Fresh Off the Boat, Season 4, Episode 17: “Let Me Go, Bro”
Original airdate February 27, 2018.
Synopsis: Eddie stuns his family when he announces he’s to be inducted into the National Honor Society. Evan isn’t surprised, but he’s furious with Eddie for not thanking him. Evan has secretly been supporting his brother’s good efforts because he’d like to visit him “at Stanford, not prison.” When Eddie says he doesn’t need Evan’s help, Evan schemes to set Eddie up for failure. Jessica, still getting notes from her editor for A Case of a Knife to the Brain, goes on a ride-along with police officer Bryson, in order to make her police language more realistic. She’s disappointed when Bryson’s work seems mostly to involve getting coffee and helping citizens bag their dog poop. Kenny Rogers tells Louis he’s going to sell back his half of Kenny Rogers’s Michael Bolton’s Cattleman’s Ranch, now dubbed Kenny O’Rogers’s Michael O’Bolton’s Cattleman’s O’Ranch in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Louis is overjoyed, but Kenny Rogers tells him he has to fire Matthew Chestnut, with whom Louis has developed a close friendship.
Know When To Hold ‘Em: Awww. We get a major, massive dose of Nice Guy Eddie, plus Evan in kind of a cute not-so-psycho-but-still-intense mode. Emery gets to play the amused observer, a role that suits him. I really like the way Emery’s character is growing. You’d like it if your daughter wanted to date him. Jessica gets to do some physical comedy that works well for her (including a textbook faint). And as I’ve said recently, Louis directing his energies for someone else’s benefit is one of the better Louises.
“Hey. I still need you. Do you want to make me pancakes or something?” (Emery to Evan)
“The Saturn is where we talk when things get real, and he said he wanted to make sure our safe space stayed safe.” (Nicole to Evan, about Eddie)
Know When To Fold ‘Em: This is just far too big a role for Bryson, who’s okay as a very minor character but annoying in anything larger. I’ve been glad to be rid of Mitch at Kenny Rogers’s Michael Bolton’s Cattleman’s Ranch, but Matthew Chestnut has been an equally irritating replacement. I would have welcomed his firing, but Louis keeps him aboard, which likely means we’re not through with him yet. Bleah.
FOB moment: Didn’t spot one this time. Did you?
Soundtrack flashback: “Insane in the Membrane” by Cypress Hill (1993), the second time this song has been used on FOtB. “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers (1978).
Final grade, this episode: Did anyone else think this had the feel of a series (not season) finale? If they cancel FOtB tomorrow, and this is the last we see of the Huangs, it would be a good note on which to part. I love Eddie in this, and I like the overall vibe of the whole episode. There’s a lot of vulnerability going on, and the actors are there for it. I’m pleased to see a strong episode that’s not one of my issues episodes! A-minus.