The Hospital Scene
Episode 313: Coffins and Cradles

To get the full story on Linda & Andrew, see “Dad”, “Therapy” and “The Wedding” beforehand. As for Stephanie, might want to check out “Law and Boarder” and “The Wedding”. Jason’s candy storyline also relates back to “The Party”, the first time we see his candy obsession.

Hello, Brendon Jr.!

Brendon Small (Fish) – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis (Salesman) – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins (Death) – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Coach Jon McGuirk (Woman) – H. Jon Benjamin
Paula Small (Nothing) – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small (Devil) – Loren Bouchard
Mr. Lynch (Kitty) - Ron Lynch
Linda Small (Ugly Housewife) - Laura Silverman
Stephanie (Cult Member) - Kelly Kimball
Walter & Perry (Ghost) - Brendon Small & H. Jon Benjamin
Doctor (Groucho Marx) - Tom Kenny

Synopsis: Halloween! Linda is pregnant, Brendon's plans for a costume are ruined, Jason continues to battle an old addiction, and McGuirk meets an old friend.

What are you supposed to be, an ugly housewife?

· This is the “lost” Season 3 finale, meaning it did not air right after “Stow A Way”, as it should have, but rather 6 months later.
· Spongebob Squarepants himself, Tom Kenny, helps out as voicing the doctor in this episode, thus fufilling his quota to appear as a guest on every animated show, ever.

Lawn Gnomes:
· Next to the Small’s cauldron of candy is a black-shirted gnome wearing a witch’s hat.
· Melissa’s Grim Reaper staff has a gnome on the top.

I'm changing!

Brendon’s Filmography:
· *”Brendon Jr.’s Birth” – Failed attempt by Brendon to capture Linda’s birth. Surprisingly, scripted.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· The movie is used more as a plot device than a usual movie.

Plotline Connection (By TheJazzFighter):
Halloween is one connection. The hospital is another. The kids, Linda, and McGuirk are the only ones with actual plots. Well, come to think of it, Linda’s plotline is the main one. Everything, except McGuik, happens around her and the baby. The kids wind up at the hospital with Linda, and McGuirk winds up at the hospital with Stephanie because of his heart attack. Paula winds up there too with Josie. So, its one of those character come-together episode deals.

%&*# YOU!

Random Observations & Facts:
· This episode does not begin with the classic HM TV Screen.
· Brendon has a drink box, Jason has what appears to be a regular piece of bread, and Melissa has what appear to be chips in the opening scene.
· Paula’s bag says “SHOP SHOP SHOP”
· Sign at the Lamaze Class: “Breast Feed: It’s The Law”
· The clock at the Lamaze Class is a baby’s head.
· Note on McGuirk’s door: “No Candy Go Away!”
· McGuirk has a stuffed animal of a duck when he answers the door.
· The news report while Brendon talks about his 911 strategy has a picture of a man with “Nobel Peace Prize” underneath.
· McGuirk sits in a triangle. On each of the 3 tips of the drawn triangle, a circle is drawn. Outside of the figures, crystals surround him. Pictures of an eye, a snake and a hand are drawn, as well.
· The crystal on McGuirk’s head falls off when he looks at Stephanie.
· McGuirk is eating an apple strudel and drinking Spaz Cola.
· McGuirk’s equation:
2+4=She’s Hot
6-4=That makes McGuirk happy
· A “666” is apparent on Josie’s Devil Costume.
· Jason carries a candy bucket with nothing in it. Melissa carries a pig’s head bucket.
· (Landstander Opinion only) Stephanie might be a lesbian/bisexual, as she insists on McGuirk keeping on the dress/wig while they make out.
· Everyone winds up at “Sparky Memorial Hospital”
· Melissa cries when Jason takes the candy.
· Brendon doesn’t tape McGuirk’s pledge; the camera says “PAUSE” in the upper right hand corner.
· Lynch appears to be in the morgue while looking for Jason and Melissa.
· A coffin, a human heart, a wheelchair and crutches are in the storage room where Melissa slaps Jason.

