The Goldbergs (S05E20) "The Opportunity of a Lifetime"

First of all my apologies for not posting reviews for the past two episodes of our favorite show about 1980-something. Right now I’m on an airplane with nothing better to do, so I’ll just get this review done as soon as I can.

Adam wins a radio contest and can throw out the first pitch at a Phillies game. However, Barry wanted to win this contest and tries to get Adam to trade it. Adam agrees to trade his place to throw the first pitch for protection from Barry against their mom, which means that from now on all of Bev’s snuggles and neck nuzzles will go to Barry instead of Adam. When Murray hears Barry will be throwing the first pitch, he is very enthusiastic and for once supports Barry’s dream, to get scouted by the Phillies. This time it’s Beverly who has doubts about her kid’s dream. After Coach Mellor tells her that there is no way he will ever be a professional baseball player, Beverly crushes Barry’s dream and tells him not to pitch. Barry and Murray decide to go on with it anyway until Murray sees that Barry can’t really throw. He decides to go look for another pitcher, but both Adam and Pops pass for ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’. Barry finds out about this and Barry doesn’t want to throw the pitch anymore. But in the end both Murray and Bev apologize to him for believing in him too much and not believing in him at all and encourage him to throw the first pitch after all.

Meanwhile, back at college, Erica shows around Lainey, who’s visiting. They confess to each other that they’re hating it at college and decide to quit and start a band. Valley Erica joins as their drummer. They get a name for the band, The Tangles, they work on their outfits and start writing a song right away. They’re on such a roll that Valley Erica books them a gig, but when they start playing, they are immediately stopped by the organizer of the event who tells them that they are just covering the Joan Jett song I Love Rock ‘n Roll. Not only that, their band name is ripped off from The Bangles and with their outfits they look like Madonna. The Tangles have failed… And without any money they need to find their way back to campus. When they start playing at the bus station people actually give them money and they eventually have enough to catch a bus home. Even though the project failed, they have more fun than they’ve had at college so far. So much fun that they all decide to seriously drop out of college and start a band together instead.

I really enjoyed this episode of The Goldbergs. In the storyline between Barry, Murray and Bev, I thought it was great that the roles were reversed for once, with Murray as the proud, supportive parent (“I have failed as a father”), and Bev as the dream crusher. I especially enjoyed Troy Gentile’s performance in the scenes where he was playing baseball and tried to pitch from the same distance as the pitcher’s mound. The storyline ended with some sweet scenes between Barry and his parents. I love it when Murray shows how proud he is of his kids, and Beverly’s enthusiasm is always great to see: “They’re gonna sigh him. They’re gonna sign my baby!!”. It was also nice to see the real Barry get the opportunity of a lifetime in the dedication video at the end.

Erica’s story was funny as well. I loved the scenes when the three girls were together, from planning to start a band to singing at the bus station to be able to get home. This storyline had a lot of really hilarious lines and it was nice to see Erica have this much fun with Lainey and Valley Erica. The ending surprised me a little bit because it seems like Erica’s decision to drop out of college is final. If this is true, I wonder how this will be written into the show. Now that AJ Michalka, who plays Lainey, will be a regular on The Goldbergs’ 1990-something spinoff series, it seems unlikely that she will be promoted to regular on the 1980-something Goldbergs again. So Erica might be dropping out, as well as Valley Erica, but I think Lainey will not be in their band, if they decide to continue with that. Anyway, there is plenty of stories to write here, and even if Erica would decide to stay in college, I wouldn’t mind because I think there is still a lot to explore there as well.

Like I said, I really enjoyed this episode. It was funny and it all ended with the heartfelt moments the show is known for.

As I’ve moved from the airplane to the sun, next to a pool with a nice view, I’ll wrap up this review, but I’ll be back next week, just like The Goldbergs. A new episode airs May 9th, 8/7c on ABC!