‘Fresh off the Boat’ Episode Review: “Keep ‘Em Separated”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 2, Episode 15: “Keep ‘Em Separated”
Original airdate March 8, 2016.

fotb s02 e15Microsynopsis: Now that he’s spending less time at the restaurant, Louis keeps intruding on Jessica’s time with Honey. To get him out of their hair, Jessica encourages Louis to get back into an old hobby: shooting pool. Louis jumps in with his usual unbridled enthusiasm, pleasing Jessica until she learns that his new partner is a woman. At school, Nicole breaks up with her boyfriend, which means she’s more available for hanging out with Eddie, but Eddie hasn’t yet told Alison that he used to have a crush on her. Alison turns out to be cool with it, but Eddie’s reaction, when he discovers that Alison used to have a crush on Dave, is not as understanding or tolerant.

Good: There are some really fun visual gags in this episode, as when one scene ends with Jessica saying that Louis “just needs a little nudge,” and the next scene begins with a shot of Louis’s pool cue nudging him in the arm. A slo-mo montage illustrating Honey’s point that “everything is sexy” when Alannah Miles’s “Black Velvet” is playing on the jukebox is pretty hilarious too.

We get a brief bit of mean Eddie, but he’s quick to see the error of his ways, and he immediately patches things up with Dave in a sweet scene in front of the ice cream truck. There must be something in the air lately, because there’s nothing especially creative, interesting, or even earned about the payoff, but dang it: I was still moved (I responded similarly to a touchy-feely moment in last week’s Dr. Ken). It’s nice when good characters recognize the goodness in each other and put a voice on it. Like almost everything else in this episode, it works for me.

fotb s02 e15Bad: I like it best when an episode’s stories are Eddie-centric and Louis-Jessica-centric, as most episodes were in the first season. The downside is less screen time for Emery and Evan. And this is really picking nits, but the episode is named after a line in everyone’s favorite Offspring song, which Walter even quotes, but the song itself is nowhere to be heard.

FOB moment: There is one strange, funny moment in Jessica’s list of rules for Louis having female friends when she slips into a very FOB inflection (the part where she talks about the lazy eye).

Soundtrack flashback: “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles (1989), “La Grange” by ZZ Top (1973), “Baby Baby” by Amy Grant (1991). And for the third time in three Denim Turtle appearances, I cannot recognize the song that’s playing when the ladies are in the bar. Also: anyone know what that song is when Louis first shoots pool? It has lyrics that sound like “Luanne,” “dance until the sun comes up,” and “…can’t stand still.”

Final grade, this episode: Boy was this a fun episode. I laughed almost all the way through. B+.

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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