This episode focuses on secrets.
The episode’s cold open focuses on JJ, Dylan and Ray chasing down a woman who put money in JJ’s cup because she pitied him. When they eventually catch her and call her behaviour out, she apologises, but they need her money anyway to get back to Jimmy and Maya’s bank, where they were waiting for them.
This episode’s subplots had a main focus on secrets, with the exception of Ray’s subplot. Maya and Jimmy’s subplot focused on the fact that Jimmy secretly plays in a Korean wedding band when he’s supposed to be working, a secret Kenneth discovers when he’s at a friend’s wedding. When Kenneth brings Maya to another Korean wedding to reveal Jimmy’s secret to her, they both run away and deny being at the wedding, and Kenneth also reveals Maya has drinks with Melanie when they’re supposed to be working.
Jimmy and Maya’s secrets partially revolve around the fact that they are having fun, but they are mainly about the fact that they are spending money when and where they shouldn’t. At the end of the episode, Kenneth goes through their finances, something that the show hasn’t really addressed directly, and tells them that with Jimmy’s income and their behaviour, they are going to bankrupt in two years. While typically, most people would view that as bad news, typically, Jimmy and Maya view this as good news as they’ll still be able to indulge in their luxuries for another two years.
Overall I enjoyed this subplot, however it wasn’t the strongest one I’ve come across. Although I’m glad the writers finally addressed the DiMeo’s financial situation, especially how they manage or rather not manage their money.
JJ’s subplot also addresses money as he receives a pay cheque with a large amount for Social Security benefits and decides to spend it on his family. His spending includes buying a microscope that Ray wanted and told JJ and Dylan about at the beginning of the episode, buying Maya a cashmere scarf, and Dylan a police-like baton. JJ eventually reveals to Dylan that he’s spending so much on everyone as the family does so much for him and for once he can be a giver not a taker.
However his spending eventually gets out of control and to the point where he’s buying the family gifts they don’t like nor need. The family eventually find out what’s going on when Maya calls the Social Security office to ask about JJ’s cheques, and she also reveals that as JJ didn’t declare his grocery store income, he has to pay the money back. To pay the money back, JJ resorts to panhandling, tying back to the beginning of the episode, and Jimmy and Maya tell him that JJ will eventually pay them back when goes to college and later becomes successful.
Overall I enjoyed JJ’s subplot, although I felt the ending was a little rushed.
Meanwhile Ray’s subplot revolved around the Quiz Bowl Tournament he was in. While he and his team are confident on their win, Ray is thrown through a loop when Taylor shows up as she is in the Tournament for her school and will be his opponent. Justin Chang points out that Taylor is still into him and encourages him to use that to steal her notes, which leaves Ray torn between throwing the tournament to get her back or win for Justin as he needs a partial scholarship for college.
Despite a hilarious scene between Ray and Taylor where they try to seduce each other via their study guides and Ray tells her how much he’s missed her highlighting, colour coding and neat handwriting, he chooses Justin over her but they lose anyway as Ray answers the question incorrectly. Overall I felt Ray’s subplot was a bit of a filler, however I enjoyed the library scene between him and Taylor.
Overall this was an entertaining episode but not a strong one.
-Dylan’s mail call involves throwing Ray’s mail in the trash can.
-According to Kenneth, Dr Miller is domineering but also gets his motor running. Maya is offended at first because Kenneth seems attracted to her, but is further offended when he makes it clear that he wasn’t referring to her.
-Ray knows how to dance like a girl in a rap video.
-JJ uses his social security cheque to pay for an artist to do a custom oil painting of the family. When Kenneth tells him JJ can’t pay him, without saying a word, the artist punches a hole through the painting, throws it on the ground and leaves.
-Maya smashes commemorative plates at a funny little club near the docks.
-Maya apparently wants to see all the Major League Baseball stadiums.
-After Taylor leaves the library, Dylan comes out, gagging. It was apparently the first time she came into the library.
Best one liners and interactions:
- “When is the last time someone didn’t have a blast with a Chaz?” (Dylan to Ray on the name of Jimmy and Maya’s banker)
- “If I wanted to listen to gibberish, I’d have a conversation with you.” (Maya to Kenneth when he’s practising speaking Korean)
- “This is the same microscope John Hopkins used when he discovered a new STD!” “There’s a new STD?” (Ray to JJ, and then Kenneth)
- “Hide me from JJ, I think he wants to give me Elton John tickets!” (Dylan to the family on JJ’s spending)
- “What is this Tennessee Williams-ass marriage nonsense?” (Kenneth to Jimmy and Maya)
- “If your gifts are anything like mine they are covered in chilli stains!” (Maya to the family on JJ’s gifts)