the show ever. Murray and Beverly have a hilarious (and apparently mostly improvised*) discussion about skimming and scooping, while Adam tries to concentrate on his driving. But his dad’s pressure and his mom’s terrifying stories about driving have made Adam insecure and scared while driving. Luckily, he conquers his fear when he crosses the train track…only to t-bone a police car less than a minute later.

Murray then decides to take Pops’ keys (again) and tells Adam to just drive: “It’s the Circle of Driving. Somebody loses a license, someone gets a license”. Adam still doesn’t want to, but Bev convinces him and tells him it’s not all that bad. But what really makes Adam want to drive is the fact that this means that, even though Pops can’t drive anymore, they can still hang out and have adventures together.

Meanwhile, Barry visits Erica at college for a little college tour. Erica still has trouble finding friends and fitting in and just hates everything, but with Barry there she has to make sure she’ll get invited to some parties. This proves to be difficult as Erica already RSVPed ‘no’ to the only party she was invited to, her RA Srini’s ‘Kareoga’ party. Because she doesn’t want to tell Barry the truth about her difficult time at college, she tells him that there are only lame parties, which makes Barry go out with his Bag of College to find the fun himself. Against all odds, his Rasta-hat and invisible dog seem to work and the people at college like him. He even gets invited to Srini’s party and decides to go. Erica hears how much fun the people at the party are having and crashes it and sings a song, which is not very much appreciated by the party goers. She then finally confesses to Barry that nobody likes her at college and that she hasn’t really found her place yet. Barry makes her feel better and tells her that she just has to put herself out there and that people will love the real Erica. And that’s how he helps her find her place at college.

Reading the title and synopsis of this episode got me very excited for it. It just sounded like such a fun episode and I’m glad that it didn’t disappoint. If you’ve ever read my reviews about The Middle, you will know I’m a huge fan of the use of callbacks on TV shows, and this episode was really perfect in that way. From the mom locket to the final shower scene, it was all great.

Besides all that this whole storyline was filled with hilarious scenes, like for example the cookie scene between Bev and Adam (road pirates are real!!), but especially the car scene was priceless. Murray and Bev’s whole conversation about skimming pools and scooping gutters with a homemade clamp is one of the best scenes of the entire show. I just couldn’t stop laughing while I was watching it.

Between all the fantastic driving stuff, we also had a great storyline with Erica and Barry. In the first episodes of the season we found out that Erica has a hard time adjusting to college, and it was nice that she now seems to be feeling more at home. I loved it that Barry was the one to make her feel better. We have seen lots of episodes over the years with fights between the two siblings, but this episode showed us that they love each other. I am enjoying Erica’s college storylines so far so I hope the writers can keep this up!

I think this is my favorite episode of The Goldbergs ever. Just every part of it was amazing, I loved it!

There will be two more episodes of The Goldbergs before the winter break. Tune in next week, December 6th at 8/7c on ABC!