"Fresh Off the Boat" recap: "Fajita Man"

This week on Fresh Off the Boat, we revisit the ’90s trend of fajitas! Personally, I don’t remember this trend, but then again, I didn’t go to a lot of restaurants as a kid—we didn’t eat out a lot. So if you were a person who frequented Chili’s or TGI Fridays, then maybe you remember when the fajita craze got started. To tell you the truth, the fajita craze still seems around, what with the sizzling pans you can still get at Chili’s. Anyways, the recap.

Another thing I don’t remember from the ’90s is Shaq-Fu. I’ll go ahead and say that my ’90s life revolved around Disney movies, cartoons, Family MattersSister, SisterSmart Guy and other TGIF shows, Nickelodeon, Saved by the BellSailor Moon, Toonami, kid juice drinks (Sunny D, Kool-Aid Bursts, Squeezits, Capri Sun, Hawaiian Punch, and other lunchbox drinks) and trips to Sears. Video games didn’t factor in (unless you’re counting the one time I played the Aladdin SEGA Genesis game in a hotel for some reason). This is a huge digression, but if I come back in later episode recaps and say “I don’t remember this,” this is why.

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Okay, so Eddie and his friends are jazzed over ShaqFu, the video game starring Shaquille O’Neal. However, the game costs $50 and Eddie and his friends are kids; they don’t just have $50 lying around. Instead of Louis just giving Eddie $50, Louis declares that Eddie should learn the value of a dollar and hard work, just like how his father taught him. So after school, Eddie is tasked with working at Cattleman’s Ranch as the most special server of all, the Fajita Boy.

Fajitas are bringing in tons of money for Cattleman’s Ranch, so naturally, this means that Eddie is all over the place. He hates the job, but it’s all for the sake of Shaq-Fu. For a while, Eddie feels like his hard work is paying off…he gets his first check. It’s only $18. Louis says the had to dock him for dropping plates and food.

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Angry at not getting the money he thought he was going to get, Eddie ditches his job and joins his friends at one last-ditch attempt to get the game. Louis is not up a creek without a paddle (he still has hapless Mitch), but he’s disappointed that Eddie didn’t show up.

Louis tells his mother he’s going to make Eddie work even harder at the restaurant to truly learn the value of hard work. But his mother reminds him that even though his father was a hard worker, he was also a hard man all-around, and because of it, Louis’ relationship with him suffered. The happiest day he had was on the birthday he received one egg for free. Louis doesn’t want Eddie to have to go through the same thing he went through as a kid.

Louis decides to give Eddie a $50 bill to get the game. “You don’t have to be a hard man to be a hard worker,” he tells Eddie. Even though Eddie does go out to get the game, he hands it over to Louis afterwards, telling him to hold onto it until he has earned it for real, with his Fajita Boy money. Now, Fajita Boy has become a Fajita Man. Sadly, the game turned out to be just as bad as Kazaam. (That movie’s so bad, I keep calling it Shazam).

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Meanwhile, Jessica is having a tough time finding work. She’s tired of being in the house, but no one seems to want to hire her. (Join the club.) She’s also not ready to turn on the air conditioner yet. It costs too much money.

She expected to find a job at a furniture store, seeing how she used to work in her family’s store back in DC. But they weren’t hiring. Every other place she called (while sitting in homes that were up for sale for the free AC) didn’t want her either. But when she decided to take it upon herself to show a same-sex couple a home and then say that the real estate agent was about to gouge them with the price, she found her calling. Jessica is now a Real Estate Pimp. The celebration: Turning the AC onto “low.”

Standout moments from the episode:

Stepford clones: If there are some people I love hating (or hate hating?), it’s the Mean Girls of Orlando aka the Stepford Clones. Especially Deidre, who thinks she’s so cultured. She’s just making up junk and she knows it.

Evan and Emery steal the show, again: These two will never not steal the show. Their discussion about what their future specialties are was great. “I know you want me to say ‘the ladies,’ but I’m classier than that,” said Emery. And Evan saying his specialty will be homemade pickles is PRECIOUS!!!! TOO PRECIOUSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

Regina Snipes: Has Cattleman’s Ranch gotten that popular that Wesley Snipes’ aunt is now visiting? Who else will grace the hallowed space of Cattleman’s Ranch?

Jessica’s Pimp Walk: It always seemed like Eddie gets a lot of his natural “I don’t give a f*&^” swag from Jessica, and that guess seems a lot stronger after seeing Jessica’s pimp walk and embracing the name “Real Estate Pimp.” Jessica is a true G.

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Jessica knows all: It seems like every week, I’m writing about how Jessica is turning out to be quite similar to my mom. Now, I’m realizing that even Jessica’s large amount of self-importance (or, shall we say, “self-esteem”) is just like my mom. I’m not necessarily saying “self-importance” in a way that’s demeaning; we should all be a little self-important when it comes to recognizing our own worth, and Jessica and my mom have that in spades. While Jessica states she’s great at everything she does, my mom would easily say that something she would do is better than what someone else would do.

Their high sense of self includes their feelings about their children, too. Since both women believe that everything they do is great, they would naturally believe everything their children do is great, too. We’ve already seen Jessica fight for Eddie before in the pilot; I’m sure we’ll see her fight for her children again. I could tell you some stories of my mom fighting for us. She could get ruthless. It was magical.

Egg Day: If I had an egg day, would I play with the egg or eat it? I’m a sucker for boiled eggs, so I’ll boil mine and eat it with salt and tons of pepper. Or, if I was lucky and got two eggs, I’d make an omelette. I’ve come to love omelettes now.

Super S: I remember the days when kids in my class thought they were so cool because they could make that S. It took me forever to learn how to do it, but once I did, I didn’t stop…until I got in the 5th grade. Now, it’s been almost two decades since I’ve made a Super S. Learning how to make them again has been fun. I’m cool once more.

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9 to 5: The kid that ended up playing the 9 to 5 game had the best gaming experience ever. “Equal pay for equal work! You can have it all, ladies!” I want to play that game. Does that game exist?

What did you think about this episode? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

Photo credit: Jordin Althaus/ABC, screencap from “Fajita Man”