Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Goldbergs season 10, episode 14.
While The Goldbergs season 10 did technically face the fact that Murray is gone for good, the family sitcom picked a very weird way of eulogizing Jeff Garlin’s deceased character. Like many other sitcoms before it, The Goldbergs has had a hard time writing out one of its former heroes. Much like The Conners wrote out Roseanne’s heroine after Roseanne Barr was fired for racist tweets (and That ‘90s Show refused to address Hyde’s existence due to That ‘70s Show actor Danny Masterson’s criminal charges), The Goldbergs killed off the eponymous family’s father Murray when actor Jeff Garlin was let go by the show due to onset misconduct.
Soon after, Beverly’s romance proved The Goldbergs struggled with Murray’s legacy. Beverly didn’t even mention her grief over her husband’s death when she attempted to re-enter the dating scene a few weeks after his offscreen demise. The reasoning behind this could be that, like the creators of The Conners, the writers of The Goldbergs don’t want to accidentally appear to support Garlin by fondly memorializing his character. However, this approach has meant that most of the Goldberg family have ignored the impact of Murray’s death in The Goldbergs season 10, creating an eerie, discomfiting tone. Surprisingly, one episode bizarrely challenged this.
The Goldbergs Season 10 Acknowledged Barry’s Grief
In The Goldbergs season 10, episode 14 “Two-Timing Goldbergs,” it looked a lot like Barry was cheating on Joanne with his old flame Lainey. Since The Goldbergs season 10 must break up Barry and Joanne eventually (since the show’s spinoff already revealed that Barry eventually ends up back with Lainey), this appeared to be where the plot was heading. However, the end of “Two-Timing Goldbergs” instead revealed that Barry was really meeting with her dad, Murray’s best friend, to watch sports. This allowed the pair to process their grief over losing Murray and was one of the few instances of The Goldbergs season 10 taking this loss seriously.
While The Goldbergs season 10 did admittedly address the family’s grief over losing Murray, this was almost entirely relegated to the season premiere. In that episode, the family each found their unique way of handling the loss but since then the sudden death doesn’t appear to have fazed them. While The Goldbergs season 10 does need to maintain a light-hearted tone as a sitcom, the series is still centered around a family, and their ability to move on after the sudden, unexpected death of their father seemed jarring, callous, and tough to believe as a result.
Why This The Goldbergs Season 10 Storyline Seemed So Strange
Since The Goldbergs hasn’t addressed how losing Murray affected Adam (its protagonist) or Beverly (his wife) since the season premiere, it was weird to see “Two-Timing Goldbergs” acknowledge how the loss impacted Barry and Lainey’s father. The Goldbergs hasn’t mentioned what impact the loss had on Erica (who recently gave birth to Murray’s first grandchild) yet, so focusing on Lainey’s father seemed like a bizarrely oblique way of approaching the storyline. To be fair, The Goldbergs season 10 has other problems to solve beyond this plot. Nonetheless, The Goldbergs episode still felt out of sync with the rest of season 10 as the outing finally addressed Murray’s death in a most roundabout fashion.
Episodes of The Goldbergs season 10 air Wednesdays on ABC
More: The Goldbergs Season 10 Almost Forgot A Major Adam Storyline