[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Goldbergs, Season 9, Episode 1, “The Goldbergs’ Excellent Adventure.”]
The Goldbergs opened their ninth season with a special tribute episode that was totally excellent.
Following its pop culture-influenced format, the premiere tackled Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure as the family worked through their grief following Pops’ (the late great George Segal) death. Collectively, the Goldbergs are stuck in a rut as their grieving processes take different forms.
In an effort to pull them out of their funk, patriarch Murray (Jeff Garlin) has his friend Bill (David Koechner) stage the delivery of a letter revealing that Pops wanted his ashes spread in a special spot. Hoping this gesture doesn’t involve going past his own driveway, Murray finds himself and the entire family partaking in a wild search for Pops’ final resting spot.
Along the way, the family’s own forms of grief are displayed, such as Beverly’s (Wendi McLendon-Covey) affinity for proclaiming herself an orphan, Adam’s (Sean Giambrone) wish to finish his last film with Pops utilizing green screen technology, Erica’s (Hayley Orrantia) disinterest in picking a wedding venue with Geoff (Sam Lerner), and Barry’s (Troy Gentile) eating habits.
As the family travels to different haunts of Pops’, they meet friends from the racetrack, clubs, and diners who join in on the adventure. Eventually, the family winds up at an old tree that Adam says was Pops’ favorite, mostly because it’s where he began his life with their grandmother.
The bonding moment makes way for a confession from Murray that he’s having a tougher time getting over Pops’ loss than he’s been letting on. The openness helps the family overcome their grief a bit and begin to move forward with the rest of their lives. Along with the family’s journey in the episode, the show also shared some footage of Segal as part of their episode-long tribute for the performer.
What did you think of the premiere? Let us know in the poll and comment section, below. And don’t miss the rest of the season as The Goldbergs air this fall on ABC.
The Goldbergs, Wednesdays, 8/7c, ABC