"It reminds me of my father...It reminds me of my father..."
Episode 113: Brendon’s Choice

Sense of Continuity Note: Make sure you see this episode before you see Episode 207, 208, 212, 213 or 307.

Cast:
Brendon Small – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Dixie Smithley – Amy Roeder
Principal Plum – Paula Plum
Erik – Jonathan Katz
Dr. Fizzel – Mitch Hedberg

I'm Dixie Smithley, from Channel One News!

Synopsis: Brendon wins the "Young Filmmaker of the Year" award, which prompts an interview from TV personality Dixie Smithley. The interview opens up issues involving Brendon's father. McGuirk's own problems are dealt with when he is forced to take an anger management course.

He's in the car!!!

History:
· This is the season one finale.
· This is the last episode made in Squigglevision.
· This is the last time Mitch Hedberg appears on Home Movies.
· Brendon Small brought the father 'arc' into focus for the first time in this episode, as he considers it to be a major part of the series.
· It's also odd that the father storyline would be introduced now, as the show's future was uncertain at this point. It might've been a cliffhanger that would never be resolved.

Lawn Gnomes:
· None, oddly enough.

No, I want you to throw it away. It reminds me of my father.

Brendon’s Filmography:
· “Fat Her” – An unfaithful journalist’s life is changed forever when he makes a story that could bring down the most powerful man in the free world. Also, he has an affair and his mistress tries to kill him. And archaeologists.
· *“Mistaken for a Princess” – The daughter of a self-serve gas station attendant ends up being mistaken for a princess by a bunch of inept, over-the-hill mobsters who are trying to get enough money together so they can buy a struggling minor league baseball team and retire.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· It seems, in both obvious and not so obvious terms, that Brendon's recent movies have the theme of his father running through them. "Fat Her", beyond the name, involves a toy that reminds Jason's character of his father, has dinosaurs leaving their children behind, infidelity, and a scared journalist in the middle of everything.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· No strong connections in this one.
· (Landstander) I disagree! Both Brendon and McGuirk are forced to deal with some repressed feelings. McGuirk's is a lot more direct, as he's forced to take anger management, but Brendon is more subtle, as he decides he has to deal with his father and his role in his life. It's also interesting how McGuirk mentions how he hates (among other things) his mother; there's a certain symmetry in that.

If you refuse, you'll be terminated.

Random Observations & Facts:
· Another kid can be seen on set during “Titanic 2”.
· Dwayne and Paula’s mother are in the audience for the award presentation. Also seen are Mr. Lynch and Walter & Perry.
· The channel one news logo is a hand with the index finger extended.
· Principal Plum is in the stands when McGuirk doesn’t flip out on the crazy old man.
· Crazy Old Man spells bum “Bem”.
· Ending Soccer Score: 0-6 Visitors.
· Dixie Smithley is obviously reading from cue cards.

Well, I hate people, I hate my job, and I hate my mother. Work with that.

Movie & Other References
· McGuirk hides in the back of Crazy Old Man’s car, and pops up while he’s driving. I know I’ve seen that several times before.
· The sequence with the zebra with peanut butter on its teeth and Jason in a trenchcoat pays homage to "All The President's Men", namley the Deep Throat scenes.
· In her "story" on the trio, Dixie makes a reference to "the next Steven Spielberg, Jodie Foster, or Ed Wood." Either she doesn't know her directors, or she really wasn't that impressed with the kids! Ed Wood, director of such sci-fi disasters as "Plan Nine From Outer Space", is regarded as the worst director in movie history. (thanks to Allyson for this, I forgot to mention that)
· In episode 113: Brendon's Choice, the title is a reference to the movie Sophie's Choice. Also, comedian/actor David Cross plays the person in line at the convenient store whom Coach McGuirk fights with. (thanks to stiff)

End Credits: “Brendon’s Choice End Theme” (Great song, BTW)

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

The Condiment King: This is the best season finale of the series and one of my favorite season finales period. I'm a sucker for cliffhanger endings and this episode had a great one with Brendon about to pick up the phone to talk to his dad for the first time. Great abrupt ending with "Brendon's Choice Theme" playing in the background as the credits roll. Great lead-in for the next season.

