Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Joy’s Ex)

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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

We’re back with another episode of The Jefferton Folk Blues, and if that pun there was a bit too obscure, this is the final episode of the series!  I know!  I too wish this series had gone on forever and ever, but all good things must come to an end at some point, so let’s see how Tim & Eric’s flagship series made its final bow!  The episode begins with Tom in a quite cheerful mood as he visits the Mayor on Saint Patriot’s Day; presumably a Jefferton specific take on The Fourth of July that I’m guessing The mayor concocted for whatever reason.  Probably so he had an excuse to buy an ADORABLE talking bear that sadly seems to drain its batteries very quickly.  If it wasn’t clear enough by Tom’s cheerful mood that this episode did NOT directly follow Puddins, it turns out that Tom has brought over a cake for The Mayor that his three VERY MUCH ALIVE step sons had made for him.  For what reason, I’m not sure, but I’m guessing it has to do with Tom trying to brown nose The Mayor again and has roped his sons into this latest foolhardy attempt to get The Senpai to notice him.  Actually it looks like this attempt might just pay off as The Mayor seems to feel genuinely sorry for the guy after hearing his pathetic spiel about how bad things are at home (Joy’s ex-husband and father of Tom’s stepsons is staying at their house while she and the kids are going out of town) and invites him to a soiree at his private residence.  No not the fancy house we saw in Puddins!  He’s got a condo at Jefferton Castle which I assume is the most exclusive bit of real estate in the entire city and lucky Tom here just got a one way ticket to enjoy the festivities!

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“All I ask is that you bring six bottles of Tequila, a goat you have a slight amount of animosity towards, and a covered dish.”     “Okay… what about potato salad?”     “Come on, Tom.  I don’t have to hold your hand now, do I?”

Well that’s great!  The house was feeling a bit cramped anyway what with Joy’s ex staying there, so all Tom needs to do is pack a bag and be on his merry way!  Just go into the house and… find it completely covered in shit.  Walls, ceilings, floors, Joy’s ex has done a NUMBER on this house that wasn’t all that great to begin with!  Oh, but don’t think it’s just some vindictive power play!  That’s only PART of it!  It seems that Joy’s ex whose name is Saul (Todd Barry) is what you would call an “artist” who uses cow diarrhea (aka bullshit) to paint his scenes and plateaus.  I guess we now know where Brendon (or maybe it was Brandon or Brindon) got the macaroni art skills we saw in My Big Cups, but let’s hope that’s the ONLY thing he picked up from his dear old dad.  Then again, I guess Tom isn’t THAT much better of a role model.  Speaking of bad role models, The Mayor shows up at Tom’s house to see if he’s ready to go when he meets Saul and seems to be “intrigued” by his work; so much so that he invites him to the party as well; a development that Tom isn’t too keen about.

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“I call it ‘Tom Sucks’.  It speaks to my inner pain and torment as an artist.”     “It’s beautiful, Saul.  This is why you’d be much more fun to have at my party than… shoot, what was that guy’s name again?”     “It’s uh… Tom Peters.”     “Oh hey Tom!  Didn’t see you there, buddy!”

Well Saul might just take The Mayor up on his generous offer, but for now (and surely to the delight of Tom) he’s too busy to go just yet as he’s trying to finish his latest “art piece” as a gift for his sons.  It’s… the thought that counts?  Anyway, Tom and The Mayor head off to Jefferton Castle (which seems to be well outside of town) on The Mayor’s awesome scooter which would NORMALLY be a nice bonding experience for the two of them but it starts to rain profusely and Tom didn’t remember to bring his jacket.  Well I’m sure there’ll be a roaring fire and a series of butlers and servants ready to offer him a towel and a comfortable robe upon his arrival, right?  Yeah… no.  Jefferton Castle as it turns out is just a crappy motel with a theme (it reminds me of an even worse version of Travis’s living situation in the No More Heroes games) and The Mayor’s place within it… well let’s just say I’m not THAT surprised about what we see inside.

