Airtime: Tuesdays at 8PM on ABC
Episode: Season 2, Episode 24 (S02E24)
Tweetable Takeaway: #FreshOffTheBoat explores the winners and losers of the “Chinese polite fight”
FRESH OFF THE BOAT reminds us about the joy of sharing in “Bring The Pain.” “Bring The Pain” refers to the title of a Chris Rock HBO special. In the season two finale Eddie wants to see the special so he can share the jokes with his friends, mainly Alison who will be leaving for the rest of the summer. He has two weeks with her, but only has three days to catch Rock during an HBO free weekend.
Even and Emery conspire against him. At first, because the special airs during their scheduled television shows, later because Jessica doesn’t understand the nature of Rock’s humor. She makes his two younger brothers “Deputy Moms” to keep him in check while she’s busy with a more adult issue. On the surface, her issue is trying to return two hundred dollars she borrowed from Louis’ brother almost two decade earlier when they were married. Gene flies to Orlando to announce his weeding, invite the family, and ask Louis to be his best man.
Ken Jeong plays Gene, the irresponsible brother who finally gets his act together and settles down. Gene and Louis have a twenty-year wedge between them centered around an incident from a trip to the hot springs. At its core, this episode is about wanting a better life for someone else. In Louis’ case, he doesn’t want Eddie, Evan, and Emery to carry the same kind of anchor weighing down him and Gene. Louis’s father wanted his boys to have a better life, but could only afford to send one of them to the United States. Eddie wants to share Chris Rock with his brothers because he thinks sharing will be better for their relationship moving forward.
This is great stuff for a season finale. We live in a country where people are less and less concerned with impacting the lives of others in a positive way. Fresh Off the Boat could have ended with some sort of ego inflating episode, firing all their comedic cannons. Instead, they wrap their second season with a gift. They say it’s okay to want a better life for someone else. This is a tall order, and no one is saying we have to dedicate our lives to it, but we can all afford a moment here or there. Louis and Gene’s father wasn’t perfect. He could only send one of his boys to the land of opportunity. Louis never felt right about winning the “Chinese polite fight,” and Gene always held it against him. They’re not perfect on the show. Eddie ends up missing most of the two weeks he was going to spend with Alison to spend with his family. These are real dilemmas; time we spend here is time we take form there. Like Alison, I’m going to miss the show, but it will be back for a third season and I’ll be more than happy to share its message and enjoy its humor.
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
Eric Rodriguez | Contributor