I’ve been enjoying the episodes of Fresh Off the Boat this season where Louis and Jessica have taken center stage, but I was happy to see this week’s episode, “The Big 1-2,” re-direct its focus on the children of the Huang family. In this episode, all three got to test and challenge the rules placed upon them, as they made space for either breaking out of character or just wanting to grow.
Eddie continues to make the transition from child to adolescent as he celebrates his twelfth birthday. After last year’s Star Wars-themed birthday party fail, Eddie tells his parents that he doesn’t want a party this year and instead wants to spend the day with his friends at the mall. However, as Jessica and Louis arrive at the mall, balloons in tow, to surprise him, they catch him having a secret birthday party with his friends and, to Louis’ dismay, Mitch. Confronting him about it over dinner, Eddie calls out his parents’ overly strict rules for his inability to be himself at home. To his surprise, his parents decide to start relaxing the rules, and this leads to after effects both good… and weird.
Meanwhile, Emery and Evan, who are tired of being constantly ignored by their parents in favor of their troublemaking brother, decide to break from their goody two shoes and start living life on the wild side. When their big reveal of how they went to see the PG-13 rated Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls gets no reaction, they decide to step it up by messing up their clothes and hair, sticking their hands into a jar of Nutella before eating it, and pouring their Legos all over the floor, like badasses! They turn out to be the worst rebels in the world, as none of their mischief is met with any reaction of a sort. Even their last resort of running away to Denver falls through when the sight of their empty suburban street scares them into staying home. But in the weirdest way possible, and to their delight, it all works out in the end when they find themselves grounded (possibly for the first time in their lives).
I continue to enjoy seeing different sides of Eddie. He’s becoming better-rounded as a character as he’s slowly growing from a self-absorbed, hip hop-loving boy to a young man who has just as many conflicts and insecurities as anyone else. It’s an evolution that feels real as actor Hudson Yang does a successful job at portraying Eddie’s struggles. Plus, given that he too just turned twelve recently, I can only imagine bringing more of an authentic feel for the character as he continues to grow. (Fun fact: I don’t know if anyone else considered this, but did anyone find it weird that the show made Eddie’s birthday in November when the real Eddie’s birthday is in March?)
As for Emery and Evan, I continue to laugh out loud over the humorous and mischievous antics they get themselves into. My brother was watching the episode with me and during their little montage, every act of “rebellion” was met with a sarcastic but appropriate “They did not!” from him. Despite their young age, actors Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen are already on the path to becoming comedic pros, as their timing is spot on.
Overall, it was another fun episode of Fresh Off the Boat with great one-liners from Jessica and more of Louis’ charismatic and open perspective on life. I can’t wait to see how future episodes branch off from what occurred in this episode.
Featured image courtesy of ABC