For the second episode and second morning in a row, Frank tries to apologize. The issue is, he sucks at it. After the somber soul-searching all the Murphys (save Invoice) have been seen engaged in on the shut of the last episode, Frank thinks some scrambled eggs and a narrative about turning over the sweat-soaked sofa cushions he’d slept on will get issues proper again on monitor once more. Even after their screaming, vicious combat at Maureen’s faculty, the place Frank and Sue let fly with each buried resentment and grudge they’d been holding onto for his or her whole marriage, Frank—his uncombed couch-head testifying to his sleeping tough—seeks to breeze previous their issues. “Now we are able to transfer on with a contemporary begin and have an awesome weekend!,” exclaims Frank, as soon as he’s gotten the powdered eggs and apology out of the best way.
In spite of everything, he apologized, and he’s set in movement a plan to get his outdated job again. I imply, what extra may Sue need than a return to the best way issues have been? When the exhausted Sue claims, “Frank, you possibly can’t make all the pieces disappear by simply saying sorry,” Frank explodes, yelling, “If something’s gonna lead me to an early grave it’s this shit!” F Is For Household, delving even deeper into the center of suburban disaffection this season, has at occasions forgotten to convey the humorous. However all by means of “F Is For Repair,” the episode finds the steadiness between comedy and distress, strains like Frank’s knee-jerk assault on Sue’s plan for a church-sponsored marriage retreat eliciting an enormous chuckle with out shedding the dramatic thread. (“Aw, Christ, Sue, what does a priest learn about marriage? He’s married to God. He’s invisible and he’s joyful so long as you present up as soon as every week to eat his son!”)
In contrast to, say, The Simpsons, the place the immutability of the household establishment is a part of the joke, there are actual dangers that F Is For Household isn’t going to comply with Frank’s quick-fix blueprint again to stability. (Or what passes for stability within the Murphy residence.) When Frank reveals as much as the couple’s negotiated lunch date, it’s with the swaggering, blithe confidence that he’s, as soon as once more, about to take management as head of the family. Brushing apart Sue’s fastidiously written listing of debate matters, and her apparent issues, Frank crows about how, as soon as he has his job again at Mohican, all will likely be fantastic, asking Sue, “When have I ever dissatisfied you?” When Sue complains that they’d organized this lunch to speak about their issues, Frank snaps, “I’m speaking. You’re simply not listening,” and launches right into a story of how his actions have paved the best way for all times to return to the nice outdated days, as they exist in Frank’s rosy reminiscence. When Sue reminds Frank that she wasn’t really joyful then, Frank, his feel-good momentum thwarted, is incredulous. “You have been ecstatic!,” he roars, earlier than heading out for a smoke, patronizingly telling Sue to make use of the time to tug herself collectively.
The impediment of 1 partner ignoring the opposite’s emotions is normal sitcom stuff, however Frank’s tunnel imaginative and prescient right here matches completely with the person the present has offered all alongside. One other flashback to 1958 reveals the younger Frank dealing with the weeping Sue’s being pregnant information with shock, however optimism. He resigns himself to working full time at Mohican, however tenderly assures Sue that their particular person goals (him being a pilot, her ending school) are nonetheless in attain, simply delayed. When he reads Sue’s listing outdoors the restaurant, he sees that she’s quoted younger Frank’s pretty metaphor of them being “co-pilots” of their life collectively, and realizes simply how badly he’s fucked up. By then, it’s too late, as Sue, catching a waitress’ consideration whereas dejectedly fiddling together with her Salad Tosser prototype, has a rapt viewers of individuals dying to have bone-dry leafy greens. (My darkish horse decide for chuckle of the episode is the patron who dramatically asks, “what about… romaine?”) Frank, once more, tries to apologize, but it surely’s Sue’s flip to snap, sending Frank on his approach with a curt, “You had your likelihood. I’m busy.”
