Archive | April 2019

Speechless–Season 3, Episode 8 (J-I–Jingle T-H–Thon)

This episode is this season’s Christmas episode and kicks off with a bang.

Well not a bang, but fire, as Ray is woken up in the middle of the night by Pepper’s barking, who is trying to alert the family to the Christmas tree somehow being set alight. Ray alerts the family, albeit by saying a TV show revolving around clowns falling is on. After everyone leaves the house and the fire is put out, which is revealed to have been caused by faulty Christmas tree lights, Ray is interviewed by a news crew on his heroic efforts. However he does mention Pepper, which leads to Pepper getting credit, attention and love for the rescue, much to Ray’s chagrin.

What is also covered by the news crew is Maya’s lie about the presents she got the kids, which backfires when a local charity offers to re-buy them the presents. This leads to the family volunteering for the Jinglethon to raise more money than the presents are worth, however they end up getting more gifts. When it’s announced that the charity will be donating the proceeds to the DiMeos, they admit the truth, which disgusts people into donating more money to the charity. I found this outcome to be a nice twist, not one you see in every story or subplot in a TV show.

Meanwhile, Kenneth gets the job of Lafayette’s girl’s basketball team. Although he is not pleased that he is coaching the girls’ team, it’s not due to sexism rather his complicated relationship with girls’ basketball as one of his sisters, Kendall, is a professional basketballer, and she and his other sister, KiKi, relentlessly rubbed his nose in it. JJ ends up taking Kenneth to confront his sisters, with the former finding out why the girls call him rather bizarre insulting nicknames. Kenneth finally has enough of their mocking and challenges Kendall on the court. While Kenneth ends up being slammed by Kendall, his team sees it as a testament to not giving up, which leads to Kenneth feels content with his job and himself as a basketballer. Kendall then lets him win the game. While I found the execution of the subplot a little silly, I did appreciate the character development with the introduction of Kenneth’s sisters and his acceptance of his new role.

Overall this was a good but not great episode, I feel that it fell flat as it progressed.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Some of the nicknames Kendall and Kiki have for Kenneth include:

  • Broken stereo
  • British Airways
  • Good Halloween house

-Kenneth loves cheesecake.

-Apparently Dylan once put ghost pepper on Ray’s toothpaste which forced him to drink out of the toilet.

-Dylan was punching someone in her dreams.

-When Ray pictures himself as a dog, he is wearing a dog collar.

-The news crew mistakenly listed Ray’s name as Dolph.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Were you out clubbing?” “And does that look really work for you?” (Jimmy and then Maya to Kenneth on his outfit)
  • “Coach Cox took a leave of absence for some…troubling reasons…writing a novel.” (Dr Miller to Kenneth when he expresses interest in becoming a basketball coach)
  • “Are you a long lost third witch sister I don’t know about!?” (Kenneth to JJ about his sisters)
  • “You keep the presents’ name out of your filthy mouth!” (Dylan angrily to Maya, scaring her)
  • “We’re hiding from Santa-loving DiMeo haters!” (Maya on the family being hated when she admits the true worth of their Christmas presents which were replaced)
  • “This cheesecake factory sounds a lot like my terrible sisters!” (Kenneth)
  • “I wanted people to give out of love but disgust works even better!” (Candy to the family)
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Speechless–Season 3, Episode 7 (F-O–Follow T-H-R–Through)

The episode kicks off with the family celebrating the fact that they’ve managed to find a Christmas tree for their home early, only to undermine their own celebrations by pointing out their inability to follow through on individual promises they’ve made. This moment sets up the rest of the episode.

Jimmy works on getting the garage ready for JJ’s man cave. During this process, Maya is going through things in the garage and finds items from when they were dating. It is then she realises that her lack of follow through is doing things with Jimmy as a couple. After Jimmy eventually finishes cleaning up, he uses what’s left to recreate their apartment back in 1997. After discovering carbon monoxide in the garage, they finish up and go to the beach to recreate another date. Overall while I found their subplot to be sweet, I didn’t feel it was strong enough to be worth exploring and was a little predictable.

