Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fresh off the Boat 2.18: "Week in Review"

“It’s not babysitting if it’s your kids.”

“Week in Review” was more of a family hijinks episode of “Fresh off the Boat” as opposed to an episode with a greater message. As a family hijinks episode, it was funny enough, although not really a standout. Louis did experience some character growth by the end of the episode (although I didn’t really think he had a problem before this episode), but mostly this is a broadly comedic episode. Lice invades the Huang home, and as you can imagine, Jessica doesn’t deal with it well. Eddie, naturally, tries to take advantage of the situation to get himself out of some trouble at school, and it only makes things worse. In the hands of lessor actors, there wouldn’t be much to this episode, but Constance Wu and Hudson Yang (Wu especially) always can make me laugh.

The episode opens with Jessica and Louis trying to do a “week in review” of the family’s schedule for the upcoming week. Between Cattleman’s Ranch being reasonably successful and things moving with the investment property again, the Huangs are very busy. Apparently, in the previous week, Louis forgot to pick up some tooth picks for Emery’s school project, and he feels horribly about it. To correct the problem he has purchased a wristband inside of which he can keep his schedule. He even penciled in some alone time with Jessica for four minutes on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Eddie’s school is preparing for the big annual student/faculaty basketball game. A pizza party for the winning team is on the line, so Eddie and his friends are very invested in the outcome. Eddie also gets a math exam back, and he is disappointed because his teacher gave him a bad grade for not showing his work, even though he got the answers right.

Meanwhile, the mold problem at the investment house has been remedied, and Honey and Jessica are getting ready to advertise the house in a local real estate circular. Honey remarks how great it is that Louis is supportive of Jessica’s career. In the background, Marvin expresses his displeasure that Honey didn’t take his favorite shirt to the dry cleaner’s before his scheduled time at the club. At school, Eddie and his math teacher engage in some trash talk about the basketball game during class, because the math teacher is going to be on the faculty team. Eddie goes so far as to say he will do double homework if he doesn’t score on his teacher during the game. He then tries some practice “baskets” throwing balled up paper into the classroom trash can. Unfortunately for Eddie, he has no game, and he misses all the throws. He starts to get very worried that double homework will be in his future.

Jessica and Louis are at home, about to enjoy their schedule four minutes of alone time, when Eddie arrives home early. He has been sent home from school with lice. Jessica and Louis are horrified by this, and they immediately back away from Eddie. Then they send him to stand outside. Being the diligent people they are, however, they immediately set to researching exactly what to do with lice. Just as they are about to start gathering all the linens and buying shampoo, Evan shows up at home with lice too. Both of the kids are sequestered outside, and of course Eddie embraces it. He sets up a barbecue and starts grilling himself some hot dogs. He’s hoping that if he has to stay home and miss the basketball game because of the lice, he’ll get out of having to do double math homework. Jessica starts dousing Eddie and Evan’s hair with lice shampoo, but Eddie sabotages his treatment. He wants to be sure he can stay home from the basketball game. The sabotage works a little too well, though. Eddie’s friend Trevor stops by and says that their math teacher has threatened the whole class with double homework if Eddie doesn’t play in the basketball game.

Jessica sent Honey to take photos of the investment house since she’s been busy dealing with the lice. She is far from happy with the result, though. Honey took a bunch of close-ups and you can’t really see the house at all in the photographs. Just as she says the photographs need to be redone, she starts feeling itchy. When Louis gets home, Jessica tells him that she has lice too. That’s the final straw for Louis, and he says he’s leaving. He’s got his business to run, and he can’t be in danger of needing to take time off of work because of lice. Jessica reminds Louis that she runs a business too, that is currently being neglected, but Louis doesn’t really think about that. He just heads right over to Honey and Marvin’s house.

At Honey and Marvin’s house, Louis talks the situation over with Marvin. Marvin thinks Louis is making the right choice (naturally), and he goes on a rant that implies he somehow thinks he and Louis are the same age. Louis is kind of taken aback at the very misogynist rant, and you can see the gears turning in his head. He then has a conversation with Honey as he helps he bring in groceries, where Honey urges him to be considerate of Jessica’s desire to succeed in her own business. Louis sees how Marvin treats Honey, and that’s when it all comes together for him. He goes home and apologizes to Jessica, and he offers to do laundry, saying that they’re a team. If one of them is going to be out of commission with lice, then they both are. He also has taken decent pictures of the investment house that Jessica can actually use for the real estate circular.

Eddie has a solution to his problem, too. He shows up at the basketball game despite still having lice. Nobody wants to get near him for the most part, so he has an easy time getting to the basket. The one person who has no fear of the lice is Eddie’s jerk of a math teacher. He tries to block Eddie’s shot, but Eddie makes the basket after all. Eddie is surprised at his own skill, wondering if the lice shampoo did something to make him suddenly become a good basketball player. The kids are all very satisfied as they get to show down on pizza while the faculty have to watch, and Eddie emerges as the class hero (but he still needs to take care of that lice).

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