Life in Pieces: Season 2, Episode 16 “Dirtbike Old Mechanic Earthquake” (B)
The Short family has a bunch of dynamics that have been explored over the course of this show’s one and a half seasons. One of the themes that has been revisited time and time again is that Matt is the black sheep and Greg can do no wrong. It’s not too surprising, therefore, that Greg would be hanging on to the fact that Matt stole his birthday money decades earlier and that he would try to relive the excitement of a kids’ gift that he would have bought then, only to then assume that Matt had gone ahead and stolen it again and blame him preemptively without realizing that Jen was in fact the one who took it. I didn’t find the exploration of Joan starting to feel ignored and presumed incompetent by her children and grandchildren to be all that funny, though Joan did embrace the opportunity to appear senile to make her point. Colleen’s inability to be mean despite wanting to stand up for what she knew she was seeing and hearing was amusing, and rating the employee five stars after trying to take him down in blistering fashion was a highlight of that. Showing up with three female family members in tow proved to be somewhat effective, but unfortunately that led to the reveal that it was her vibrator stuck between the seats making all that noise. I love that Tim forces his children to do earthquake survival drills, and that, after suffering through a day of testing involving lots of begging for money, his kids knew exactly what to do to get him back for making them endure all of that.