Sure, it aired a week ago, but since there won’t be any more episodes this season, it doesn’t seem like there’s any reason to not write this up.
On Tuesday the season 2 finale of The Mick, “The Graduate,” aired. The plot starts out pretty simply, with the crew cheering on Sabrina at her high school graduation, until she drops the bomb that she’s not attending Yale. Mickey is desperate for Sabrina to attend Yale so she can get her out of the house, so she presses Sabrina on the issue until she gets an answer. Our end of Act One twist: Sabrina discloses she didn’t get into Yale.
Mickey goes to Yale to uncover some answers, having to manipulate her way into a meeting with the Dean, first by pressing Alba into distracting the Changs, who are supposed to be meeting with her (“I know a Chang when I see one… boy, there are a lot of them here”), then by giving the Dean’s secretary a hot foot. (The classics never go out of style!) This leads to the bombshell at the end of Act Two: Sabrina did get in after all.
Of course Mickey has to confront Sabrina about this, and she finally lays it down: She’s scared. She’s scared of the pressure, scared of failing, scared of finding out she’s not as smart as she thinks she is. This transforms Mickey’s mission from one of aggressively pushing her out the door to one of genuine tough love, trying to pump Sabrina up and teach her she can’t let her life be governed by fear. We’ll come back to that in a second, because we’ve got a B-plot to catch up on…
Chip is excited for Sabrina to leave the house because he thinks it’ll be an opportunity to come into his own, as he leaves eighth grade for high school. So he plans for a big party after graduation for the launch of “Chip 2.0.” (Ben: “What was wrong with old Chip?”) In a continuation of last week’s story, Chip is still interested in picking up Madison, but Farble is still hanging around and they’ve still got a thing going on. Jimmy, of course, is there with the wisdom:
JIMMY: Girls like Madison are more trouble than they’re worth. Frable–
JIMMY: –whatever. You can form a partnership with her where you’re free to explore each other’s bodies in non-judgmental ways.
The idea intrigues Chip, so he’s willing to give it a shot, especially since she says she’s not interested in a relationship, just doing some stuff she wants to try before high school. But then, Madison’s boyfriend Nico breaks up with her, and Chip seems to connect with her while he comforts her, and the plan changes. Jimmy encourages him to fight for her, and Chip is reluctant, confidently feeling (with good reason) that he’s going to get his ass kicked.
Jimmy, however, convinces him that this isn’t a bad thing: “Sometimes you win a fight by getting your ass kicked.” Sarcasm from Chip aside, he explains: “Chip, who do you think Madison’s gonna choose, okay? The jerk that pummels some weakling and ruins the party? Or the sweet, caring guy that gets decimated for her? Now go down there and get your ass rocked.”
Chip screws up his courage enough to stand up for Madison, prepared to get his ass kicked– and then Farble body-slams Nico, in hindsight the only way this could have ended. And it comes out that they’re together, which both of them were trying to avoid, but all in all, this is a relatively good outcome for Chip, both objectively and in terms of the near-constant humiliation he endures (much of which he brings on himself, let’s be clear).
Back to the A-plot. Mickey tells Sabrina how she let fear run her life in the same way after her mother abandoned them (and Poodle didn’t do the same thing); she takes Sabrina to a bar and shows her the samurai sword she gave the owner to pay off a bar tab. After Sabrina confronts Mickey with her own logic of not being ruled by fear, Mickey hatches a plan to steal the sword back. Sabrina simply offers to buy it from the owner– who only wants $50– but Mickey has already gone into her hot-foot plan. Guess what happens when you start a fire in a building full of alcohol.
Mickey suffers some severe burns on her hand stealing the sword from the bar, and then waving it around to keep people from chasing them, damn near cuts off Sabrina’s ear. But they make it out alive, with the sword. Mickey offers to give it to her as a parting gift, and Sabrina refuses at first, but as a storm breaks, she eventually gives in because Mickey won’t let her into the car otherwise. Then Mickey demands she practice swinging it. Sabrina does so– and is promptly struck by lightning, collapsing into a heap (in shockingly realistic fashion– this isn’t Caddyshack).
Our final scene: Sabrina in a coma, missing a big toe, with doctors saying there’s no guarantee of when she’ll wake up, or what kind of brain function she’ll have afterward. And to really slam home the darkness, we get the sick juxtaposition of Harry Nilsson’s “Let the Good Times Roll” over the end credits.
- Mickey compares her pride in seeing Sabrina graduate to that of a parent. Chip: “You’re not our parent.” Mickey: “Well, you’re a bastard.”
- Alba’s final step in distracting the Changs is to tell the kid, “Hit that tree with this frisbee, and you get into Yale.” When they turn around, she disappears.
- Also, Alba finds her way to a 20-year reunion party at Yale, ends up convincing one of the attendees to stay later, and makes passionate love to him overnight.
- When Chip calls Farble “Katie,” she corrects him: “Farble.” “You call yourself Farble?” “It’s my name.”
- What better line to leave this review with than Mickey’s assessment of Sabrina after she’s struck by lightning? “Oh, you crapped yourself.”
Season Two Thoughts
What’s going to happen with the show? I don’t know. It hasn’t been officially renewed yet. What happens with Sabrina is wide open. But this was a pretty darn good season of network comedy, especially for a show that seemed like it could’ve been a watered-down version of It’s Always Sunny— “What if Dee with spoiled rich kids?”– but came into its own in season two.
Secret MVP: Scott MacArthur as Jimmy Shepherd. Seemingly not even part of the original cast, Jimmy revealed himself to have far more hidden depths than mere “loser boyfriend,” someone with genuinely accrued wisdom about his life and lifestyle– which we see from the very first episode of the season, “The Hotel,” when he taught Chip how to scam his way into hotel luxury, all the way through this one, where he taught Chip the important lessons of dating when you’re fourteen. Jimmy was such a great character because he genuinely tried to be paternal even on silly and frivolous matters, and never talked down to the kids or tried to manipulate them, just tried to steer them in the direction of achieving their goals, often with the counter-intuitive wisdom most adults aren’t willing to share (or don’t have). The Fool is wise indeed.
What were your thoughts of the episode? What were your thoughts on the season? Here’s our last chance to get them out, maybe ever.