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The Goldbergs said goodbye to their beloved Pops in the season 9 premiere on Wednesday, as each family member dealt with their grief in different ways. (Pops’ cast member, OG cast member George Segal, died March 23 of complications from bypass surgery.) Months after Pops died quietly in his sleep, Bill Murray advises that his family is facing death doesn’t handle well: Beverly calls herself an orphan; Erica rejects Geoff’s wedding ideas; Barry is furious that Pops left him a pen instead of his beloved Super Bowl watch; and Adam carries a doll with him that he would like to green-screen Pops ‘face for their unfinished film, Pops & Adam’s Excellent Adventure.

Bill suggests that they distribute Pops’ ashes at his favorite spot, to heal, and then forged a letter from Pops with these instructions. But the family can’t figure out where this place would be. They start in “his home away from home”, the race track on which one of Pop’s ‘friends (Beckers Saverio Guerra) recognizes Bev from her picture. He points out that there is a horse called Pop Goes the Weasel that everyone (except Murray) takes as a sign. But when the poor horse is injured, Beverly explains that they cannot disperse their father’s ashes there.

The next stop is Pops’ favorite jazz club, where the owner (JAGs Scott Lawrence) has heard many stories about Bev . But the last time Pops was there it turned out to have driven into several cars and then a few more. Needless to say, Bev disapproves of the site of Pops ‘last car accident as a suitable place to disperse his ashes.

Near the jazz club is Pops’ favorite restaurant where a waitress (NewsRadios Vicki Lewis) reveals that she and Pops were lovers (or « human Tetris pieces » as she calls them). When the family quarrel and Barry and Adam argue over the clock, Beverly realizes that the letter was forged. Murray admits he’s making plans to help them.

« It’s supposed to be tough. We lost someone we love, ”Beverly says sadly, to which Murray replies,“ But nobody cares. ”Case in point: Bev won’t go out with her friends; Erica hates every wedding venue because they miss all of the pops; Barry hates the pen because he thinks Pops was disappointed with it; and Adam carries a doll so he can pretend Pops never died. Murray admits he also doesn’t know what to do after losing the man who gave him his business, family and happiness.

Adam tells Barry the pen is the same with who wrote to Grandma about Pops during the war, and that’s why he wanted him to have it. Then Adam admits that he knows Pops’ favorite place: it’s the tree he suggested. Pops used to say that everything that blossomed in his life took root there, Beverly recalls. So it is fitting that Erica decides to get married there.

As the family prepares to distribute Pops’ ashes, Adam says a few words from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure that describe how Pops lived his life has: « Be excellent to each other and keep celebrating! »

With that, the Goldbergs are going healthier – Bev is ready to start planning the wedding, uh-oh? – and watch a home movie by Pops in which he says, « I understand that we shouldn’t dwell on the loved ones we’ve lost because there is more than enough love here. »

This is followed by a dedication card to Segal, then recordings of the late actor who sings and plays the banjo on set.

Goldberg fans, what do you think of the farewell? Rate the episode, then click on the comments.


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