The Muppets – “Going, Going, Gonzo” 109
Story by Shane Kosakowski and Franklin Hardy
Teleplay by Jordan Reddout and Gus Hickey
Directed by Randall Einhorn
While the last episode was a high note, this episode turns into one of the worst of the season as it jumps back the quality and just ends up disappointing. Gonzo acts out of character while Scooter gets some development in being more brave and bold that he should have gotten before last week’s episode when he actually did something brave and bold, dating Chelsea Handler. Luckily, the day is saved by the sidegag stories, from the ridiculousness of Miss Piggy’s special branded water – Piggy Water – that comes complete with a lipstick mark on the bottle rim and far more calories than you’d expect from water.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the special guest on Miss Piggy’s show, and him and her have a duet while chaos reigns backstage, causing a giant moon set piece to swing wildly on stage. The set piece also snags Gonzo, who is flung around on the roof out of control until he crashes. Normally, Gonzo would be up for something like that, thinking it was awesome and wanting to try it again. Instead, Gonzo starts moping about the stunt that got away, and how he might die before doing a dangerous stunt that might kill him because he was too afraid.
Kermit can help, and convinces Miss Piggy (who is getting a new ridiculous nose muscle electric shock beauty treatment) to have Piggy Water sponsor Gonzo’s stunt and do it on the show. There are a few stipulations, and Gonzo is now officially The Great Gonzo Brought To You By Piggy Water, and must answer the phone with that name, and wear a suit with Piggy Water branding plastered all over it.
Gonzo begins to have doubts again when he realizes the dangerous stunt is dangerous (something that has never stopped Gonzo before, and he’s done far stupider and more dangerous stunts!), but eventually does do the stunt. By himself with only Kermit watching in an attempt to get his confidence back.
Scooter had witnessed Gonzo being caught by the swinging setpiece and realizes he needs to reevaluate his life. Scooter asks the Electric Mayhem band for help living life for the now. Despite a barrage of hilarious suggestions, Scooter decides to get his ear pierced. But his body involuntarily keeps avoiding getting pierced and he does a kung fu freakout on the band. Scooter later apologizes, but since they all thought it was cool, the band is cool with him freaking out with them any time.
There was also a great scene where Rizzo and Pepe get Joseph Gordon-Levitt to sub for Scooter at the usual poker game, but JGL is great with poker and wins it all: “Gimme that Muppet money!” Friend of the Muppets Dave Grohl also appears and has a drum-off with Animal that goes into the closing credits.
The overall theme of the episode was getting out of your comfort zone and embracing your dream, but that was a weird choice to have Gonzo star, as his modus operandi was to do weird stunts that are out of everyone’s comfort zone. Scooter experienced a thrill and was excited by his action sequence, but still enjoys the comfort of living with his mom and not being too thrillseeking. There is even a bit piece about Sam the Eagle being nice to his neighbors in the condo, people he was upset with earlier in the show and eventually became friendly enough with he was suddenly babysitting for one family. So that’s some odd Sam the Eagle character growth that didn’t happen in the two Sam the Eagle sadsack episodes they had earlier, which is where it would have fit in better. All the out of place parts make this episode a drag, and at least one of the problems here resurfaces in next week’s episode, which makes me wonder just how much of the story was mapped out ahead of time and how much was just being made up as they went along.