I need you to calm down!

Past Episode References (Quite a few, actually):
· Jason’s entire candy plotline started back in “The Party”.
· Lynch dresses (and acts) as a kitty cat. We first learned of Lynch’s love of kittens back in Episode 305 – “Four’s Company”.
· McGuirk says he collects civil war memorabilia, which he first mentioned to the leader of We’re Just People Too in “Sensitivity”
· The Sammy/McGuirk picture from “Law and Boarders” is once again seen.
· A clip of the “Oh, dear…” scene from “The Wedding” is shown.
· I think Jason’s line/delivery of the line “I’m changing!” while on the candy binge is reminiscent of the Monster Movie from “I Don’t Do Well In Parent Teacher Conferences”
· Slight possible inconsistency: McGuirk pledges to learn how to play soccer. However, in “Life Through A Fish Eye Lens”, he says that he just started playing the game two years ago. Then again, he was talking to the soccer team, so it might’ve been one of his many lies.

Linda, my fin fell off again...

Movie & Other References:
· John Travolta does indeed have his own plane and a pilot’s license.
· Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” is referenced by Lynch asking “Has anyone seen Death and a salesman?” referring to Jason and Melissa. He gets the response “Sure, Arthur Miller, it’s a classic.”
· The doctor makes a joke at the end, “Anyone want some of Linda’s placenta? I’m just going to throw it out.” There are people who actually do eat placenta.

End Credits: “Hospital Theme”

So, you're a kook, now?

Reviews: (Spoilers)

GardenGnome - Overall, I liked it. I agree with some of the earlier postings that there were a couple of things that I wasn't crazy about... like the excessive swearing. I didn't find it offensive or anything, it's just that HM has always used such smart, witty humor, so it didn't need to use all the swearing. Swearing once in a while is really funny, (like when Jason was at the casino boat, or when McGuirk was woozy in the library) but last night was a bit over the top.

When they first showed Linda, I laughed out loud. That was hilarious!! And I also love how she is staying with Paula and Brendon while Andrew is away. That was so in tune with Paula's easy going attitude.

I liked Brendon's character and all, but when he and Linda were in Lamaze class, and Brendon said to Linda "Do it yourself, lazy ass." it just seemed really out of character for Brendon. That seemed more like a McGuirk or Jason line than a Brendon line.

I also noticed that they are kind of using each other's lines a bit from past shows, too. Like when Brendon referred to the camera being "locked and loaded", I specifically remember McGuirk using that like when he was reading the poem in "My Cheatin' Heart".

I loved it when Brendon is videotaping McGuirk's pledge to live a better life, and Brendon is pointing to the door because he just wants to leave. That was great.

I liked Lynch's cat costume, but I agree that the licking McGuirk's face and then walking like a cat in the hospital, scratching his ear was really silly.

Stephanie was great!! I recognized her right away, and was psyched that she is back. Her shaved head is the best!!!

The Walter and Perry scene was hilarious. Calling Linda an "ugly housewife" and a "trailer trash junky" was classic.

The slapping scene was really funny, too. I especially loved it when Melissa slapped him with BOTH HANDS. And the angle was really brilliant, too, just seeing Jason's face and Melissa's hands coming at him. Every once in a while, that side of Melissa's personality comes out - like in "Broken Dreams".

I really missed Duane's music that is usually in the show, and I also missed the movies that they make in just about every episode that parallel some aspect of the show's bigger plot. But I’m sure it will be back in the fall.

It wasn't my favorite episode, but it was good just the same. I give it a B+.

Pabcool: Good episode. A little slapsticky, but good. Jason and Melissa were great, and Lynch was decent. Brendon was a nice break from the good but slapsticky insanity. I also thought the use of the beeps were very good, a sort of satire of shows like The Osbournes. And Home Movies got very daring this episode. (F***, (It was bleeped, but it was still daring for HM) McGuirk's lady costume, more profanity than usual, some of Melissa & Jason's stuff) But still, McGuirk kinda freaked me out. Lastly, I must applaud the writers for the use of continuity. Jason's candy problem... as great as it was in The Party.

