“The Death of Fil” positions Jeff as the scapegoat of an international incident as his misguided openness leads to tragedy and chaos.
This recap of Kidding Season 2, Episode 6, “The Death of Fil”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Boasting another striking cold-open, Kidding Season 2, Episode 6 begins in Manila, where the local version of Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time, taking its cues from the previous episode, is espousing the idea that divorce is simply the best. Of course, in Manila, divorce is not the best — it’s illegal, and in response to this televised blasphemy the cops arrest the Filipino Pickles, take him to the roof of the studio, and toss him to his death.
Back Stateside, Jeff (Jim Carrey) is being interviewed about getting divorced on television and inadvertently breaking up homes — does he think it was a wise decision? No matter. He’s subsequently asked about the tragedy in the Philippines — which he was unaware of — and if he feels responsible for the death of Fil. And of course, Jeff being Jeff, he feels very responsible, so much so that he’s determined to attend the funeral, which, Deirdre (Catherine Keener) informs him, is being held at sea since he’s no longer allowed on the country’s soil.
You can tell the situation is desperate since Deirdre turns to Seb (Frank Langella), who is fuming that the show’s various puppets are being used in TV adverts and that Jeff’s misguided openness has caused an international incident and a PR disaster. He says Deirdre has to discourage Jeff from burying Fil, which of course she can’t since he’s so consumed by the sheer number of people complaining about the divorce episode that he feels he must atone for having finally killed someone.
Speaking of which, Jeff chats with his new bestie Peter (Justin Kirk) about co-investing in a dog and is also informed that Peter plans to propose to Jill (Judy Greer) during a weekend away which he’d like Will (Cole Allen) to be present for. It’s difficult to tell how Jeff actually takes this news, though he gives Peter a hug and his blessing, and when Jill mentions that she might not be able to attend the getaway — she doesn’t know about the planned proposal — he tries to ensure she does. Jeff is there, by the way, to collect his passport, since he’s going to pick Will up from school and take him to the middle of the South China Sea.
Will, as it happens, thinks that he has succeeded in reversing time, and his stoner friends reinforce the notion that a series of dates are actually a Fibonacci sequence counting down to some paradoxical re-do of his life. He’s so focused on the past and reuniting his family that he isn’t exactly taken by the idea that he could inherit his father’s lifestyle as another Pickles. During the flight out to sea, Jeff describes the various hand-picked international Pickles’ in grandiose terms as an elite cabal of righteous do-gooder world-shaping men, and most of them, along with Seb and Deirdre, are in attendance to mourn the death of Fil.
The problem in Kidding Season 2, Episode 6 is that they all blame Jeff since they’re contractually obligated to repeat everything he says. Despite a thoughtful speech at the send-off, which includes Fil being shot into the ocean in a barrel, it all mightily kicks off. All the Pickles’ quit and get turned up on vodka, leading to a sequence of events I’d rather not spoil, which include but aren’t limited to a potential #MeToo moment with Seb and a woman with a squeaky nose, and an accusation that Deirdre raped a man’s brother which she vehemently and eventually drunkenly denies.
While Will attempts to console his father, he spots another of his Fibonacci countdown numbers on a buoy in the ocean, and the news that Peter plans to propose to his mother sets him off. He goes berserk about Jeff not fighting hard enough to keep his family together, having evidently not taken in the message of “Episode 3101”, and storms out onto the deck as his father pursues him to thunderous chants of “murderer” — and eventually gunshots. Jeff isn’t wounded, at least not physically, but the trauma caused by the death of Fil is sure to leave a lasting impression on everyone.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.