Jim finally gets his shot at the majors but he has to call the final game of the season sober. Can you teach an old dog a new trick?
“Racism is the fist that is punching America right in its own d***.” – Jim Brockmire
Flipping Off the World
Jim is celebrating his move to the major leagues by saying goodbye and not in a way that is touching. Instead, he is telling Raj, the Crawdaddy’s mascot and the waitress that wouldn’t let him perform an oral sex act on her how he really feels about them. In true Brockmire fashion, he is flipping them off and loving it.
Things are looking up for Jim and he is savoring every moment. Charles, however, informs him that he isn’t going along to Atlanta. Brockmire does his best to cajole him into staying with him.
In the midst of this discussion, Whitney the marketing executive arrives to tell Brockmire that he is calling the final game of the season with the retiring Art Newley. Much to his chagrin, he discovers that he has to be in Atlanta the next day.
Whitney grabs his drink binoculars away from him so she can get a closer look at the stadium. Of course, her eyes start stinging. In their haste to mitigate a potential disaster, Charles accidentally hands her a water bottle full of gin.
She pours the alcohol in her eyes and wonders why it makes her feel worse. Brockmire lets it slip that he has been drinking in the booth. Furious at the fact that is even happening, Whitney makes him promise to call the game with Art sober.
He gives in because he doesn’t want to blow his big comeback. So, he tries to get Charles to stay with him in the booth so that he doesn’t lapse when he gets nervous. Finally, sick of the haranguing, Charles relents and tells Jim that he will see to it that he is settled in but then he is going back to New Orleans.
The Big Day
Jim, Charles and Whitney are at the stadium. Finally, Brockmire meets Art. They exchange pleasantries before Newley can dash off to continue personally greeting every employee. Charles is getting ready to return home for a meeting with a sponsor about a podcast.
Before leaving his friend, in a sentimental gesture, he gives Jim his lucky shoe that he takes with him to every game. It serves as a reminder to him of how his life changed for the better when he met Brockmire. With Charles gone, Jim is truly lost.
Before Whitney heads to the Box to watch the game, she catches up with him. Sniffing Jim’s breath, she concludes that he smells like a non-drinking old guy.
In the booth, Art pulls out a bottle of expensive bourbon and suggests that he and Brockmire have a drink to celebrate his retirement. Now this puts Jim in a bind. Of course, he wants nothing more to imbibe but if he does he knows he won’t stop at one drink.
Begging off, Art will hear none of it so the two share a glass together before the game. After a few innings, the pair are falling into a comfortable rhythm. Brockmire eases up a bit because it feels like he just might make it sober.
Until Art starts making various racist remarks about not letting a “camel jockey” (meaning Raj) replace him in the booth. Then he also tells Jim that Charles will definitely not be a producer because they need a real baseball man to run things. This phrase as we later find out from Whitney means “white person.”
Time to Get Real
Feeling like he is going to explode, Brockmire wisely exits the booth for some fresh air and to cool off. Unfortunately, he runs into a drunk and celebrating Whitney who tells him that he wasn’t picked because he was better than Raj, he was chosen because he was white.
Furious, Jim returns to the booth and then all hell breaks loose. The two broadcasters get into a back and forth on the air about racism. Art threatens Brockmire by telling him “let sleeping dogs lie” to which Jim retorts, “Some sleeping dogs need to be woke.”
And awaken those dogs, he does. After the verbal sparring, Jim is drunk on the field where he is confronted by a bat wielding Whitney. The organization needed someone to take the fall for the fiasco so she was fired.
To make her feel better, he tells her to take her best shot at him. She hauls off and knocks him out. In the end, Brockmire returns to New Orleans only to find that the loft he shares with Charles is inhabited by millennials.
Questioning what is going on, Charles replies that he was continuing on with his life by forming a company that has podcasts targeted for people of color. Jim wants to participate but Charles tells him no.
While Brockmire is trying to digest all of this new information, he also finds out that Charles has a girlfriend named Yvonne. This turns out to be a huge shock. Finding out why Jim was canned makes Charles livid.
He informs Brockmire that he didn’t need defending and that he should have just kept his mouth shut. As a result, Charles kicks Jim out of the apartment.
I really enjoy the direction that Brockmire is taking this season. This show has so many layers to it that in between the laughter you realize that you are profoundly touched. Normally I get annoyed with entertainment that sends a message but tonight’s episode did not hit you over the head.
The fact that Jim confronted the ugliness head on knowing full well what the outcome would be for him shows that he is growing as a person. Underneath all the double entendres and the outrageous drunken behavior Brockmire has depth.
Each week I am consistently impressed with the writing and the acting on this series. It is a delicate balance to infuse comedy with poignant moments. However, Brockmire does so with ease.
This show is a force to be reckoned with. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, you are on notice.
Catch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on IFC.
Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge as well as Instagram @convirgin. She is also featured on Friday Night Tights, the ultimate pop culture wrap up show at Nerdrotic Podcast every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. You can catch her writing on horror and other things that go bump in the night at 1428 Elm.