This episode focused on the changing dynamics within the family.
The episode kicks off with the cold open with Kenneth accidentally telling Izzy on JJ’s behalf that he loves her, only for Kenneth to discover JJ meant “I love your car”. They rush to clear this up with her to both of their relief.
The episode than shifts to Dylan announcing to Maya and Jimmy that a boy will be coming over to study with her. Jimmy is determined to be as intimidating to Kai as possible, in an attempt to be a protective father, but does so in DiMeo style—using a Shop-Vac as they don’t have a shotgun. Although the attempt to be a protective father and intimidate the potential daughter’s boyfriend, only to bond with him, is a cliche, what impressed me about this subplot was the surprise twist that Dylan only wants Kai in an attempt to become more popular. This turns the cliche on it’s head and explores another, unlikeable aspect of Dylan. Kai eventually overhears them talking about Dylan’s plan and he leaves. Dylan and Jimmy go off to find him, where Dylan reveals the extent of her teen angst and why she is behaving the way that she is. Jimmy tells her that while their dynamic is changing, they have to go along with it, but can work it out together.
Overall I enjoyed this subplot as it showed character development in Dylan as a teenager and development in Jimmy and Dylan’s father-daughter relationship.
Meanwhile, Ray is attempting to manipulate Maya over an unfulfilled promise of mother-son time to get what he really wants, a tutor. However this backfires when it’s revealed that Maya actually knows what he’s trying to do. When she calls his bluff, they end up spending most of the episode in a passive-aggressive western standoff. They try to call each other’s bluff right until they are at the waterpark, with Ray finally admitting defeat, however they end up having fun at the waterpark, until Maya takes a call from the bank (Ray had helped her with her loan application earlier in the episode) when he goes on a slide that scares him. When Maya eventually tracks him down after he walks away from her, he admits that he sometimes feels neglected with Maya focusing on JJ and he worries that her new business will become the new JJ. She reassures him it won’t.
I also enjoyed this subplot as it showed how much Maya and Ray are ultimately cut from the same cloth, and the change in their dynamic when Ray makes her aware of how neglected he feels by her, attention-wise. It will be interesting to see if there are any changes and he does get more attention, down the line.
Meanwhile JJ and Kenneth agree to spend a day apart after Kenneth makes one too many mistakes, especially after the accidental “I love you” incident with Izzy. Kenneth tells JJ that he doesn’t know how good he has it with him and JJ soon realises this for himself when he ends up spending the day with Lee’s aide, Randy. Randy has no personality and doesn’t try to bond with JJ. Kenneth and JJ make up at the movies, however on the way home they realise their dependence on each other isn’t really healthy. Kenneth later admits to JJ that as much as he would love to stick with JJ forever, he only signed up to help him through high school and he has, and that it’s time for both of them to move on. However Kenneth says he will help him with easing the transition to a new aide.
I enjoyed this subplot as it further addressed the impending end of their aide relationship and also showed some necessary conflict between them.
Overall this was a solid episode, addressing the changing dynamics in the family in a realistic way.
-According to Ray’s doctor, Dylan has given Ray long ear for pulling on it so many times.
-JJ is going to college in six months.
-Ray put a photo of himself in Maya and Jimmy’s bedroom in a frame over their wedding day photo.
Best one liners and interactions
- “Already? I always knew this day would come but I figured by that time I’d be more threatening.” (Jimmy to Maya on Dylan bringing a boy home)
- “Do we have a shotgun?’ “We have a Shop-Vac” (Jimmy-Maya)
- “Did you talk to my second ex-wife? You sound a lot like her and you don’t have the ass to pull it off.” (Kenneth to JJ)
- “Randy, reveal yourself!” (Lee to his aide, Randy)
- “You bring home a bad boy, I’m going to show him my vacuum.” (Jimmy to Dylan on using the Shop-Vac to try and intimidate Kai)
- “Nerd alert!” (Maya on Ray)
- “You’re ruining everything again!” “How can I ruin everything twice? Things either stayed ruined or I fixed them and then ruined them again!” (Dylan-Jimmy)
- “I’ll catch you at my next screw up.” (Jimmy to Dylan)
- “I don’t think I’ve ever met a soul so deep and I pumped gas next to Jewel.” (Jimmy to Dylan on Kai)
- “First you weirdly try to protect me and now you’re very weirdly trying to protect Kai. Who are you?” “Who are you? Dad don’t be weird. Dad don’t be his friend. Dad, don’t keep him from being a pawn in my sick social game.” (Dylan-Jimmy)
- “Don’t ruin it…you will.” “Ah, but we get to find out how.” (Dylan-Jimmy)