I think this episode was one of the series’ strongest.
I believe this due to the simple but strong writing–there are clear A and B stories, solid interactions between the main characters, and a minor mystery.
The A story of Fou Fou and Olivia joining forces to get Joey Chau out of their homes was well done. Despite their differences, it is clear that Fou Fou and Olivia are alike even though they don’t want to admit it, that being said I’m glad that the show doesn’t constantly try to make them join forces. I feel it’s a cliche and too sitcom-y to constantly make enemies become friends, so I’m glad these bonding moments are few and far between. I did enjoy seeing Fou Fou, Olivia and Jack work together and I think they make a great trio when they set their minds to something. I did enjoy the twist of Joey being arrested for smuggling a snake into the country.
The B story of Layla filming a documentary on racism wasn’t strong on its own, however it made up for it by being constantly present in the background of the episode, including in the background of the A story. The B story also provided the premise of the episode, which was an interesting choice. Showing that Olivia, Fou Fou and Joey make racial stereotypes was good character development, and also addresses some of the different aspects of racism without being preachy. I liked the mystery of the graffiti, especially as it was too easy to be Joey, and I appreciated the twist of Layla ultimately being the one behind it. However as a viewer, I would have liked to have been told or shown how Fou Fou figured it out.
On smaller notes, I did enjoy the scenes between Olivia, Jack, Mariam and Ronald, although the outcome was predictable. I’m hoping that Mariam being in the star role of “Middle East Side Story” will be addressed in future episodes. I also appreciated the continuity of the issues between Elias and Madison, which still haven’t been addressed, something to look forward to in future episodes.
On another note, I feel that the writers’ are starting to branch out with supporting characters to provide mostly unrealistic but a needed dose of outside humour. Last episode it was Samantha, this episode it was the two police officers who took reports on the graffiti and arrested Joey. While Samantha didn’t so much make any jokes, rather her presence provided the opportunity for jokes, the police officers made jokes themselves. I especially loved the male officer (Dave Eastgate) actually admitting he never wanted to be a cop, and the female officer being unable to hide how impressed she was by Joey’s muscles. I hope that the appearances of humorous supporting characters continues throughout the season.
- Toufic’s inventions for this episode–The Toncho (poncho within a tie) and pants that play bass music.
- Doctor Doctor alumni, Dave Eastgate (Joey/Police Officer) and Charles Wu (Ken/Joey Chau).
- The Footy Show sort-of crossover was a nice addition, especially as it provided another location to be used for the episode.
- The nickname, ‘Double F’ for Fou Fou.
- Best one liner–“Idiots will never be caught short again!” (Toufic)