Fresh Off the Boat recap: Rent Day
Louis teaches Eddie a lesson on responsibility — which backfires
The day is finally here for Jessica, Honey, and Grandma Huang: Their renovated house is on the market and ready to sell! Grandma even has cookies on hand to peddle to potential buyers. A man visiting can’t help but poke holes in the listing, but ends up making an offer anyway. It almost closes before he says something to provoke Jessica’s hubris: He’s going to rent out the house and make a huge profit.
It takes about 4 seconds before he’s kicked out. Jessica wants to makes money on the house instead of breaking even after fixing everything up and eradicating termites. “Why buy a sickly cow, and fatten it up, and sell it for beans?” she asks her two partners. “No: You milk that cow every month, for 300 years.” So they pivot to the rental business, under Jessica’s stewardship.
After a thorough search, she finds a seemingly perfect couple who say they moved from law to the more practical field of medicine and insist they do not want kids. They sold themselves to Jessica well enough to become her first tenants. Hurray! Honey is thrilled to have her own income — what she calls “Honey Money” — and Grandma is so ready for a celebratory Buca di Beppo trip. But a bank teller calls Jessica and reveals the check is no good. “I know it’s confusing,” he tells her. “The word ‘bounce’ seems so positive — like Tigger.”
It turns out that this couple is kind of the worst. Neither has a job and all they do is order in pizza and play video games. They were frankly surprised after their application was approved after a credit perusal. “Credit checks are fluff. This is my credit check,” Jessica asserts while pointing to her stomach, “my gut.”
Nevertheless, they’re going to abuse squatter rights and stay in the house until further notice. Jessica pulls over Officer Bryson in his squad car and learns about the harsh realities of the protections renters have. “So they can just stay in my house, not pay rent, and I can’t do anything about it?” she bewilderingly asks Bryson. “These people are not my mother-in-law!” Not even shutting off the power, turning off the water, and to siccing a stray cat on chickens could deter them.
Jessica, faced with defeat and a hurting bank account, fesses up to Honey about the predicament. She was too worried her self-assigned title of visionary would be ruined. Honey lets her know that her hero, Oprah, did not give up after she was fired. “Did she take her lapel mic and go home?” Honey asks. (We all know she didn’t.) The house ends up being hocked, but instead of each of the trio cashing in, Jessica convinces them to look to the bright Floridian future: condos.
Meanwhile, Eddie and Louis are mired in mysteries. Eddie wants a fancy Timex Ironman Watch for all the adventures a teenage boy could possibly muster. Louis, though, is skeptical he would actually care for it. Thus, he presents a challenge for his son: Take care of his beloved gold Casio for a week, and he’d consider gifting a timepiece.
Plot twist! The watch goes missing after Eddie’s shower. Another plot twist! Louis saw it sitting out, thought his eldest was being reckless, took it back, and lost it himself. Both hire the services of The Huang Boys (a.k.a. Emery and Evan) to locate the lost watch. Given their perfect nine-for-nine case record, it appears no mystery is too big for them.
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It turns out Eddie was the most responsible one. Louis bought a replacement watch because he felt bad. The Huang Boys also dug up a watch. But it was really Grandma who took the original watch from Louis to teach him a lesson for teaching his son a lesson. The two youngest kids crack and cop to buying a watch to keep their perfect record intact. “I guess the real victim in all this was the truth,” Emery concedes. “I’m too young for this crap,” Evan adds.
Now it’s time for the weekly dose of nostalgia in these recaps, the ’90s moments, ranked:
6. Chipwiches: They are still delicious, and I wish a friend would make them rain like Jessica did.
5. Crossword puzzles: These are still great and were an awesome way for kids and parents to bond. Both Eddie and Louis are into it — for a while. Once Emery and Evan uncover the TV remote, Louis is OUT.
4. Babe: Why was the TV remote found in the pantry, you might ask? Louis hid in there with it to cry after watching the moving tale about everyone’s favorite underdog pig. Who among us didn’t cry after Arthur uttered those timeless words, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do”?
3. “Sound of da Police” by KRS-One: The “whoop whoop” sound has been extracted and used myriad times, but KRS is awesome. This is assuredly on one of Eddie’s rap mixtapes.
2. Calculators on watches: Sure, they were helpful at one time. But with smartphones, thy look ridiculous.
1. Ford Probe: This car oozed the ’90s. Honey’s leased car was produced from 1989 to 1997 (one year later in show time). It became the Mercury Cougar for a couple years before it permanently went away.
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.