Speechless–Season 1, Episode 17 (S-U-R–Surprise)

I think this was the best episode so far. I’ve come to this conclusion due to the extensive amount of character development in this episode.

I especially enjoyed the character development between Kenneth and Jimmy. While Kenneth’s role when he is not attending to JJ has been explored in previous episodes, this is the first time that the dynamic, or rather non-existent dynamic, between Kenneth and Jimmy has been explored. I felt that the initial awkward moments between them were realistic and their attempts to find common ground hilarious. I enjoyed the BBQ scenes between them and liked the twist at the end of the episode that their common ground was (lightheartedly) insulting each other. I hope their dynamic is explored in future episodes, especially as Kenneth’s dynamic with Maya is a more serious one, whereas with Jimmy he can relax.

I also enjoyed another layer of the metaphorical onion that I’ve been speaking about in my previous reviews, being revealed with the exploration of JJ’s independence for the first time. I felt that JJ’s resentment about being treated as if he was the younger son was realistic and well done. I also enjoyed JJ’s adventure being shown in glimpses throughout the episode, especially the moments where he is seen quickly overcoming obstacles. These moments show how independent and intelligent JJ really is and I hope this is also explored in future episodes.

I loved the character development between Dylan and Maya in this episode, as their relationship really hasn’t been given the spotlight it deserves. I felt that Dylan’s feelings towards a surprise party for her thirteenth birthday were a mystery that had to be solved, and I loved the writers’ choice to have the obvious answer be a red herring. I loved the reveal that Dylan wants Maya all to herself, rather than Maya not being around, as well as the reveal that Dylan tries to be the “easy child” for Maya’s sake. I felt the ending of this subplot was incredibly sweet.

On smaller notes, I found Maya’s seduction techniques to try and have another child were hilarious and I loved JJ’s unique way of standing up for Ray. Although I found the fact that Ray and JJ forgot Dylan’s birthday to be unrealistic.

Overall this was the best episode I’ve seen so far and I think I can safely label it as a favourite.

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