Remember how I said that the fourth episode for this season of Fresh Off the Boat was a definite favorite? Well this week’s episode, “Good Morning Orlando,” can officially be added to the same list. From the humorous awkwardness that comes with first love, to a social commentary that definitely hits close to home, this episode went above and beyond with stories to enjoy and contemplate.
It’s been two weeks since the Fall Ball, and Eddie hasn’t spoken to Allison since then, but that hasn’t stopped him from thinking about her (“She punched me in the armpit. It was amazing!”). However, according to her group’s messenger boy Ned (don’t ask), it turns out they’ve been an item since that fateful mash pit. Soon Eddie’s friends wind up with Allison’s other friends and they go on a romantic first group date of passing each other on the escalators at the mall. But when one of Eddie’s friends suddenly faces a break up from a girl he didn’t realize he was with, they come to realize: Who the hell are their girlfriends?
I thought it was humorous how the episode portrayed Eddie, his friends, and their first girlfriends’ idea of dating ( and where passing each other on an escalator is equivalent to nailing a first date). It’s a nostalgic look back at the days of first experiencing butterflies in your stomach just from the sight of someone you’re into, and the nagging questions of whether you should talk to them, what you should say, and whether or not the feeling is mutual. It was also fun to take a nostalgic look back at a pre-mobile phone era. If this story had taken place today, I think Eddie would have probably received that “Hi!” from Allison via text (or Snapchat?), instead of a physical note. It was sweet that in the end, Eddie finally figures out – via the wisdom of Emery- that to make a relationship work, communication is key (and maybe the girls should consider this advice too and not have a representative do all the dirty work for them).
Meanwhile, Louis is approached by the co-hosts of Good Morning Orlando to come onto the show and promote Cattlemen’s Ranch. Jessica sees it as a perfect opportunity to bring more business- and ultimately more money- to the restaurant (especially after she didn’t take Honey’s husband’s advice about checking her now termite-infected restored house). He appears to make a good impression on the show by cracking imitations of Donald Duck and Rocky Balboa. However, upon his arrival home, Jessica calls him out on his foolishness and accuses him of how he might have created a negative portrayal of Chinese people, invoking the one thing Louis hated from Sixteen Candles, Long Duk Dong (yeah, she went there). But when he is banned following a second appearance on the show where he accused the co-hosts of racism, Louis comes to his senses that he can’t please everyone and should just be himself.
While promotion leading up to this episode was mainly concerning whether or not Eddie and his friends have game at the tender age of twelve, it was Louis’ storyline that I loved most about this episode. I liked that Louis told Jessica, after she lectured him on how he should be acting on TV, that “one person can’t be everything.” It was a clever way to talk about #repsweats, a term coined earlier this year describing the many expectations placed on Asian Americans on TV to “properly” represent themselves to audiences, because as a community we are so afraid of misrepresentations (like with Long Duk Dong). Putting that internal struggle of our community into the context of Louis’ story line in this episode was brilliant and helps deliver that message to viewers who might not have been aware of it before. We are fortunate today to have two shows (so far) that center around Asian American families, and as Louis would likely agree, we still have a ways to go before we get over the #repsweats, but it’s a start.
On a final note, I don’t know if Fresh Off the Boat is one of those shows where shipping couples is a thing, but now that Eddie and Allison are actually together, what would their couple name be? Eddison?
Featured image courtesy of ABC