Ray and Dylan’s subplot revolved around both of their lack of follow-through. Ray tries to get government approval to build a playground for the JJ’s Dream Charity with Dylan assisting him to honour the coupons. Typically, Ray is determined to follow the rules and is persistent, and eventually get his approval, only for it to be taken away. It isn’t until Dylan goes back to the Department and threatens a worker’s pet turtle that she finds out one of Ray’s forms was misplaced and she get the approval. Although you would think that would count as the sweet thing she did for Ray, per the coupon, the sweet thing she does is letting Ray thinks he did it on his own. Overall this was a sweet subplot, like Jimmy and Maya’s, however it was more entertaining, especially Dylan’s take on the Rocky theme song and her methods of getting the approval.

Kenneth and JJ’s subplot revolves around a list JJ has made to prepare himself for college, specifically making coffee for himself. Their troubles start off simply with the coffee maker not working and JJ dropping the glass coffee jug, then escalates to needing tyre sealant for JJ’s chair from the neighbour and the neighbour’s cat going missing after Kenneth tries to retrieve it. JJ eventually throws himself on the floor and drags himself across the kitchen via his good foot to plug in the coffee maker, which he successfully does with water and coffee beans raining on them. While they are laughing with joy, Kenneth breaks down as he admits he doesn’t know what he will do with himself once JJ is off at college. JJ tells him he’d be a good coach due to the way he motivates him. Kenneth is happy at the idea of it. Overall I found their subplot to be sweet and entertaining, however unlike the previous two, it provides character development as Kenneth has figured out what the next chapter is for him.

Overall this was a good but not great episode, the subplots were sweet and well done, but I did feel that this episode was a filler.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Every DiMeo family member’s thing that they’ve never followed through with:

  • JJ’s man cave (Jimmy)
  • JJ’s Dream charity (Ray)
  • Unhonoured Christmas coupons given to Ray as a present (Dylan)
  • Preparing for college (JJ)
  • Doing things with Jimmy as a couple (Maya)

-Ten months have passed since JJ’s birthday and the events of E-I–Eighteen

-When Kenneth takes a photo of the family whilst in mental agony over their lack of follow through, Maya poses with a smile on her face.

-Some of Dylan’s coupons for Ray included:

  • Make a meal for Ray (she does in the form of a smoothie)
  • Do something sweet for Ray

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Ah! So many hugs! I owe you so many hugs!” (Dylan to Ray when he brings up the unhonoured Christmas coupons she gave him a decade earlier)
  • “Not following through is a regrettable, shared DiMeo family trait!” (Kenneth to the family when they mention all the things that they haven’t followed through with to each other)
  • “Let’s all do our things…and get Ray some therapy.” (Jimmy to the family)
  • “Stupid DiMeo appliances ruining my jokes!” (Kenneth on the DiMeo’s coffee maker malfunctioning)
  • “Like my gut when I turned 40, I refused to be sucked in.” (Jimmy to Maya)
  • “Ray thinks he’s Rocky/I’ve never seen Rocky/I don’t think it’s like this!” (Dylan singing her version of the Rocky theme song whilst Ray is filing paperwork after he requests that she sings the Rocky theme song)
  • “What fresh DiMeo hell is this!” (Kenneth when he finds the WiFi router under the kitchen sink)
  • “We weren’t relaxed we were dying!” (Maya to Jimmy in the garage when they realised how much carbon monoxide was in the air)
  • “JJ you’re gonna make coffee! And I don’t care how many pots you break, how many tyres you puncture or how many cats we lose! You’re not gonna give up until you have a cup of joe in that beautiful, wildly unpredictable hand of yours!” (Kenneth’s pep talk to JJ)
  • “Hey roommate can you spare a wife?/I won’t need her long just for the rest of my life/And I love her now like I loved her then/We don’t need to cut off our oxygen!” (Jimmy’s completed Hey Roommate song to Maya)

Speechless–Season 3, Episode 6 (C-E–Celebrity S-U–Suite)

This episode is this season’s Thanksgiving episode.

The episode kicks off similarly to the previous Thanksgiving episodes, with Maya trying to get out of cooking and Jimmy’s brother, Billy arriving. Billy spouts off nonsense about dating a vegan and his hypocrisy about not dating someone who’s old enough to be on heart medication when he needs it himself. It’s his heart medication that causes the family’s Thanksgiving to be spent at the hospital as Kenneth accidentally gives Billy’s heart medication to JJ.