Frank grudgingly discovered to just accept Sue taking a job outdoors the house final season, however the merest glimmer of hope that he can—with one loopy plan involving flying the unstable Scoop up, up, and away on a Mohican aircraft—reclaim his birthright as supplier and man reveals how tenuous his understanding of his spouse’s wants actually is. However Sue, whose malaise at her stagnant existence edged into full-blown melancholy earlier than her Plast-a-Ware job, isn’t trying to him for safety any longer. Classes discovered after which forgotten discover the Murphys’ marriage so clearly shaky that Invoice and Maureen have a resigned ritual to drown out their dad and mom’ fixed combating. Maureen, being pushed to pc membership, parrots her mother’s lies concerning the Murphys’ marital stability by quoting an overheard Frank rant about being “too poor to get divorced,” concluding with a figuring out, “Does that make you really feel higher?”
It doesn’t. When Sue comes residence, she walks previous the dejected Frank with no phrase, and locks herself within the lavatory for a smoke. When Frank slips the brochure for the church retreat beneath the door, it’s what Sue wished, however her face doesn’t register hope or gratitude a lot as weariness on the considered one other possible disappointment. When the couple heads off the subsequent morning within the flower-painted VW bus of the chipper Father Pat, neither evinces a lot hope. At the very least their simpatico groans of disdain once they see that the tiresome Ginny and Greg will likely be in attendance present they nonetheless have that in widespread. At this level within the Murphys’ marriage, F Is For Household posits that they’d higher maintain onto any widespread floor they’ve received left.
- Jimmy’s again from “Catholic army faculty.” Positive, it’s primarily as a result of his father’s examine bounced, however he’s nonetheless hell bent on making amends to all these he’s wronged. Jimmy’s nonetheless not my favourite, however his alphabetical listing of all of the insults he must apologize for is a humorous bit (“ass butt, ass dick, ass eater, ass fuck, ass gasser…”), as is the very particular roster of locations on Invoice’s mother he had threatened to crap on.
- A few finely deployed signal gags this episode: Jimmy’s window-slapped “You R Ded” on the terrified Invoice’s window after Jimmy discovers that Invoice framed him, and mobbed-up union boss Lou’s scribbled directions to Frank when he assume they’re being bugged whereas Lou plots to kill Scoop.
- Earlier than Jimmy’s arrival places the worry again into him, Invoice’s transformation right into a imply little creep was continuing apace, with simply the slightest adjustment of his face drawing him nearer to Jimmy’s ugly sneer.
- The “robotic bear intercourse pizzeria” Captain Chucklethrust’s, the place Frank and Bob meet with the Mohican personnel to plot Scoop’s exit is funnier for a way steadily the present reveals the joke. Taped-over window indicators reveal it to have as soon as been a family-style pizza place known as “Captain Chucklecrust’s,” full with Chuck E. Cheese-style animatronic bears. The bears have been retained and… repurposed.
- Nonetheless, the present’s continued insistence that an chubby, overage stripper (the identical hooker that freaked out Kevin and his pals) is fun riot isn’t getting any more energizing. That she has to take her child to the identical pc membership assembly Maureen goes to does serve so as to add to Frank’s mounting anxiousness, although.
- The final merchandise on Sue’s criticism listing is “scent.”
- Invoice and Maureen are watching a parody model of the inexplicable, vaguely racist Harlem Globetrotters cartoon series from round this time interval, full with repetitive animation, jive-talking canine sidekick, and celeb visitor stars, this time, Colt Luger. (The unique did have a cool theme song, a minimum of.)
- Kevin’s escalating worry and guilt over sleeping with [sigh] Cutie Pie sees him really considering asking his dad for recommendation. Frank, assuming it’s nearly Kevin’s band, simply shines the boy on earlier than speeding off to work, leaving Kevin to name after him, “You picked a good time to be supportive, you dick!”
- However Kevin and Frank are extra alike than they’d wish to admit, as Kevin, too, loses his composure within the face of reward he is aware of he doesn’t deserve. Because the supportive (and stoned, certain) Vic beams, “You’re pure man. You’re sincere. Not one ounce of bullshit,” Kevin sweatily contemplates his earlier commentary, “You recognize once you actually, actually need one thing, and you may’t cease occupied with it, however you then get it and you then hate your self?” That will as effectively be the Murphy household motto.