I'm giving Coffins & Cradles a B+

Condiment King - The halloween party for the Home Movies gang. Its been 31 days since Jason has eaten candy, which brings up a question of the continuity of Home Movies since "The Party" was the last time we saw Jason's obsession with candy. Then, we see Linda pregnant, which means that its probably been at least months since season 2's "The Wedding". This is another big life event for the Home Movies gang, once again to end the season.

This is also the third appearance of Stephanie and the second one in a season finale, which is interesting. She comes back with a shaved head and a newfound faith as she hopes to be less threatening to people, which seems like it directly corresponds to "The Wedding" since McGuirk was afraid of her because she came on too strong. She "sees God in everything" which sounds like a faith rooted in Asia like Buddhism. She did reference learning alot of things from her "Chinese friends" in "Law and Boarders". This was also the first time we see a direct flashback with a scene straight from "The Wedding". Its amazing that they didn't recognize each other at first. They look so similar.

I really like the scene where Brendon is talking about calling 911 in case of an emergency and he accidentally calls it twice and then the 911 actually calls him. Great stuff. We also see Lynch's obsession with cats reemerge as he comes to the Halloween party dressed up as a cat. Its amazing that Brendon has been spending this long on a costume that is just a "kitty cat". Another thing interesting about the costumes is that Josie's eyebrows look like 666 and she's dressed up as a devil, which is a not so subtle hint to this.

Brendon's costume was terrible. I like how Lynch was really into his character as a cat in the cat costume. That led to some really hilarious dialogue like how cat really likes fish. Speaking of costumes, I can't think of anything more bizarre in the series than Stephanie getting turned on by the fact that McGuirk is dressed up as a woman. It was downright awkward. Of course, when it really happens between Stephanie and McGuirk, he has a heart attack. We get another look at Lonely Ave. as McGuirk is with Stephanie.

The Brendon/Linda stuff was great like him being idle in the breathing class that Linda had to go to in Andrew's absence. Then, of course the screaming match between Brendon and Linda was the best scene of the episode. Also, "Anyone ever seen death...and a salesman?" "Sure, Arthur Miller, it's a classic." *****

Jdoggg: This episode was funny, for the most part. It made me laugh. Judged purely on that basis, as I'm going to start judging HM on what it is, not compared with what it was, it was a success. The Halloween setting made it obvious when this was intended to air, but, more importantly, made for the best situation for the reprisal of Jason's candy addiction. I think that Paula and Linda's relationship was a bit too close. You would think Linda would be with friends or her family, not with her husbands ex. In fact, most of the wedding stuff just doesn't make sense on a realistic level, but Home Movies just isn't that show anymore. I find it kind of hard to believe that it took Stephanie that long to recognize McGuirk, but who knows what drugs she’s been taking. Lynch was overplayed, but he's kind of weird, and I think he just applied the same dedication he used in Renaissance, as Moilen, to the cat costume. It seemed like they were just going through the paces with this one, especially with all the cheap jokes and reprised characters.

Mynd Hed: Wow. While I can certainly see why hardcore fans of early Home Movies might not like this episode, I loved it. My only gripe was that I NEVER want to see Lynch in a cat suit again. (-: Other than that... A+. Some great continuity with previous episodes, a good showing from just about every regular character except Paula, one funny (and mercifully short) scene with Walter and Perry, great all around.

At first I thought the candy gag with Jason acting like an alcoholic and Melissa acting like his codependent wife would just be a redundant rehash of previous episodes. However, when she started slapping him around like crazy and clearly enjoying it (and when he later admitted to enjoying it too) I was sold. Very nice.And the best line EVER in Home Movies: "This is what I get for getting knocked up by an eight year old."

