Tweetable Takeaway: Eddie scores a nod of appreciation from Nicole, and Louis’ new billboard generates new customers and old haters. Tweet
Airtime: Tuesday at 8pm on ABC
By: Eric Rodriguez, Contributor
FRESH OFF THE BOAT explores the rewards and dangers of seeking attention. Louis places a giant billboard for The Cattleman’s that brings in customers and rivals leading to a Showdown at the Golden Saddle.
Eddie has friends now and school is getting better, but the bus ride is still hell. He sits up front and pretends to nap to avoid being picked-on while Nicole sits in the back, a slightly cooler but more carnivorous set of seats. He knows his possum routine won’t impress her so he mans up and goes back to sit by her. It only takes a few seconds for him to lose his pants and have them thrown out the window. Eddie’s a great kid; he takes it in stride and goes back to the drawing board. Time and time again we see Eddie subjected to the brutal apex struggle of adolescence, but he is a creative, resilient soul. Even without his pants, Eddie never runs out of game.
Does this say I’m rich enough to get invited, but not rich enough to donate money?
Louis takes great care in his billboard placement; no tall buildings to block it, in front of the longest red light in town, and next a homeless man with a “hungry” sign to make people uncomfortable and turn towards his Cattleman’s billboard. This family doesn’t waste a dime, but they know there is a cost to doing business. The Cattleman’s enjoys a bump in business and Jessica enjoys being recognized while out or standing in line at the store. She even gets an invite to an event at the local country club. Jessica wants to impress and belong to this crowd as much as Eddie wants to impress Nicole.
Nicole gets called in to babysit Eddie and his brothers. Eddie insists she is there for the assist; co-babysitting because his brothers can be a lot to handle. Louis gives Nicole a set of rules for watching the boys, which include only bland foods for Eddie; he has gentle bowels. Eddie uses and punishes his stomach with spicy food in an attempt to show Nicole what kind of man he is. Spicy food is certainly one way to go. He ends up spending most the evening in the bathroom, and some in the shower. He goes too far – instead of getting to listen to his Ice Cube CD with Nicole, she ends up enjoying it alone.
Would you choose a good businessman over a visionary?
Louis’ billboard is the target of vandalism from the moment it goes up. At first, the Huang’s think it is the work of random kids. Later, the vandal message gets more personal about Louis. Jessica thinks it’s a hate crime because the other billboards in the area escape the vandals’ paint. Louis, on the other hand gets the message, another restaurant owner is targeting him for stealing his idea. Originally, Louis meant to buy a Golden Saddle restaurant, but he couldn’t afford the $50K cash upfront franchise fee. Determined not to let his dream die, Louis scoots out the Men’s Room window with the Golden Saddle operations manual and a few months later opens The Cattleman’s. He comes clean to Jessica before she pushes her hate crime theory to their local representative. He admits that he was ashamed and wanted Jessica to see him as a visionary. Jessica sees the sense in Louis’ decision. The Cattleman’s is a next-level steak house compared to the Golden Saddle. Jessica loves that Louis is a smart businessman, improved on an idea, and made it his own.
The great thing about these guys is they won’t quit until they’ve built their American Dream.
Jessica and Louis strike back against a Golden Saddle billboard. Self-reliance and self-defense are just a couple of skills in their toolbox. Nothing is given to the Huang’s easily and they won’t allow anything to be taken without a fight. They wield the very core of American values against their haters. Eddie goes back to riding the bus, where he gets to spend a few minutes close to Nicole. Like the billboard, she’ll have to walk by him on the way to her seat. Only things have changed, Eddie’s attack on a bowl of spicy noodle cracked Nicole’s icy defenses. She likes Cube’s The Predator. Nicole acknowledges and rewards his persistence with a warm smile and a friendly “Hey,” as she gets on the bus.
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.