Like The Conners and Two And a Half Men, ABC’s The Goldbergs dealt with the controversial exit of a lead actor by killing off their character off screen.
The fate of the Goldbergs patriarch Murray was revealed last month by showrunner Alex Barnow who said in an interview that Season 10 will pick up several months after Murray’s death.
That’s exactly what happened in the Season 10 premiere tonight, which addressed Murray’s disappearance in the voiceover opening, in which Adam recapped what the various family members had been up to over the summer.
“That year, there was one change that made everything stop,” Adam said as the camera slowly panned from one side of the living room, where family members were coming and going in fast-forward, to the other, where Murray’s favorite chair stood empty, while the music changed from frantic to somber.
“Just a few months ago, out of nowhere, we lost my dad,” Adam said as the room went dark, with a spotlight over the chair. “We will always love you, dad. Always. And we will find a way to continue on together. Because, after all, we’re the Goldbergs.”
The family kept a reminder of Murray in the house as his favorite chair, which was first shown during Adam’s intro, was later turned into a glider for the nursery for Erica’s baby. Beverly — reluctantly — parted ways with most of his other belongings.
Garlin exited The Goldbergs last December following HR investigations into misconduct allegations.
“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,” Barnow said last month. “We’re starting with optimism about [Erica’s] baby coming and looking forward to the future. It’s an opportunity for this interesting emotional basis for the way people are behaving.”