Kidding season 1, episode 8 recap: Philliam


In episode 8 of Showtime’s Kidding, Jeff has compassion for a death row inmate, which puts him at odds with his own family.

As this Kidding episode begins, we learn this is largely a flashback episode. We see a death row inmate named Joe (Dan Martin) ordering many of Mr. Pickle’s Secret Chef’s meals for his last meal.

So, how did Joe end up on death row? After having a really bad day, he killed four women at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant (3 of them with a hammer). It’s said the victim’s families will attend the execution, and so may Jeff Piccirillo (Jim Carrey).

Jeff knew that, while in prison, Joe became a big fan of his, and Jeff wishes to be compassionate. Of course, Jeff’s father and executive producer, Seb (Frank Langella), has mixed feelings about it. He tells Jeff, “Not everyone needs a friend.”

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Still, attending the execution isn’t out of line with Jeff’s character. He tries to do the right thing and does most of the time. Still, thinking about this weighty decision distracts him, and he ends up ignoring his twin sons’ magic trick (named Phil and Will, both played by Cole Allen).

Still, they participate in something called Pickles family giving, which means using Jeff’s money to be generous to others who need it.

The Pickles family is your family

Interestingly, a discussion of Joe’s lethal injection is partly what sparked the relationship between Peter (Justin Kirk) and Jeff’s wife Jill (Judy Greer). He notes the ingredients of a lethal injection cocktail and they both exchange flirty vibes (a bit unsettling perhaps, but life is quirky like that sometimes).

Later, the son of the death row inmate, Derrell (Alex Raul Barrios), is invited by Jeff to dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

Meanwhile, Phil defends his dad after a bully accuses him of being a pedophile (a problem likely faced by children’s television show hosts). Phil punches the bully in the face.

Later, after hearing about the incident, Jeff gives Phil given a copy of his book, “Talking to Children.” While Jeff means well here, his son sees it as an empty, meaningless gesture. He no doubt wishes his dad would’ve said, “Thanks for sticking up for me, sport,” or something along those lines.

Instead, his actions were simply chastised. Soon afterward, we see Derrell appreciating his father’s Mr. Pickles art, hanging up a picture of Pickle Barrell Falls on his wall.

Dinner of discontent

Dinners are often a problem on Kidding, and this episode’s no exception.

The big dinner between Derrell and the Pickles family arrives, after Jeff emphasized, “The Pickles family is your family.” However, not long into it, Philip asks embarrassing, offensive questions about his mass murderer father.

Although Jeff tries to silence his son, Derrell tells the story of his dad’s fateful day. Their family had always been poor, and Joe was told he needed to make a thousand dollar payment by a certain amount of time.

However, the last straw for Joe was when he went into the Wendy’s. The irregular, rounded corners on his cheeseburger drove him nuts! Jeff loses his cool, too, after Phil condescendingly corrects Derrell’s grammar.

Jeff practically drags Phil away, yelling at him in the hall: “Learn how to keep your mouth shut!” It’s certainly an awkward dinner, but that’s often what makes things unforgettable.

In Joe’s correspondence with Jeff, he says he might not go to heaven, but may end up in Pickle Barrell Falls. After initially backing out, Jeff attends the execution. Unfortunately, he can’t hear the last words due to a broken microphone in the death chamber.

Later, Piccirillo eats again with Derrell, and asks, “What makes people snap like that?” The simple answer is that, ultimately, everyone has a breaking point.

Jeff later gives Derrell a job at Mr. Pickle’s Puppet Time. However, as the episode ends, we are brought back to what’s apparently the present. We see the aftermath of Jeff’s recent freakout and learn that Derrell had witnessed it.

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It’s strongly implied that it’s a powerful moment for both of them, given what happened to Derrell’s father. That’s it for this Kidding recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!