On Fresh Off The Boat season 4 episode 7, “The Day After Thanksgiving,” Louis sets his mother up with her English teacher. Jessica tries to manipulate Grandma Huang into giving her her wheelchair for Black Friday. And Eddie and Emery scar Evan with the movie, I Know What You Did Last Summer.
This episode of Fresh Off the Boat shows Jessica and Grandma Huang bond, Louis’s good intentions makes Thanksgiving go awry and we get some really good brother bonding between Eddie, Emery and Evan. This was another good installment of a really good season. The season fills the gaps missing in previous seasons and stretches its narrative in the ample space it left in the sitcom genre.
Playing to Their Strengths
Grandma Huang, Jessica and Louis
Fresh Off The Boat plays well to each character’s strengths this episode. Jessica continues to be manipulative but also very perceptive. She sees a chance to get Grandma Huang’s wheelchair and she takes it, but she also knows that Grandma Wong is just playing up to her professor in order to get a good ESL grade.
Louis, bless his soul, still lets his good intentions get the better of him. He actually thinks that Grandma Huang wants to be with the professor because she feels lonely. Although it isn’t far-fetched for retired people around her age to feel lonely and purposeless. I highly doubt Grandma Huang has felt any of these things.
She collects bank at her Mahjong and bingo tournaments with all her friends, her love life has not been slow whatsoever, and when she gets bored, she simply manipulates her grandsons and watches the show. This woman continues to be the OG we know her to be, she’s not wallowing in-need of her son’s cupid abilities.
Eddie, Emery and Evan
This episode finds a new and slightly more interesting way to play to Evans characterization. He not only outsmarts his brothers into taking him to the store, he also shows his rebellion against Jessica through an act fitting of his age: rated R movies.
Of course, Eddie would be the one to talk his brother’s into watching a very scary movie and convince Emery that really cool socks are the key to going girl-hunting at the skating rink. Shout out to Eddie’s Wu-Tang Clan knee-highs. Playing to the strengths of our core cast really lended to a wholesome and interesting episode. As I explain in my Fresh Off the Boat Season 4 Episode 6 review, in a season full of personality growth, character changes and matured themes, it’s nice to know they won’t change the core of the show we’ve come to know and love.
Breaking New Ground
Jessica and Grandma Huang
Fresh Off the Boat‘s decision to more with their characters and put them in fresh situations acts as a major reason why this season is turning out to be much better than season 3. Fresh Off the Boat season 4 episode 7 gives Jessica and Grandma Huang’s relationship a lot more nuance, which I appreciate.
It’s easy to put women in antagonistic roles when they’re surrounded by men who can buffer their interactions. However, this episode takes some baby steps in rectifying this annoying trope in their series. My reaction was very much like Jessica’s when we found out that Grandma Huang likes her nail time with her. But it makes complete sense that Grandma Huang would cherish her girl time in a house full of rambunctious boys. Yes, Louis, that includes you, ya big lovable man-child.
Grandma Huang’s savage quote makes the scene even better: “[I don’t look at you during our nail time] because I only keep my eyes on my enemies.” She is my spirit animal and everything that I want to be when I grow up.
The Rest of the Crew
I also enjoyed a fresh dose of the hardly-explored dynamics between Emery and Eddie. Honestly, I actually hoped to see them trying to pick up girls together. Now that Emery has hit puberty, I’m hoping the Fresh Off the Boat writers give my man some screentime worthy of his ongoing, life-changing development.
Speaking of life/changing developments, does anyone else that think Honey’s drunken wild night might be because of her own baby reservations? Like she’s trying to live out her youth for as long as she can before she has to settle down permanently for the child? I hope so, because if not… her scenes this episode were pointless and annoyingly took screen time from the new dynamics among the Huang family I’ve been waiting to see explored since season 2.
What did you guys think of Fresh Off the Boat Season 4 Episode 7? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!