Kidding season 1, episode 4 recap: ‘Bye, Mom’


On episode 4 of Showtime’s Kidding, Jeff wants to see Vivian again, but she’s apparently not returning his calls. Also, Dierdre shies away from reality.

Near the episode’s beginning, Seb (Frank Langella) speaks with his daughter Deirdre (Catherine Keener) about Jeff (Jim Carrey). Seb makes it clear that Jeff is replaceable and nonchalantly mentions that Deirdre’s marriage is also on thin ice. Seb no doubt thinks he’s merely a realist and doesn’t understand that he isn’t really even helping on Kidding.

That being said, Jeff Piccirillo is indeed a little out there. In this very episode, he expressed concerns about a kid potentially mimicking a scene from the opening credits of his show — specifically, where a simulated Jeff goes over Pickle Barrel Falls in a barrel and flies away in a parachute. Seb fears his son’s losing his grip, and is, therefore, looking for replacement Jeffs. In fact, as a way of testing the waters, Seb’s looking to have someone create a giant “Jeff Pickles” head for someone to wear at an Ice Skating event. As a likely parody, we are shown a boy named Jimmy (Keith L. Williams) say bye to his mom, then get into a barrel and roll over a waterfall.

Waiting for the call/The mythical sniper

Jeff is anxiously awaiting a return call from Vivian (Ginger Gonzaga), who he had slept with recently. In fact, Jeff’s in denial that it could’ve been a one night stand. On top of that, Jeff is concerned about his son Will, who he fears is hanging out with the wrong crowd. When looking for Will, one of them (Coda Boesel) asks Jeff about a myth about him. The legend? Jeff supposedly killed a bunch of people as a sniper in Lebanon.

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Initially, Jeff walks away from it but instead uses it as a bargaining chip to learn where his son is. He tells the kids, “I could never take a man’s life, but I’ve heard it’s as easy as popping a pimple,” and hints at details of a supposed assassin’s life. Before long, Jeff learns Will’s whereabouts.

Sadly, Jeff assumes his phone is broken because Vivian’s not calling him, and takes Will to the phone store to purchase a new one. It appears that Jeff’s in denial (which is what much of Kidding is about. Similarly, Dierdre almost hears her husband come out as gay, but immediately blocks it by talking about how unhappy children of divorced parents are. She is also frightened by her daughter Maddy (Juliet Morris). She later works on Jeff’s replacement head, doing a better job than the previous prop builder.

A perfect circle of endless possibilities

Meanwhile, Jill Piccirillo (Judy Greer) finally confronts her soon-to-be-ex-husband about his paying the man who killed their son. Jeff, being ultra-compassionate, is concerned about Denny’s (Jernard Burks) poverty level, and that the accident supposedly injured him. Jeff insists that the man isn’t a villain, explaining the “The world is a perfect circle of endless possibilities.” Jill, however, believes the truck driver is lying about his injury, and that his phone isn’t broken, and that Will’s not going to stop smoking pot because he was given a magic trick set.

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Then, in a great moment, Jeff finally gets a reply that Vivian’s phone actually was broken and that she would love to see him again. As a cute little moment, we see Jimmy and his lovable dog Gertie safely parachute away from harm shortly after dropping over the waterfall near the episode’s start. It’s a symbol that life may provide hardship, but that most people can recover. You need to take the good with the bad while being able to look the bad in the eye. Jeff is showing signs of that capability, but it won’t be easy.

That’s it for this Kidding recap? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!