Once they get to the hospital, the A and B stories are established. The A story revolves around JJ’s hospital visit, specifically Maya trying to get the celebrity suite for JJ only to discover that Melanie is at the hospital trying to do the same thing for Logan, who is there due to complications from a tonsillectomy. While Maya and Melanie battle it out, when they discover a hypochondriac is hogging the suite, Melanie suggests that they share the suite as a truce. When the kids point out to her that Mel is possibly lying, she locks Melanie out of the room, and Melanie uses her influence in the hospital to make life in the suite hell, although she eventually admits she would have acted the same way if she had the chance. They eventually decide to have a real truce and they end up having Thanksgiving dinner in the suite, before the staff reveal they’ll be kicked out soon as James Van Der Beek sprained his toe. Overall I found this subplot to be funny but a little too insane.

The B story focuses on Billy and Kenneth bonding after Jimmy asks the latter to look after him at the hospital while they are dealing with JJ. The fact that Kenneth gets “good Billy”–nice, funny and considerate–drives Jimmy crazy, however Kenneth points out this is due to the fact that Kenneth doesn’t know Billy and that Billy and Jimmy need to connect as adults. However this suggestion backfires when Billy and Jimmy bond by making fun of Kenneth. Overall, while there were some comedic moments, I felt this subplot didn’t really add anything to the episode and felt a little silly.

Despite my saying that there A and B stories, there was also a minor C story. Ray ends up confiding in a pregnant woman in labour about his despair over Taylor having a new boyfriend, and according to her his story is boring and is also helping calm her down. Ray ends up being there for her when she gives birth and just as he says life has no meaning, he discovers meaning when he hold the baby and falls in love with it. Of course he takes things too far by going skin to skin with the baby and is thrown out. When he tells Jimmy about it all, Jimmy reassures him that the heartache over Taylor will end eventually and that he needs to hold on to his big heart. Overall, I found this subplot to be ridiculous, but the heart-to-heart between Ray and Jimmy redeemed it a little.

Overall I felt this episode, with its focus on enemies and sibling rivalries but ultimately bonding, was a bit sub-par. While there was heart beneath it all, I felt it wasn’t pulled off well and came across as mostly silly and ridiculous.

 

Stray Observations:

-Maya’s efforts to get out of cooking for Thanksgiving is not too dissimilar to the five stages of grief:

  • Suggesting a fun alternative
  • Trying to take a moral high ground
  • Showing a moment of vaguely worded emotional instability
  • Suggesting going to a Chinese buffet

-Billy refers to Maya as “Crabby Spice”.

-Ray thinks a chest hair is a sign of enough maturity to win Taylor back and that doing 10 push ups a day would make him a better man for her.

-Maya brings her own bell to hospitals to get the attention of hospital staff.

-Apparently the hospital security staff let Maya play with their guns.

-JJ carries around an old communications board from a few years ago known as the “Borat board”.

-Ray and Taylor dated for 10 months.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “The alley was playing all of Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever, I was not going to miss!” (Jimmy to Maya on bowling a strike in a bowling game JJ was referencing)
  • “You think that looks like a turkey?” “I think it looks like a son who’s trying his best!” (Maya-Ray on Ray’s attempt at making a turkey out of a medical glove)
  • “Some rando I’m staring at because having an enemy seems like fun!” (Jimmy to a random man he’s staring at after Maya and JJ give an evil stare to their respective enemies, Melanie and Logan, when they see each other in the hospital)
  • “Should we bump him off?” “Well he’s here and sick already.” “I meant off the list but that works.” (Maya-Melanie-Maya on the man currently occupying the celebrity suite)
  • “Well I’ll get to him, I have this whole place wired. The nurses love me, the doctors fear me and I buttered up the weird morgue attendant because I wanted toe tags for my luggage!” (Maya to Melanie on her power at the hospital)
  • “Well I’ve got all the heating and A/C guys and I’m tight with the alarm tech ’cause Logan’s a fire alarm puller.” (Melanie to Maya on her power at the hospital)

Speechless–Season 3, Episode 5 (S-T–Stage Mom)

The episode kicks off with Maya’s birthday and the kids giving her crappy thoughtless gifts with the word “Mom” printed on them in some way. Dylan’s gift is the worst of all as she describes it as a wearable gift but it turns out to be bags to pick up Pepper’s poo with. This leads to Maya complaining about the fact that the kids only see her as a mum and not as a person to Joyce. Joyce then tells her that she’s in a community theatre group and asks Maya if she wants to come and she says yes.

