This week’s Bored to Death was solid, though not groundbreaking. For a show that spends little time in reality, “Forget The Herring” focused mostly on earthly endeavors like break-ups, make-ups, and righting past wrongs. Guest stars included the wonderfully sour Stacy Keach, a potential lead to Jonathan’s sperm donor, and Isla Fisher, a sprightly investigator that teaches Jonathan a thing or two about reading obvious cues, sexual and literal.

Read more about this episode below…

The Players:

  • Director: Adam Bernstein
  • Writer:   Rachel Axler, Jonathan Ames

Episode Title: “Forget The Herring”

While Jonathan and Rose (Isla Fisher) track all leads to find their biological father, George and Ray examine themselves and take great pains to right the past.  

The Good:

  • Ray and George: The entire season of Bored To Death dealt with themes of fatherhood. Ray and George’s relationship has become more and more like father and son. Both on the outs of their lady friends, Ray crashes on George’s couch and whether it’s natural instinct or Ray’s nudging, George infantilizes Ray. He makes his bed for him, folds his pants, makes him juice, and gives him little tickles in the belly. Ray is fun to watch as a loveable, somewhat broken man. He gives George someone to baby until he reconciles with his daughter.
  • We Found The Father!: Stacy Keach’s guest appearance as a surly con-man, Harris Bergeron, is great. His rough voice and sidelong stares at the clean cut and proper Jonathan are prize-winning. As a man on the wrong side of the law, Jonathan looked like he would rather have sex with his own sister (hint: he does) than rely on Bergeron’s word to find his father. But, alas! In a foul speech about tissues and Vitamin E, Bergeron drops the bomb that he sired Jonathan. Jonathan’s skeptical response to this shocking news, “Are you even Jewish or in Mensa?” is the show’s highlight.
  • Don Quixote: George’s desire to sing takes him to a hilarious performance amongst fellow Yale alumni dressed as Don Quixote (though he’s not oblivious to his likeness to Samuel Beckett). In typical silly fashion, George snacks on a few pot cookies because he sees his friends Ray and George enjoying them. He whines, “I want melty chocolate” and moments later rushes off stage mid-performance to serenade his daughter, galloping on his make shift pony through the streets of New York. George’s affinity for the absurd is truly endearing.

The Bad:

  • Rose’s Accent: Isla Fisher’s accent didn’t get quite receive the tweaking it needed. While Rose is a beautifully sweet counterpart to Jonathan’s hard-boiler mannerisms, the struggling accent was distracting. Not as distracting as Cameron Diaz’ attempts at an Irish brogue in Gangs of New York, but distracting nonetheless.

The So So:

  • Predictability: As part of an inevitable plot structure, Jonathan is bound to find his father and George is bound to restore his relationship with his daughter. However, this episode didn’t explore the possibilities of how these inevitabilities would be met, at least with Jonathan and George’s plot lines. There was little suspense. On the other hand, Ray’s storyline did throw a twist in the predictability when he professes undying love to Leah, proposes, and she rejects his proposal. The result is more life-like than any other facet of the show and makes Leah’s response surprising.


Though “Forget The Herring” began to wrap up the season, setting up the show for the finale, it brought some good laughs to keep the audience in the present. At times, however, the gentle hints as to how Season 3 will come to a close could have been a bit  less predictable. When not wrapping up story lines, this episode brought comedic gems like George and Ray’s ridiculous father-son relationship, and Jonathan’s reaction when learns his father’s identity in a pot cookie haze.

Rating: 7.5/10

“Bored To Death” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO