Sunday, January 28, 2018

Fresh off the Boat 4.06: "A League of Her Own"

“God I love this team. I feel like Joe Torre but with better hair!”

This particular episode of “Fresh off the Boat” was all about the warm fuzzies. Louis and Jessica end up coaching opposing softball teams, and while that doesn’t sound obviously warm and fuzzy, we learn about Louis and Jessica in the process and they both learn to be better sports. This also happens to be the episode where Nicole finally comes out to Honey and Marvin. While it’s a bit of a rocky road with Marvin (Honey is supportive from the beginning), Marvin is adorably accepting by the end of the episode. Really, Nicole’s story is responsible for most of the warm fuzzies. It was also fun to see the ladies of the Denim Turtle embrace Nicole. They’ve got “Come to My Window” by Melissa Ethridge queued up in the sound system ready to celebrate and everything. Also Jessica realizing that being a Lesbian is a thing is pretty darn hilarious. She just can’t grasp the concept that someone might not find Denzel hot. Who knew?

The episode opens with Jessica and Honey at the Denim Turtle. Jessica is commenting on how the bar should be trying to attract more business from men, and it’s clear that she doesn’t realize her favorite watering hole is actually a Lesbian bar. Of course, at that moment, Nicole shows up, and both she and her step mom are both understandably surprised to see each other there. Nicole says she’s not there to drink (which is good, considering she’s underage and all). She just wants to join the bar’s softball team. She ends up coming out to Honey. It’s entertaining watching the ladies getting ready to celebrate the coming out. They have options ready for it going well or poorly. Thankfully, the coming out does go well, and Honey gives Nicole a big hug as Melissa Ethridge’s “Come to My Window” blasts on the sound system. This is also when Jessica realizes that being a Lesbian is a thing, and it’s absolutely hilarious. She knew men could be interested in men, but she didn’t know women could be interested in women. She’s not unsupportive, but she can’t comprehend how a woman might not find Denzel hot.

Cattleman’s Ranch is also fielding a softball team, and their first opponent is going to be none other than the Denim Turtle. Matthew Chestnut, the business guy who has been brought in by Kenny Rogers, is not happy about the softball team at all. He thinks the team (uniforms, equipment, etc.) costs way too much. He thinks that if they ever won a game, maybe it could be justified. This leads the and Louis to make a bet. If the Cattleman’s team wins one game, they will be allowed to keep the team. Marvin tries to help Louis out by getting the team a ringer – somebody famous from the Miami Marlins for whom Marvin has done dental work. Jessica doesn’t seem especially supportive of Louis’ efforts. She says she doesn’t have time to manage a softball team, which Louis says is fine, considering he’s the one doing the managing. This turns things into a competition for Jessica, who says she could manage any team to victory. She then shows up at the Denim Turtle with a massive History of Softball book. Deb happily turns the softball team over to her.

Now that Nicole is out to Honey and Jessica, she still struggling with how to come out to Marvin. This gets more complicated because apparently the Cattleman’s and Denim Turtle teams have practice at the same time at the same field, so Marvin and Nicole see each other (Marvin’s helping out with the Cattleman’s team, and when his ringer doesn’t show up, he decides he’s going to play himself – apparently he’s really good at softball). Marvin makes a joke that he hopes the softball team is the only Denim Turtles team Nicole is playing for, and Nicole is mortified. Nicole decides she’s going to come out to Marvin for real at movie night, but she chickens out.

Meanwhile, in much less serious news, Eddie loves his Cattleman’s softball team jersey that says “Bootyman” on the back, and he keeps hiding and such at practices because he doesn’t want to get it dirty. Then he “injures” himself before a game to take the need for jersey cleanliness further.” Chestnut says they’ll have to forfeit, but Louis has another idea. Louis tells Eddie to hand over the Bootyman jersey to Chestnut so he can play. Chestnut turns out to be a horrible, horrible softball player, but he’s incredibly happy that Louis let him play. He felt very left out by not being on the Roasters kickball team, which is why he was so anti-the Cattleman’s softball team. He thought it would just be another opportunity for him to be singled out in a negative way and cut from a sports team.

Before the big game, Jessica accidentally lets slip to Marvin that Nicole is gay. Jessica, in her defense, thought Nicole had already said what she was going to say at movie night. Instead, Nicole complained that she had wanted to play shortstop, but Jessica insisted she had to play first base. That’s what Marvin was trying to talk to Jessica about, not Nicole’s sexual orientation. Marvin then asks Nicole directly if she’s gay, and Nicole tells him the truth. Marvin seems surprised, and he’s kind of a mess for most of the big softball game, throwing things around in a rage. Near the end of the game, though, when Nicole is about to score a run, Marvin cuts in and gives her a big hug. He says he regrets making the joke earlier, and he’s supportive of her. Ultimately, the Denim Turtle team wins the game, but Chestnut says that Cattleman’s can keep their team anyway. And poor Eddie, his Bootyman jersey gets doused in celebratory Gatorade.

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