Monday, March 21, 2016

Fresh off the Boat 2.15: "Keep 'Em Separated"

“Alright, we were debating who’d win in a fight. A Cabbage Patch Kid possessed by a demon, or Teddy Ruxpin with a Metallica tape in him.”

“Keep ‘Em Separated” was interesting because it didn’t rely on the novelty (in the television landscape) of the Huangs being an Asian family. Many times on “Fresh off the Boat,” the story is driven by how the Huangs look at or handle a situation in a different way because they are of Asian descent. I could see anyone of any heritage responding to the situations presented in this episode in the ways that the Huangs did, however. Jessica wants to get a clingy Louis out of her hair, but she gets jealous when his distraction is a female pool partner. Eddie makes a huge mess of finding out that his former crush Nicole is single and that his current girlfriend used to have a crush on his best friend. It’s just relationship drama in general, and it was interesting to see the Huangs work through it.

At the beginning of the episode, Louis is being extra clingy. He has turned over the responsibility for closing the restaurant to Mitch, so he has a lot more free time than he used to. When the Huangs lived in DC, Louis had a friend he would play pool with in his free time, but he doesn’t have a similar close friend in Orlando. Jessica and Honey are trying to have book club, and Louis keeps interrupting. First, he interrupts at his own house, then at Honey’s house, then at the Denim Turtle (the Lesbian bar Jessica frequents), and finally at Cattleman’s Ranch. They figured that since Louis was leaving work early, he wouldn’t come back to work to find them, but alas, he did.

Meanwhile, it’s lunchtime at Eddie’s school, and he’s showing all his friends, including Alison, a Redbook he swiped from his mom because it has a photo of Whitney Houston on the cover. Alison is cool with Eddie’s love of Whitney. After she leaves, another kid delivers the news that Hot Chris broke up with Nicole. Nicole stops by their lunch table not long after the announcement. Eddie is pretty cool while talking to Nicole, but his friend Trevor is decidedly not. Eddie asks Nicole if she’d like to hang out and get ice cream some time, and she agrees. Later, when playing video games together, Eddie’s best friend Dave asks Eddie if Alison is okay with Eddie and Nicole getting ice cream. Eddie says she doesn’t know about the ice cream plans yet, but she’ll probably be okay with it because she was cool with the Whitney Houston magazine and she also doesn’t know that he used to have a crush on Nicole. Dave is understandably concerned that Alison doesn’t know about Eddie’s history with Nicole.

Jessica wants to encourage Louis to find his own friends like he had back in DC, so she pushes him into getting back to playing pool. She has his pool cue retipped, and she gives him a list of several local pool halls he can try. Louis goes to a pool hall called Cue Tips, and while things are a bit dicey at first (the clientele is mostly biker types), he eventually wins them over. He stops by the house to drop off the dozen eggs Jessica asked for, and he tells her that he and his new friend “Tony” cleaned up at Cue Tips and are going to another pool hall for more fun. Only “Tony” is actually Toni, as in a woman. Jessica is very upset about this and vents to Honey about it. Then they go to the pool hall to meet Toni in person. Black Velvet is playing as they walk into the pool hall, so of course Toni looks extra hot. Jessica and Honey talk to her, and Toni is pretty clear that she just likes to play pool and isn’t making a move on Louis. Jessica is still really bothered by the situation, though, so she lies and tells Louis that Mitch locked himself in the restaurant while trying to close.

At school, Eddie and his friends decide that Eddie’s best play for the Alison and Nicole situation is to keep them separate so they don’t talk to each other and find out things they shouldn’t know. This plan goes well all day until bus time. The boys are all in the bus congratulating themselves, when they see Alison and Nicole exchanging jewelry and generally being friendly to each other. Eddie talks to Alison on the phone about the Nicole situation, and surprisingly, Alison is cool with it. She already knew Eddie used to have a crush on Nicole. She thinks past crushes should be in the past, including the crush she used to have on Dave. The next day at school, Eddie starts being really mean to Dave and says hurtful things to him. Alison sees this, and she’s not happy about it. She’s really not happy when she finds out Eddie is going to ice cream with Nicole. She thinks it’s hypocritical that she’s supposed to be cool with Nicole but he’s not cool with Dave. And she’d be right about that.

One they’re at the restaurant, and it’s clear Mitch isn’t there, Jessica admits she lied because she isn’t comfortable with Louis hanging around Toni. She starts listing off very detailed rules that need to be followed if Louis is going to have a female friend, and she says he needs to find a new pool partner. Next thing we know, Jessica is all decked out in black, trying her best to look sexy as she struts into the pool hall. The illusion is shattered, however, when she has to dig her ID out of her very large purse. Jessica keeps breaking all the pool etiquette rules, which frustrates Louis to no end. She takes other people’s quarters for the juke box, and she has the juke box play Amy Grant on repeat. She also doesn’t understand how to play the game. At one point, she declares pool boring, and she wants to know what Louis and Toni would talk about during all that time spent waiting. His answer can be found in the Quote of the Episode above.

By the end of the episode, the friendships that were tested are all repaired, although it seems like not all the romantic relationships are. Jessica and Louis are fine, of course. Louis reminds her that she and Honey talk about silly things much like he does with Toni. Jessica says she doesn’t want to be the person to stop him from doing that. Louis and Toni can be pool partners again, although some of the ladies from the Denim Turtle keep watch to make sure there’s no funny business. Eddie ends up going to the ice cream truck and buying ice cream for himself and Dave. Neither Nicole nor Alison are around. Eddie apologizes to Dave, explains what happened, and they come to an understanding. Even if Eddie has messed things up with the women in his life, at least he has his best friend back.

No comments:

Post a Comment