Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fresh off the Boat 3.03: "Louisween"

“Louis! You’re lucky I wasn’t clutching my sleep knife!”

“Fresh off the Boat” always does interesting holiday episodes, although I don’t know if this one was really a favorite. I found the conflicts between the Huang family members to be a bit forced. It was kind of cool to see all their perspectives on Halloween, though. It’s Louis’ favorite holiday, which is a point on which we agree. There are great things about Thanksgiving and Christmas, too, but Halloween is my favorite. I love Halloween decorations, the black/orange/green/purple color combo, and the chance to dress up and play pretend for a night. It’s like being a kid again is sanctioned for one holiday. I guess it probably also wouldn’t surprise you to learn (especially since there’s a picture of it on the MTVP Facebook page) that I’ve also cosplayed at Comic Con International in San Diego. Jessica, however, hates Halloween and finds it to be a waste of time. Eddie likes candy, but he likes the prospect of being invited to a high school party by Nicole even more. Emery and Evan look forward to creating their usual double costume, but they’re both growing up and times are changing. This episode didn’t have as much of a “the Huangs do this holiday differently because they’re originally from Taiwan” vibe as many “Fresh off the Boat” holiday episodes, but I was okay with that. Underneath it all, we’re all American.

The episode opens with the clocks in the Huang household turning to midnight. It is officially Halloween, and Louis is ready. He wakes up each of the kids with Halloween pranks like using a big monster arm or pretending to be a zombie. Jessica, however, is more difficult to prank, which is good foreshadowing for later in the episode. When Louis wakes her up dressed as Jason, she clocks him right in the head. That morning, a very happy Louis is dressed as “Pete Vampras” (a vampire Pete Sampras) and ready to coordinate the kids’ Halloween activities. Emery and Evan haven’t nailed down what they are going to be yet, but Louis reminds them to be ready by 5:00. The boys are worried that they won’t be able to top last year’s Silence of the Lambs themed double costume. Jessica could care less about any of the Halloween prep. She thinks Halloween is a waste of money. Why should she pay for a costume when she likes herself just as she is? Instead, she’s going to work on her Stephen King-inspired horror novel. She heard King writes ten pages a day, so she’s going to write twenty. Because she’s nonstop (sorry…had to throw in a “Hamilton” reference!).

Eddie and his buddies stand over a big map of the neighborhood as they plan out their Halloween candy haul. They heard that one house is going to be giving away king sized peanut butter cups, so that’s definitely on their list. One of the boys talks about how he got to watch some of Porky’s because Cinemax accidentally unscrambled, and he really wants to get girls on Halloween. Eddie says they have the rest of their lives to do that – they only have a few more years of free candy left. He changes his tune when Nicole stops by, though. Her mom is going to be out of town, so she’s going to throw a Halloween party. Eddie immediately starts advocating for the Halloween party. After all, this will probably be their only chance to go to a high school party as middle schoolers. He convinces the rest of his crew to join him. Jessica doesn’t want to let Eddie go, but Louis overrules her, says since she doesn’t celebrate Halloween, she doesn’t get a say.

Emery and Evan are still struggling to figure out their costumes. They both find themselves dressed as Indiana Jones, which clearly won’t do. Evan was supposed to be Short Round, but he’s tired of being the sidekick. He wants to be the main character in this year’s costume. Emery, being a good brother, says Evan can pick their costumes this year. Evan decides he wants to be Lance Ito, the judge from the OJ Simpson case, and he wants Emery to be Kato Kalin. Emery thinks that’s stupid, but Evan really wants to be Lance Ito. Emery decides he’s just going to be Indiana Jones after all. Meanwhile, Eddie and his pals are in their costumes and rolling up to Nicole’s party. When they get inside, though, it’s just Nicole and a few other girls in Spice Girls costumes sitting on the couch looking bored. Everybody else at school went to a party being thrown by a sophomore with a pool. Nicole realizes she shouldn’t have tried to throw a party as a freshman, but now it’s too late. Everybody but Eddie ends up bailing. Eddie, however, says he has seen enough music videos to know how to throw a party, and he cranks up some Snoop Dogg to top volume. It doesn’t take long for there to be a knock on the door.

Jessica has said that Stephen King is really scary while Halloween is just silly, so Louis decides to put that theory to the test. He tries over and over to scare Jessica. He hides a scary head in the oven, and he even has Eddie’s classmate Reba pretend to be a ghost. None of it rattles Jessica. Louis even tries to convince Jessica that he accidentally hit a kid with a car. Jessica’s response is to describe, in great detail, exactly how she’s going to help him cover the crime up, down to chopping down a tree in a hurricane so that there’s no flesh transfer to be found. At that point, Louis finally gives up. The phone rings, and it’s Eddie, who is at the police station and needs to be picked up. At first, Jessica thinks it’s another of Louis’ pranks, but then she sees Louis standing there and realizes that Eddie is actually in trouble.

Eddie isn’t in quite as much trouble as everyone thought, though. The police officer just brought Eddie and Nicole to the station because they were unsupervised minors. Even the “beer” Nicole thought she had procured for the party was actually just a drink mixer and completely nonalcoholic. When Jessica shows up, though, she’s still not happy. She blames Halloween for having to stop her writing to go and pick Eddie up. Later, Louis tries to explain how hurtful her attitude has been to him. He reminds her of a time when he wasn’t able to help her celebrate Christmas, which is her favorite holiday. Jessica eventually gets it – it would be very nice if Louis could spend his favorite holiday with the whole family. When it’s midnight again, Jessica wakes up all the kids, but with the smell of bacon and textbooks. She tells them to all get in their costumes because they’re going to go Trick or Treating.

The day late Huang Halloween is a success. Emery and Evan end up dressing as Barney the Dinosaur (I had a golden retriever as a kid who was older than the purple dinosaur, but I still got teased mercilessly for it circa 1993) and Short Round respectively. They both decide they care more about Trick or Treating with each other more than the specifics of their costume. The family hits up Honey’s house, where Honey is quite confused. Jessica reasons that if people keep their Christmas lights up for a month after the holiday, the Huangs should be able to celebrate Halloween one day late. Honey agrees and invites everyone in for a bath of her famous goo-latas. Nicole is there, and she thanks Eddie for making her party off the hook. Rumors about the cops breaking up the party have gone out of control, and now she’s super popular. It’s a Halloween miracle!

No comments:

Post a Comment