Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Pioneer Island)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Welcome back to another episode of Jefferton C-SPAN, where we look at the best damn show that Tim & Eric ever made and what made it so brilliant!  Well… at least most of the time.  We begin with Tom Peters visiting The Mayor in his office where’s he watching reruns of old Jefferton Public Access television, including a commercial for something called Pioneer Island which was an amusement park built on top of the Jefferton Man Made Lake (something we’ll see more of in subsequent episodes) but was burnt down under MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES.  Maybe the park’s mascot “Olde Tymey” (Bob Odenkirk) could provide a little insight.

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“It was The Mayor!!”     “That’s enough out of YOU Mr. Television and/or computer!”

While WW Lazers took elements from the first Tom Goes to the Mayor sketch, this one is similarly based off the second sketch they did albeit much more loosely.  In both cases, we have Tom and The Mayor trying to plan a celebration for the town that is clearly too big of an undertaking for them to handle, but the episode doesn’t have any mention of security or a security adviser (therefore losing the Patriot Act subtext) and The Mayor is much more of an active agent of chaos; making plans that are completely dangerous and will certainly put lives at stake.  What are those plans exactly?  Well as far as City Council knows he’s planning a parade in honor of Pioneer Island.  What he fails to mention to them (even though he tells it to Tom who’s going along with all of this) is that he plans to cut power from the city for a whole week (in order to recreate the pioneer experience) and that they’ll be recreating Pioneer Island itself.  Oh, and that’s not all!  Once Tom leaves, we learn the he ALSO plans on burning the reconstructed Pioneer Island to the ground; presumably to make sure this celebration is as AUTHENTIC AS POSSIBLE.

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REDRUM!  REDRUM!!

So as you’d expect from the vessel of all things evil, The Mayor puts his plan into motion and cuts off all power to the city; well before anyone other than Tom was properly brought into the project and before Tom could even get the brochures finished.  This leaves the ENTIRE town engulfed in chaos as cars are being repossess and replaced with horses (not sure how The Mayor is able to enforce that), riots are breaking out everywhere, and a megalomaniacal electronics store own named Zynx has started a Mad Max style band of vagabonds that have taken over part of the town.  City Council calls The Mayor in to answer for all of this, but as per usual they don’t have much interest in ACTUALLY forcing him to do anything (or to have him answer for his crimes), so he just brushes them off and goes to enjoy the recreated Pioneer village with Tom.

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“Tom!  Why aren’t you in character?”     “Oh.  My mistake.  You know, with the whole… town on the brink of chaos thing going on, I haven’t had much time to change.”

The Mayor’s revelry is short lived however as a young boy from Jefferton informs him that Zynx’s bid for power is gathering steam and that he needs to stop him before it’s too late.  Zynx by the way is played by Patton Oswalt who puts in a fantastic performance here in a role that sadly could have used a bit more fleshing out, but then nothing really gets explored much in here as there are so many aspects to this story that there’s really no time for anything in particular to stand out.  Still, I do like that he manages to be beaten by The Mayor’s expert use of bureaucracy and scheduling.  Apparently seizing power from the government requires prior notification and a planning committee.  It works better in context, I swear.

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“The riots will begin NOW!!”     “Hm… could we move that to next Wednesday between three and six?”     “But that’s D&D Night!”

After the utter defeat of Zynx the False Mayor, we cut to later that night were The Mayor is ready to unveil Pioneer Island to the citizens of Jefferton; all of whom are STILL without power or cars so I guess they had nothing better to do that night.  The Mayor gives a big speech to the townsfolk about what an achievement this is and even gives Tom his due credit for the recreation of Pioneer Island and everything involved with the celebration.  Despite all the chaos that turning off the power has caused, the citizens of Jefferton are still impressed with the theme park and are eager to start enjoying the festivities!  That’s when The Mayor, who had explosives set up all around the park, blows it to smithereens; not just killing those who were inside, but several others as the fire spreads to all of Jefferton.  And so the episode ends with Tom responsible yet again for the deaths of many and The Mayor basking in his own villainous glory as he watches the world burn around him!

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“Where’s your God NOW!?”

There’s a lot to like about this episode, from the absurd costume that The Mayor dons when he sets the clock back (I’m pretty sure Pioneers didn’t wear powdered wigs) to the attempted coup by Zynx the Merciless, but there just wasn’t enough time to explore everything that they put in here and the overall package suffers because of it; a flaw the duo cops to in the audio commentary for this episode.  They’ll eventually get the feel for scripts that work best in such a short format, but even though this one feels incomplete it’s still REALLY funny and a lot more interesting than many of the other early episodes.

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The Recap Recap!!

Celebrities Galore

  • Zynx, the megalomaniacal and incredibly intense owner of Zynx Appliances that tries to take over the town is played by professional funny person Patton Oswalt.

Here’s Bobby!

  • Bob Odenkirk plays the former mascot of Pioneer Island named “Olde Tymey” who promises fun, gift shops, and a heaping helping of American History for all visitors to the park!
  • Bob Odenkirk plays a second role in here as the owner and proprietor of Explosions by Randy who sets up the explosives that The Mayor sets off at the very end.

Tom Who Now?

  • During The Mayor’s big speech at the reopening of Pioneer Island, he refers to him as Tom Penis.
  • There’s a typo where the brochure that Tom is creating says Peter’s Events. Tom’s last name is Peters which means it SHOULD read Peters’s Events.

Fun Facts from the Commentary
(NOTE: Since Tim & Eric are… well Tim & Eric, anything said on the DVD commentaries should PROBABLY be taken with a grain of salt)

  • The two of them lament the fact that they had to squeeze such an outlandish concept into a fifteen minute episode when a half hour would have really let them explore the chaos unfolding in Jefferton.
  • The final confrontation with Zynx was a nightmare to stage; particularly the music which took them a while to find a track that fit the tone they were trying to go for.
  • The network offered to provide Tim & Eric with some form of training to learn how to properly run a show, but they felt they didn’t have time and just dove right in.

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The Bonus Screenshot

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Wow!  The Better Call Saul special edition box set comes with some AWESOME collectibles!

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If you like this recap and plan on buying the show, then use the Amazon link below!  I’ll get a percentage of the order it helps keep things going for me here at The Reviewers Unite!  In fact, you don’t even need to buy the item listed!  Just use the link, shop normally, and when you check out it will still give us that sweet, sweet, percentage!  You can even bookmark the link and use it every time you shop!  HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?

Tom Goes to the Mayor – The Complete Series

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