Inside Pulse 12

10 Thoughts on F is for Family – O Holy Moly Night

Here we are. The season finale of F is for Family. The scrappy little show that feels like a cross between King of the Hill and The Simpsons with a lot more swearing has managed to make something that at first glance might seem derivative, but is actually pretty novel in it’s weirdness. The fractured family dynamic is nothing new, but the total despair surrounding the Murphy’s is rather startling. Sure, they usually come together at the end of an episode to highlight their love for each other, but things are rarely ever “fixed.” In this season finale, Frank sends off Bill to be an altar boy as punishment for setting the forest ablaze. Sue tries to prepare for their annual Christmas party. Kevin tries to sell Christmas trees. And Frank tries his best to broker a deal between the baggage handlers union and management.

Here are some thoughts.

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1. Major is missing. Oh, no.

After last episodes massive fire accidentally set by Bill, Major the family dog is missing. And given the often dark nature of this show, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Major got caught in the flames. Granted, that would be a new level of darkness, but I would not put it past Burr to throw in one more moment of despair in this already despair-ridden show.

2. There’s a little bit of mirroring from episode one

The Murphy’s are putting on a Christmas party, much to Frank’s chagrin. The looming strike is threatening to put Frank out of a job, Bill has burnt down the entire forest, and to top it all off, Vic is also having a Christmas party next door. This is a nice little way to call back to the first episode and give the season a sense of symmetry. In episode one, Frank was obsessed with one-upping Vic by putting on his own party in responses to Vic’s. This time around, though, Frank has a lot more to worry about than putting on a better party than his hunky neighbor.

3. Bill just can’t catch a break with Jimmy…

Frank is forcing Bill to become an altar boy as punishment and as a learning opportunity after Bill burned down the forest. As a side note, Frank is actually really adept at disciplining his kids. Any other father might just ground Bill, but Frank insists on making the punishment into a life experience. Little does he know, however, that the lead altar boy is none other than Jimmy, Bill’s bully. Who also happens to be the reason Bill accidentally set the forest on fire. It was with Jimmy’s fireworks in an attempt to fight with Jimmy. So it would appear Bill is in trouble…

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4. Oh. Or can he?

Or maybe not. Turns out, Jimmy was actually very impressed with what Bill did. “It takes a lot of balls to do what you did,” Jimmy tells Bill. “And I respect balls.” But then it turns out, of course, Jimmy is stealing from the rectory. And is snacking on the host. And drinking communion wine. And when Bill refuses to play along, Jimmy gets angry and threatens to beat up little Bill, resulting in Jimmy falling to ground and clocking his head. That’s some pretty swift karma.

5. Seriously, I’m done with diaper boy

We only see him for about a minute this episode. But when we do, his face is covered with honey and what look like cockroaches. So yeah. Glad to see that kid go. He is next level weird and not in a funny or fun way. Here’s hoping he stays in that broken dryer for the rest of the series.

6. There’s no way this deal is gonna go through…

They start the episode with the sense that everything is going right and that they are very close to a deal. So knowing what we know about this show, there’s no way that the deal between the union and management is going to be smooth sailing. Even when everyone is sitting down and Frank hands out the pens to the union boss and management, I knew something was up. The union leader had signed the contract. The contract was passed. Frank gives the pen to Mr. Dunbarton, the company owner, and just when he’s about to sign…

7. Hey! I was right

Brandii opens here mouth. Now, I’m not sure if that’s how you spell her name, but it very much seems like it would be. She says she wants a pen, too. Frank explains to her that the pens are only for the people signing the contract, which Dunbarton takes as an insult. “What, a pen’s not good enough for my girlfriend!?” he shouts at Frank. Frank, bewildered, tries to defend himself. And after several comments about Brandii’s age in relation to Dunbarton, he shouts them down, “How dare you imply I’d date someone as old as my daughter?!” And with that, the contract is moot.

8. Once again the Murphy’s are in dire straits

The contract negotiations have fallen apart. The party doesn’t look like it’s going to work out. Bill is running away from Jimmy. Kevin needs to sell the last gimpy trees if he’s going to get paid. And Major the dog is still missing. And to top it all off, Jimmy and his father are now on the Murphy’s lawn, calling for Bill’s head. And it ends with the entire Murphy family beating the crap out of Jimmy and his father. Which is a nice little coda for a family having a really hard time.

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9. But Frank gets a couple moments of grace

In a very sitcom-like wrap-up, the old holocaust survivor neighbor brings Major home, Sue gets the party together, and Frank gives a nice little speech on TV that patches up contract negotiations and saves the day. But immediately afterwards, he gets fired for putting Dunbarton in a tough position. He saves the airline, but he lost his job. And in a last act of defiance, he drops his bosses keys on the floor of his car. His boss, being the crazy overweight jerk, can’t reach them. And so he’s stranded. So even though things didn’t turn out great for Frank, at least he had that last act of defiance.

10. Somehow, it’s fitting that Vic and Frank get the last moment

When he returns home, Vic is in front of his house, only wearing shorts and for some reason trimming the hedges. Frank gives him his coat and Frank bemoans the situation he’s in. “But you got a great life!” Vic tells him. “You’re family, it’s like a Normal Rockwell painting.” And with that, Vic galavants off to try and catch his loose reindeer. It’s a fitting ending for the show. A mixture of pathos, absurdity and despair that really do sum up what it means to be human. Hopefully, next season will see the Murphy family faring better. Until then, adieu.

And if you want to catch up on the whole season of F is for Family, check out my reviews below!

F if for Family – Bill Murphy’s Day off

F is for Family – F is for Halloween

F is for Family – The Trough

F is for Family – Saturday Bloody Saturday

F is for Family – The Bleedin’ Sweden

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