Speechless–Season 1, Episode 5 (H-A-L–Halloween)

This is the first episode providing an insight on how the DiMeos celebrate holidays.

Of all the holidays that the writers could have used to show the comedic side of a family with a special needs child, I felt that Halloween was the perfect one. The costumes, trick or treating, haunted houses and so on, were all incorporated throughout the episode perfectly.

I loved the character development with Jimmy’s talent to create a family costume to creatively incorporate JJ’s wheelchair, and the photos of the previous Halloween costumes (Star Wars, Titanic, Aladdin), and the subsequent discovery and reaction of Ray and Maya being a couple in every costume was hilarious.

I did see the children abandoning the plans for trick or treating in the family costume coming, as every story needs an obstacle or a drama to kick off, that’s just basic writing, however I loved how each of the kid’s plans played out.

Throughout the season so far, each episode always endeavours to explore how JJ lives his life as normally as he possibly can and the affects of his disability on those around him. Each issue and episode is like a layer of an onion being peeled off. JJ getting drunk for the first time and having the typical high school experience was another layer being peeled off.

I felt JJ’s tricks to get drunk were hilarious and I really felt for Kenneth, especially when he eventually discovered the inevitable. Again Fowler’s acting chops were put on display, this time as “drunk JJ”, and he makes an adorable and hilarious happy drunk. What stood out for me and would have for the majority of viewers was Jimmy and Maya’s reaction to discovering that JJ was drunk, as it provides an insight into what they are really thinking when it comes to raising a disabled child. Other hilarious highlights of this subplot for me was JJ’s slurring of his words, and Kenneth’s efforts to hide JJ’s inebriation from Jimmy and Maya.

The Ray and Dylan subplot with the haunted house was well done, Dylan’s dark side emerging with her ideas was hilarious but not that surprising. However I loved how it eventually led to Ray coming to the realisation that Jillian is not interested in him. The writing has been on the wall through out the season, however I’m glad that Ray finally realised it and it didn’t drag out. I also loved Dylan’s reaction to Ray’s realisation, and watching Jimmy and Maya’s parenting skills outside of JJ being put on display.

Another hilarious highlight of the episode for me was Maya’s “dead to me” list and its use to cheer Jimmy up after the kids left, not to mention the Back to the Future family costume at the end of the episode.

Overall a solid comedic episode with minor but interesting character development.

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