‘Fresh off the Boat’ Episode Review: “Louisween”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 3, Episode 3: “Louisween”
Original airdate October 25, 2016.

fotb_s03e03-45Microsynopsis:  It’s Louis’s favorite holiday, Halloween, and he’s as enthusiastic about it as ever, but Jessica refuses to participate even a little, choosing instead to work on her horror novel, A Case of a Knife to the Brain.  Louis takes her non-excitement as a challenge to scare her.  Eddie and his friends cancel trick-or-treating plans to attend the first party Nicole throws as a high-schooler.  When the party is a dud, Eddie’s friends bail, but Eddie sticks with his former crush.  Evan says he’s tired of being Emery’s sidekick in their coordinated Halloween costumes every year, so the brothers agree that Evan will choose this year’s costumes.

Good:  It was nice to see Honey and Nicole again, plus some peripheral characters from episodes past, such as Reba (the girl who has a crush on Eddie) and Shelly (played by Arden Belle) from last year’s Halloween episode.  Jessica has some good lines, and the costumes are fun–especially Honey as Elvira, and all of Eddie’s crew, four of whom have basketball-themed costumes.

fotb_s03e03-41Bad:  This is another one of the Louis-gets-carried-away episodes, and it’s mostly not very interesting or funny.  The stories resolve themselves in unnecessarily sappy ways, and the let’s-see-if-we-can-scare-Jessica sequences are kind of dumb.

FOB moment:  This is another episode without a real FOB moment, and it’s totally okay.  It’s good that the Huangs are having episodes where they could be any American TV family.

Soundtrack flashback: This is more like it.  “Who Will Save Your Soul” by Jewel (1995).  “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Doggy Dogg (1994), unbleeped during the “smokin’ indo, sippin’ on gin and juice” part.

Final grade, this episode:  The only thing saving the last few minutes is the further development of Eddie’s friendship with Nicole, which is turning into a special relationship that belongs pretty much only to Eddie.  Nicole has no real relationship with anyone else within the framework of this show, and we mostly see her only in the context of Eddie’s life.  This is the kind of richness that turns a good show into a great show, if the show can endure while continuing to develop it over the long haul, and although the critic in me probably would have found it a bit much, the fan in me misses Eddie’s season one voiceover, which could have been great in this spot.  B.

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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