Tweetable Takeaway: Eddie goes to work. He starts off as a fajita boy, but with grit and hard lessons-learned, he becomes a fajita man.Tweet
Airtime: Tuesday at 8pm on ABC
By: Eric Rodriguez, Contributor
FRESH OFF THE BOAT discovers a winning promotion at The Cattleman’s in Fajita Man. The Huang’s experience their first Orlando heat wave. Jessica, who runs the house, won’t allow the air conditioning until she finds a job. To temper the suffering, Jessica takes the boys to places where the air conditioning is free while she looks for work; the frozen section of the grocery store, local open houses.
Eddie has friends at school now. They have their own lunch table and the breaking news at the table is a new video game, Shaq Fu, where Shaquille O’Neal goes around Kung Fu-ing baddies. None of these boys have enough disposable cash for the game, and only one, Barefoot Dave, has a parent willing to just buy it form him. However, Barefoot’s parents screw up; instead of Shaq Fu he ends up with 9 to 5, based on the Fonda, Parton, Tomlin movie. The other boys have moneymaking schemes; double mowing the neighbors’ lawns, tooth-fairy money, and one kid pockets his lunch money and gets more and more anemic as the week goes on. Eddie wants Jessica or Louis to just give him the fifty small.
What do you do with your egg?
Louis won’t just give Eddie the money and he is alarmed that he is raising an entitled kid, something he sees as a danger raising kids in America. He offers Eddie a job at The Cattleman’s during his latest winning promotion, Fajitas. Again, Eddie thinks since his father is the boss, he’ll get some sort of cush position. Instead, Louis starts Eddie out as a fajita-boy, hauling the scorching fajita pans out to diners.
Louis tells Eddie the story of his grandfather, a hard-working man with incredible jobs, like handling bread so hot, it burnt his fingerprints off. The reward for weeks of hard work was an egg. Eddie asks if the egg was to eat or to play with. That is the fifty-dollar question here. Eat it or play with it, use the AC or keep dinner on the table.
Eddie does not take to his Fajita Boy role well. He gets scorched, burned, and his paycheck isn’t enough to cover the game. The next day, when the lunch-room boys plan to hit the mall after school to buy Shaq Fu, Eddie bails on his job.
Louis is upset at first. He tells grandma Huang his plans to double Eddie’s shifts, bring him in before and after school. She reminds Louis that it’s true Eddie’s father was a very hard worker, but he also wasn’t very happy and spent very little time with his kids, Louis included. Louis considers her advice and fronts Eddie the fifty small.
What do you know about heat waves and air conditioning?
Eddie also reconsiders his position and decides he’d rather earn the game-money. He does go the mall for the game, but he hands it over to Louis to hold on to until he’s earned it. Then, he puts his full effort into slinging the sizzling fajita pans.
Jessica has been squatting at all the open houses in the neighborhood, working through her jobs classifieds with the boys enjoying the free AC. She’s also been listening to what buyers are looking for and cataloguing strengths and liabilities of each home. As she gets kicked out of another house, she offers to show a couple a different listing, more suitable to their needs, down the block. The couple loves the house and Jessica puts her shrewd negotiation gift to work for them, driving the price down.
The great thing about these guys is they celebrate the victories of hard work.
Jessica returns home, does a happy dance having found her niche in real estate, and allows the kids to crank the AC to low. Louis and Jessica acknowledge when they’ve achieved a goal. They are not consumer need machines, nor do they live above their means. They work hard for their comfort, even during the heat wave and they don’t lose sight of their kids’ happiness. There’s work, but there’s also too much work. Like all parents, they thread the needle. They learn from their own parents, the good and the bad. They improve the home for the kids.
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.