The second episode on a double new week of Fresh Off the Boat didn’t quite live up to the last episode, but it wad a hard act to follow with all that heart. The episode starts strong with all the Huang’s together at Cattlemans, meeting Matthew’s family [the Chestnuts], and a hilarious proud mom brag battle between Jessica amd Amy (Angela Martin of The Office fame).
Unfortunately, the episode splits into three seperate storylines, which has always pulled their episodes a little thin, and is especially noticeable after such a successful two storyline episode.
Louis storyline is the thinnest. He spends the entire episode jealous that all of his customers are obsessed with Kenny Rogers and crediting him for everything Cattlemans. He enlists Matthew to help by putting “Louis Huang’s Five Alarm Chili” on the menu, which no one wants to order. Matthew shows friendship when he orders a bowl to market it and has an allergic reaction, causing the chili to become infamously spicy and a smash hit. Extra points for Matthew’s new nickname “cream cheese” but there just wasn’t enough meat to their chili storyline.
The real beefy storyline was Jessica and Evan when they see a “student of the month” bumper sticker and storm the school to fimd out why Evan didn’t get it. Apparently it isn’t just for grades, but also community, so after all the bragging to Mrs. Chestnut and the new push for Student of the Month, Evan feels pressured beyond his limits, and his new found participation in clubs his own age reveals his trouble connecting with his peers.
After he lashes out at a dance planning meeting and glitters a girl in the face, he is sent to the school counselor and takes to the idea of therapy very well. Jessica is of course mortified and we get hilarious interactions with the counselor. I think the episode hits its peak when Jessica and Evan see Mrs. Chestnut at the store and Jessica feels embarassed about admitting Evan’s therapy and spikes a box out of Amy’s hand. It’s hilarious. But after giving Evan a panic attack at dinner and talking to Louis and doing research Jwssica comes around to therapy, and once she finds out its free at the school that’s all it took to resolve thst storyline.
Grandma Huang ties the goofy storyline with Eddie and Emery back in with her missing bra. The Chestnut’s son had made the Huang boys feel inferior and made them practice bra-removal….with the only bra they could find, grandma’s. It’s awkward and they struggle and its a little more adult than I want to see the kids on the show, but at 14 and 13 I suppose we should expect as much.
Next week is the Chinese New Year special so don’t miss out on a Huang family holiday!