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Childrens Hospital: “Sperm Bank Heist”

Illustration for article titled iChildrens Hospital/i: “Sperm Bank Heist”
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Childrens Hospital has always sort of been a strange hybrid action-medical comedy. It does “big event” episodes pretty often, with its characters serving not just as heroes (who are really kind of villains) in the medical field but also in the world around them. They’re supposedly (with the exception of maybe Blake) the best at what they do in their world, which is kind of a terrifying thought for such a world in the first place. That of course translates into them also making the perfect heist team in the straightforwardly titled “Sperm Bank Heist.”

The Michael Colton and John Aboud-penned episode (the duo were also responsible for “We Are Not Our DNA” and “Just Like Cyrano de Bergerac”) is an ode to Leverage, of all shows, as well as the general concept of the heist film. In true Childrens Hospital fashion, the show takes an already kind of goofy premise and makes it 10 times stranger, with the catalyst of the (sperm bank) heist being Val’s newly-introduced baby fever.


To be completely honest, it takes a few moments for the heist plot to be the most interesting part of the episode, as the previouslies feature a slow-clapping Lola stuck in a strange Speed-type scenario, only for the episode to continue to have it unfold in the background of the Val/Cat “baby fever” scene, and to never speak of it again.

Lola quite possibly murders someone with the bomb, by the way.

But once the episode gets into gear, it goes full Leverage, with Val as the Nate Ford (or Danny Ocean, for Ocean’s 11 fans)—“Let’s go steal some semen.”—assembling a team of “criminals” to help her get the Ivy League grade sperm needed to fulfill her baby-making dreams. It’s a “getting the gang back together” situation: You’ve got Lola “the hacker,” Chief “the lifter,” Wu Lee “an Asian contortionist” (Alex Duong), and Glenn as “the muscle”. There’s also Matthew Hauser (Nathan Fielder), the patsy and “inside man,” who really just wants Val to follow through on the promise of sex in exchange for her own supply of baby-making juice.


Never mind that Val is still Derrick Childrens in the most impressive drag known to man. Maybe. She might still be, at least. That’s never quite certain with Childrens Hospital, but that’s also part of the show’s charm.

The episode hits all the necessary beats of this genre, right down to the twist ending of Blake—who is immediately shut down early in the episode because of the nonexistence of “the stealing power of laughter”—being the one who got to the sperm first and landed himself on an island with it. Of course, just as the audience is asking why Blake even did it in the first place, Blake himself asks the question right as the episode ends. “Wait. Why did I do this again?” It’s a question that could be asked of so many actions of Childrens Hospital, both in this episode and beyond. For example, why did Sy make a sperm bank in Childrens Hospital? Even with his explanation about the sperm bank at the end of the episode, there’s still no rational explanation. It’s a childrens hospital, and it’s not like the sperm bank is another one of his get the hospital rich quick schemes.


Then again, it’s not like Chidrens Hospital really needs to answer questions when it’s doing such a good job poking fun at ridiculous parts of seemingly less ridiculous pieces of entertainment. It would have been so easy for Childrens Hospital to dedicate an inordinate amount of time to Chief doing an Entrapment riff with the lasers. Maybe under other circumstances, it would have. But the visual of Chief in her catsuit, preparing to contort for the male gaze becomes so much funnier when she simply uses her walker to turn off the lasers and go about her business. NTSF:SD:SUV:: actually did its own Entrapment bit back in the episode “Whac-A-Mole,” and while it worked there because it was even less intense laser circumstances, “Sperm Bank Heist” deserves credit for going with the road less traveled on this one.

If there’s one blemish on this episode, it’s in the form of the Asian contortionist, which falls flat more than it critiques the obvious Ocean’s character Yen. It doesn’t help that it’s a previously unintroduced character, used only for this iffy bit. The problem with including such a character to make a point about a certain trope is that it can also fall into said trope, unfortunately. That’s what happens here. Still, “Sperm Bank Heist” continues Childrens Hospital season six’s winning streak.


Stray observations:

  • Chief “finally got past level 300 on Candy Crush.” Good for her.
  • Lola (slow clapping): “If I stop clapping at this pace, the bomb strapped to my back will go off. But congrats on the game!”
  • Val: “A sperm bank? With my credit score? Let’s just face it, Cat. I’m never going to get pregnant.”
  • Cat: “We can do this. Remember when we took a stroll through the arboretum?”
    Val: “That was a walk in the park.”
  • Oh, hi Cat. Bye, Cat.
  • “Alright, I’m in. Now hacking and stuff.” Lola and Glenn’s love-hate relationship took me back to “Home Is Where The Hospital Is.” Still rooting for those crazy kids to make it work.
  • Glenn straight up murders security guards and brings back “go jump in a lake” in this episode. It’s a pretty good episode for Glenn.
  • It’s also a nice touch for Blake to have his blood pattern on his tropical shirt.
  • Obviously Colton and Aboud’s script deserves credit for how on point the episode is, but so does David Wain’s directing of this mini-heist movie.
  • Next week: They beat up Sy? Tough love.

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