At the community theatre, Maya auditions for a part in the play along with the rest of the community theatre group, which consists of Joyce, Mr Powers, a woman who has stage fright to the point that she mumbles every word of dialogue, and a man who’s good at death scenes and finds a way to day several times per play. When the play is cancelled due to a lack of talent, Maya takes over the group and directs a play on Mr Powers’ life. The group keep pestering her to the point when she realises that she has basically become a mum to them as well, which leads to her telling the group and the family that she will no longer be their servant. This leads to the theatre group sorting themselves out and helping out more, however this is undermined when they’re struck down with food poisoning by fish from DiSantis. Maya ends up performing the play on her own to praise from the family. Overall I found Maya’s frustration relatable and understandable, however I felt this subplot wasn’t completely resolved, as she got praise from her family and no-one else, and other than performing the play, it never went anywhere after that.

The B story focuses on JJ working at the supermarket after Kenneth hires him. However it becomes apparent straight away that he didn’t give him a real job, but it isn’t until JJ starts working at the supermarket what Kenneth’s plan was. Kenneth has JJ do the job of a cardboard cut out named Quincy, to direct people from the never-working self-serve checkouts to the regular checkouts. JJ rightfully is mad, however he goes crazy to the point that he “murders” Quincy in the shredder, which subsequently breaks. JJ then quits as he’s upset that Kenneth hired him to do the job of a cardboard cutout, and he couldn’t even do a better job. Afterwards, JJ reads the novel-sized store manual Kenneth left behind at the house and is seen at the self-serve checkouts fixing the errors. By reading the manual, JJ has learnt the self-serve checkout error codes, so Kenneth is able to give him a real job. Overall I felt this was a solid subplot as it showed JJ’s crazy side and explored a realistic aspect of JJ’s needs–his need for a job, which also adds to this season’s story arc of JJ becoming more independent as he is approaching the end of his school days.

The C story revolves around Ray becoming the school mole after Jimmy gives Ray Dylan’s phone when he finds it in his car and Ray is able to decode Dylan’s text messages. Ray relishes being the mole and Jimmy relishes the benefits of getting quality seafood from Dane’s (another parent and Jimmy’s friend) store, DiSanti’s. This is until Ray is invited to a party and is torn between wanting to please the parents and be popular at school. Ray gives the parents a fake address where Dylan and Jimmy are waiting, and Jimmy blackmails Dane into backing off by threatening to make public that the theatre group got food poisoning from the fish at his business. Overall, while Ray’s behaviour was true to character and therefore a little boring, and the outcome was predictable, I did enjoy Ray and Jimmy reaping benefits from the scheme, especially as it’s unlike Jimmy.

 

Stray Observations:

-Joyce was Kenneth’s booty call at one point.

-According to Joyce, Mr Powers is a difficult and undirectable diva. This episode also shows them interacting with and that they know each other for the first time.

-Mr Powers’ first name is Richard.

-JJ’s first pay cheque shows that his full name is James J. DiMeo and the family’s address is 238 Brookhurst Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. The paycheque is also dated 11 November 2018.

-JJ’s first pay cheque is twelve cents due to breaking the shredder and “murdering” Quincy.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Thank you so much…that was flat.” (Maya thanking the family for the birthday song and then criticising Kenneth’s singing)
  • “A secret ain’t nothing but a piece of cheese and a rat’s gotta eat!” (Ray to the parents)
  • “You wrote this!” “Does not mean that I understand it.” (Maya-Mr Powers on Mr Powers’ play)
  • “You don’t even like Mr Powers! He gave you a D last year.” (Kenneth to Dylan on her reaction to the play)
  • “You transported me and not in a van.” (JJ to Maya, complimenting her on her performance in the play)
  • “Whose house is this?” “Oh my God, you and your questions!” (Jimmy-Dylan)

Speechless–Season 3, Episode 4 (N-E–New JJ)

This episode was a solid one as everyone split off perfectly into their subplots.