McGuirk's little subplot was cool, too. Nice to see Stephanie make a return appearance. I don't know why seeing McGuirk get some small shred of hope or dignity and then getting it ripped away from him by the end of the episode over and over again is so entertaining to me, but it is. I must be a sick, horrible person. (-:

MultipleSifl: Personally, I thought this episode was great. Sure, it's no "Time to Pay the Price", but what is? The randomness is not foreign to HM, neither was the subtle humor that was present in this "lost" episode.
Kids sometimes swear when they're upset. We may not like it, (I know if I ever caught my kid swearin’, he'd be one hurtin' unit!) but they do. Besides, he only got away with cussing like a school bus driver 'cause they never did have the traditional mother-son relationship, anyhow. Overall, I say this episode is a solid A. As if my opinion mattered!

Vekou: Brilliant... I almost died laughing watching this. I don't know why I ever stopped watching Home Movies. This seemed a lot different from any other HM I've ever watched before, but it was great. The whole hospital part was riotously funny the whole way through, from McGuirk in drag to the other Ms. Small (can't remember her real name) and Brendon swearing at each other, Melissa slapping Jason (Death and a Salesman, haha), Lynch being a cat almost too well, and the ending. Overall a great HM, probably the funniest I can recall.

Moltrez: I only have 3/4 of this episode but I really think it's a nice re intro to season 4. I was surprised to see Tom Kenny in HM (he played COUNTLESS roles in animation and played Spongebob, Gary the Snail and Patchy The Pirate on the famous kid's show Spongebob Squarepants) As the doctor and the man on the phone. I was glad to see W&P back and making sure they'll be back in this season weather it's miniscule or not it's good to know they're not dead (or is it?) I liked bringing Jason's candy obsession back (and Lynch of all people reinforced it) the slap fest dragged on by just a little bit but that's what makes some HM comedy funny. For the negatives, Lynch got a tad too carried away with his cat idea (licking McGuirk was weird but McGuirk’s response was hilarious) Linda and Brendon getting along at the end Does NOT work for me they were made to hate each other simple as that. The funniest joke in the episode (I KNOW people don't agree with me but...) McGuirk’s crack about how death has come but he's equally disappointed its Melissa. I was neutral on Stephanie returning I don't have any strong feelings about her character so I suppose it was fine. Overall: A-

HomeMoviesFan: It started off well enough (though the bus coming in at the very, very start seemed too Photoshop-like). Jason being "cold turkey" was hilarious, and the episode just started like that (though no HM TV screen).

The whole Lamaze thing ("This is what I get for getting knocked up by an 8-year old") was good, and so was Lynch as a cat (though they took it a little too far) and the other costumes (Brendon's crappy fish thingy).

McGuirk and Stephanie...hmm. I loved how when Stephanie reminded McGuirk, a clip of "The Wedding" instantly showed up. Like something a live-action series would do. Notice that she's ALMOST in all the season finales (112, 213, 313, and expect 413 to have her, too).

When they got to the hospital...OK. I got a little too outlandish, like Brendon cursing with Linda (why Paula didn't react at Brendon's "**** you!" I have no idea). McGuirk having the heart attack was good, and the doctor (new character, BTW) was just a nice addition to the "one-time characters".

Jason freaking out...a nice throwback to "The Party", but in that episode (which, incidentally, I actually watched to pass the time leading to this episode airing [I was trying to keep from going nuts and smashing my clock to smithereens {ever heard someone yell constantly at a clock just for a HM episode?}]) Jason acted like a drunk. In this one...he acted like a lunatic. Oh well.

This felt like a "Very Special" episode, and was outlandish and felt like a "Tree house of Horror" episode of the Simpsons.

Though, it was a wonderful character driven episode, but newcomers to HM may be scratching their heads right now. B+

Shnay: It was great seeing a new Home Movies episode, but this episode being "lost" wasn't too much of a...loss. There just wasn't much that did it for me in this episode. It certainly had its good points, but too much of it just lacked the charm and wit that make the show what it is.