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“I’ve sent a tape to Cribs like a million times, yet they still haven’t gotten back to me.”     “Mr. Mayor, I don’t think this is the kind of place they’re looking for.”     “Wow, Tom.   That’s not the sass I expected from you.  I like it!”     “Really?”     “No, Tom.  Get out of my condo.”

Good grief!  Even Dexter knew you had to at least PRETEND to be human!  Even if this is just a place to get away from everything for a little bit, you’d still at least put in A CHAIR!  This is beyond a critique of lower-middle class consumerism, because while their décor can be tacky and uninspired (i.e. Tom’s House), there’s still STUFF in there!  Oh, and the kicker is that when Tom asks when everyone else is going to show up for this party, The Mayor informs him that this is it.  This is the entire party.  DUDE!  The guy made up flyers with the goal of getting you alone in his murder room!  GET OUT OF THERE NOW, TOM!  Oh who am I kidding?  He’d still be taking The Mayor’s lead even if it ended with him covered in plastic wrap and a knife in the chest (do I watch too much Dexter?), but while I won’t rule it out just yet, it seems The Mayor’s plans are much more benign.  First they take a grand tour of the complex which includes a vending machine and a dryer; the latter of which malfunctions and destroys Tom’s dripping wet clothes which means he has to spend the rest of the episode in his underwear.  After that, they just chill out in the hotel room staring into each other’s eyes while generic Muzak brings the whole scene together.  Clearly they need some sort of ice breaker before things get TOO tense, so The Mayor brings out a board game called COCK-A-BLOCK which looks to be a Rock’em Sock’em Robots knock off and is probably the most interesting thing about this episode.  For the most part we’re in straight up absurdist humor mode rather than making any particularly biting observational commentary, but when The Mayor shows off the game we get a commercial for the product that is stunningly nostalgic to the nineties and early 2000s toy commercials; particularly stuff like Beyblades that tried to add a hard edge to something that is absurdly childish.

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What I wouldn’t give for a functioning Duel Disk…

As you’d expect, Tom chickens out (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk) right as the game gets going leaving The Mayor to utterly destroy his robo-cock.  Oh well!  You win some, you lose some!  At this point Saul arrives at the apartment (I guess this means he’s finished with the painting), and joins Tom and The Mayor in their festivities; even bringing along a few… accessories, to liven things up a bit.  The show has avoided drug humor for the most part with the few exceptions not being of the psychedelic variety, namely FLAX-A-MAX, so by the time the trio stops playing Saul’s bongs like musical instruments and gets down to using them for their intended purpose, it manages to go in some interesting directions.  Season two was a HUGE improvement over the first one in regards to the imaginative direction and the kind of effects that they had at their disposal, and it seems like they wanted to fit as much of that into this episode as they could get away with; almost calling to mind the aesthetic of Mandy, albeit with a slightly cheerier tone.

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“Which one of you is ready to be sacrificed to the Sun Mother?”     “I volunteer Tom.  He’s a good sport about these things.”     “Oh, uh… thank you?”     “Don’t mention it buddy!  Now let’s get you get in a sack!”

The mind bending experience however doesn’t come without a few sour notes as the expansion of consciousness brings into stark relief the dire state of The Mayor’s Saint Patriot’s Day bear.  Remember that thing?  Well it’s STILL out of batteries and The Mayor is just utterly crushed about it.  Saul has a plan however!  A good plan?  Not necessarily as even Tom sees the danger of it, but nothing ventured nothing gained!  Saul and The Mayor head to the rooftop where it’s still raining profusely and they’re holding up The Mayor’s toy bear in the hopes of bringing it back to life the Frankenstein way, i.e. with a bolt of lightning.  Tom, trying to be as helpful as possible, comes up to the roof to bring them fresh batteries when he of course gets struck with lightning himself.  Then again, this COULD just be the drugs talking as things are still not quite syncing up with reality.

