Earlier this year, Jeff Garlin exited The Goldbergs, the 1980s-set ABC sitcom, following multiple misconduct allegations and HR investigations. To compensate for his absence, the show used some very distracting CGI wizardry to give kids (and adults) nightmares for years. Instead of entering the uncanny valley again, however, The Goldbergs killed off his character, Murray Goldberg, in Wednesday’s season 10 premiere.
In the early moments of the episode, adult Adam (voiced by narrator Patton Oswalt) informs viewers that “just a few months ago, out of nowhere, we lost my dad. We will always love you, Dad. Always. And we’ll find a way to continue on together, because after all, we’re the Goldbergs.” Murray is never seen (not unlike how Roseanne Conner’s death was handled off-screen on The Conners), only his Archie Bunker-style chair.
While letting go of most of Murray’s possessions, the family kept a reminder of him in the house as his recliner — initially discarded but then saved by Pop Pop — was turned into a glider in the nursery for Erica’s baby. “It turns out the people we say goodbye to never really leave us. But that doesn’t mean we don’t miss them,” Adam said in a voiceover toward the end of the episode.
Before the episode aired, Garlin posted on Instagram about living with bipolar depression. “Bipolar is a motherf*cker. Sometimes it’s just too much to deal with. I’m doing the best I can. This the first time that I’ve opened up about this. #bipolar,” he wrote. You can see the post below.