Kidding season 1, episode 7 recap: Kintsugi


In episode 7 of Showtime’s Kidding, Jeff gets more crushing news, Dierdre has a chance to patch things up and Pickles-San rolls into town.

In this episode, Kidding introduces us to Pickles-San (Louis Ozawa Changchien), the Japanese version of Jeff Piccirillo’s character of Mr. Pickles (Jim Carrey), who stays at Deirdre’s home while he studies the personality and mannerisms of Mr. Pickles.

There are also rare, genuine bonding moments between Jeff and his son Will (Cole Allen) while on a trip. While Vivian (Ginger Gonzaga) recuperates from cancer treatments, Jeff even shows her the ocean via technology.

Meanwhile, Dierdre (Catherine Keener) seems on the mend with her husband Scott (Bernard White), who was seen by their daughter Maddy (Juliet Morris) having a sexual encounter with her piano teacher, Mr. Farpopolis (Andrew Tinpo Lee).

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Speaking in code, Scott suggests to Dierdre that Maddy was never really committed to the piano and that he’s committed to making this a “clarinet family.” Of course, the problem is, Maddy’s not very good at clarinet, and Scott is possibly more interested in piano (and you’ll surely get the meaning here).

Meanwhile, Jeff still is interested in making his show more real. On the side of plausible angles, he sings a song about different greatings of different cultures, such as allahu-akbar, hello, goodbye or aloha.

However, Jeff’s father and executive producer Seb (Frank Langella) isn’t happy about Jeff discussing the Trail of Tears, even when peppered with lines like, “Even governments make mistakes.”

Jeff’s point

While one can see Jeff’s ideas as controversial, on can easily see his point. In reality, people perhaps ought to learn about such things even at a young age. After all, those undergoing tragedy don’t have the luxury of over-protection anyway.

How do kids cope with such things?  With someone like Mr. Pickles to put events in perspective, he really could be alternately educational, helpful and entertaining,

Jeff also says that, “Without a diverse group of meaningful relationships, we can’t see certain populations as actual people and we subconsciously tune them out.”

Seb dismisses it all as “veiled Marxism and songs about genocide.”  It’s one of the best conflicts in Kidding, and gets at the heart of what makes politics fascinating.

On the one hand, no one should have to obsess over social issues and problems all the time.  Still, one shouldn’t ignore or angrily dismiss every injustice or problem, either.  Either extreme can be just that — an extreme.

Jeff Piccirillo (or Jeff Pickles) is a good example of the fractured age we live in, with roots in the fractured self.  We go on as we must, because giving up leads to stagnation and death.  To watch Jeff is a little like watching ourselves.

More scandals unfold!

What would Kidding be without an occasional scandal? Then again, one could ask that question about real life.

Things seem to progress between Dierdre and “Pickles-San,” when she says “I only exist for other people,” and that hers is a “family who loves from afar.”

In response, Pickles-San says, “Scars are proof you are healed.” On that note, Vivian tells Jeff some good news: Her cancer is in remission!

When she first appears with Jeff at a family dinner, it seems everything is fine. Jeff talks with Pete (Justin Kirk) about the finer points of dog shows, and even Mr. Pickles-San is there.

However, things take a sad and angry turn when Vivian reveals she’s breaking up with Jeff and going to Honduras alone. She even says that Jeff reminds her of her of cancer and death. Although Jeff says he understands, the rest of the family literally chants “**** you” at her until she leaves.

Dierdre adds, “There’s no chemo for dengue!” The incident caused Pickles-San to vomit. Later that night, Dierdre is caught by Scott receiving a unique puppet show from Pickles-San!

Still, Jeff has his work, right? That may be a small consolation. As customers fight over Mr. Pickles toys, Jeff still struggles with his show — particularly the new character Viva Lost Pages, based on Vivian.

Seb continues to lament his son’s “off-brand lunacy,” but it seems to only get worse. After Jeff pays off Vivian’s credit card debt over the phone, he launches into another big temper tantrum.

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It’s implied that part of Jeff’s problem is being too nice. It’s true that no one’s too nice to fail, but we all want Jeff to succeed, don’t we?

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