Finger Lenting Good
Original Air Date: Jan 6, 2013
Kym – Senior Reviewer
Steve comes rushing into the kitchen wailing this week. Devon’s retiring! Who’s Devon you ask – why the mailman – the only one Steve has ever known and who’s shorts were the harbinger of summer. This sets Francine into a tirade on how they never follow through on anything. None of them have stuck with their New Year’s resolutions. But Roger comes in and reminds them all it’s Mardi Gras – meaning that the next day is the beginning of Lent and another opportunity to do it right.
And so, a deal is struck – they can all get rip-roaring drunk at Roger’s party that night if they agree to try their resolutions again for Lent.
Those resolutions? Stan isn’t allowed to yell, Steve isn’t allowed to cry, Jeff isn’t allowed to hug, Hayley can’t have junk food and Francine has to quit smoking. It seems everyone is at the party, even Stan’s boss Bullock, and everyone seems to be having a wonderful time, until morning comes at last and they’re all coming home from church hungover to find Bullock there. Apparently there was another deal made the night before with him and now it is his Lenten pledge to make sure that they follow through with theirs. If they don’t, he’s going to take a finger from the first one to crack to add to his collection. He’s even installed cameras throughout the house to make sure he doesn’t miss anything. This is not going to go well. They can’t even watch a movie together.
Francine’s eating popcorn in front of Hayley to keep from smoking and Steve can’t find anything to watch that he’s sure won’t make him cry. Finally, later that night, Stan sneaks into Steve’s room to try to convince him to take one for the team and just give up a finger so Bullock will go away. They overhear Hayley and Jeff though and come up with an idea to gang up on Jeff to get him to hug one of them. They almost succeed when Hayley comes into the room and catches them, saving Jeff just in time. They turn the tables then as Jeff starts praising Obamacare to Stan while Hayley starts singing “Nothing Compares to You” to Steve. When it looks like Steve is about to crack, Stan and Jeff join Hayley and they almost win before Francine comes in and puts a stop to it – informing them at the same time that they only have 37 days to go. 37 days. What’s the worst that can happen? Murder, suicide of course. Francine comes back later to find them all dead – Stan couldn’t take it anymore according to his note written in blood. The authorities show up and Francine collapses on the front porch with a cigarette and is found that way by Bullock, at which point everyone else sits up. It was all a setup to get her to crack first – after all, it was her idea to do this in the first place. When Bullock then asks which finger she wants to lose, she brazenly raises the middle one to the rest of her family before he goes in to get the “ritual” ready. Stan tries to come up with a plan to spare her – but she insists she won’t run away – for once the family is going to follow through on something. In the end though, everyone is willing to sacrifice their own fingers instead of hers and so she is spared by the gesture as Bullock feels that they all learned something from Lent this time. Stan cuts his finger off anyway though, just to follow through for Francine.
And where has Roger been? Roger’s been on a quest to find the owner of the pasty he found after the party that was worn by the most perfect breasts he’d ever encountered. He goes to the local strip club, where an ancient stripper tells him it’s a custom piece belonging to a civilian. He tests them on breasts during mammograms until he’s asked to leave – but not before his own exam to check and make sure his “breasts” are full of spiders. Finally, when he’s about to give up he finds a very out-of-place fairy tale cottage with the same crest on the door, but it doesn’t fit any of the three daughters there, or the step-daughter that was forbidden to go to the party. It does, however, fit the cow and Roger takes her away to marry her. Alrighty then.
So I’m not sure what to make of this week’s episode. I do know that I found Bullock even creepier than usual and I’m saddened by the realization that most people’s pledges, whether it be for New Year’s or the more religious Lent, are so easily thrown away. It does seem sometimes like it would be easier for some people to give up a finger than follow through on a resolution. I’m not innocent myself either. It has always seemed to me like calling something a “New Year’s Resolution” is actually dooming it to failure because there’s too much pressure involved. I actually don’t make them anymore. I make lists of things I’d like to accomplish in the new year – but not resolutions.