‘Fresh off the Boat’ Episode Review: “We Need to Talk About Evan”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 4, Episode 15: “We Need to Talk About Evan”
Original airdate January 30, 2018.

Synopsis:  Evan and Jessica notice a Student of the Week at Abraham Lincoln Elementary bumpersticker on someone else’s minivan.  Shocked that such a thing would exist and not go to Evan, they are determined to ramp up their Good Student game.  Evan joins the School Dance committee and the French club.  He organizes a school garden.  And in a moment of breaking under pressure, he throws glitter in a girl’s face.  He is referred to Mr. Tim, the school counselor, which Jessica does not take well, since “counselor is school language for therapist.”

Louis is tired of so many things on the menu at Kenny Rogers’s Michael Bolton’s Cattleman’s Ranch being named for Kenny Rogers, so he names the chili Louis Huang’s Five-Alarm Chili, but nobody wants to order it.

Eddie and Emery decide it’s time they learned to unhook a bra.  Grandma’s bra.  On a pillow.’

Some good lines:

Older kid: You guys know how to take off a bra?
Evan: Goodbye.

Eddie: I’ve got mad bra game.
Emery: Yes.  I, too, have bra experience.

Evan: Real corn is not nibblets in a can!  Sorry to blow your mind!

Jessica: My axe is love.

Grandma: Evan!  Breathe into your mother’s knock-off purse!

Chuck D:  Okay, although it’s kind of ridiculous, there’s something pretty dang funny and cutting edge about teenaged brothers puzzling together over unhooking a bra.  I was disappointed that ABC didn’t provide a promo photo of the boys and their pillow, because it’s a hilarious image.  And what they do with it at the very end of the episode, when Evan oberves them with a Mrs. Claus lawn figure, has to be a first in broadcast TV.

Although the rest of the episode is nothing to get excited about, it’s nice to see the return of Port in a Storm Louis.  His talk with Jessica about helping Evan is nice to hear.  I had flashbacks to Richie and Howard Cunningham, and that’s seldom a bad thing.

Vanilla Ice:  The other two (or three, depending on if you count the framework of the rival moms) stories are just kind of terrible.  As soon as Louis says, “Shall we take a joint family road trip to the Grand Canyon?” I knew his part of the episode was going to be terrible.

FOB moment:  This is weak, but the best I can do is, “I would love to cook you a traditional Taiwanese meal.”

Soundtrack flashback:  Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” (1991).

Final grade, this episode:  I’m beginning to feel bad, but I have to be honest.  The stories are beginning to feel like variations on established themes with no real character growth in the adults.  I can see now why the writers want Honey to have a baby.  It gets Honey more involved (always a good thing) and breathes some fresh life into the cast.  It’s not really working.  This season seemed promising with Eddie, Emery, and Nicole getting into some new stuff, and that’s consistently been interesting, and with Grandma’s taking English classes, but that arc seems to have ended.  Now I just feel like I’m riding out the season. C+.




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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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