Season five isn’t exactly the season where the Workaholics crew has grown up, but it very well might be the year that they’ve dabbled with the idea, tried it on and realized it wasn’t for them. At least maybe not yet. We’ve seen these three grow as friends, yet any individual act of maturity has just not worked out for them. Last week, Adam thought he might be ready for his first actual girlfriend, only to turn out he had been part of a trick. This week, Anders—always the most motivated in the group—attempts to make his life better by trying to get a promotion at TelAmeriCorp. While all three of them might be a mess if they were ever separated, “Trivia Pursuit” also shows that while their friendship might be their biggest strength, it might also be their biggest weakness.
In “Trivia Pursuit,” Anders, Blake and Adam get heavily invested in a local bar’s trivia night. Thanks 100% to Ders and his Rain Man-like knowledge of ‘80s movies, they win the “grand prize” of an old copy of the board game Clue and become the enemies of a Asian neo-greaser gang, led by Hot Rod’s Chester Tam. So our trio decides to set up another trivia night at their house, complete with Princess Bride outfits, for the grand prize of a Predator statue, which they don’t have. They think with their ringer Ders on their side, this should be no problem, yet on the day of the trivia rematch, Ders has to leave for the office, where he’s secretly interviewing for the position of sales director at another branch.
Much like these past episodes where the three play around with the idea of growing up, the presentation of evolution is at first scoffed at, then accepted. Ders is forced to have his job interview outside of the office in his Falcor-decorated Volvo, done up by Adam and Blake for trivia night. Then the trivia night is moved to the office. Ders is tired of scamming with his friends for money and would prefer to just, you know, have money instead of figuring out tricks to get it. When they realize that this could also benefit them, Adam and Blake get completely on board with Ders’ new plan.
“Trivia Pursuit” is smart to not have Blake and Adam be the reason Ders doesn’t get the job. Even by his lonesome, interviewing in his car with branch manager Richard—played by Curtis Armstrong—Anders has already put his foot in his mouth enough times to make a negative impression. Much like Adam and his “relationship” last week, Ders thinks he’s ready for the new level of commitment, yet he clearly doesn’t have the brain for it quite yet.
“Trivia Pursuit” is the rare episode written by one of the stars—Anders Holm—where the strength of the episode comes from the other two main stars. While Ders is the focal point of the entire episode, it’s the various montages of Adam and especially Blake that makes “Trivia Pursuit” hilarious. It might be funny to watch Ders spout off trivia, but watching Adam and Blake trying to learn all that trivia through a Wang Chung montage is much, much funnier.
At this point in season five, I’m more interested in these three characters than I ever have been in the series’ history. This season has shown that these three are interested in growing, yet can never quite take the leap to actual maturity. With no sixth season announced yet, it’ll be interesting to see where the characters end up at the end of these last few episodes of this season. It seems like it’s all been leading to possible growth, but without a certain future, who knows how this excellent season could end.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.