Brockmire (S02E07) “Caught in a Rundown”

On a very special episode of Brockmire, Charles stages an intervention for Jim. What could possibly go wrong?

“Orange juice is a glass of vodka wasted.” – Jim Brockmire

The Morning After

Of course, Brockmire (Hank Azaria) is a hot mess after Charles (Tyrel Jackson Williams) kicks him out. So, what does he do? He goes on an epic bender complete with drug taking for that extra oomph. When he comes to the next morning, it is like a scene from a college rager gone bad.

Clad only in his boxers, Jim awakens on an air hockey table not to a “Good Morning” but to a “You have chlamydia.” From there, the day only gets worse. Brockmire finds out that someone has defecated in a corner, he may have had sex with a guy and he has an infected tattoo (or brand) of two lizards sixty-nining on his chest.

To make matter worse, he tells his one-night stand partner that she may have contracted syphilis from him. Then he passes out and falls off of the table. When he comes to, he is in a hospital room surrounded by a Doctor and his interns.

Apparently, he is an interesting case study because he has liver damage, chlamydia and scurvy. After that heartwarming news, Charles shows up. The Doctor pulls him aside to inform him that Jim’s body is shutting down and that if he doesn’t stop drinking he will die.

Alarmed, Charles tells the physician that he will definitely keep an eye on Jim. Because timing is everything, Brockmire escapes walking down the hall with his naked butt in the wind, swilling champagne.

Surprise! It’s an Intervention!

Taking matters into his own hands, Charles stages an intervention at one of Jim’s favorite bars because he knows when he will show up. The attendees are Pedro Uribe (Hemky Madera), Lucy Brockmire (Katie Finneran), Jim’s sister Jean (Becky Ann Baker) and his rival Raj (Utkarsh Ambudkar). When the man of the hour ambles in he can see what they are up to but offers to sit through the intervention because maybe the 8th time it will take.

The best moment comes when the “guest of honor,” Brockmire’s nemesis, Joe Buck shows up via Skype while calling a PGA event. Things go from bad to worse when everyone tells Jim why he needs to stop drinking. Uribe basically has the wrong idea and tells him that when they were black out drunk was some of the best times of his life.

Everyone Is Addicted

Raj uses his moment to tell Jim that he has gotten a job with Milwaukee and flips him off just like Jim did to him when he went to Atlanta. The two men end up bonding over the bit but Charles is appalled because Brockmire isn’t taking anything seriously.

Annoyed and incensed that he has even attempted to sit through this comedy of errors, Jim loses it and starts pointing out everyone’s addictions in the room. He utters a very truthful line during his tirade, “We all have our addictions to get us through this charnel house called life.” Which he follows up with this apt description of the attempted intervention as an “adult circle of dysfunction.”

However, the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back is when Brockmire is revealed to be drinking throughout the meeting while pretending to be emotional. Realizing that nothing is going to save Jim from himself, Charles leaves and Brockmire goes chasing after him.

The Ultimatum

Once Jim and Charles leave everyone gathers around the bar drinking and contemplating the fact that they are all addicts as well. Meanwhile, outside Brockmire confronts Charles with a drink in hand.

The two men start talking about his problems and the fact that his career as a broadcaster is probably over but his podcasting efforts are not. Before Charles will even consider partnering with Brockmire again, he urges him to get sober and gives him a card for a rehab facility.

Immediately, Jim gets perturbed and they have words again. This time, Brockmire cuts Charles to the bone by telling him that his parents are right. He is a failure. As he watches his friend walk away, he knows that he might lose him forever.

Reluctantly, he picks up his cell phone and calls the rehab center. Once he gets the directions, he ends up at an old antebellum mansion in a remote location. Upon entering, he finds the crazy redhead (Carrie Preston) who stabbed the man at the bar lighting a crack pipe.

She beckons him over and Jim sits down and immediately partakes of the substance then asks in true Brockmire afterthought mode, if it is crack or meth.

The Spotlight of Truth

One of the reasons why I enjoy this show immensely is because it is fearless. Brockmire takes subjects that are risky or in some cases taboo and throws a white-hot spotlight on them. In the case of Caught in a Rundown, the topic was addictions.

Of course, not something that should be taken lightly or even scoffed at but the writers know that serious events have comedic undertones. This series pulls you in and makes you notice the unpleasantness of life by showing you the warts and all.

As an audience member, you are uncomfortable with Jim. The intervention is a train wreck but yet you can’t help but stick with it. You want to see how it turns out even if you know the end result isn’t going to be what everyone expects.

Dealing with It

Brockmire excels at examining relationships. Not every circumstance is perfect and sometimes you just have to deal with the consequences. When Jim calls Jules (Amanda Peet) the love of his life and expects her to be waiting on the sidelines to be the closer of the intervention, he is disappointed to find out that even she thinks he is a lost cause. Because she knows it won’t be successful.

That hurts. You can see it on Brockmire’s face. When he admits to Charles that he drinks because that is the only way people like him, it is raw and painful. Those are the type of moments in television that are rare to come by but this is a series that has them in practically every episode.

Which is why we keep coming back for more.

Catch the finale of Brockmire on Wednesday June 20th at 10 PM 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.