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The Goldbergs Season 10 Premiere Leaves No Room For Jeff Garlin's Redemption

Contains spoilers for "The Goldbergs" Season 10, Episode 1

A period sitcom can be a tricky thing to pull off, but "The Goldbergs" has always had an ace up its sleeve because it can draw inspiration on the copious video material creator Adam F. Goldberg filmed in his own childhood, which the show is loosely based on. 

The fact that the nostalgia-laden ABC show just started its 10th season is proof enough that its approach has impressed the audiences, even though there has been some drama behind the scenes as of late. In December 2021, actor Jeff Garlin abruptly left "The Goldbergs," reportedly due to behind-the-scenes behavior issues. As a result, his character — Murray, father of the Goldberg family — is nowhere to be seen in the tail end of Season 9. While that season keeps Murray's fate fairly open-ended, Season 10 immediately makes clear that "The Goldbergs" leaves little room for Garlin's redemption. Here's why. 

Murray Goldberg is dead, but the show lives on

Before "The Goldbergs" Season 10 even started, the makers teased how the season would kick off without Murray: The character would simply die. However, they didn't reveal Murray's exact fate at the time — and, as it turns out, the same applies to the Season 10 premiere. 

The episode opens with the news that Murray has passed away. The exact cause of the character's death isn't revealed, however. Instead, the show focuses on the various ways the remaining Goldbergs process his passing, from dealing with Murray's material possessions to an unfortunate plan revolving around a "Field of Dreams"-style baseball game. 

Murray's offscreen death is as abrupt as the character's absence after Garlin's departure, but even in these circumstances, the Goldberg father receives a loving, heartwarming sendoff, to the point that the plotline about his recliner's fate would be an easy fit on a list of saddest sitcom moments ever. The decision to kill Murray off is also quite meaningful in the behind-the-scenes context, because it effectively confirms that Garlin won't be returning in the role under any circumstances. After all, there's no role to return to.