Jack and Diane decide it’s time to find identities outside of being twins
Tonight’s episode of Black-ish is all about Jack and Diane. No, not the song by John Mellencamp — though the twins do learn what that song is really about. It’s all about Diane and Jack Johnson and their fight for independence from each other. And funnily enough, our B-plot involving Zoey and Dre revolves around independence (and trust) as well.
JACK AND DIANE
Dre begins his weekly narration by explaining the bond that twins have with one another: “Twins: Nature’s weirdos. some cultures kill them immediately, and I get that.” They’re “womb-mates,” best friends who always have someone to do things with, they even haunt hotels together (A+ The Shining reference, especially when paired with Jack and Diane’s The Shining costumes). But that bond doesn’t seem so strong between Dre’s own kids.
While Jack seems pretty content telling Diane all of his mundane stories about what he ate at school and which boy dropped his phone in the toilet (a story I would definitely chuckle at), Diane has just about had enough. She tells Bow, with Jack standing right next to her, that she’s done being a twin. Her whole life she’s been known as “Jack and Diane.” And now it’s time for her to just be “And Diane.” Jack still can’t understand what’s so wrong with being his twin, Diane comes clean: She has hated her twin brother a little more each day. Those stories he loves to tell are grating at this point, and sharing a room is another big issue.
Long story short, it’s time for Jack to move out and Diane to assert her independence. Jack is relegated to sleeping in Junior’s closet, paying “rent” in the form of jelly beans, and having to listen to Junior’s night terrors (an affliction apparently Jack also shares) while Diane gets to sleep snow angel style on both of the twins’ beds. Even at school, Diane ditches her brother.
Although at first things don’t look so great for Jack on his own, he quickly forges his own path…at the cool kids’ table, a table which includes the grandson of none other than Al freakin’ Pacino.
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Diane realizes that she’s played her hand all wrong, and while Bow attempts to show she knows all about psychology (or is it psychiatry? Don’t ask Bow) by trying to start a “mediation” between the twins, Diane pretends to have a change of heart and take Jack back. Funny thing is, now Jack is the one who is enjoying life outside of twindom. My how the tables have turned.
Eventually, Diane’s only real friend left at lunch is her substitute teacher. But when Pacino’s grandson insults his twin, Jack immediately rushes to her rescue. And the twins independently realize just how great it is to be together.
Jack and Diane reunite no thanks to Bow’s psychology, but all thanks to the fact that somehow Dre and Bow raised four great kids.
DRE AND ZOEY
Speaking of another great kid, Dre finally realizes that his baby girl, Zoey, deserves her own car. After taking Zoey to the car while wearing a blindfold, Dre reveals his present. Zoey initially believes that the bow, not the car, is the actual present, but Dre quells her worries.
Instantly we switch gears from a fictional show about a loving, insane family to a product placement for Buick, especially when Ruby believes the car was bought for her own purposes (because apparently all the greats take care of their mamas. You know, like Chris Brown… YIKES). But thankfully, we switch back when Dre shows his co-workers Zoey’s new present. They all seem mighty impressed that Dre would be so willing and excited to buy his teenage daughter a “mobile sex box.”
As they explain, Dre’s happiness over the car’s special features aren’t so exciting anymore, as each one of those features sounds more and more sexual: Noise-canceling sound system, tight space maneuverability, Wi-Fi hotspot, condom compartment… (Wait. Scratch that last one.)
Because Dre is way to susceptible to other people’s opinions (especially his co-workers), he instantly regrets his gift to Zoey. He further falls down that rabbit hole and agrees with Ruby about all the ridiculous things Zoey must first learn before she can get behind her first set of wheels, and it’s not about just passing the driver’s test. She must learn how to change the tires, change the oil, learn a few extra languages.
And since she is her father’s daughter, Zoey agrees to this impossible challenge and manages to succeed in every single task (including picking up German). But as we all know, there was no way Dre was still going to give Zoey the car after all the hard work she put into acing her stupid tests.
NEXT: Dre learns Zoey’s true character
Zoey lashes out but later takes the car without permission. When she brings it back, she faces the wrath of Ruby (who is more worried about her presets than her granddaughter’s life), as well as the wrath of her father who grounds her for stealing the car…until he realizes that all Zoey did was go to the library and back. Dre’s worries about his daughter’s potential irresponsible behaviors stemmed from both his own experiences and his co-workers paranoia. But in the end, Dre realizes that he does have great kids that know being trustworthy and good are two of the most important qualities.
“You do your best to raise good kids, and whether you like it or not, as they get older, you have to trust them and support them, even if you don’t always understand them. And hopefully if you do your job right, when you’re gone, they’ll still always be there for one another.”
Well said, Black-ish. Well said, indeed.
BEST LINES OF THE NIGHT:
Bow: “You and Diane go together like peanut butter and…”
Jack: “My own room.”
“Are you familiar with the term ‘sublet’?” —Junior, explaining the rules of his room to his brother
“Someone obviously woke up on the wrong side of the bed…for the 300th morning in a row.” —Bow, about Diane’s severity over hating Jack
“Half an hour, and no twist. It’s like an episode of Entourage.” —Diane, analyzing Jack’s terrible stories
Diane: “Do you have any idea what it feels like to be permanently hitched to an embarrassing dope who can barely even take care of himself? [Dre walks in and trips over himself instantly.] “Really think about what we just talked about.”