Wheel Of Justice

Episode Report Card
Uncle Bob: D+ | Grade It Now!
Rumors Of Ed's Demise Are Hardly Exaggerated

Ed and Carol show up at the doorstep of a woman named Barbara Jericho. They ask if she's the judge's daughter, and she says she is. Ed says they need to see Frank. Barbara doesn't want them seeing Frank, because he's a loser in a wheelchair who will never play baseball for the Cincinnati Reds and is an embarrassing klutz to the whole family. Ed says it's about her father, explaining that Donnelly has taken the news that his grandson's a loser pretty hard. Ed thinks that El Crippo can pull Donnelly out of this dark funk. Barbara mentions that her son won't eat, which doesn't really bother Ed because...you know, big deal. We've got a judge who won't judge...what's one more Gomer in a wheelchair who won't eat? Barbara agrees, lets them in the house, and takes them to Frank's room. Frank is staring out the window, just like his wretched bitchy grandfather. Except his grandfather still has the ability to pee standing up. Ed says he's not going to pretend to know what Frank's going through because he doesn't since he can still go through a buffet line for himself and doesn't need someone else to pick out his food for him and then come back to the table with a plateful of radishes and crusty meatloaf. But Ed needs Frank's help. Ed's known Frank's grandfather a long time and Donnelly's in a bad place right now. Not as bad as being confined to a wheelchair for life, but almost as bad. Because Gramps has lost his faith in how the world works. Ed says that neither of them can just "give up." "Are you here to tell me to not give up?" the confused young wheelchair occupier says. "No, you simple fuck," Ed replies. "I want you to tell your grandfather that."

We follow this scene of pain and soul-searching with the week's musical montage set to Three Dog Night's "The Show Must Go On." At the Stuckey Bowl, the clowns are all trying to cram into a VW. Carol and Ed are riding along in Ed's SUV with Frank being towed behind in his wheelchair, chained to the bumper. Phil hands the prize of a pair of big shoes to one of the clowns. We have no idea which one it is because he's wearing makeup, which makes that plotline about as anti-climactic as your parents catching you humping the family pet. Back at the cabin, Ed guides the judge out onto his front porch, where he's greeted by his grandson the Gimp. At Mike's office, Carmella and Nancy are building a tongue depressor castle which Mike knocks over and they all laugh and laugh and laugh. The judge is back in his chambers and has gotten rid of the Wheel of Justice. The Stuckey Bowl clown is handing out balloon animals to young kids as they walk in the door. Phil turns to Kenny and says, "Do you think we should have went with 6 instead?" and Kenny answers, "Who really gives a crap anymore?" and walks away. The way he said it, he could have easily been talking about the fate of the show itself. It wasn't a truly hilarious line, but seemed more like a line from the writers to NBC: Cancel the show if you want. Who really gives a crap anymore?

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