‘Fresh off the Boat’ Episode Review: “The Gloves Are Off”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 3, Episode 14: “The Gloves Are Off”
Original airdate February 21, 2017.

Microsynopsis:  Jessica unknowingly befriends Sarah (hellllooooo Heeaaatherrrrrrrr Lockleeeeeeear!), Marvin’s ex-wife and Nicole’s mom.  Honey is frustrated because Sarah hasn’t been doing her part in parenting Nicole responsibly.  Caught between friends, Jessica first attempts to bring Sarah and Honey together, but when that doesn’t work, she tries to get Sarah fired from her department store job, thinking she’s helping Honey out.  Emery is determined to prove that Grandma’s age qualifies her for an electric wheelchair, since Grandma doesn’t know how old she is.

Good:  I think there’s something wrong with me.  I watched this episode five times (this is how long it takes to put these reviews together most of the time), and while there are several laugh-aloud moments, I laughed hardest each time at this.

Emery:  I called the toll-free number and they said immobile seniors can qualify for a free Jazzy Powerchair, if they’re sixty-five or older.  And Grandma is…

Louis:  I don’t know.

Emery:  You don’t know?

Louis:  You don’t know!

Evan:  But she made you!

Louis: Do you know your mom’s age?

Emery: Thirty-one.

Evan:  Twenty-eight.

Eddie:  Forty-three.

Louis:  That’s the combination to the padlock on the shed.

You really had to be there.  It’s not nearly as funny read off a computer screen like this, although I just read it on the screen and laughed aloud again.

Bad:  Ugh.  Sarah calls Honey “hussy” and “whoreface,” and refers to Honey’s “slapping cakes” with Marvin.  Am I wrong about Fresh Off the Boat being a family show?

FOB moment:  Grandma says she doesn’t know the date or year of her birth because “when I was born, they didn’t keep good records.”

Soundtrack flashback:  Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession” (1993), which is a very good song, but with Heather Locklear guest-starring, it would have been so, so, so much cooler to get one song each from Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, and Jack Wagner.  Darn it.

Final grade, this episode:  This is an interesting episode, because the A plot is really more about Honey and Sarah than about Honey and Jessica.  I can’t think of a time on this program when the central story wasn’t about one of the Huangs.  And the B plot is mostly all Grandma, and Grandma has the funniest lines.  I liked seeing Louis, Jessica, Eddie, Emery, and Evan all relegated for one week to supporting roles.  Also, I still think there’s something subversive going on with the language.  There’s mention of “secret mating habits of the whale shark” early in the episode, and later we get “hussy,” “whoreface,” “fake clankers,” and “slapping cakes.”  Someone break this down for me, please.  B+.

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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