“Sperm Bank Heist” ends with a question that could end almost every episode of Childrens Hospital: “why did I do that again?” In “Sperm Bank Heist,” that question is asked by Blake as he sits on a beach with 80 cubic liters of semen he has stolen, but most of the actions in Childrens Hospital could and probably should be followed up with that question.
When this sixth season started, Childrens Hospital was keeping its stories for the most part sane, which isn’t exactly the best mindset for this show to be in and unfortunately this question really didn’t need to be asked as often. Yet around the halfway point of this season, Childrens Hospital has rightfully taken its place as one of the weirdest shows on TV and everything finally fits back into place. “Sperm Bank Heist” is maybe the first time this season where the actions within the hospital feel like business as normal, and that’s to say everyone is back to being completely insane.
“Sperm Bank Heist” does successfully what this season has tried to do several times, but never quite pulled off. We’ve had a lot of parodies this season of various genres, from superhero films (“With Great Power…”), Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey-style romance novels (“Fan Fiction”) and sitcoms (“Koontz Is Coming”), but “Sperm Bank Heist” is the first one that perfectly nails the genre it’s mocking. Here we get a great heist film breakdown reminiscent most obvious of the Ocean’s Eleven films. But with sperm instead of cash.
Now that Cat is pregnant, Val is now dreaming of also being pregnant, but getting sperm with her credit score? Forget about it! It just so happens that Sy has opened a new sperm bank at Childrens Hospital with wall-to-wall ejaculate just ready for the taking! For Val to grab all the sperm she can carry, she needs to get her old gang back together. For the heist, she’ll need a hacker (Lola Spratt), a lifter (Chief), the muscle (Glenn Richie) and of course, an Asian contortionist. With this team and Sy’s inside man at the sperm bank Matthew Hauser, played by Nathan Fielder, the sperm is just there for Val to grab.
Of course to pull off a perfect heist parody, you have to end with a twist, and “Sperm Bank Heist” gives us two pretty great ones. First, Sy tells his workers to watch the bank like they’re watching his children. By the end, it turns out that the sperm bank is actually entirely filled with Sy’s…children. Even better though is Blake’s brief appearance in the episode, ending with him stealing the sperm, then questioning why the hell he did that in the first place.
“Sperm Bank Heist” also plays off one of Childrens Hospital’s greatest strengths, which is putting all of these characters in a scenario where they clearly don’t know what the hell is going on. For example, everyone seems to think that they’ll be able to spend sperm like it’s money. But the best aspect of this might be Glenn’s complete disregard for the security guards at Childrens Hospital, as he snaps one of their necks completely around, then shoots another one over and over just for the fun of it.
It’s great for Childrens Hospital’s actual hospital antics to be back in its usually strange groove. “Sperm Bank Heist” is right at the weirdness level this show needs to be at while also creating a pretty great parody of heist films. After a handful of disappointing parodies, “Sperm Bank Heist” makes the show’s parodies look like that time Cat and Val took a stroll through the arboretum: a walk in the park.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.