Beverly didn’t mention her late husband Murray when she struggled with romance in The Goldbergs, proving the sitcom can’t handle Jeff Garlin’s exit.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Goldbergs season 10, episode 15. While The Goldbergs season 10 is understandably struggling to address the exit of Jeff Garlin’s Murray, the family sitcom has so far failed to fix this issue. The Goldbergs season 10 will be the show’s final outing and this makes sense for numerous reasons. For one thing, The Goldbergs is set in the ‘80s and sees its narrator Adam Goldberg narrate his experience of growing up during the decade, so it doesn’t make sense for the series to last over a decade when its story only chronicles ten years in Adam’s life. Meanwhile, the recent departure of series star Jeff Garlin is another factor contributing to the show’s ending. Garlin played Murray in the first nine seasons of the series, and The Goldbergs season 10 struggles to cover up his absence. Murray was a pivotal part of The Goldbergs ensemble, but accusations of onset misconduct against Garlin meant that the actor was let go from the show in early 2022. While The Goldbergs season 9 awkwardly covered this exit, season 10 wisely chose to kill the character offscreen and move on. However, after Murray’s wife Beverly spent the season premiere grieving, The Goldbergs season 10 moved on far too fast. While trying to avoid eulogizing Garlin, The Goldbergs failed to acknowledge Murray’s legacy.
The Goldbergs Avoided Mentioning Murray (Again)
In The Goldbergs season 10, episode 15, “The Crush,” Beverly didn’t even mention the recent death of her husband as a contributing factor in her inability to romance her co-worker. As such, this storyline entirely avoided the biggest story of The Goldbergs season 10. Much like The Goldbergs episode failed to break up Barry and Joanne, when Beverly struggled to ask out her co-worker Mr. Perrot, she claimed this was only because she was out of practice with flirting and had rejected him a few weeks earlier. She never mentioned that her husband of 30 years—the father of her children—died only a few months earlier.
What made this even more awkward and strange was that no one else involved in the plot flagged this obvious reality. Beverly’s daughter Erica attempted to coach her mother in romance while Erica’s husband Geoff also provided his insights later on, but none of the family noted that Beverly might be struggling to court a potential paramour because her husband died only a matter of weeks ago. However, unlike some of the problems The Goldbergs faces, this issue was not an accident. Instead, it was another instance of an awkward sitcom problem rearing its head once again.
Like The Conners addressing the death of the show’s former star Roseanne (whose real-life actor Roseanne Barr was fired for racist tweets), any notion of Murray’s memory is risky in The Goldbergs since the character’s actor was let go due to allegations of onset misconduct. As such, the creators of The Goldbergs want to avoid eulogizing the character lest it sounds like they are lionizing his real-life actor. It took The Conners five seasons before the Roseanne spinoff could acknowledge the extent to which Roseanne, the fictional character, shaped the rest of the show’s cast, and bringing up Roseanne earlier on could have looked bad. Similarly, the creators of The Goldbergs fired Garlin only a matter of months ago, so it would be understandable if viewers found it strange when characters began talking about how much they miss his character. Of course, viewers should be able to distinguish the actions of a real-life actor from their fictional character. However, as That ‘90s Show’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of That ‘70s Show’s Hyde (due to allegations against actor Danny Masterson) proves, this is not always easy. The Goldbergs season 10 has other problems to fix, but the sitcom still fails to find a balance between ignoring Garlin and honoring Murray’s character.
Beverly’s Plot Didn’t Work In The Goldbergs Episode 15
The real reason “The Crush” didn’t work was that The Goldbergs episode still mentioned Garlin’s character but in the wrong storyline. Barry’s girlfriend Joanne randomly referenced Murray’s death in passing, so it didn’t make sense that Beverly didn’t bring it up. After all, Joanne barely knew Murray, and Barry handwaved her mention of his death with an insincere “yes, all the tragedy.” This was the worst of both worlds, as it proved that The Goldbergs could mention the character’s death after all, but not in a way that felt fitting for the story or emotionally resonant. More: The Goldbergs Almost Replaced Jeff Garlin’s Murray (Already)