Tiger Woods fever has hit FRESH OFF THE BOAT this week. The Huang family take their obsession with the golfer to new heights once Jessica (Constance Wu) finds out that Tiger is half Asian. With Jessica and Louis (Randall Park) using Eddie (Hudson Yang) and Evan (Ian Chen) as pawns in a bet to see who’s the better parent, Emery (Forrest Wheeler) is trying to convince the entire school that Tiger is, in fact, half Asian. The Tiger quest is a curious one this week. And one that brings back some memories.
Let me paint a picture and set the stage here, so context can be provided for just how big Tiger Woods was before his fall from grace. Seeing a black golfer took on a meaningful impact on my family, just as it did with the Huangs. My family never once watched golf unless it was Michael Jordan (only thing anyone should be watching him do is playing basketball) and once Tiger hit the scene is was golf non-stop. Now imagine being a kid around Emery’s age (a tad younger) and seeing basically a unicorn in the golfing world. I was just as enraptured as well. For about fifteen minutes a game. Seriously, try watching golf outside of Happy Gilmore and The Greatest Game Ever Played. Golf is even fun to play, but how people watch it is beyond me. But, Tiger was someone who inspired aspirations in the black community. You could literally do anything if you put your mind to it. He was Barack Obama before Barack Obama.
Now if you’re curious about Tiger’s fall you’re gonna have to Google that as I will not get into that here. At all. With that said, it’s no surprise that when Jessica finds out that Tiger has an Asian mom (no thanks to Evan’s big mouth), that this would incite competition of some sort. Jessica backhandedly insults Louis about parenting leading to a “friendly competition”. With Evan being Jessica’s pick (was it gonna be anyone else?) and Emery being off the table as he’s too good at everything, Louis takes Eddie. Eddie berates his little brother (as he should) for getting them into this mess in the first place. Louis being the bright optimist that he has more success with Eddie than Jessica does with Evan. Louis ribbing Jessica in the golf shop, and seeing Eddie doing so well, approaches Louis in swapping sons to which he agrees as he says he can win with either son. Evan is hurt of course.
All of the hard training that Jessica drives upon Eddie makes him worse as well. Jessica comes home to see Evan doing well with Louis (as Louis bought Evan a mini put-put to practice in the driveway), Jessica realizes she’s the worst parent which makes Grandma Jenny happy as she rubs it in. Louis tries to cheer Jessica up after she concedes. But it’s no use as on the fairway the next day both Eddie and Emery thrive reinforcing Louis as the better parent (Louis got Eddie Cinnabon beforehand). After Eddie suggests Mexican eggrolls, Jessica goes to get a platter of said eggrolls. On her way to get Eddie’s snack, she spots Kultida Woods enjoying lunch at the clubhouse. Jessica approaches Kultida about how can she stand to see Earl, her husband, get all the acclaim for Tiger’s success? Kultida says she never took a soft approach with Tiger saying discipline never has an immediate result and may even look like a failure, but it lays a strong foundation. She says Earl gets the credit because the work is behind the scenes and you cannot watch your child shine when the spotlight is in your eye. This reinforces Jessica to double down on her parenting method and she is back in good spirits. As Jessica makes Eddie and Evan start over from hole one, we see that Kultida ends up being a woman named Norma (Emy Coligado) who keeps being mistaken for Kultida, but plays along to help people out with life advice.
With Emery having no success at school, he approaches Reba (Marlowe Peyton) about using the P.A. system to announce that Tiger is half Asian as no one will listen to him. Seeing the effect the P.A. has on everyone at school, Reba is literally his only choice. Reba agrees and tells Emery to meet her in the school newsroom. Reba is still obsessed with Eddie for all of you wondering. Emery finally gets to tell Reba that he wants to break to everyone that Tiger is half Asian. He doesn’t want to take away from Tiger’s African-American heritage, he just wants to everyone to know that one of the biggest superstars (at the time) is part Asian as well. Leaving his folder with Reba, she takes a look at it and is surprised at Emery’s research. Reba decides to let Emery use the P.A. to tell everyone Tiger’s half Asian. Unfortunately, for him, everyone is too busy watching Brian (Dash Williams) follow through on a promise he made a fellow student from earlier in the episode by fighting him over having the same backpack.
This was a solid episode of Fresh Off the Boat, in which this show finds new ways to explore heritage and race while still keeping it light. This season especially explores just what does it mean to be an American and with the current events happening in our nation, the show has never been timelier. I could not stop laughing at Eddie’s comment “I don’t know you guys but I can get into bummed out mom”. Such a well-timed and well-delivered joke that’s sold so well by Hudson, who continues to be a strong anchor for the show. Also, everyone gets points for great use of a classic Busta track.
Needle drops for this episode:
“Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check” (featuring Rampage), a classic track by Busta Rhymes off his classic debut album The Coming.
Season 3, Episode 20 (S03E20)
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays at 8PM on ABC
A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
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Brandon Norwood | Contributor