The Cleveland Show Season 4 Review “A Rodent Like This”

A somewhat bizarre episode of “The Cleveland Show,” the amusingly-titled “A Rodent Like This” (a jibe at Kelly Clarkson, I assume) was pretty weird, even by this show’s standards, and mind you, David Lynch plays a recurring character on it, and two of the principal characters are talking bears. So that’s saying something.

It seemed at first we were going to get another James Bond homage, as with the “American Dad” episode that aired earlier in the night, but that turned out to be a B-plot, really, albeit with a nifty pay-off…more on that later. The main story was actually about a rat invading the Brown home and Donna tasking Cleveland with getting rid of it, going to live with her mother in the meantime.

Nothing weird there, really, but then things took a turn. Cleveland befriends the rat and the two become buddies! M’kay. Dubbing him “Rat Lauer,” the two go out for walks together (“What, you’ve never seen a black man in a pink robe walking a rat?” says Cleveland to a mortified onlooker), take baths together (where Cleveland serenades him with- what else? – Round and Round), and even share the same bed. Um, yuck.

Alas, before Cleveland can find him a fellow companion- perhaps a loose-skinned frog by the name of “Al Croaker”? – Donna finds out what’s going on and forces Cleveland to make a choice. He chooses Donna, though not without some hesitation, and she demands he take the rat out to the woods and kill it after it scratches her, potentially infecting her.

At that point, the show morphs again, this time into a horror movie, sort of like Of Unknown Origin-meets-Cujo.” Rat Lauer turns rabid and goes insane, stalking Cleveland and Donna and trapping them in their car as he dismantles the tires and so on. Thankfully, Donna’s mom comes to the rescue: “Hell got a rat problem now.” Cleveland laments: “Where in the world is Rat Lauer? He dead.” Then Donna goes rabid!

So, as if that weren’t crazy enough, we’ve also got the aforementioned Bond send-up, which begins with Rallo tying Chester to a chair and pummeling his fuzzy warbles from below, a la Casino Royale.” Cleveland Jr. is not pleased: “I wish I were Sean Connery and you were a woman so I could hit you.”

Cleveland Jr. shows up later with a mysterious briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. Is he playing a prank or is he actually up to something? Rallo is determined to find out, even if it means tackling CJ in the shower and wrestling him to the ground: “Don’t ‘Borat’ me, bro!” indeed.

We eventually find out that Cleveland Jr. is not who he claims to be. It seems that the “real” CJ was taken out and replaced way back when by the current one, a planted spy, sent to infiltrate the neighborhood in order to eliminate a local terrorist: Tim the Bear!

Will he succeed in taking down Tim? I guess we’ll have to wait and see in the next installment, “The Man with the Brown Eye,” if that ever happens. Truth be told, I kinda hope it does. It would be fun to see a showdown between Tim and Cleveland, Jr.

So, nothing truly LOL funny here, really, but it was definitely good for a few chuckles. Like I said, it was more strange than anything else. I mean, not so much as, say, Adult Swim at its weirdest (i.e. Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Superjail), but by Sunday night primetime television standards…definitely. I mean, there was a recurring Lego Martin Scorsese, you know?

What did you think of “The Cleveland Show”? Too funny, or too freaky for its own good? I mean, would you keep a rat as a pet? Unless your name is Willard, you might want to rethink that, because that is hella gross, and crazy unsanitary. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of rabid Donna though! Also, watch your back, Tim!

Let me know what you thought in the comments section!