The episode kicks off with the family (except JJ) celebrating JJ’s last IEP (Individual Education Program), which includes music, merchandise and a mysterious person in a bear costume that everyone mistakes for Dylan, until she walks in the room.

The episode then switches focus to JJ and Kenneth at school where Kenneth voices disapproval of the green zipper jacket JJ is wearing. JJ asks Kenneth to zip it up but refuses, so JJ surprises himself, Kenneth and the viewers by zipping it up himself. As JJ was told as a child he wouldn’t be able to use zippers and never tried since, this achievements leads to his confidence growing, to the point where takes control of the IEP meeting, and later growing to overconfidence where he ends up losing his wheelchair to the janitor in a poker game with the staff. Kenneth helps him out, reminding him that he lost due to stupidity not disability, and that it’s good to be confident but he needs to know his limits. The subplot and the episode ends with Kenneth and JJ being the school janitors at night, with Kenneth revealing they’ll be the night janitors for the next six months, in order to get the wheelchair back. I enjoyed this subplot as JJ learnt an important life lesson on his own, but the writers made it entertaining rather than preachy and clingy.

The B story uniquely ties in with the A story as Maya chooses to focus the attention and devotion that is normally reserved for JJ on Ray.  Ray, being just like Maya, relishes the attention until it predictably spirals out of control. True to character, Maya acts like a psycho and Ray comes to the realisation it’s gone too far, coming to a head during his Driver’s Ed lesson where he tells Maya he can’t be a replacement for JJ and she has to find something else to fill her life. Towards the end of the episode, JJ and Ray start to come up with an IEP for Maya for the year. Although the outcome of this subplot was predictable, I appreciated how it tied in with the A story and how it explored the relationship between Ray and Maya, especially Ray standing up to her.

The C story revolves around Jimmy and Dylan. Dylan discovers that her bedtime is earlier than her peers and she demands to stay up late like the others. During this time, Jimmy reveals that he needs to turn his brain off at night, which is why he shoots beanbags through a hole, flies paper planes, build a tower of plastic cups and performs magic. Dylan drinks coffee to stay up late with Jimmy, which leads to her losing sleep and falling asleep in the classroom, which Dr Miller informs Jimmy of. This predictably leads to Jimmy giving Dylan decaf to trick her into sleeping, which Dylan tries to protest, but ultimately ends up surrendering into sleep. While the outcome of this subplot was predictable, it was quite an endearing one.

Overall a solid episode with endearing moments between each family member and a variety of fantastic one liners.

 

Stray Observations:

-To celebrate JJ’s last IEP, Maya did the following:

  • Made up a celebratory song for Jimmy to sing and the kids to dance to.
  • A T-Shirt with the words “IEP Battle Royale: Miller vs DiMeo” with Dr Miller’s and Maya’s heads photoshopped on to boxers’ bodies.
  • Got a bear costume for Dylan to wear, only someone else showed up in it.
  • Got balloons, inflated them and put them on the ceiling for them to drop down.

-Mr Powers doesn’t care that JJ is playing poker with the staff or that the staff play poker on the school grounds.

-JJ managed to turn zipper into an insult.

-The A and C stories connected momentarily when Jimmy sees the janitor cruising around the school in JJ’s wheelchair, whilst at the school at Dr Miller’s request to find out about Dylan sleeping in class.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “At 5′ 10” and an age she hasn’t even disclosed to her husband, give it up for the hero of the IEP, Maya!” (Jimmy to JJ when singing the celebratory last IEP song)
  • “It is with great pride that I say to all of your suggestions…we will look into them.” (Dr Miller to JJ)
  • “When God closes a door he annihilates one of our children.” (Jimmy to Maya when Ray dramatically describes his bad day after Maya points out JJ not needing her as much)
  • “Are you Ellen DeGeneres’ exclusive online content? No? Then why are you talking to me during my free period.” (Mr Powers to Kenneth)
  • “How are things at home?” “Well you know, my dad drinks more than I’d like and mom’s just kind of checked out…oh you mean my current home.” (Dr Miller-Jimmy)
  • “I can do business with the janitor…I know his price.” (Kenneth to JJ, after JJ asks for Kenneth’s help in getting his wheelchair back from the janitor)

 

Speechless–Season 3, Episode 3 (I-N–Into The W-O–Woods)

While the DiMeos have returned from London, this episode revolves around another theme—Halloween.

