We all know that The Boondocks is one of the funniest most controversial shows that can take the totally mundane (such as selling chocolate for a fundraiser) and turn it into off the wall comedic gold. So when The Boondocks finally tackles the issue of legalizing marijuana, you just know you're about to watch an instant classic. What was surprising tho, is the way McGruder took the concept of legalization and wrapped it in a very relatable story about Granddad finally finding what he was missing to make himself a well-balanced individual.
The episode starts out with Granddad discovering that the boys have destroyed the TV by throwing the phone into it. Granddad flies off the handle with rage. He's so mad, he tells the boys to whip each other with his belt. Then he has a panic attack and passes out. The boys wonder if he's dead. Granddad gets back up and tells the boys to call 911 - before he remembers the phone got destroyed too and passes out again. Cue Theme Music.
The boys force Granddad to go to the doctor for a check-up by literally dragging him to the hospital. After Granddad has the entirety of his embarrassing medical history told to the hot med-student observing his case, has his blood taken, a CT scan, and a run on a treadmill for good measure, the doctor informs Granddad that he's perfectly healthy. Granddad's sure the doc is gonna give him bad news so he panics once again. The doc asks if this is the usual way Granddad handles stressful situations then subscribes Granddad to a whole galaxy of mood elevating pills. Thugnificent comes by with Granddad's package full of pills and wants to know what they're all for. When Granddad tells him they're to lower his stress, Thugnificent just laughs at the idea of Granddad being suckered by the pharmaceutical companies. Then he gives Granddad his first joint. Granddad recognizes it as weed and tells Thugnificent he doesn't want the joint (THUGNIFICENT: Man, this ain't just a joint, it's a... Well, it IS a joint - but it's a damn good one!") Granddad becomes slightly more open minded when Thugnificent mistakenly informs him that Obama legalized weed, but is still a skeptic believing all the negative rumors he's heard about it and even mistaking Smokey from Friday's experience with weed laced with angel dust as something that happened to a friend of his. Riley comes in the room. Granddad hides the joint and Thugnificent leaves the awkward situation.
Granddad gets ready to take his prescription med Zortafrinex, but a commercial comes on for the pill and mentions some of the worst side-effects ever coinceived (Total-Scrotal-Implosion). Deciding on the more natural alternative, Granddad goes to the park and sparks his first J behind a tree - watching as the world turned into a vibrant place full of beauty in front of his eyes with each hit.
Granddad starts acting more calm and in control. He fixes a world class breakfast for the boys and eats a bowl of cheerios himself - claiming they're the best cheerios he's ever eaten (GRANDDAD: Those can't be regular cheerios, they have to be honey-nut. They have to be! They taste like cheerios but... Nuts. Dipped in honey.") He laughs at the boys when they somehow throw the phone thru the TV again, telling them they're really just destroying their own stuff since he doesn't have many years left. Everything about Granddad has changed for the better. A fact that makes Huey and Riley think they're Granddad's been kidnapped and replaced by an imposter.
Granddad calls Thugnificent to get more weed. Thugnificent takes him to "The Weed Kingpin", Grant (voiced by Mark Hamill!) Grant gives Granddad a strain called "black pearl. Granddad asks why it's called that but Grant just tells him he'll find out. The boys confront Granddad about his change of attitude but he just laughs off their suspicions and tells the boys they need to go over to Tom's so Granddad can enjoy what he calls "bongo night." The boys voice their concerns to Tom. Then 2 cop cars roll up to Granddad's house where all you can hear is yelling and bongos. The boys, Tom, and Jasmine rush over to see what's going on. They and the cops all witness Granddad butt-nekkid with a joint in his mouth banging the sh*t outta some bongos to tribal music. "Revolution all over the world!"
Granddad's ashamed of his behavior. Tom's morally outraged. Riley just thinks it's hilarious. Granddad promises not to smoke weed again. In the very next scene, Granddad returns to Grant's. Grant gives him some "Skywalker" (awesome inside joke there.) Huey tells Granddad he knows he's still smoking. Granddad tells Huey he doesn't know what he's talking about, as he literally hovers over the floor. Granddad is stoned of his ass driving down the road. At like 15 miles an hour. He's pulled over by a cop who, unfortunately for Granddad, happens to be named Officer Douche! Douche asks Granddad why he was driving so slow, but Granddad just finds his name to funny to contain himself and ends up getting busted with a half-smoked J.
The episode goes to the courtroom - and we all know that Boondocks + courtroom = awesome every time. Tom tries to convince Granddad that he should plead guilty, which leads to a great whispered argument between Granddad, Tom, Huey and Riley. Granddad listens to Thugnificent's false information and tells the judge that Thugnificent said he sounded "pretty sure" that Obama legalized marijuana. The judge says he's pretty sure that it's still illegal, but since Thugnificent is who gave Granddad the information, he decides to look it up on wikipedia. They find out it has been legalized in some states but not in Woodcrest. The judge gives Granddad the options of going to California where he can smoke all he wants. Or staying here and not smoking ("Or stay and here and smoke and go to jail, which would be pretty silly don't you think?")
Granddad bemoans the loss of his weed to the boys, mostly pissed off because he believed all the negative propaganda about something that makes him happy. Tom tells him they can always relieve stress the legal way, and he and Granddad go to a bar to get stupid drunk. They go thru all the stages: happy, pissed (which leads to the best part of the bar scene where they talk about how much they hate each other and Uncle Ruckus before getting in a fight), sad (where Granddad cries over the loss of his Mary-Jane and Tom... just cries in general), and finally sick.
One night of that is all Granddad needs to decide to return to Grant. But he and Thugnificent get an unpleasant surprise when they see Grant's place get raided by the feds. Granddad gets in touch with his inner-Huey and decides to go into the city and protest for Grant's release by sitting in the middle of the road and sparking one up. But Grant posted bail no problem and when Granddad finds this out, it's far too late and he's arrested again (JUDGE: "Man, it's a bummer seeing you in here again.") Granddad tells the judge that if he'll drop the jail time, he will willingly relocate his family to California. The judge agrees to this deal and says Granddad is free to go to Cali - "after 3 months of house arrest, 2 years of probation, and community service after that"
Granddad sits at home with an ankle monitor on his leg. Riley says he's going to the store ("because I can") and sarcastically asks if Granddad wants anything. Huey tells Granddad that if it's any consolation, it's not that bad having the old Granddad back. (GRANDDAD: "Well it's not. But thank you.")
From start to finish, this episode was an exercise in excellence. A story that had the well blended craftsmanship of season one. And was only made that much better by having Granddad fall in love with weed. Every character's dialogue was so on point and the story so flawlessly executed to maximum hilarity that I didn't even notice Ruckus was absent upon first viewing. Nice to see that every episode doesn't need a Ruckus monologue to score controversy points. And Riley's desire to be the first person to be a crip AND a blood and then star as himself in the movie inspired by the first person to be a crip AND a blood is one of the funniest throwaway lines this whole season. My personal favorite of the season so far and an easy 10/10. Just three episodes left. What's your endgame, McGruder?