This episode takes a decided turn for the more normal, though it’s hardly serious. In this episode, the mayor, played by a wonderful Michael Keenan, is running for re-election when Wambaugh, the flamboyant lawyer played to perfection by Fyvush Finkel, decides to run against him. Things get so ridiculous that a group of concerned citizens try to convince Jimmy to run as an outsider candidate. Meanwhile, in a surprisingly violent subplot, Kenny investigates corruption among some local real estate dealers. I found Kenny’s subplot to be pretty stupid, all things considered and he does some things that I found very out of character (even having just three episodes prior to this one to establish said character). The election stuff works a lot better. Keenan and Finkel have nice chemistry in their arguments. Finkel is brilliant at the electioneering satire; his brass band is pretty great and he even performs Tom Lehrer’s brilliant Vatican Rag. Why? I have no idea. Still great. Also appearing for the first time is Dabbs Greer as the cantankerous town minister. But the corruption subplot drags the episode down with its self-seriousness. Weaker still, on the whole. 2 ½ stars.
tl;dr – political satire during a small town mayoral race is great, with wonderful supporting performances from Keenan, Finkel & Greer; but a grim crime subplot doesn’t work at all. 2 ½ stars.