Fresh Off the Boat recap: Season 3, Episode 7
With romantic relationships, there’s a small undercurrent that’s usually not addressed until it happens: How will both sets of parents get along? The question remained unanswered until one fated night an entire year into Eddie and Alison’s relationship. As far as the dads go, it goes too well.
The one-year anniversary arrives for the teenage couple, and Eddie had believed he and Alison agreed to skip gifts. Clearly, that was never discussed, as she delivers an A+ gift. It’s a homemade Flavor Flav clock with a picture of them inside — a clocket, if you will. All she asks from him is to do something a bit special and different than what they would usually do and check out Romeo + Juliet, the modern William Shakespeare remake with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.
While Eddie would rather catch Space Jam, Louis sees this as an opportunity to spread his love of The Bard. He’s long been a fan, leading to his offer to drive the young couple to the theater. But Louis encounters a forbidden bromance by way of Alison’s dad, Gary (guest star Cory Blevins). They immediately bond over their mutual love of Shakespeare and turn the date into a dads’ night at the cinema, coupled with regular fanboy yelling during Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 movie. Alison doesn’t even have the Goobers she requested — the parental pair snagged them.
Despite his occasional goofiness, Louis is wise. Eddie tells him about the situation, and his dad proves dads know things. When he courted Jessica, he had to move from guitar serenades to Shakespeare to the next thing to keep things fresh. He also recognizes there’s a Capulet-Montague situation brewing and decides to snuff it out by friend-dumping Gary, who saw his daughter hurting. “I haven’t seen Alison this upset since those wildebeests trampled Mufasa,” he reveals. Louis knows they’ll always be close when he hears the radio dedication of The Spin Doctors’ one hit: “From a Capulet to Montague, I’ll never forget when we were ‘Two Princes.'”
NEXT: A Tamagotchi turns Evan and Emery into bickering parents
Meanwhile, Evan and Emery had a parenting crisis of their own. Their cousin, Hennessy, sent over a Tamagotchi from Taiwan, and what seemed like a gift ended up to be more of a curse. “Hope you’re going to take better care of this than I did,” his letter reads. “Good luck. You’ll need it.” Their vow to be awesome co-parents (“We’ll be the best moms since Mom,” Evan asserts) of Jerry Orbach (yes, the toy is named after the Law & Order star) might have been made with good intentions, but it was later debunked as the needy pet revealed its true colors. No amount of cute wagon rides through the neighborhood would offset the constant beeping and need for care. Late nights lead to feuds. “You have it easy; all you do is you just ply Jerry with food to keep him quiet,” Emery accuses. “I feed him because he’s hungry,” Evan fires back. “All you do is play with him!” Suddenly, the virtual pet flatlines and meets his end. The boys hold a mini-funeral in the backyard and pay their respects (and ignore the beeping). Jessica even tears up…
… But not because of Jerry. It’s because she could have avoided jury duty had she told the court she was not yet a U.S. citizen. Jessica listens to another member of the jury and tries to parlay perceived fandom of L.A. Law into escaping the court — but that’s what subjects her to it. A PSA from Gail O’Grady (of NYPD Blue fame) didn’t sell her on it, but becoming the foreperson — in her mind, “jury boss” — would have. Alas, her fellow jurors picked mild-mannered Harvey (Veep‘s Brian Huskey) for the gig instead. After a failed bribe attempt, Jessica goes so far as to hold up (for hours) what should have been simple deliberations so she can become foreperson. Once obtained, she errs by editorializing her reading of the verdict and letting a for-sure perpetrator of arson off with a mistrial.
It’s time for the weekly dose of nostalgia in these recaps. The ’90s moments, ranked:
5. Too $hort: A seminal West Coast rapper, Too $hort’s Cocktails is the perfect album for a 2pac fan such as Eddie to pick up. Alison couldn’t get past the scantily clad woman on the album cover in a martini glass, which is fair.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio: Before he set sail on the ill-fated Titanic, Leo was the young heartthrob in Romeo + Juliet. Dave’s walk-by comment was spot-on: “Oh, Leo DiCaprio! He’s got star power.” Yes, he does, Dave. Yes, he does.
3. Discmans: Eddie mucked up his CD player with pasta sauce, as one does. He had no way to play his rap disk. Evan wouldn’t give his up: “My Discman is just for classical music and audiobooks. Not Too Dollar-Sign Hort.”
2. Zoobooks: Grandma Huang has a subscription to this kid’s magazine and was stoked to receive the penguins issue. “I love these panda birds,” she exclaimed. They’re definitely no. 2 in her life, behind Garfield.
1. Tamagotchi: This toy seemed to never be quiet or run out of batteries. The pixelated pet was also so needy, as Evan and Emery found out, and impossible to please. He or she who has not killed their Tamagotchi throws the first stone.
Episode grade: A-
Eddie Huang’s memoir adaptation tells the comical adjustments of a Taiwanese-American family settling into the wild ways of ’90s Orlando, Florida.