Some of the ideas used in this episode were really clever. Having Melissa dressed up as death in the hospital, and Jason trying to kick candy cold turkey were both interesting concepts. Unfortunately, they didn't pay off quite like I hoped they would, but I'll cover that in a bit.

Brendon's interactions with Linda were varied. Him wanting to tape the birth was very true to his character, and provided some really good comedy with him writing dialogue for people. Also, sending him to a Lamaze class was quite funny (even though it was pretty ridiculous). The "This is what I get for getting knocked up by an 8 year old" line took me by surprise.

McGuirk and Stephanie's plot line started out very interesting. It even had some pretty funny moments early on. But as it continued, the premise was just taken too far, and it lost its comedic value. Also, it seemed McGuirk's actions here don't really fit with his actions in "The Wedding," but whatever. That's not a big deal at all, really.

So, with Linda having the baby while Andrew is out of town (who saw that coming?) and McGuirk having a sudden heart attack, they conveniently gather everyone in the hospital. Ideally, this is where all the stories would pay off in one hilarious, chaotic ending. Didn't happen, though.

Instead, we saw Lynch acting way, way too overboard in his cat costume, the joke doctor not really doing anything funny (beside his initial conversation with Brendon), Jason and Melissa go on and on with a joke that's not that funny (and one that doesn't live up to the potential of the premise) and Brendon and Linda cursing at each other like a couple of drunken sailors.

Home Movies has started using bleeped out cursing more and more, and I think it's a change for the worse. Not because I have any problem with cursing, but because they seem to be using it for shock value and easy laughs. In the parent/teacher conferences episode, it was used well. It was funny, and it was done in good context. This just seems to be cursing 'cause they knew they could get away with it.

I'm also a bit annoyed that they feel they have to end each season with some big announcement. First it's Brendon's father, then the wedding, now a baby. If this trend keeps up, I predict a funeral at the end of season four.

But back to the ending...

The joining together of the characters at the hospital did have one redeeming scene, though. The highlight of the epiosde, for me, came when Brendon and McGuirk (dressed as a very pretty lady) meet up and talks about ways they expected him to die. It was a short exchange, but I thought it was very reminiscent of the early Home Movies episodes. Always great to see that.

(Also, it was great seeing Josie dressed up for Halloween. It seems Zee Politically Incorrect chef was right: she's a demon child. Everyone rev up your blenders in defense.)

This episode, being "lost" and all, was a very nice and welcome treat, but judged as a normal episode, it doesn't really measure up. One of the weak episodes, to be sure.

StrangerAtaru: This review has been long in coming from your's truely, and its not because of not seeing this episode. (I've seen it both airings, both when it premiered and during the recent Halloween event) Let's just say I really haven't had much motivation to do it...and my typical procrastinative nature as of late. (lets just blame my lack of job) So where to begin? Well instead of doing the typical review fashion, I might as well do a checklist to see how much I remember of this episode...which may not be much considering I am not too good with details long after something has aired. So OK, where to start:

-While this isn't one of the best episodes of the season, it does have some great performances by some of the regulars, primarily Brendon, McGuirk, and in his own strange way, Jason. In two cases, they are alongside some of my least favorite characters in the series! (you probably know who they are....and no, Melissa isn't one of them)

-The birth: Well it has been a full thirteen episodes since the marriage of Andrew and Linda Small, so having a birth occur is plausable after this set, even if we haven't seen Linda in quite a while. I never really liked Linda in her previous appearances in episodes such as "Dad", "Therapy" and "The Wedding", so I didn't have much hope in the usage of her character outside of the basis for some interaction. And mostly, I was right: she's still the annoying character I've gotten to know...but Brendon does have to watch over her this time so it does lead to a unique perspective to his character. Brendon is eagerly anticipating the birth of his new neice/nephew, so he has to get on good terms with Linda if he wants to do such things as videotape it. (leading to the cute scene with "Brendon Jr." early on) But unfortunately, the amiability he has literally explodes in the second half alongside his stepmother's labor: while it was funny listening to Brendon curse up a storm in one way, it also feels a bit out of character for him no matter how egotistical or short-tempered he can be.

