This season’s Christmas episode was a touching one as every member of the DiMeo family displays touching qualities.
This episode kicks off in an unusual manner with Jimmy and Maya waking up and finding Dylan’s secret pet snake from two episodes ago in their bed. Dylan agrees to give away the snake if the family can get a dog. While Jimmy vetoes this idea due to the responsibility and cost, Ray comes up with the idea of having a service dog for JJ. JJ vetoes this idea as he doesn’t need a service dog and he would be taking one away from someone who does need it.
Nevertheless, Dylan applies for a service dog behind JJ’s back and they are given approval surprisingly fast. JJ confronts Dylan about it, telling her that she used him to get what she wanted and doesn’t understand what life is like for him. Dylan tries to relate by taking a vow of silence, however this doesn’t get the point across. Dylan eventually gets JJ the camera he wanted, and she tells him Love Actually style how she was able to afford the camera and apologises. He uses the camera for his school film project, which is revealed to be the world in his eyes and how his family understands him and hears him, and it hurts him when they don’t. This leads to Dylan understanding his perspective even further. Overall I enjoyed this subplot as it showed Dylan and JJ’s often unexplored sibling dynamic, and the film perfectly sums up the DiMeo family and their love for each other.
The B story revolved around Taylor’s mum, Melanie, wanting to meet Jimmy and Maya. Jimmy and Maya agree to this and Ray gives her a box of cookies from Melanie. When Jimmy reads the card, which reveals Melanie’s last name, Maya discovers Melanie’s on her “dead to her” list. Melanie’s on the list because she tricked Maya into thinking a spot at the perfect school for JJ was closed, however it wasn’t and Melanie’s son got it. Maya brings this up when Melanie comes over and she leaves, Ray then convinces Maya to go over to Melanie’s and apologise, which she does, however Melanie doesn’t accept the apology and instead defends her behaviour. In this moment, Ray stands up for Maya for once, instead of pointing out her flaws and bad behaviour like he normally does, which was refreshing. The subplot ends in the final moments of the episode, where Taylor sneaks over to the Ray’s bedroom window and still wants to see him, especially as Melanie banned her from seeing him and he is now the “bad boy”. Overall I enjoyed the B story as it was slightly relatable, and hilarious that Maya actually has a real rival and not one that she concocted based on her own actions.
The C story revolved around Jimmy taking advantage of a turkey giveaway at the supermarket where Kenneth works. While Kenneth thinks Jimmy is being cheap, which is plausible due to the DiMeo’s economic situation. Jimmy later reveals that he is getting them for his employees to be a good boss to them, as his father would buy Christmas turkeys for his employees, but unlike his father he can’t afford it. Kenneth then agrees to help Jimmy by giving out the turkeys to his employees dressed as Santa. Overall I found this subplot to be a little silly until I discovered Jimmy’s heartfelt reasons for his actions.
The episode ends with JJ getting a family dog, although whether the dog is actually a service dog isn’t made clear, although it’s highly likely. Overall this was a solid episode with many touching moments without being cheesy or preachy.
-Apparently Dylan saved money to spend it on gaslighting Ray by buying clothes one size too large for him to make him believe he’s shrinking. That’s so Dylan, I’m wondering how she came up with that.
Best one liners:
- “I don’t care if you’re tired I won’t be rejected!” (Maya to Jimmy when he thinks she’s trying to seduce him)
- “Christmas is about meeting each other in the middle!” (Dylan)
- “This is what we’re doing at 4am? A puppy referendum?” (Jimmy on Maya and Dylan asking for a family dog)
- “She only says gi-gun-dous when it’s important…and in Scrabble.” (Maya to JJ on Dylan)