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“OH MIGHTY ZEUS!  THANK YOU FOR PASSING YOUR FAIR AND IMPARTIAL JUDGEMENT UPON THIS MERE MORTAL!”     “That’s not Zeus!  That’s CLEARLY Persephone!”

Well this party certainly took a turn for the worse.  Two guys on drugs and one dead guy in his underwear?  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a scandal waiting to happen, and The Mayor can’t afford to have another one of THOSE on his hands!  While still very much high, the two survivors decide to take Tom’s body to the desert so they can cremate Tom and spread his ashes, like Donny in The Big Lewbowski.  I mean sure, Tom isn’t TECHNICALLY dead yet as we can hear faint gurgles of pain from the guy, but why let something like that get in the way of a good cremation?  And so the episode ends with Tom being dragged to his doom by two people who shouldn’t be operating a motor vehicle, though considering how exaggerated the scenery is, they may have already crashed the scooter and are just imagining all of this.

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“Take us home, Sun Goddess!  My demonic powers will carry us to you!”

Like I said in the last recap, this is very much a bonus episode as it’s less a character study of Tom and the segment of society that he represents than it is an indulgent flight of fancy that goes for broke on visuals and just plain weirdness.  They knew this was the end of the series and that they wouldn’t get another chance to do something this wild and out there, so it makes a certain amount of sense that we’re ending the series on something that’s quite different than what we’ve come to expect from the series.  That said, I don’t think it’s a PARTICULARLY strong episode because of how indulgent it is, and it may not have been the best note to go out on.  Tim & Eric said they didn’t the series to end on such a down note with Puddins, but honestly I think that would have been much more satisfying than this admittedly funny but rather disjointed trip into madness.  In any case, that is it!  There are no more Tom Goes to the Mayor episodes, and the only other thing that Tim & Eric ever did with the characters are some live action sketch in Awesome Show Great Job.  Maybe I’ll throw up one more recap for those in the future, but for now I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts about this series as much as I enjoyed writing them down!  Now that I have this in the FINISHED column, I can get back to the billion other things that I started and still haven’t finished yet!  Yay…

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The Recap Recap!!

Celebrities Galore

  • Todd Barry plays Saul; the titular ex of Tom’s wife Joy who is visiting the family and destroying Tom’s house with his unique ideas on art.

Here’s Bobby!

  • Sadly Bob Odenkirk does not have an appearance in the final episode of the series which is a shame considering how instrumental he was to getting the show off the ground and ultimately making Tim & Eric the semi-household names they are today.

Tom Who Now?

  • If Tom managed to get ONE minor victory in this final episode, it’s that everyone managed to remember his name and no one misspelled it even once! Sure, he still got struck by lightning, but I’m sure his gravestone won’t have any typos on it, and that’s at least SOME sort of win, right?

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 script for this episode was the original idea for Calculcorn which focused on one of Joy’s exes. While they went in a different direction for that episode, they kept the script and eventually made an episode out of it.
  • The poop graphics throughout the episode is actually a mixture of chocolate syrup and soy sauce!
  • An idea they had in the original script had The Mayor explaining that his apartment was empty due to some repairs being done, but they decided it would be better if the utter bareness of it was left unexplained.
  • At one point in the episode the three of them pretend to play their bongs like musical instruments which is ACTUALLY based on something Eric did when he and Tom were roommates. Tom would often go to auditions and Eric would joke with him that he’d go to the auditions first, pull out a bong and pretend to play it, and then introduce himself as Tim Heidecker.
  • During the initial scripting phase the game The Mayor pulls out was actually called Chock-O-Block which would have been a Jenga style game, but at some point it was misspelled as Cock-O-Block and they realized that was a much better idea.

The Bonus Screenshot

 

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Oh hey!  It’s the Blue Man Group!  Yes, I’m gonna end this on THAT lousy joke!

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