‘Fresh off the Boat’ Episode Review: “This Isn’t Us”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 3, Episode 23: “This Isn’t Us”
Original airdate May  15, 2017.

Microsynopsis:  The Huangs move out of their rental, to the sadness of Honey, Marvin, and Eddie’s crew.  The boys agree to get matching tattoos to symbolize their brotherhood, but Eddie soon discovers that the bike ride from his new house to his old ‘hood is longer than it looks.  Louis is also taken aback by the distance he now commutes to the restaurant, and at first he doesn’t enjoy his new home because Jessica insists the family, now that it has spent all its savings, is “house poor,” which translates into never turning on the hot tub or the heated floors, and not making use of the house’s other amenities.  Emery points out to Evan that his new school blazer is made in China, and he’s been reading about the Kathie Lee Gifford sweatshop mess.  The younger Huang boys approach Evan’s headmaster (Dr. Johnny Feeeeeeeeeever!) who is not impressed by the stance they are taking.

Good:  I’m really liking the young man Emery is becoming.  He’s one of the more interesting characters on the show by virtue of being the least quirky, least troublesome member of the family.  He had a couple of psycho moments early in the season, but on the whole, he’s the Huang I’d most want to be friends with.  No wonder the ladies love him.  It’s also neat to see how Evan’s closeness to Jessica manifests itself in his feisty approach to this blazer problem.  He’s been a snotty, annoying little punk almost all year, but outside the confines of his family, he’s twice as shrewd as Eddie and maybe as subversive.  I’m not sure, but I think Eddie’s crew is still hanging out in Eddie’s old driveway.  Pretty cute.

Bad:  You’d think what’s essentially a two-parter could have gone a little bit deeper, but for some reason FOtB has avoided depth for the second half of the season.  It’s annoying.  The story has some potential, especially with the members of this family kind of spreading out in different directions, yet just as it’s getting intriguing, everyone is yanked back to where we started by the usual Jessica stuff.

FOB moment:  Grandma believes the new house is haunted, so she encircles her power chair with candles.

Soundtrack flashback:  “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton (1990).  Again.  Twice.

Final grade, this episode: I’ll save my thoughts abourt the third season for a lookback next week.  On its own, this is a weak way to go out and a disappointing conclusion for a season finale.   C.

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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