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.
-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)