There are times when we cannot quite figure out whether or not “Vice Principals” is hilarious, or simply too dark for its own good. There are crazy shows, and then there are super-crazy shows that take things to an extreme level.
Did Sunday’s episode at times take things too far? We’re willing to wager so, given that the installment ended with Neal Gamby realizing that he had gone so far in his pursuit of destroying Belinda Brown that he would take no pleasure in getting the Principal job at all. Yet, he was in too deep and manipulated too much by Russell that he couldn’t climb out. Every one of Dr. Brown’s problems really can be traced at first to her house burning down, and he was at least in part responsible for that as Lee’s partner-in-crime. Then, he specifically got her out in a position where she could drink, and she made it clear earlier in the episode that she and alcohol do not mix.
Basically, Gamby managed to record a serious of drunken escapades that culminated with her peeing on a cop car, otherwise known as easily enough evidence to get her fired. She was emotional already because her children had decided to go live in Philadelphia with their father rather than continue to stay with her.
As for Neal’s relationship with Snodgrass, it could also now be on tricky footing. She made it clear that she was happy with the softer, funnier side of him that was a good father, and didn’t really care about school politics at all. First, he messed things up by asking about Bill Hayden, and there certainly are more questions that are coming out now.
Just because tonight’s episode was so dark, it was hard to find as much humor in it, mostly because we once again felt sad for Belinda Brown, someone who is genuinely good at her job and doesn’t really deserve most of this treatment. Also, we started to like the Neal Gamby that was turning things around, and we probably should have assumed that he wouldn’t be able to sustain it. At least the episode offset some of this was some funny moments here and there. Episode Grade: B.
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