The episode kicks off with kids thinking the DiMeo house is haunted and abandoned, which the family quickly disproves to them. While the majority of the time, the cold opens aren’t related to the rest of the episode, this episode is one of the rare exceptions.

The cold open leads to Maya asking Jimmy to make repairs so no more kids think the house is haunted and abandoned. Instead Jimmy decides to embrace it and make the best haunted house in the neighbourhood so the disrepair blends in. Kenneth helps Jimmy make the house scarier than Jimmy set out and even tries to scare the elderly neighbour, Jenkins, who Kenneth hates. However when it’s revealed Jenkins behaviour towards Kenneth saved him from many parking tickets, Kenneth tries to stop the haunted house from scaring him, however Kenneth and Jenkins turn the tables and scare Kenneth. After Jimmy and Jenkins have their fun, Jimmy admits he wants to do the repairs to make the house nice, so Kenneth helps him fix the wiring in the fuse box. Overall I found this subplot amusing but not spectacular.

I found the Dylan-Ray Halloween heist subplot to be the strongest of the episode. The school banning king size candy bars and swapping it out for celery at the school dance doesn’t sound like the strongest subplot on its own, but when you add Dylan and a keen Ray into the mix, it becomes hilarious and well executed. Dylan’s elaborate plans to steal the candy are hilarious but what makes it funnier is the fact that Ray easily gets the candy due to his creepy but typical rapport with the school’s secretaries. However as hilarious as it was, underneath it all, the subplot showed the potential of their secretly strong sibling dynamic as they work well together, and Ray takes a bullet for Dylan and she is grateful in return. Overall I found this to be a strong subplot that perfectly showed another side to Dylan and Ray’s relationship and was accompanied by hilarious one liners.

I felt that the JJ-Maya subplot was a bit weaker than usual. While I liked another appearance of Lee (Zach Anner) and the first appearance of his mother, Helen, I felt that JJ lying to Maya to be more independent wasn’t new. However I did appreciate Maya’s realisation that she has to let JJ be independent and get himself out of messes. I did enjoy the interaction between her and Helen, the latter showing the audience what Maya would be like in about 15 to 20 years if she kept up her tracking ways, and also demonstrating how great minds don’t always think alike. I also appreciated the more subtle moments of the subplot such as Aaron being JJ’s co-director and rescuer at the rave, continuing their friendship which was established last season, and their classmate, Paul’s, attraction to Maya, which quickly ends at the rave when he finds a girl to make out with.

The episode ends with Dylan and Ray giving away the candy bars at the house after Maya picks JJ up from the rave, which perfectly brings all the subplots and the episode to a happy close. Overall this was a good but not great episode with weak A and C stories, but a solid B story.

 

Stray Observations:

-Lee is 32.

-Kenneth’s middle name is Ezekiel.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “For the last time, the house is not abandoned, it’s just in a state of disrepair!” (Maya to the kids who sneak in the house because they think it’s haunted and abandoned)
  • “Moms right?” “No, my mom’s nothing like that.” (JJ-Aaron on Maya’s behaviour while they are filming)
  • “If you can’t trust a guy who tasered your mom in a parking lot two years ago, who can you?” (Lee to JJ)
  • “Crunchy water that’s only good for losers and turtles!” (Dylan describing celery to JJ)
  • “You’d crack under pressure like a Ray under pressure.” (Dylan to Ray on why she hasn’t asked him to join her on her king size candy bar heist)
  • “This is the guy that tasered Maya?….It’s an honour!” (Kenneth to JJ on Lee, then introducing himself to Lee)
  • “I need the school’s air duct plans but the secretaries know I’m up to no good…I have a past.” (Dylan to Ray)
  • “Secretaries love me, the only thing in them I don’t arouse is suspicion.” (Ray to Dylan on his success in getting the school’s air duct plans)
  • “No time for misplaced hormones Paul!” (Maya to JJ’s classmate, Paul, who is attracted to her)
  • “That is the weirdest phrase to ever make me happy.” (Maya to Helen when the latter explains her plan to keep an eye on Lee and JJ at the rave)
  • “As a brother and friend, you have potential.” (Dylan to Ray)
  • “Without the hat, you’re just a guy in a great dress!” (Mr Powers to himself on his Wicked Witch of the West costume)

