If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: A plot to sabotage a standardized test jeopardizes Russell’s job as Gamby is caught in the middle. (HBO)
Writers: Danny McBride, John Carcieri, and Hayes Davenport
Director: David Gordon Green
Running Time: 30mins
What the title of this episode refers to is Gamby’s quest for popularity although popularity may not be all that it seems for him. This episode started with Nash coming to Gamby’s house to help with his investigation. Russell was supposed to show up to but he was busy with his marriage. Gamby couldn’t see this and thought he was being selfish. However, it may not matter because Nash believed she may have figured out who shot him. She thought it was Gail and Gamby shot that down immediately. When Abbott broke through his front window, Gamby told Nash that they were just friends so Abbott of course had to tell her the opposite.
Since the events of the last episode, Russell and Christine have gone to therapy. Their therapist suggested that they should practice unconditional honesty. Once they put that into practice, it made their breakfast a little tense as they did not have the nicest things to say to each other but they felt good afterwards. This made Russell feel so good that he wanted to cook for everyone. Later on, they enjoyed dinner, however, Christine discovered that their meal was takeout. Russell lied about it which just made things worse.
During a staff meeting, Gamby’s joke scored some laughs with the teachers so his confidence became inflated. It was also time for the High School Assessment program where students had to take tests. Gamby undermined Russell while he was talking and got some more laughs because he was upset with Russell for not showing up earlier. Russell told him he didn’t care and apologized and Gamby awkwardly walked away through a maze of chairs.
In the cafeteria, Gamby made another joke with the teachers and got some more laughs and Abbott liked it a lot more than the others. He was also invited to drinks with the teachers and said he’d be there. He gloated about how much he’s changed to Dayshawn and he thought that since Gamby was cool now that he should change things up. To help, Gamby asked Abbott for some fashion and popularity advice and ended up with a Miami Vice looking ensemble. He was appropriately ridiculed by Gail and there he learned that Janelle was getting an award but he chose drinks with the teachers over going to the ceremony.
Gamby felt bad for Russell and his lack of friends so he invited him to drinks. Snodgrass was surprised by Gamby’s personality change as he struck her as someone who didn’t care about fitting in. Gamby had been trying hard to keep his relationship with Abbott a secret from the people at school but that all went away when she took a microphone and announced it to everyone. She pressured him to join her at karaoke and he reverted to his awkward self for that moment.
Later, Gamby told the teachers that he brought Russell just so they could make fun of him. The teachers also revealed that they were trying to sabotage the upcoming tests to get Russell fired. Gamby thought it would be bad for the students but getting Russell gone was more important. Snodgrass was the only teacher that abstained.
When the night was over, Gamby drove Russell and Abbott home and when they got to Russell’s house, everything was gone. Russell got emotional after reading a note that Christine left for him. He wondered what he did because he didn’t quite get it. Abbott couldn’t take Russell’s crying. She believed that her and Gamby’s relationship would never go that far but Gamby didn’t want to think about it.
Russell thanked the teachers for last night but they laughed at him after he walked away. After the test, the teachers were looking forward to Russell being gone. Gamby had a crisis of conscience so he stopped Snodgrass from submitting the tests so he told Russell of their plan and the three attempted to fix all the bad tests which Nash later joined. They rushed to the school board office to get them in time and did and they passed. The other people found their celebration a little odd. Gamby didn’t care.
Overall, this was another good episode with a new Gamby but despite his new look and attitude, he still didn’t forget who he was and Russell perhaps getting what he deserved. It was clear that the teachers wouldn’t succeed at getting rid of Russell but it will be interesting to see where things will go with only 3 episodes left in the show.