Fresh Off the Boat recap: Keep 'Em Separated
I would jump into this recap right away, but I’m afraid Louis is going to barge in and interrupt like he did Jessica and Honey’s book/wine club. The real estate duo hasn’t been able to hang out in a long time to shoot the breeze and discuss hypothetical haunting targets if they were ghosts. Ever since he allowed Mitch to close up Cattleman’s, Louis has been getting home earlier, which means kicking it with the ladies, which means stealing Honey’s glass of wine, which means following them around and latching on.
Louis hasn’t had time to develop bona fide friendships since opening the restaurant. He used to shoot pool back in D.C. with Hank, so for purely selfish reasons, Jessica goes all out — buying an elite pool cue; researching a list of local pools halls; and providing step-by-step driving directions — to encourage Louis into getting back to becoming the king of the green felt.
The plan works! He hits up an establishment and is right back in his element, even finding a new pool partner-in-crime: Toni. Jessica is upset to learn that Toni is a woman. While Jessica is concerned, Honey initially thinks it’s okay… until she talks herself out of it: “Jessica, it’s the ’90s. It’s normal to have friends of the opposite sex,” she says. “In fact, Marvin and I were friends for months before… we got to see this bitch.”
Toni is Jessica’s nightmare: Even if “Black Velvet” weren’t playing in the bar, Toni is still attractive. Any issue she had with wanting solo hanging out time is overwhelmed by sheer jealousy and the small chance Louis would cheat on her. Although Louis assures her that his connection with Toni is only pool-related, Jessica sets rules for the friendship. They are so ridiculously oppressive that Louis ponders seeking another pool partner. Ever the ambitious ideas person, Jessica tries to fill that void, but after a disastrous round at Cue-Tips, Jessica concedes she might have been wrong and allows Louis to have this part of his life outside of their relationship — even if pool time with Toni can only go down at the Denim Turtle, under the watchful eye of Deb the bartender.
Jealousy popped up Eddie, too, when he learns that Nicole was dumped by Chris. Even though things are still going well with Alison, he still has a crush on his next door neighbor. So he asks her on an ice cream “date.” Dave raises concern with knowledge extracted from Maury: “Chicks can’t have their men hanging out with single chicks.”
But Eddie decides to take Brian’s take on the situation instead: Listen to The Offspring’s advice and ensure Nicole and Alison never interact. It all went well at lunch, but the five dudes can’t control powwows that transpire in the girl’s bathroom. The two actually bonded and exchange accessories to the boys’ utter confusion. When talking on the phone later, Alison mentions she knew Eddie once crushed on Nicole — and is cool with it. He didn’t reciprocate the chillness when she reveals she was into Dave once upon a time.
Eddie actually has zero chill about this and decides to take it out on Dave: He spies his friend setting up a squirrel trap and throws out: “Too bad you didn’t make a dad trap, huh, Dave?” It’s a line that most would only imagine saying to their 7th grade enemies, yet Eddie can’t control himself and drops it on his best friend. Alison rightfully damns the act and the future ice cream meet-up with Nicole. Eddie realizes his hurtful misstep and apologizes to Dave with a Choco Taco; whether this strains his relationship with Alison remains to be seen.
Now it’s time for the weekly dose of nostalgia in these recaps, the ’90s moments, ranked:
9. Maury: Who hasn’t killed an afternoon with a Maury marathon?
8. Redbook: Jessica wanted to harvest the perfume samples for Grandma Huang’s birthday present, but Eddie ended up boosting it to fawn over Whitney Houston on the cover. Grandma probably caught wind of that plan, leading to her button-pushing comment that Louis is definitely trying to replace Jessica.
7. “Baby, Baby” by Amy Grant: Only Jessica would walk into a crusty pool hall and hijack the jukebox by playing this sappy song over and over again.
6. “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles: The late ’80s single scored the introduction of Toni. It also scored dudes picking out leftovers with a toothpick and unscrunching a wedgie. Counter to Honey’s claim, neither act was made sexy by Myles’ cut.
5. The Offspring: The California punk band inspired the name of this episode, quoting their hit “Come Out and Play.” The plan worked in theory, but not in practice. Not everything can be as unwavering as Dexter Holland’s voice is to Father Time. (It hasn’t changed ever.)
4. Louis and Toni’s debate: It’s the grand question of our time. Who would win in a fight: a Cabbage Patch Kid possessed by a demon or Teddy Ruxpin with a Metallica tape in him? Since it’s a Master of Puppets cassette, Ruxpin for sure. Can you imagine the soft teddy bear destroying the awkward infant doll scored to “Battery”?
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3. Mario Van Peebles: I wonder what performance elevated Van Peebles to such rarified air for Alison. Did she sneak into a New Jack City screening when she was little? Was she all about Highlander: The Final Dimension? Please advise.
2. Jerky Boys CDs: A teenage boy owns prank call compilations. This checks out.
1. Using Terminator 2 for breakup purposes: Hot Dumbass Chris was good at one thing save being attractive: The Dude had masterful movie quote recall: Remember how Nicole raved about his Forrest Gump impression? Sadly, he stoops to an accented one-liner to dump Nicole. Society can do better than this.
Fresh Off the Boat
Eddie Huang’s memoir adaptation tells the comical adjustments of a Taiwanese-American family settling into the wild ways of ’90s Orlando, Florida.