It's also nice to see more of Erica, as her character has finally starting coming into focus with these last two episodes. She's looked more typically "cute" in the past two episodes, which might be the cause of her airtime. There's the shiny sleek hair, and a little black mini skirt paired with a heart print that is terribly vogue right now (Burberry's version has been worn by Posh Spice, so it's a pretty big deal). They temper this current fashion trend in the last scene with some heinous leg-warmers, but if only Erica could get more screen-time and be allowed to be Eighties crack-tastic at the same time.
In addition to the madness of the matriarch, this episode serves up a steaming plate of male vulnerability. Pop's age serves as the perfect vehicle for rehashing the ridiculousness of infomercials, particularly the gem of a quote "I've fallen and I can't get up!" Predictably, Bev gets Pops a Life Alert, he's offended, and then in an amazing twist no one saw coming, he falls and can't get up! Bev remains blissfully unaware, as Pops calls Adam to help. Pops pride and hatred of the Life Alert eventually melts under Adam's plea to protect himself. I wonder if the other kids are ever offended that Pops doesn't even try to hide the fact that Adam is his favorite. Poor Barry and Erica. It's not their fault they aren't blonde.
Murray also slightly betrays his soft side. When he finds Barry literally face down in a ditch by the side of the road, he admits that he almost died. The thought of a hurt child is something that does make even the most stoic of men crack, and it's nice to see Murray admit that. It's even nicer to see his completely appropriate rage moments later when Barry ruins a baseball score for him. Is that rehashed sitcom territory? Yes, but it doesn't feel stale. Rather, it feels like a familiar blanket, wrapping the viewer in the over-simplified sitcom blanket of yore.