Fresh Off the Boat, Season 2, Episode 9: “We Done Son”
Original airdate December 1, 2015.
Microsynopsis: Jessica and Honey, disagreeing about their investment house, have a falling out. Eddie takes a job helping hip-hop artist DMX with domestic chores. Louis opens his home to an old friend whom Jessica does not trust. J.B. Smoove and John Ross Bowie (Barry Kripke on The Big Bang Theory) also have guest roles.
Good: I am not a fan of cameo guest appearances in sitcoms; they’re gimmicky and cartoonish, and they tend to destroy the illusion actors work so hard to create. However, this DMX storyline is genuinely funny, and I admit I laughed aloud multiple times, even on repeated viewings. Jessica’s spat with Honey is well done, too, and it looks like the costumers had a lot of fun with Honey in this episode.
Fresh off the Boat has frequently been creative with camera angles and framing, and there are two shots this week I loved: Eddie’s first appearance at DMX’s door, in which he looks incredibly tiny in front of a Taj-Mahal-scale palace, and a cute inside-the-locker shot when Eddie takes his stress out on his girlfriend Alison.
Alison is such a normal person (hip-hop arrangements on piccolo aside), she lends believability to scenes at Eddie’s school and, in this episode, scenes away from school with Eddie’s friends. It’s not a huge role if you count the number of lines she delivers, but it’s playing a big part in the realness of Eddie’s world. Hers is an unexpectedly steadying influence.
Bad: The Louis story isn’t very interesting. J.B. Smoove is funny as always, but as Louis’s friend in the C plot, he basically serves only as contrast for Honey’s relationship with Jessica, and it feels like a distraction.
FOB moment: Jessica pays five hundred bucks a month for the advice of her fortune teller, Madame Xing.
Soundtrack flashback: “Born Loser” by DMX (1993).
Final grade, this episode: “We Done Son” has good laughs, fun visuals, and surprising dialogue. A strong episode for Jessica and Eddie. B.