Speechless–Season 3, Episode 2 (L-O–London [Part Two])

This episode kicks off with the family trying to get a reactions from the Queen’s Guard, which includes Maya talking about the dilemma she has with Martin.

The episode then switches focus on to Jimmy and the fact that the last time he was in London was when he was on tour with his band. While discussing this at the pub with Kenneth, Jimmy makes a new friend in a British man, Rowan, at the jukebox. Their whirlwind friendship unfolding the same way as the whirlwind romance Kenneth is looking for is hilarious, even the ending, when he finds out Rowan actually does have a best friend.

Meanwhile Kenneth is trying to have a whirlwind romance while they are still in London and JJ is trying to be his wing man the entire time. Kenneth reaches a breaking point at the family reunion when JJ tries to set up him with distant cousins and then the waitresses. After JJ organises for Kenneth to meet who they think is one of the Mels of the Spice Girls, but is actually Mel D, JJ reveals he is trying to be Kenneth’s wing man as he saw job applications at Kenneth’s apartment and wants to have something to offer so they can stay friends. Kenneth admits that he thought that he would only be JJ’s aide until he graduated from high school (and JJ in turn admits he doesn’t expect Kenneth to be his aide forever) but he says that no matter what happened, they’ll always be friends. I enjoyed this subplot as it explores another aspect of their relationship–it’s impending end–which I’m sure will be one of many major focuses this season.

Meanwhile Maya tries to ask her father for the family and then conceal the fact that’s the only reason she was there from Martin especially after he organises a family reunion for her. Comedic moments are interweaved throughout the reunion, such as the relatives mistaking Dylan for Josephine, a relative who recently passed and Dylan is the spitting image of, and JJ trying to set up Kenneth up with relatives and then waitresses. The climax finally arrives when Ray accidentally spills the beans to Martin, and Martin slowly tortures them with the fact that he knows and tells Maya that he can love her and give her the money for the house but he can’t do both. Later, Frances reveals that Martin is broke and that’s why he can’t give her the money. Maya then tortures him in the same way he did before he gives in and they agree to maintain their relationship.

After Jimmy’s whirlwind friendship with Rowan ends, Ray encourages him to get in touch with his old band mates and he does, which leads to him getting the house as one of the bandmates is a loan officer and the other is mortgage broker. The episode ends with the family moving back into the house with Ray and Dylan putting up photos of their trip and Josephine on the wall, Jimmy’s band playing in the kitchen, and Maya Skyping with Martin as she crosses him and Frances of her “Dead to Maya” wall.

Overall this was a good episode and the better part of the two-part premiere.

 

Stray Observations:

-Apparently when Kenneth was backstage at a Spice Girls concert both Mel B and Mel C wanted him.

-Martin wrote “goodbye forever” on the cheque memo.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “To be single and however young you’re trying to be.” (Jimmy to Kenneth)
  • “That stupid American holiday where everyone eats too much turkey and talks about how dreadful the airport was.” (Martin to Maya on Thanksgiving)
  • “Always good to make family feel good about themselves before tricking them into giving you money.” (Maya to the family)
  • “I don’t want any cousin butt!” (Kenneth to JJ when JJ tries to set up with women at the family reunion)
  • “Hey! Are you herding cheese women to me?” (Kenneth to JJ when all of the waitresses come over to him)
  • “I hate the dilemma but hats off for the drama.” (Maya to Jimmy on Martin’s behaviour while giving her the cheque)
  • “Mom’s texting me.” “All of Ray’s friends are texting him too.” (Ray-Dylan after Jimmy receives texts from his old band mates)