It doesn’t take much plot to make a great half-hour of comedy.
On Blockbuster Season 1 Episode 9, Eliza wants to move on, and Kayla wants to move out.
Tuck into some expired Before Sunrise gummies or a Jumanji 2 bar for the full experience!
One thing that’s great about Blockbuster, and something that always enhances a show, regardless of genre, is little details in unexpected places.
All the bit players give just enough clues about their complex inner lives. Donna and Mark, the snack vendors, could be throwaway characters, but why not make them a married couple with an imbalanced power dynamic? There is a lot going on there.
Then, there’s the stoner pair, Eric (Zavien Garrett) and Dustin (Jared Ager-Foster). These guys could easily become recurring characters. One or both of them could even wind up working at Blockbuster (trust me, I’ve worked with many guys exactly like them)!
It was great that the show gave them a few moments of their own and that the staff just welcomed them into the fold. They’re clearly regulars, and as I’ve said before, it’s not just the staff who are family at this Blockbuster — it’s the customers too.
Making the minor roles three-dimensional (like a promotional display, if you will) fleshes the world out. It lets our imaginations provide the missing context while giving us laughs in unexpected places.
Percy: Are smoothies canceled? Did Gary over at Smoothie Sips get caught up in another animals-riding-unicycles scandal?
Connie: Again? Those poor raccoons.
The Thimble 2: Thumb Wars concept was supremely ridiculous but not outside the realm of direct-to-DVD sequels trying to make their budget back.
The entire plotline with the oncologist “Thumb Head” was absurd, but again, there are people like that for stranger fandoms other than a sentient thimble.
Hannah: Okay, so the display we’re buiilding is for Thimble 2: Thumb Wars, which is the delightful tale of a country thimble, Emma Stone, in the big city, Billy Porter, looking for her dream thumb. So, Billy Porter plays the city.
Connie’s mania was somewhat contrived, but Olga Merediz sold that obsession for all it was worth. It can be hard to lose your touch with something you once excelled at. Connie is more than just her ability to do puzzles. Hannah and Carlos recognize that, among all her other gifts.
Touch my puzzle again, and I’ll kick your lurking ass to the Walmart parking lot you were born in.
We’ve established that Timmy is a great boss and friend to Eliza, but I have never heard of any boss letting their employee practice for an outside job interview IN HIS OFFICE.
Timmy is considerate to the point of spinelessness, and Eliza probably doesn’t even realize how much she takes him for granted. What’s more, he forgave her fast for the horrible things she said about Blockbuster, but once he realized how embarrassed she was, he dialed it back.
Not only is Timmy attentive (unlike Aaron), but he’s great at coming up with solutions on the fly (like the expired candy).
Eliza appears to be in a similar position with her jobs as she is with her relationships. Her position at Blockbuster is safe, and she knows she can always fall back on it, but it doesn’t satisfy her — much like her marriage to Aaron.
A new job is something she wants but has no idea how to get, and she doesn’t believe herself worthy — which seems to be how she feels about Timmy.
However, if she chooses Blockbuster, she at least gets to stay near Timmy. It might be satisfying once she has responsibility and higher pay (if that happens), but if she always thinks of the job beneath her, she’ll never be truly happy there.
Hannah: Does Kayla seem more “Kayla” to you?
Connie: Maybe she’s vibing. That’s a word I’ve seen on the internet.
Kayla and Percy, at last, showed their tender side.
It’s no secret these two have not been my favorite characters. They’ve been self-centered and mean with few redeemable qualities. However, Kayla showed some vulnerability here and garnered some sympathy.
Many teenagers are bratty, but we sometimes forget how hard it is to be that age and have that need for independence coupled with the lack of sense of how the world works. Even naive Hannah could sense the apartment scam.
Do you guys know if we have a fax machine, or what a fax machine is?
Percy stepped up and became the dad Kayla needed him to be. Though she complained about her mom (his ex-wife), he defended Shaina, saying she was just trying to do what was best for her daughter.
It is odd that she didn’t initially think she could crash at his place if she needed to — it’s obvious that despite everything, the one thing guiding him is his love for her.
However, Kayla is always so wrapped up in her phone, and maybe she didn’t see what was right in front of her. That, or she just didn’t realize her dad could be so caring and not self-serving.
Either way, it was nice that Percy and Kayla had this moment to show that underneath it all, they have a father-daughter relationship worth nurturing.
Other fun things:
I felt Timmy’s secondhand embarrassment in my bones after that “love you” at the end of the job reference phone call!
Percy having a pet coyote makes sense, though I couldn’t tell you why.
Connie speaks Albanian for some reason.
Stick your thumb in me for thumbs of fun!
No solar storm has hit yet, so it’s undoubtedly going to happen in the finale, right? It’s just Chekov’s solar storm at this point.
The pace of this episode was great, and all the plotlines were either fun, funny, or consequential. Characters developed! Milestones were achieved! The one-liners kept coming, and many laughs were had!
How did you feel about Episode 9? What do you think is in store for the finale?
Share your thoughts, hopes, and theories in the comments — but no spoilers if you’ve watched ahead!
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.