2×04: “I Wonder What Grass Tastes Like”
Directed by Kimberly Peirce
Written by Hilary Weisman Graham
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “I’m Listening” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Episode 3101” – click here
During 1991 in Vukovar, Croatia, we meet a young lad, Josip. He and his friends, living in a war-torn area, escape the violent world they know by watching Mr. Pickles and his friends on TV. Josip even does a great impression of his hero, doing it for his pals when the TV reception goes wonky. Sadly, Josip lost one of his closest friends in a bombing.
Cut to current day and Josip’s a bit of a Croatian gangster. That is, a Croatian gangster with a soft heart for Jeff Pickles, and one who can do a pitch perfect impersonation of the man, too. He sees the doll, keeping him from any further violence against a shopkeeper, and he wishes he could reach back through the toy to communicate with Jeff, considering himself “a friend.”
Right now, Jeff’s on The Talk to promote his new doll. Some people find the toy a little weird. Jeff makes a point about “pornography” and “school shootings” accessed via smartphones, which he sees as far more dangerous than his own invention. He’s asked by Sharon Osbourne about if he misses being on the air, which he does, and that’s why he basically came up with the doll. However, isn’t Jeff playing into the consumerism he once railed against by selling an “internet–connected doll“? He can’t help every single child who has one, so is the net gain of this venture really worth the capitalism? Something ironic also happens when Jeff, dealing with pain from his incision, is prescribed medical marijuana as a less addictive option than opiates. Could be another way to bond with Peter.
At dinner, Deirdre meets Bernard Paley (Eric Roberts) from Amazon. She’s trying to do her part as the new businesswoman in charge. She wants to put the show back on the air, she doesn’t just want the old episodes streaming, and she’d like every child in American to be able to “watch the show for free.” Business has changed with her in charge. Quite different from Seb, who was constantly trying to rein his son in, whereas Deirdre’s trying to do exactly what he brother wants. A bit funny for her to win an award for philanthropy. She has to give a speech with Seb watching quietly in the audience, helping her avoid charges for tax evasion. Dad doesn’t care much, choosing the silent treatment with his daughter while she’s all but begging for a modicum of approval
Peter and Jeff talk over a meal of cereal. Naturally, the new boyfriend isn’t totally over being hit by a car, though he doesn’t recognise why the weed would’ve pushed buttons. Funny then for Jeff to segue into looking for weed, which sends Peter off to a dispensary, attempting to help Mr. Pickles with discretion. Everyone there is a fan of Jeff’s show, and that helps, even if they’re a bit spacey. Later, Jeff and Peter “sip drugs” together with medicinal marijuana tea. They get yakking about losing their virginity— revealing Jeff lost his virginity to “Cherry Poppins,” Julie Andrews. The two stoned semi-friends go off searching for an answer to their erectile dysfunction post-surgery, finding penile redemption in an elevator, and Jeff gets some help from memories of Ms. Andrews.
At home, Jeff talks to Josip through the Listen to Me Pickles doll. He uses this as his own version of therapy, mentioning losing his best friend in Jill by signing the divorce papers. Josip offers to call Jill, using his impersonation, to help Jeff. He leaves a message asking her to be there when Jeff signs the papers. Meanwhile, Deirdre brings good news: the show is back with the whole deal’s terms accepted by Amazon.
Also, she was able to make things easier for her own divorce by delaying the paperwork on the Amazon deal, and getting her philanthropic award. She didn’t realise all the puppets on the show are copyrighted in her name, something Seb never told her, and that potentially gives Scott a lot of cash. This now leaves Jeff without all his former felt friends, from Le Triste to Astronotter.
“Friends come and go”
This episode signals a HUGE shift for Jeff and Deirdre.
Wonder how it’ll all play out.
“Episode 3101” is next.