Murphy Brown‘s Thanksgiving episode came swinging with one of the most political episodes by far since returning to air in September.
Thursday night’s episode saw two undocumented immigrants being arrested by ICE. I was in tears as a family got broken up. The Gonzales family of three arrived in the USA when their son was only two years old. You might be asking why–gang violence. All season long has hinted to Miguel Gonzales (Adan Rocha) being scared of what could happen. As much as I hate to say it, those hints paid off in tonight’s episode.
The episode may have started out with humor thanks to Murphy Brown’s (Candice Bergen) colleagues on Murphy in the Morning avoiding her Thanksgiving meal. It’s the first time in years that Avery is home so Murphy’s cooking, $350 turkey and all. But by the end of the episode, nobody was laughing. Only tears were being shed.
In short, power went out at Murphy’s house due to a snow storm. Carlos (Valente Rodriguez) and Maria Gonzales (Selenis Leyva) have a food truck so they go there to cook the turkey. Unfortunately, two ICE agents, Officers Lynch (Judy Gold) and Reynolds (Ethan Slater) raid the truck to arrest Carlos and Maria. Murphy does everything she can to prevent it from happening to no avail.
Murphy’s son, Avery (Jake McDorman), sees what’s happening in the restaurant and asks Pat Patel (Nick Dodani) to start recording. The video would air later during Murphy in the Morning when Murphy goes off-script.
Murphy Brown’s off-script monologue at the end of the broadcast:
“I did everything I could to stop it. I called in every favor. I pulled every string. But it wasn’t enough. People say, ‘Why can’t these illegals just get in line and apply for citizenship?’ Well, there isn’t any line. There’s no path to citizenship if you’ve come into this country the way my friends did — yes, illegally. But because they would have waited years to become citizens — precious years with a young child vulnerable to the gang violence and drug culture that threatened his future.
“So, if you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday with your family, I hope you gave real thanks that you were all together. As for me, watching what I did yesterday might have given me a real reason to lose faith in my country. But I refuse to believe that we’ve become so jaded that we feel nothing when we see these human beings experiencing such heartache. There has to be a way to fix this. We can do better. We will do better. I know we can.”
While the Thanksgiving episode may be the most political episode yet, it speaks to just how political the Season 11 reboot has been. It speaks to just how much we need Murphy more than ever. Where I come from in improv/sketch, we talk about finding truth through comedy. This sitcom is living proof. Even when we do find truth through comedy, there’s still a message at heart.
Sitcom reboots are all the rave because networks know these shows come with a fan base upon ordering the reboot. Unlike new shows, these don’t struggle to find an audience. Even though season 10 ended back in 1998, the political divide of this era required the newscaster’s presence. Season 11 has proven to be so strong in giving us comedy while while offering social commentary on our nation’s politics.
SERIES CREATOR: Diane English
CAST: Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, Grant Shaud, Jake McDorman, Nik Dodani, Adan Rocha