Speechless–Season 1, Episode 22 (M-A–May-Jay)

So this episode is the penultimate season 1 episode. The penultimate episode is usually a set up for the finale and I believe in this instance it was successful.

JJ tries to assert his independence by proving he is capable of undressing himself, or rather undoing a button. The montage at the beginning of the episode showing a whole day has gone by with JJ unsuccessfully unbuttoning his shirt was humorous, but also not over-the-top. The twist of JJ trying to undo a button to prove his independence, so he can go to summer camp was genius and also showed another aspect to his and Maya’s relationship.

While JJ’s independence or rather whether he would be capable of having any, was touched upon in C-H–Cheater and R-U-N–Runaway, this is the first time that JJ tries to assert it to his mother outright. Both sides of the argument by Maya and JJ were realistically played out without being preachy, with it coming to a head with JJ trying to unbutton his shirt, only to fall out of his wheelchair and needing knee surgery. With this situation, we see character development in Kenneth in that he is slightly traumatised by seeing JJ in a hospital bed hooked up to machines. In all honesty, I felt his reaction was unrealistic, however I can give him a pass as this is the first time Kenneth has seen him in hospital.

I did enjoy the scenes between Maya and Kenneth after JJ admits defeat. These scenes showed growth between them as Maya is aware that she can’t be the person to tell JJ he can’t do something, and concedes that JJ listens more to Kenneth than her when it comes to self-belief. While Kenneth overcomes his trauma to help JJ when he needs it most. JJ eventually undoing the top button of his pyjama shirt provided perfect bookends to the subplot.

Meanwhile Dylan feels threatened when she discovers that Ray is capable of running faster than her. Her attempts to both beat Ray again and become smart like him were hilarious. I did question whether Ray let her win the hospital race, however I’m willing to give it a pass. I felt that the Jimmy subplot of having “juice” was weak but hilarious, especially when he discovers his juice at the hospital and proving so to Dane at the end of the episode.

Overall this was a good penultimate episode with great character development, however the subplots were a little weak.


Stray Observations:

-Maya’s nickname for her and JJ as a summer holiday team is “May Jay”, hence the title of the episode.

-Kenneth is not good at making up hypothetical situations to get his point across, but is hilarious in trying all the same.

-If the montage is anything to go by, Kenneth is good at juggling.


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