“What are you going to do when the Ruski invaders storm the suburbs of Philly?”
Spoiler Alert: This is a Recap of the April 1, 2014 episode of The Goldbergs
What does a pull-up, Red Dawn, a complete misunderstanding of the French language and a letter from President Reagan (but not really) all have in common?
Just another day in the Goldberg household.
Gym class in middle school can be a tortuous occasion (especially when wearing a bright yellow t-shirt with your name written on it in black marker). The embarrassment of not being able to do physical activities in front of all your classmates can be life-scarring, with the added bonus of the mispronunciation of your last name by your gym teacher. Still, the most fearful stage of the Presidential Fitness Test of the 1980s was that steel bar hanging high above the ground, shining with intimidation like a spotlight in the middle of the gymnasium for the muscle-intensive pull-up.
How does one lift their head over that bar when athletic ability is not your best friend or third cousin? For the terrified Adam Goldberg, it had something to do with a pool…
“Bienvenue à Philadelphie!“
Erica happily welcomed a bit of European culture to her family (plus croissants!) for a few days with a visit from her pen-pal from France. As Barry quickly gathered, Erica’s guest was a beautiful brunette fille. And, as Erica quickly gathered, this translated into a bevy of hilariously customized music lyrics and morning pleasantries as exclaimed with pride by both Barry and Philly’s own Big Tasty.
The older sister pranks always seem to have that extra qualité spéciale.
While Barry was unassumingly communicating crazy things about cats to the Goldbergs’ wildly confused French guest, Beverly was busy smothering her baby boy Adam with love and a promise to obtain an executive order from President Reagan himself to skip the Presidential Fitness Test.
Conversely, Murray chose to take a stern stance on Adam’s participation.
“Every kid in America has to take that test!”
“But what does that have to do with my Adam?”
As Adam was preparing to stick to admiring the action of Red Dawn on the silver screen, his father Murray sat his youngest son down for a talk about the importance of his youthful experience with learning to swim and trying his hardest no matter what. Inspired, Adam put on his “Mighty Thor” t-shirt and sweatbands to train for that dreaded “pull-up.”
Then, after a comical interpretation of what the local Comptroller was and inter-governmental revenge for a sister, Beverly Goldberg had achieved what nobody had thought possible…
A letter from President Reagan excusing Adam!
Well, it was a letter from a friend-of-a-friend of a colleague of a cousin or someone in Philadelphia that happened to have stationary with the presidential seal and print that excused Adam Goldberg from the Presidential Fitness Test. Ecstatic, Adam dropped from his practice bar and grabbed his letter in pure relief.
FYI-Beverly Goldberg’s calendar doesn’t have an April 1st. Nobody fools Beverly Goldberg (yes, it’s a borrowed/altered joke, but it absolutely fits with yesterday’s episode and date!).
However, as Adam stood outside the doors into the gym at school, he heard his father’s voice. Actually, it wasn’t strange at all because his dad happened to be standing right next to him. Murray couldn’t let his son avoid trying something tough, which led to the admission that he never learned to swim as he had originally told his son. It was his biggest regret. And it was in this rare heart-to-heart moment that Adam chose to exert every single ounce of energy in his body for the most awkward and ugly looking pull-up of all-time (with the help of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”).
But, he did it! He pulled himself over his fear and onto the front lines of battling those Ruskis!
And Erica, feeling bad for tricking her brother after he revealed his difficulty with talking to American girls and feeling better with taking a shot with someone from another country, again purposefully misread a thank you note for a sweet admission of attraction from her pen-pal. Fluent in French (he was in the war!), Pops applauded his granddaughter for her sincere act of love for her dejected brother.
Unexpectedly and in true Barry-fashion, this led himto park in a no-parking zone and run through the nearby airport to the gate to completely confuse Erica’s pen-pal and receive a customary kiss on each cheek as she departed. Oblivious to French customs, Barry was (once again) left happy in his own reality.
Plus, thanks to a solitary pull-up, Murray found himself in a literal pool of his own fears and a doggy paddle of a shot at swimming with his son ready to rescue him if he were to falter.
You know, that’s kind of like rescuing your fellow soldier in Red Dawn…
P.S. You remember those PSAs.
Posted on April 2, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged "The Goldbergs", 1980s nostalgia, ABC sitcom, Adam Goldberg, Beverly Goldberg, entertainment, fitness, French, pen-pal, popular culture, President Reagan, Red Dawn, tv show recap. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.