-Stephanie's religion and McGuirk's Heart Attack: I decided to group these two threads together because they seem to connect together even if they are two seperate plots based on the half of the episode. Anyway, I never really liked Stephanie in either of her previous appearances, outside of bringing out something good in the character she is interacting with (Paula in "Law and Boarder", McGuirk in "The Wedding") So I definately felt awkward when she shows up this time around: sober, bald and creating a new "religion" that feels as wacky as some certain cults. Luckily she shows up at the doorstep of McGuirk, who "jilted" her sexual oncomings last time (for the better I say) and trying to coax him to her new way of life. While I don't really like her, I do like how McGuirk interacts with her and trys to bring some sense to the situation. But strangely enough, when they decide to have "another go at it", McGuirk has his infamous heart attack, which I say because it seems a bit too ironic that this happens to him the same time Linda is about to give birth and Brendon and the others go to the hospital. (even if he did in some ways have it coming) One of his most poignant, but could strangely end up futile, moments is when he had Brendon tape his "new pledge" to live a better life than he is right now. While it does seem well meaning on his behalf, I doubt he will do most of the stuff he pledges in the near future. (besides, the tape wasn't running anyway so it probably won't count.

-Halloween and "The Candy Monster": Of course the background of this whole "comedy of errors" is Halloween, so this brings out some weird stuff going on around the show. For starters, I liked the silly joke of Brendon going out as "a fish" because Mr. Lynch steals his "kitty cat" idea. (who knows what the cat costume would have been like, but if it was anything like "Mr. Pants" then it could have been great). I also liked the visual bit involving Melissa and Jason playing "Death and a Salesman" (which could have lead to tons of jokes, but luckily was only used once). While on the subject of Jason and Melissa, I did like, yet did not like, the return of the "candy problem" Jason had all the way back in "The Party". The good thing about the whole thing is that the writers do have a sense of continuity towards their characters....not to mention seeing Jason running around yelling "I'M CHANGING!!!" is classic. On the other hand, since I never really liked the whole "candy addict" stuff in the first place due to the mishandling of it in "The Party", it was still a bit tough to get through watching it. Meanwhile, it did feel weird with the doctor wearing the funny nose and glasses under the normal glasses he has, and I also liked Josie's costume (devil with the 666 hair curl) and Walter and Perry's usual schtick. (you have to admit: a two-headed/bodied ghost is original)

Conclusion: This is an OK episode to finish out the third season: the characters who are usually good stayed that way (Brendon, McGuirk), the characters I don't like were still annoying (Stephanie, Linda), and while some things did seem awkward, it strangely worked in the end.

The Landstander: Very much a wacky episode, but still pretty funny, I say.

Linda is having a kid, and (somehow) has wound up at Paula's house. Linda is always effectively annoying, and Brendon and her play off each other nicely, so it was good to see her pop up again. Brendon's obsessive behavior involving the birth was pretty well done, too. Ultimately the birth of a half-brother is a pretty non-event for Brendon, which is oddly and darkly fitting.

While this is happening, McGuirk meets up with Stephanie once again. Stephanie, considering she had 3 episodes, really had an odd arc. It seems she's just completely lost it. McGuirk being happy to let a cult member into his house was hilarious, as was their eventual realization and a failed attempt at some kinky not quite straight but not quite lesbian sex. The Halloween stuff was on equal footing; Jason fights his candy addiction with Melissa's help, Lynch gets too into character, and Walter & Perry have a hliarious scene.

The big problem with this episode is that, in more than one circumstance, it seemed to go a bit too far. As in Jason's candy freakout being more 'wacky' than realistic, Lynch's behavior as the cat, or the excessive swearing. I don't really think any of that was necessary for the episode to work and ultimately it felt a bit excessive.

But honestly, the stuff that worked was good enough that it's easy to overlook. Recommended.

Lynch, did you just lick me?