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The Goldbergs

'The Goldbergs' fan recap: Mother's Day, space camp, and a dummy

Season 3 | Episode 23 | “Smother’s Day” | Aired May 4, 2016

It’s early May, 1980-something, and the Goldbergs are in disarray. Barry and Erica are confused about why they weren’t awakened by the sweet smells of Beverly cooking in the kitchen. Why is she just sitting there looking irritated? Why isn’t Murray calling anyone a moron? What’s going on? When Adam shows up with a single red rose, sentimental card, and a huge dopey smile on his face, the older siblings realize they have made a huge mistake: They forgot Mother’s Day.

The brother-and-sister duo rush upstairs to locate construction paper and markers. Cranking out a few homemade coupons should do the trick! Everyone knows that Beverly would never turn down free hugs or snuggle-wuggle sessions. Except this time, she graciously accepts the gifts and redeems a massive collection of other homemade coupons Erica and Barry have given her over the years.

Beverly enjoys her spoonies with her son, while cashing in her “day full of compliments.” Big Tasty showers her with sincere adoration. Her hair is yellow. She’s good at picking stuff up. He rattles off how he likes that she puts cheese on meats and shrimp, as Erica tries not to gag while giving her mom a pedicure. When Beverly redeems a coupon for Barry to sing “I’m a Little Teapot,” the siblings explode. They rip the coupons and declare that this Mother’s Day is over. Beverly is a lovely mixture of heartbroken and ticked off. She apologizes for what’s about to happen. It feels like winter is coming.

As Beverly makes retaliation plans, Adam is hard at work trying to convince Murray to send him to Space Camp. He even made a video with the help of Pops. For the price of 500 cups of coffee, Adam’s dream can come true. Murray calls the idea moronic and blames Pops for encouraging the moron. Pops just likes spending time with the boy. And martinis. Is that so wrong?

Adam tricks his father into taking him to the mall to buy shoes for the “big athletic game.” Ironically, they stumble upon the Gyroscope 2000, which astronauts use to test their equilibrium. One would think that Adam screaming, “MY DELICATE SYSTEM!” during the ride would persuade him to pursue dreams other than Space Camp. One would be wrong.

He tries a different tactic with his father — nostalgia. Didn’t Murray have dreams as a kid? That answer would be no. Unconvinced, Adam and Pops visit Murray’s dad Pop Pop for the real scoop. They quickly learn that Murray did have a dream. He wanted to be a ventriloquist, but was told he was a moron and that dreams were stupid. Poor Murray!

The next day, Erica and Barry wake up to empty bedrooms. Beverly’s revenge is simple. If her offspring took away a lifetime of gifts from her, then she will do the same. Erica and Barry don’t give in. Instead, they channel their inner Molly Ringwald and make clothes out of trash bags and bath mats. Fortunately Lainey is there to remind them that they look ridiculous. Also, Beverly Goldberg is pretty cool. She makes pancakes with crispy edges. Suck it up.

Meanwhile, Adam presents Murray’s dummy to his father to remind him that he did have dreams once upon a time. Murray is convinced that Maury (the puppet) isn’t going to help Adam get to Space Camp. He even speaks truth to Adam through Maury. Sure Murray Goldberg is incredibly gifted when it comes to ventriloquism, but Adam has to remain focused. He picks up an Alf doll from his shelf and defends his dream. Father and son hash it out through the magic of puppetry, as the truth unfolds before Adam’s eyes.

Adam: “You’re just as bad as Pop Pop. He crushed your dream, and now you’re crushing mine.”
Murray: “Have you ever been hungry? Or walked five miles in the rain? Or cried yourself to sleep because you didn’t know when I was coming home?”


Back downstairs, Erica and Barry finally invite Beverly to enjoy the perfect Mother’s Day celebration. And by perfect, I mean chaotic. The kitchen is a colossal disaster. But through the smoke, foam, flames, and arguing children, Beverly understands that her two schmoopies tried hard to make it up to her. Everything is extra schmoopie with Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” track echoing in the background. Well played.

Emotions stir even further when Murray returns Maury to his dad, who claims, “I did the best I could with you, you know.” This spurs Murray to buy a ticket to Space Camp for Adam. He doesn’t want to stand in the way of his dreams. In fact, he’ll help him reach the stars.

Totally Rad Quotables
She made me Lady and the Tramp a piece of spaghetti.
Barry: I gave her a back massage. Her skin soaked up the lotion like a biscuit.
Erica: I held hands with her for an hour as we walked around the park. We looked like a lesbian couple where she makes the money.

Adam: Put your hand in your old friend. Feel your dream again.

The Goldbergs airs Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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