Season 1, Episode 2, “Springsteen”

This second episode of Season I begins with Carol, Jason, and Maggie in the kitchen. The phone rings and Carol goes to answer it, but Mike, sure the call is about his Springsteen tickets, rolls in on skates, swiping the phone from Carol’s hand.

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Now this next part seems strange to me. In a self-assured tone, Mike says, “yep, ok bye,” leading the viewer to believe the got the tickets (He didn’t.). When his dad asks, “Gonna see Springsteen, huh?” Mike, despite having not actually gotten the tickets, responds in a cocky tone, “Yep, tomorrow night.” Performing a shitty Bruce Springsteen impression, Mike proceeds to explain his method of scoring tickets for a sold out show, optimistic of his abilities to acquire the tickets.

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Mike goes on to get shot down in two more phone calls. One of those calls being from Jerry “Dog Killer” Delish, who if you don’t remember from my first review was Mike’s friend who failed Driver’s Ed because he ran over a dog. He was also piss-drunk on the floor of the jail when the family went to pick up Mike. Well we don’t know for SURE if it’s that Jerry, but I’m gonna say yes. I’m surprised Jason and Maggie would even let Mike have any contact with him after what happened last time. The other call is from his friend Jimmy. Jimmy promises Mike he can have the tickets in exchange for Mike’s leather jacket and a date with Trixie—Dog Killer’s sister who Maggie mentions with disdain is eleven. While Mike agrees to give up the jacket, he doesn’t agree to the whore out his friend’s baby sister so no tickets for Mike.

 

The next scene we see Ben coming “panicking” downstairs because he saw a mouse in the attic. Maggie’s plan is to trap and kill it. However Carol doesn’t want it to die. The two get into a debate with Carol saying why she shouldn’t kill it and Maggie saying why she should, but Mom trumps daughter.

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On her way to set up the traps, Maggie notices Mike lying on the living room couch. He’s lost his usual Mike bravado and is sad because he hasn’t been able to score any tickets.

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Jason comes home and he’s eating an ice cream cone, which really just makes him come off as more of an asshole than anything else. Once Maggie disappears upstairs to exterminate, Jason decides to screw with Mike by recalling how awesome it was when he saw Springsteen live. Following Mike’s protestations that he doesn’t want to hear how awesome it was anymore, Jason asks, “If you had one wish right now…one wish…what would it be?” Mike, too caught up in his own selfish wants doesn’t catch on where his dad’s going with this line of reasoning and whines, “Dad, I’m really not in the mood for this.”

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Jason exclaims, “The Springsteen Concert!” and hands Mike the tickets. But not before he accidently gives him his dry cleaning bill. Mike’s ecstatic and is about to call Jerry to let him know they’re going to the concert.

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But of course there’s a catch—Jason is going to go to the concert with Mike. I wonder where this is going…

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The next scene is at Mike’s school. Two of Mike’s friends are talking about how they can’t get tickets to Springsteen. Mike responds with a resounding “yes” when asked by his friends if he got the tickets. His friends are thrilled, immediately trying to get him to give one of them his second ticket. After Mike turns them down, they question him about who he’s going with. The boys tease him once he tells them he’s going with his father. Mike defends his father by saying that he’s not like regular fathers and is instead “a cool guy.”The scene ends with Mike telling his friends they are “dead meat” if they tell anyone he’s going with his father.
Once again, I wonder where this is going…

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We cut to Mike and Jason singing Springsteen together when exiting the concert.

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A “Newsline New York” reporter asks Mike if he attended the concert with his father. Jason answers the question for him, doing his best to embarrass the hell out of Mike, complete with noogies. Mike is mortified and runs off.

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Meanwhile back at the ranch, Maggie questions Carol about the missing cheese and sprung traps in the attic. Mother and daughter launch into another argument, this one a bit more heated than the last.

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Mike and Jason come home from the concert with Mike storming off to his room. Jason who feels hurt explains what happened with the reporter. Maggie assures him that it will all blow over in two days…tops.

The next scene again, is at Mike and Carol’s school. All day everyone has been teasing Mike. His two friends from earlier join in on the fun too. What Mike really should’ve responded with is that he got to at least go to the concert. On top of all this one of his friend’s name is Boner so who’s the real loser here.

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Later at home in the kitchen, Carol furthers her attempts to get her mom to spare the mice. She even enlists Ben to help by bribing him with 50 cent.

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With two against one and Maggie sympathizing with her tenderhearted daughter, she finally concedes and hands Carol a room free mouse hotel to trap the mice in until they can let them go.

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Like last week’s episode, this show ends with a discussion between Mike and Jason. Jason apologizes to Mike for embarrassing him, but Mike isn’t having it. Jason reminds how good Mike has it because his parents like him then—I found this a bit weird–he gives him an over-the-top example of how some parents lock their kids in closet. Mike says it’s unfair that Jason “slobbered” all over him on the evening news after he defended his dad in front of his friends at school, but admits he likes doing stuff with his dad. He also brings up how he likes that Jason knows what Springsteen is. Jason admits that he embarrassed Mike and the two agree that they can show their love for each other without letting everyone see, with Mike giving dad a noogie this time.

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The final scene is Mike hanging out with his friends and listening to music. Jason comes him and tells him to turn it down. Then he walks back into the kitchen where Maggie is and starts dancing with her.
Was this final scene, an opportunity for Jason to show that he’s still the parent? You can make the call.

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And that’s the point! Another episode of Growing Pains in the can.

Join me next week as I review Season 1, Episode 3, “Jealousy.”

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