Coach McGuirk's subplot was great in this one, obvious that he would have anger management issues. There's just something about his facial expressions while he listens to the diatribe about him having to go to anger management and then he breaks the pen. Its just hilarious. Then, of course, you have the heckler in the stands. The anger management guy wasn't as great as the therapist in Season 2, but he was serviceable enough for Coach McGuirk and the rest of them to hate him. Funny, funny stuff.

The Trixie plot is pretty interesting. I love how she sees all this symbolism and meaning behind Brendon's movies and he doesn't see it himself or he doesn't put it there on purpose. "Uh, sure.." Then, of course, you have all the footage they shot, all the interviews that were conducted, for her one little summary of the story behind a picture of Jason in drag. Ridiculous.

What really makes the introduction of Brendon's father work in the series is how it hasn't been mentioned at all to this point and it steadily builds up as the episode continues, such as with Brendon being speechless when Trixie mentions his father in the interview or how Brendon becomes anxious about whenever a phone rings. I especially like when Brendon catches where he put in Jason's dialogue that the zebra "reminded him of his father" and he rewinds it back over and over again, drilling it in his head. The only other time to this point that I caught Brendon's father mentioned was Jason talking to Melissa about the trenchcoat he was using for Dwayne's Franz Kafka Rock Opera in "Director's Cut". This is the first tangible significant continuity of the show and it really ties together the season nicely. *****

StrangerAtaru: I don't know if it is just me or something, but considering how much comedy goes into this show, a dramatic episode can be somewhat strange to watch. Unfortunately, the basis of the drama (Brendon realizes that he doesn't really know about his father during interviews for a movie he gets an award for) gets somewhat lost with the interviews. The lady who interviewed Brendon, Jason and Melissa either asked too many questions or too few questions to them, leading pretty much nowhere and of course to the crappy 30-second segment they do get on the news. But while Brendon's situation did eventually get depressing, at least Jason's was just weird enough to be funny. (the part about "a woman who can't conceive who is pregnant" gets me every time) Luckily, there was the subplot about McGuirk’s psych-therapy to fall back on. The actual sessions were funny in themselves (especially about how this guy who calls himself a therapist can't help anyone in the class), but the bits involving McGuirk staying calm while being harassed by other people did get annoying after a while. (but the revenge scene at the end against the guy from the soccer game was classic, making the whole thing worth it) Overall, a half and half ending to the Squigglevision/Retro scripting era, but at least it has one of the best end-themes in the series.

The Landstander: I think upon first seeing this episode it can seem a bit off, given how the father aspects of the show haven't been introduced until now. Considering the entire arc of the series, it's really well done in hindsight. The Dixie Smithley storyline is kind of forgetable by itself, and it serves more to work an excuse for the father storyline to pop up.

Before that, there's McGuirk trying to control his anger. The more comedic storyline here, but still has a nice connection to Brendon, as it shows they both have some serious issues. Mitch Hedberg, a great comedian whose voice and style fit the show perfectly, sadly gives his last voice job here as the perhaps-too-mellow Dr. Fizzel.

The symbolism in Brendon's movies, even when its obvious, gives a nice new dimension to the show. The idea of Brendon using his movies to play with his reality has been used since episode 2, but this is the first time when it really plays out as something legitimate. All the themes are there; the Deep Throat character has a toy that reminds him of his father, dinosaurs leave their children behind, there's an infidelity storyline, and a Brendon's generally scared, confused character is in the middle of everything. The episode still has some funny moments (namely in McGuirk's scenes), but this is much more focused on character development. On a purely comedic level this is only alright, but it works a lot more on a much more interesting level. Highly Recommended.

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