Gumball’s attempts to make things perfect for Penny when she visits his house for a homework assignment backfires, resulting in Mr. Fitzgerald refusing to let his daughter anywhere near him. Now, Gumball must impress him in order to get back in his good graces – an act which is complicated by Tobias, who also seeks to win Penny’s favor.
As a general rule of thumb, any episode of any show that begins with obnoxious screaming is probably going to have problems. That’s what we were introduced to when this episode began, and while it got slightly better at parts, I felt that this episode was the worst since “The Picnic”. I suppose the plot had potential, even if love-triangle episodes are somewhat trite, but I found it to be poorly executed. Tobias’ renaissance motif came out of nowhere and was only explained in a passing reference, and his infatuation with Penny also came out of nowhere considering how staunch he was in season one about “pals before gals”. I know things change, but it felt like they could have used another character instead of Tobias, which doesn’t give credence to the value of his role.
I also didn’t like how they handled Penny’s father. In season one’s “The Date”, Mr. Fitzgerald seemed to think that Gumball was a little weird, but he showed him no inherent disdain or malice. I appreciated that and expressed my fondness for the avoidance of that cliché. Well, this episode reversed course and fully embraced the cliché, having him hate Gumball and do whatever he could to keep his daughter away from him. The episode ended in a manner that will hopefully make him more accepting of Gumball in the future, since he saved Penny’s life, but nothing is really stopping them from reversing course again and ignoring what happened.
The visuals were all right. The show always handles its action sequences well, as I’ve said before, but the duel was nowhere near as interesting as Hector’s rampage was in the previous episode. I also took umbrage with the joke that was ripped right out of Family Guy, with Tobias mimicking the many times in which Peter Griffin hurt his knee and spent a lengthy amount of time gasping in pain. At least it only lasted a few seconds in this instance. I do give the episode credit for having Richard actually be concerned that his son nearly died, as I feel that in season one, he might not have cared. He’s been handled very well in this season and I’m hoping that he’ll continue to impress me.