Fresh Off the Boat, Season 2, Episode 12: “Love and Loopholes”
Original airdate February 9, 2016.
Microsynopsis: Honey and Marvin offer to sit Emery and Evan so Louis and Jessica can have a date night without the kids. Marvin and the boys play a game of dares, sending Emery back to his house to make some mischief. Emery walks in on his parents and is disappointed by what he sees, inspiring him to tear down his bedroom Love Wall, a collection of mementos and tributes to love.
Eddie, with Trent’s help, takes Alison to the Janet Jackson concert, where at first they are disappointed by not getting in, but then rewarded (in a way) for their fandom.
Good: I like an episode that plays directly off of one of Emery’s established character quirks, and that (despite his apparent precociousness on the subject of love) he learns that it’s a lot more than he thinks it is. Marvin has been a strange, benevolent, avuncular, two-dimensional character throughout this series, but he’s given a rare chance here to interact directly with Evan and Emery. His eagerness and aptitude in taking care of the boys hints at deeper characteristics we haven’t glimpsed until now.
I love it when Louis and Jessica argue, but I love it more when they’re conspiring on the same side, and the reveal, when Emery walks in on them, is the kind of thing that makes me love them both even more. And the physical comedy they perform when they’re trying to pose for Emery’s photo is hilarious.
Bad: In just the past year, Eddie and his family have met Shaquille O’Neal, DMX, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis. We’re supposed to believe this? Ugh.
FOB moment: I can’t find one this week! It’s okay. I think I’ll live.
Soundtrack flashback: “Escapade” and “Nasty by Janet Jackson (sung by Trent), and “If” by Janet Jackson (short music video clip).
Final grade, this episode: I enjoy the way we see Honey and Marvin’s weirdness turn into interesting, sincere character development. There’s a level of sympathy and understanding they have for the Huangs that serves more than just the setting and plots of Fresh off the Boat, and it does the entire show a lot of good to get them this involved in the family’s life. It suggests to me that there may be hope for Mitch and Nancy at Cattleman’s Ranch. Another good episode. B+.