Friday, January 31, 2014

REVIEW: 'Enlisted' Plays Flag Football as Derrick Tries to Get a Soldier Home in 'Homecoming'

FOX's Enlisted - Episode 1.04 Homecoming

While trying to impress the girl he likes, Derrick accidentally promises to bring her son's father home from war; Randy helps plan the sort of tear-soaked soldier reunion that he never had with his own father; and Pete and Jill must set aside their differences to lead the platoon in a game of flag football against the Marines.

"Homecoming" is the fourth episode of Enlisted to actually air - but it was actually the ninth episode produced. The Super Bowl is this Sunday. While Enlisted didn't get that plum post-game slot, the plot of "Homecoming" is very thematically-relevant to the upcoming event. Fortunately, there aren't any huge continuity errors. So, it all continues to make sense - while still be immensely funny.

The Army faces off against the Marines in a game of (flag) football - which leads to a lot of hijinks. Sergeant Major Cody continues to build up his bet with Sergeant Major Diggins. The reveal that it was just whether or not the Army could score a point was hilarious without taking away from the fact that they got slaughtered in this game. Pete's need to be called a hero and seen as the leader in football was amusing - and led to the comic highlight when Chubowski was running down the field with the ball. That was parody of every climatic scene in any given football movie. And yet, it was also so amazing and hilarious.

Elsewhere, Randy and Derrick try to stage a heartwarming reunion between a kid and his father - all in an attempt for Derrick to get closer to his girlfriend (Jessy Hodges). It's a nice role reversal for the brothers as Derrick has to rely on Randy in order to pull this off. Even though, he's left freaking out until the very last minute. The episode opens with a great gag about getting caught up in the emotions of seeing a video of this kind of reunion. Even though you know how the reveal will play out - Brandon is actually the person in the McAlligator costume - you just can't help but get caught up in the emotion of it all. 

Some more thoughts:
  • "Homecoming" was written by Scott Rutherford and directed by Michael McDonald.
  • Randy: "You need to jump off that cliff." With Pete acting it out with his fingers.
  • Cody: "Be cool about it." Jill: "What?!?!" Cody: "Be cool about it."
  • Jill: "I dated a rapper in 8th grade does that make me Beyonce?" Cue Cody and Pete looking at her butt.
  • Cody: "This isn't a game. This is flag football."
  • Kid: "Thank you, mom's boyfriend." Derrick: "You're welcome, mom's kid."
  • Randy telling himself to get it together while setting the scene of the reunion.
  • Jill: "Do you wanna be alone with these tapes." Pete: "I wouldn't hate it."
  • Pam Oliver was pretty amusing playing a version of herself with live commentary on the game. Loved her reactions to Pete's outfit.
  • Keith David laughing will never not be funny to me.