It’s game night on FRESH OFF THE BOAT and with that, naturally, comes Jessica’s (Constance Wu) competitive side. As Louis (Randall Park) goes to great lengths to prevent a vindictive Jessica from talking about Louis’s most embarrassing secret, Eddie (Hudson Yang) goes into a depressive state after learning that The Notorious B.I.G. is dead.
After having Honey (Chelsey Crisp) and Marvin (Ray Wise) over for game night, Louis and Honey talk about how bad of a sore loser Jessica is. Honey tells Louis to break it to her softly about how much of a sore loser she is. When he does, Jessica takes it easy except Louis mentions he talked to Honey about it, to which Jessica gets upset that he talked about her to their neighbors as now the whole neighborhood will know that he talks about her behind her back. Jessica calls Louis a “gabby goose” since he talks too much, leading Louis to go talk to Honey. Again. Honey mentions to Louis that Jessica is vindictive over small things. Honey once told Jessica about how she has big hands for a woman of her size, to which Jessica gave Honey gigantic cartoon hands on the cover of an Orlando real estate magazine. Louis tells Honey that Marvin talks a lot and goes to Marvin’s dental office as Jessica might tell Marvin about his lifts. Interrupting Marvin’s appointment with a patient, Louis gets him to talk to feel out Marvin to see if Jessica said anything. As Marvin talks, Louis becomes paranoid. Marvin’s receptionist pulls him away leaving Louis to drive home with so many paranoid thoughts running through his head. As he drives, Louis sees Jessica power walking with Deidre Sanderson (Rachel Cannon) and Carol-Joan (Stacey Scowley) to which he immediately pulls over and ambushes the three ladies confronting them about laughing about Louis’ lifts as he’s a short man to which Jessica is about to tell Louis to calm down, but he interrupts her saying she had a meltdown playing charades.
Jessica and Louis go home to which Jessica tells Louis she was trying to show everyone her best self to which Louis completely sabotaged her attempt to make everyone look good. The two resolve to have another game night and show their best selves in front of everyone. During their game night, Jessica and Louis lose at charades to which everyone looks at Jessica and she takes it in stride. However, the other couples start to fight in front of them and they’re surprised to see that they put their private stuff out there for all to see. Once game night ends Jessica and Louis vow to tell each other everything.
As Emery (Forrest Wheeler) and Evan (Ian Chen) watch The Real World on MTV with Grandma Jenny (Lucille Soong), and Eddie is telling everyone about a Tupac tattoo he designed, Ed Lover interrupts the show to announce that The Notorious B.I.G. has been killed. This hits Eddie hard as he’s just finished mourning Tupac. Eddie tries booking a discounted flight to Brooklyn to attend the funeral to which Jessica hangs up the phone and tells him to eat some Pop Tarts. Seeing that Eddie is not eating, his brothers resolve to cheer him up. They get Alison (Isabella Alexander) to show up with a bottle of Sprite and that doesn’t work. Evan wears his shortest shorts, so Eddie can make fun of him. That doesn’t work. They get all of Eddie’s friends to show up for group therapy to understand Eddie’s pain and instead, Eddie bums them out so badly that they all leave. With no other options Evan starts spanking Eddie to cheer him up, but Emery stops him and tells Eddie to talk to them about why Eddie is so bummed out about Biggie’s death. Eddie explains that his music was always there for him and that Biggie was his first friend in Orlando. He also thought they’d be friends for real one day as Eddie even had a business venture called The Notorious F.I.Z., a soda. Emery comes up with a plan that does cheer Eddie up and it’s a mural of Biggie painted on Eddie’s wall complete with a double yacht with all three Huang boys hanging with Biggie.
This was a funny episode that utilized the entire cast in the best ways possible. I think this is the first episode that used the entire cast like this since season two. Marvin saying in victory how Honey almost went to college had me dying. As did Grandma Jenny’s Real World audition tape. This show still sends me on nostalgia trips as I remember Ed Lover and Yo! MTV Raps from when I was a kid (as well as Rap City on BET). This episode had two A-plots this week and both were nice and to the point, as these played to every character’s strengths. It’s no surprise to see that Jeff Chiang wrote this episode as he wrote the great Christmas episode “Where are the Giggles?”. Before this season is up I hope Jeff gets to write another episode.
Needle drops for this episode:
“Hypnotize” (classic track) by The Notorious B.I.G. off of Life After Death (classic double album)
Season 3, Episode 16 (S03E16)
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays at 9PM 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