The episode kicks off with JJ finding out his horror film has been nominated for an award at two film festivals—one in Orange County and one in Vancouver. JJ decides to go to Vancouver and take Maya with him. They all hope that his film wins, but JJ feels like he already won as he has been nominated for his work not because of his disability.
When Maya and JJ travel to Vancouver, they realise that JJ was nominated because of his disability, and while other nominees embrace the tokenism due to the prize money, JJ and Maya leave. However JJ is disappointed even further when Maya reveals she sent letters out to the film festivals to demand that they nominate his film for the awards. When they travel to the Orange County festival, they discover Maya’s letter didn’t get to them and JJ was legitimately nominated, and they didn’t accommodate access for his disability, so they scramble to get JJ on stage, just in time for the announcement that he won. Although it was a little predictable, I enjoyed this subplot as it was well written and executed, had throwbacks to the pilot, and went full circle.
Meanwhile Jimmy tries to hide the truth about the eviction from the kids, especially Dylan as she is catching on. He tells her a lie about chasing off a coyote, which he sticks with, until she manages to catch a coyote. He reveals to her later, when he discovers her in the closet crawl space, that he didn’t want her to stopping seeing him as a hero. She tells him that she’s grown up enough to handle things like the eviction and he promises to be more honest with her in the future.
Meanwhile Ray lets himself take falls in basketball so he can call himself an athlete and impress Taylor in an attempt to win her back. However during one of the basketball games, he has an encounter with himself, which makes him realise his insecurities about relationships are holding him back. When Taylor comes to see him after the last game he’s in, he decides to let her go and work on improving himself, and they part on good terms. While I enjoyed the long overdue epiphany and character development with Ray, I felt this subplot was a little silly.
The episode ends with the family’s possessions on the front lawn and them sleeping on their beds under the stars and Kenneth sleeping on the couch. They decide to figure out what they do next tomorrow.
Overall this was a solid season finale with JJ winning a film award, Ray finally letting Taylor go, and the kids discovering the truth about the eviction, which provides a good subplot to kick the third season off with.
-Dylan apparently has Ray traps.
-How Dylan managed to catch the coyote isn’t revealed, most likely one of her Ray traps.
-Dylan is failing two classes and is running a bookmaking operation out of her locker.
-JJ having to use a garbage ramp to make it on stage at the Orange County awards is a throwback to the pilot when the school expected JJ to use it for access.
Best one liners and interactions:
- “Taylor you don’t go to school here, do you have early onset dementia?” (Ray to Taylor when he sees her at school)
- “Hello bossy, would you like to try that again with a different tone?” (Kenneth to Ray when Ray asks him to teach him about basketball)
- “I want you to win and not just because we’re both James DiMeo and it’ll make our first Google result no longer that time that Leno interviewed me for jaywalking and I couldn’t name a state president or fruit.” (Jimmy to JJ on his film being nominated for awards)
- “If someone believed in me, I could be getting invitations to basketball festivals.” “Not going to happen Ray!” (Ray-Kenneth)
- “I’m sure a lot of my Ray traps will work on a coyote!” (Dylan to Jimmy)
- “I don’t know who we thought we were; winning awards, living inside.” (Jimmy to the family)
- “You guys got evicted and we have to steal food from a film festival.” (Kenneth to Ray when he comes to pick up from school)