The Goldbergs Just Solved Its Jeff Garlin Problem In The Most Drastic Way Possible

Eight months after comedian Jeff Garlin left "The Goldbergs," showrunners have revealed how they're planning to get rid of Murray Goldberg. According to Variety, they've decided to go with the simplest, if most shocking, solution: killing off the character. Not only will Murray be dead when the new season premieres in September, but his family will already be mostly past their grief, as they anticipate welcoming Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Geoff's (Sam Lerner) new baby.

"This is going to be a family that has not reconciled the fact that their father's gone but has sort of moved on and has dealt with a lot of that," Alex Barnow said. He and co-showrunner Chris Bishop revealed that the new season will pick up months after Murray's death. As Barnow puts it, "we're starting with optimism about a baby coming and looking forward to the future. It's an opportunity for this interesting emotional basis for the way people are behaving."

CGI Murray is no more

It's a clever writing choice, given that in my own experiences with grief, new life is usually one of the only things that can shake a family out of the darkest period of mourning. It's also a much better solution than the already-infamous one the series made last season, when they seemingly digitally Frankensteined Murray into a scene in which Erica prepares for her wedding day. The result isn't just weird to look at, but is also a disturbing reminder of all the murky ways CGI, deepfakes, and the like can be used for entertainment and profit. As "Pet Sematary" so wisely put it, sometimes dead is better.

Garlin exited the series last December in what was called a mutual agreement after an HR investigation into the actor's behavior. In an odd, circular conversation with Vanity Fair, he vaguely detailed what he called "silly" behavior that he said led to three consecutive years' worth of HR investigations. Now, the team behind "The Goldbergs" seems ready to move on from the entire experience in the popular sitcom's tenth season. "It honestly feels like a huge reboot for us. So we have tons of momentum rolling into this new season," Bishop says of the time jump, Murray's death, and the new baby.

The showrunners also say they're not sure if Garlin is aware of the plot, but say "he's aware that he's not being replaced." The tail end of last season also used Garlin's stand-in for some group shots, along with previously shot footage. "The Goldbergs" returns to ABC on September 21, 2022.