2×05: “Episode 3101”
Directed by Michael Gondry
Written by Joey Mazzarino
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “I Wonder What Grass Tastes Like” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Death of Fil” – click here
Jeff is back as Mr. Pickles, reintroducing everybody to Pickle Barrel Falls. This is the start of the 31st season. He tries to tell his audience “nothing is permanent,” hoping to ease them into change. He’s invited Jill to take part, so he might move on appropriately from their relationship. Before she arrives there’s a rumbling from down below the falls.
Jeff parachutes down in a barrel to see the place devastated, everything smashed apart including Astronotter’s rocket. Poor Snagglehorse is found under the rubble. The whole place is “unsnaggled.” Jeff’s wondering what could’ve happened. He and the puppets call upon DIY Deirdre to figure it out. She sees the place has come “unglued,” so she offers to help rebuild the place. She also tells her brother she’s not sure Jill is coming. Instead they’ll focus on getting the puppets’ homes back to normal.
First, a song!
After the number, Ennui Le Triste isn’t sold on how easy Mr. Pickles thinks it’ll be to put everything together again. So Jeff decides to call out his friend Piccola (Ariana) Grande— the Pickle Fairy of Hope, the bigger the hope, the bigger the pickle! And when Ennui believes hard enough, the fairy herself appears. Of course, another wonderfully sweet song follows about how to “stick together“— get it?
Although after the song’s done, Deirdre can’t get the glue to work. All the puppets can do is find somewhere else to live. They must leave Pickle Barrel Falls. This obviously doesn’t sit well with the puppets. None of them are happy to think they’ll have to leave the only place they’ve ever known. Jeff and Deirdre try to explain it isn’t the puppets’ fault. She tells them certain things are “beyond our control,” and, occasionally, it’s best for all involved to let things go rather than struggle only for it to all fall apart faster the more we try to hold it together against all odds. Sometimes, things do fall apart, they go away, they change, they die, they disappear. This is all a way for Deirdre and Jeff to say goodbye to their puppet friends due to the terms of her divorce with Scott, however, the lesson stands for so many things, from the death of a love one, to a divorce, to a friend moving away, and any number of difficult events we deal with in life.
Except the puppets blame Deirdre! And they chase her off.
Poor Le Triste is busy weeping over having to leave. He does anything he can to try holding onto Pickle Barrel Falls, down to pretending to be a tree, in hopes he’ll root and never change. Not a good thing to be when beavers show up. Jeff uses the beavers nibbling down a tree to show Ennui how trees do indeed change. This is a segue for Jeff into paper, so he can talk about the change of his divorce. Nurse Jill has turned up in time. She wants to help Mr. Pickles be honest, rather than holding things inside until it does damage to him, or others. Ennui is confused why two people who still love each other would get divorced. Mr. and Mrs. Pickles explain it to him their best, airing their issues to each other, as well as the audience. They also use their situation to attempt to make Ennui feel better about the change in his life.
Once they’ve finished their talk, Ennui sings a song to help his puppet friends understand the nature of change. He understands that sometimes “leaving‘s for the best.” Even when people don’t want to leave, certain situations complicate things to the point where it’s simply best to walk away. Now Jeff has to finally sit down to sign his divorce papers. He and his friends, along with Jill, sing together. But Mr. Pickles can’t bring himself to sign it. Until his heart pops out to give him the strength, and he signs.
It’s time to say goodbye. The Pickle Fairy of Hope comes back to offer them all hope in going forward, moving on. Ennui and his felty friends say their goodbyes to Mr. Pickles and Pickle Barrel Falls, getting a lift out of there by the Sasquatch, who’s brought them all balloons. Deidre and Jeff help them one by one. Once they’re gone, Jeff and Jill say goodbye, as well. Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time is now just a few stray puppets along with DIY Deirdre and Mr. Pickles, whereas Ennui and the others are now going to be corporate sponsors for restaurants and products, chewed up in the gaping maw of capitalism instead of living comfortably and happily in Pickle Barrel Falls. Sad.
A fantastic episode. One of the best of the series! Having Michael Gondry around is always a joy, because he brings the most out of the world of Mr. Pickles and his pals. Where will Puppet Time go from here?
“The Death of Fil” is next.