Kidding season 1, episode 9 recap: LT. Pickles


In episode 9 of Showtime’s Kidding, Jeff freaks out some more, Will gets suspended and a tragic accident forever scars the Mr. Pickles brand.

One refreshing aspect of Showtime’s Kidding is that its main character, Jeff Piccirillo (Jim Carrey), is by no means a simple man. Though he hosts a successful kid’s show and is generally a nice guy, life certainly brings out his darker side. The basic premise is, a person can only face so much tragedy and conflict at a given time. Will he hold it together or will he eventually snap, making his happy empire tumble down?

This episode begins with an off-brand, illegal Mr. Pickles shooting game created by some college kid. We get insight into different personalities here. Jeff apparently sees little problem with the game, in defiance of expectations. We see him play it himself, in fact. Jeff’s father Seb (Frank Langella), however, instantly leaps to judgment and is prepared to sue its maker.

While it may just be Seb’s personality, it’s also possible that, in his own little way, it’s Seb’s way of protecting his son. After all, Jeff did just recently trash his father’s office. Couldn’t a shooting game send Jeff over the edge? Seb already calls his son a “bagpipe of insanity.” When Jeff has a family dinner, he freaks out again after imagining his sons Will and Phil staging a magic trick.

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Bagpipes of insanity

Seb’s concerns aren’t devoid of merit. After Jeff’s girlfriend Vivian (Ginger Gonzaga) broke up with him, it pushed him closer to the edge. The question is, will he be able to avoid a true plummet? Here we see him harassed by imaginary psycho voices over the phone, so signs aren’t all good. It also doesn’t help that his son Will (Cole Allen) regularly lashes out.

Followers of Kidding know that, from the beginning, Will’s twin brother Phil (also played by Cole Allen) died in a car wreck. It’s implied that, to some extent, Will is lashing out partly due to that loss (in addition to the usual, burgeoning pre-teen angst). In “LT. Pickles,” Will unleashes a bag of chickens in his school cafeteria, causing him to get suspended. While it’s ostensibly to impress a girl, it’s probably also symbolic of the chaos in his family life.

Speaking of family chaos, Jeff’s sister Deirdre (Catherine Keener) has a reason for concern, too. In fact, she recently was getting caught in a weird sex game with Pickles-San (Louis Ozawa Changchien), a house guest from Japan who’s studying for the Japanese version of Mr. Pickle’s Puppet Time. That affair was largely in retaliation over her husband Scott’s (Bernard White) sexual experience with their daughter’s piano teacher, Mr. Farpopolis (Andrew Tinpo Lee). To make matters worse, their daughter Maddy (Juliet Morris) had witnessed it. Now, after Scott denies the claims that he’s gay (or at least bisexual), Deirdre makes a point to sleep with Pickles-San again.

Blood on the ice

Kidding takes a darker, semi-unexpected turn toward the episode’s end. As the “Mr. Pickles on Ice” event finally occurs, we learn that Seb has replaced skater Tara Lipinski with her sister Sarah (Jennie Pierson/Jennifer Don). This goes againt Jeff’s wish that no one play a version of himself out on the ice. While it seems this will fuel a bitter rivalry between father and son, something else happens. As Tara Lipinski majestically skates on the ice, she accidentally gets her throat cut open by her sister’s ice skate blade!

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It’s a tragic moment, to be sure. However, in the brief moment, we see Jeff’s awe-struck reaction, it seems to oddly help Jeff realize he’s not alone in facing tragedy. While Jeff could still go crazy, it actually seems like his empathy and selflessness may overcome his own stress. Either way, Kidding surely has surprises in store, and an amount of unique frustrations for the Piccirillos.

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