It’s time to play the music! It’s time to light the lights! It’s time for a recap of The Muppets tonight! This week’s episode might have been my favorite yet. It had some sincerely genuine laughs (not just sitcom-ish ones), more character development, and just about the biggest tug to the heartstrings a Muppets fan could ever endure.
The episode began in a very exciting way, with Kermit talking to camera about having things under control—until all sorts of disastrous things began to happen (complete with an upbeat jazz drumline played by Animal). It really had me fooled that they were going to “Birdman” this episode and have it long shots accompanied by jazzy drums. Alas, it wasn’t to be, but it did serve as a proper setup for the key driver of this week’s plot—Kermit and the show itself blacking out from stress.
But this storyline surprisingly took the backseat in the episode, as we saw Kermit take a rare personal day, treating himself to some time at a spa/retreat. Once there, he found it difficult to completely shut off from his normal helpful self, though, when guest star Jason Bateman pressured him for favors to help his daughter’s school play. It’s a testament to Kermit’s character that he is first and foremost helpful to others in most all situations. Putting others before himself is an an attribute most people could stand to do a little more of—but he does it to a fault. It’s OK to be a little selfish if it means your mental health, Kermit. Through some wisdom from Rowlf, though Kermit managed to find his own piece of mind (and home) by converting his backyard pool into a bit of swampy goodness.
The Show’s Blackout
With Scooter left in charge while Kermit was away—as anyone who’s ever seen a sitcom before can imagine—things didn’t go as planned. Scooter’s initiative to be a positive interim boss led to a chain reaction of calamity when he made a choice to do something as innocuous as turn up the air conditioning.
From a sitcom standpoint, they could have easily gone the route of “while the frog’s away the kids shall play,” but I’m glad they didn’t. It demonstrated that in this world, the Muppet gang take their jobs seriously. Even Gonzo, who ended up being the unlikely voice of reason, able to rally Scooter into making everything work despite all the setbacks. A testament to the show’s character development, given that Gonzo was set up to be a bit jealous of not being left in charge. But Muppets ain’t got no time for going the route of sabotage.
The end of the episode was a delight because we finally got a nod to the original Muppets content when Kermit—banjo in hand—sang “The Rainbow Connection” in his newly swamp-ified backyard pool. Clearly a sucker punch to nostalgia, but the scene wasn’t done without a dig at itself. As Kermit began to play, his off-screen neighbor shouted “Learn a new song!”, poking fun at the fact that we’ve all come to rely on Kermit performing the classic tune from time to time.
- Rowlf is the wisest of all the Muppets and we should all find our own “dirty old shoe.”
- “I can’t let Kermit down, he’s my father. Uhh uhh mentor!”
- “Hang in there? What do you know about problems? You’re a kitten who’s a model!”
- “What is the oldest saying in Hollywood?” “…This is where we should put Hollywood?”
- Sam the Eagle is still creeping on Janice. I really don’t care about either of them and don’t need to see their story.
- Pentatonix seemed a bit shoehorned into the episode but it’s forgivable to see Statler & Waldorf participate.
What’d you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.