Bored to Death

Season 3 Episode 7

Forget the Herring

1
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 21, 2011 on HBO
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Jonathan (Jason Schwartzman) tries to help Rose (Isla Fisher), an aspiring librarian who comes to him hoping to track down her absentee father. Meanwhile, Ray (Zach Galifianakis) attempts to reconcile with Leah (Heather Burns) after his faux pas, and George (Ted Danson) seeks out the approval and attention of Emily (Halley Feiffer).moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Forget the Herring

    10
    Forget the Herring was another hilarious episode of Bored to Death. I really enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing and there was lots of character development and plot progression. Jonathan meets a woman claiming she can help him. Ray discovers a few things. George was awesome at his recital and his costume looked really good. I liked how he realized what he needed to do. The ending was surprising and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • This week's Bored to Death was predictable in most ways, but surprising in one: I really didn't expect Ray to be truly finished with Leah, but it really seems like they are kaput.moreless

    8.5
    Which makes total sense – as she told Ray, they really do seem to make each other miserable despite their genuine affection for each other. Just because he had some sort of an emotional epiphany about being scared of intimacy or something doesn't really change that.

    But, since it's so common on TV for grand romantic gestures like an impulsive marriage proposal to wipe away all past misdeeds, and since Heather Burns is an above-the-line cast member, I thought she'd accept. We've still got one episode this season, so this may not have been the last we see of Leah, but if this show does come back for another year I think it'd be far more interesting to have Ray to be single. Zach Galifianakis is arguably the biggest star on this show but he's been narratively boxed in for much of it with dull storylines like Leah and baby Spencer. Not to say he doesn't do good work on the show – I found he and Heather Burns quite affecting in their breakup scene – but he doesn't get to be funny enough.

    His and George's increasingly symbiotic relationship was good fun, though, especially when Ray lectured George about babying him which prompted George to call him "Mr. Grumpy" and poke him and make baby noises. Now, pretty much everything Ted Danson does on this show is funny. But I could watch him poke Galifianakis like the Pillsbury Doughboy all day and night on a loop, I swear to God.

    Hell, that happens before he dons a Don Quixote outfit to sing "The Impossible Dream" in his musical revue and ends up "riding" his "horse" down the city streets to serenade Emily and patch up their relationship, hopefully for good. Remember when I said this episode was predictable in most ways? Yes, from the minute George began worrying about Emily coming to his performance, it was obvious that he'd end up singing directly to her. The only real breakthrough George has made here is not to try and control his nutty daughter, and it's taken way too long for that to occur to him, but I'll take it. I hope the season finale doesn't revolve around Emily's wedding or something as we've wasted too much time on this story already. But I'll put up with a lot of stuff to see Ted Danson sing "The Impossible Dream" in a Don Quixote outfit.

    Jonathan dominated proceedings this week, however, as the mystery of his parentage was solved, not really thanks to him, although more on that in a second. Isla Fisher shows up sporting an odd accent and a generally cute demeanor as Rose, who also tracks her parentage to the burned-down sperm bank that produced Jonathan and leads our hero patiently to Riker's Island and then Coney Island to solve everything once and for all. It's a knowing, broad commentary on how inept a detective Jonathan truly is, and a little unfair—he definitely has demonstrated some deduction skills over the last two years, and it's not his fault the writers have been so pokey in advancing his fatherhood mystery.

    But I was happy to see Jonathan, however inadvertently, solve the final mystery, which is that the wonderful Stacy Keach—doing fine work playing the former owner of the sperm bank and current owner of a boardwalk tourist shack—is his father. He didn't do it through any kind of deductive reasoning, but just by yelling at him for not having any records. Jonathan's skill on the show has often been that the people he's investigating find him weirdly sympathetic—that was no different this time. A small victory for Mr. Ames, perhaps, but a victory nonetheless.

    Unfortunately, the news that Stacy Keach is his dad is tempered by the news that Rose is therefore his half-sister and all that sex they had was more Game Of Thrones than it originally looked. Oh, Jonathan. Will you ever have normal relations with a woman? Stay tuned to find out!moreless
Stacy Keach

Stacy Keach

Bergeron

Guest Star

Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher

Rose

Guest Star

Chris Elliott

Chris Elliott

Fishman

Guest Star

Halley Feiffer

Halley Feiffer

Emily

Recurring Role

David Rasche

David Rasche

Bernard

Recurring Role

Mary Steenburgen

Mary Steenburgen

Josephine

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The character Harrison "Harry" Bergeron is a reference to Kurt Vonnegut Jr's short story by the same name.

      Bergeron's business, the Susquehanna Hat Company, is an allusion to a c Abbot & Costello skit (also known as the 'Bagel Street' routine); in the skit, Costello punches through the top of several hats, an act repeated on a baseball cap by Bergeron.

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