“Nils Vildervaan, Professional Interventiomalist” is an episode of Childrens Hospital that strongly relies on the audience to understand writer Michael Showalter’s style of humor. I’ve mentioned that this season started off not being as weird as they usually are, but give Showalter an episode like this, let him go insane and it more than makes up for it.
“Nils Vildervaan” does get understandably insane, with Blake and Dori in a Jaws riff that sends them on a search for a missing cat and Sy undergoing an intervention after getting a new girlfriend. Along the way, we get cats inside of cats, cannibalism and most horrifying of all, vending machines full of celery.
In maybe the least important story line of this entire season, we find out that somehow a cat has gotten lost in the boiler room. With half the staff looking for the cat already (makes sense since most of the cast is missing this season at any given time), Blake goes full Quint and decides he’ll catch the cat dead or alive. No, alive, they want him alive—a great callback to Showalter’s Wet Hot American Summer.
When they eventually find the cat, who is dead inside of another dead cat, Blake and Dori start coming up with ideas how to explain to everyone else what happened to the cat or to avoid the whole dead cat scenario altogether. But in the end, they just get bored with thinking up excuses and give up. That’s it. They just get bored, right at the point this plot line started to get a bit boring itself. It’s completely unnecessary, but really, is this any more strange of an ending than any other ending to a plot on this show? Not at all.
The main plot here is, belleve it or not, even weirder. Sy’s new girlfriend Rhonda, played by Stephnie Weir, has some new ideas for what to do with the hospital. She thinks the surgery rooms should be more communal, she fills all the vending machines with celery and even wants the surgeons to wash their arms up to the nipple line. Yet Sy remains happy. Since he’s met Rhonda he’s been eating breakfast for the first time and in what maybe the grossest thing Childrens Hospital has ever done, we hear Henry Winkler say he loves drinking her juices…Simply put, Rhonda must be stopped.
Chief, Lola and Owen decide they need to have an intervention for Sy, which involves calling Nils Vildervaan, played by Showalter, and punching Sy into submission while Owen hilarious yells in his face “WE LOVE YOU SY!!!” The last few minutes of this episode get extremely weird, as Sy is put into solitary confinement to get a detox from love addiction. We find out that Sy has been trapped in the room for 17 months, Showalter can’t even get his character’s name right and Owen cooked Rhonda and put her in his meat pies—a new hobby for Owen apparently.
“Nils Vildervaan, Professional Interventiomalist” is a stream-of-consciousness insanity-filled episode of Childrens Hospital the likes of which we haven’t really seen this season. Nothing makes sense, nothing matters and everything is crazy, which should ideally the Childrens Hospital credo.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.