This episode explored the possibilities of JJ dating.
I found the meet-cute of JJ and Claire (McKaley Miller) first interacting under hostile circumstances, only for them to grow to like each other to be cliche. However I appreciated that the cliche itself had a JJ flavour to it through the temporary disabled parking permit, sarcastic school tour, and the physiotherapy session. It was interesting to actually see what JJ’s physiotherapy sessions involve as his need for it has constantly been alluded to.
The realities of JJ essentially friendzoning himself was incredibly sad and not surprising, however I hope that the scenes sparked a debate with viewers, inner or otherwise, on the assumptions that able-bodied people make in regards to people with disabilities dating. This subplot wasn’t resolved for the obvious reason that it is clearly going to be a story arc, an essential one to replace the Ray-Jillian subplot that concluded in the previous episode.
Unfortunately the Ray and Dylan subplots were weak again, however they were intelligent and humorous enough to make up for it. Ray’s efforts to be cool and have male friends was always going to backfire in some way and the whole ‘nip pic’ situation was the way it was going to happen, especially in the ridiculousness of it all and not to mention that it’s not who Ray is. Meanwhile Dylan’s subplot was a little clunky as the transition from her anger of the meaningless trophies to her family being messed with, wasn’t seamless.
What I appreciated about both of the Dylan and Ray subplots is how they briefly interweaved at the end of the episode and through Jimmy. Jimmy’s way of letting off steam was simultaneously odd and adorable, and having Dylan’s trophy subplot affect the ending of Ray’s subplot was a nice touch. On another note, it was nice to see that Maya has a life outside of JJ, albeit through him, with the special needs mums clique.
Overall this episode was good but not great.