“Fresh Off the Boat” Recap: “Boy II Man”

Fresh-Off-The-Boat-Boy-II-Man

This Fresh Off the Boat episode was probably the best episode yet, and the fans seem to agree. Let’s dive into the episode.In this episode, Jessica is forcing Eddie to take up piccolo as a school elective in the hopes that he’ll be able to claim one of the many unclaimed music college scholarships. Of course, Eddie doesn’t want to play the piccolo…until he gets mistaken as Nicole’s math tutor. Mr. Fisher (played by guest star Matt Lucas) is a funny character, since he thinks he’s not racist because he’s married to an Asian woman. But, he wrongly assumes that because Eddie is Asian, he’s immediately smarter than the other kids, smart enough to tutor them (but the thought of Eddie even making into college is a big joke to Eddie’s brothers, who laugh hysterically).

Eddie is fine with this deception, since it gives him one-on-one alone time with Nicole, and they can just chill and listen to Boyz II Men cds. But this isn’t in accordance with Jessica’s plan. Jessica has already told Honey that to be a parent, you don’t have to be a friend; you have to be a chess player. Eddie’s messing up Jessica’s chess game, and if she wants to get a checkmate, Eddie’s got to be in piccolo class. So, to get Eddie to hate tutoring, she appeals to Mr. Fisher through his racist tendencies (what with him not-too subtly shoving his wife’s picture toward her) with an Asian story that she knows he wouldn’t know, no matter how cultured he might appear. And for people like me who don’t aren’t versed in Asian folklore, I don’t even know if the story’s an actual one or just something Jessica made up, which is probably a meta joke the show has played on me and other Gringos watching this show (yes, I’m mixing up Chinese and Mexican stuff here).

By the way, we have to acknowledge Eddie telling Jessica “No” when it came to playing the piccolo. It’s funny that I started seeing Eddie’s life flash before my eyes even though I don’t know anything about his life.

In any case, Jessica gets what she wants, and Eddie is deposited with several more students to “tutor,” ruining his one-on-one time with Nicole. Things got especially bad when a boy Nicole’s age impresses her with his Beavis and Butthead jokes, and she starts spending more time with him. We know Nicole only viewed Eddie as a friend, but we also know Eddie’s pain. We’ve all been there. However, we all haven’t had our depression take the form of an awesome Boyz II Men montage.

Eddie’s not the only one depressed; after talking with Nicole’s dad about having a daughter, Louis is now nagging Jessica about having a girl. Jessica wants no parts of being pregnant again, especially after Louis buys tons of those Anne Geddes vegetable baby calendars. Thankfully, both of Jessica’s problems get solved by Honey’s advice. Honey tells Jessica about Eddie’s crush on Nicole and that what Eddie needs right now isn’t a dictator, but a listening ear. Jessica gives Eddie a talk about how she was once depressed over someone, too (a depression that only lasted for 20 minutes). But if she had stayed pining for someone else, she wouldn’t have met Louis, etc., etc.

Through the talk, Eddie decides to get back into piccolo (particularly since he’s got nothing else going for him in the Nicole department), and after realizing that he’d want to kill any boy that wanted to mess with his imaginary daughter, Louis decides against having a girl.

However, Eddie’s girl issues aren’t over now that he’s getting over Nicole. Just like how Jessica wouldn’t have met Louis if she was still pining over her boyfriend, Eddie would have never met the girl playing Eddie’s beloved genre of music—hip hop—on her piccolo. Now piccolo class is the place to be.

Some bulleted points:

• Is it the sign of a true nerd(or blerd, as the case may be for me) that the first thing I thought of when I heard “piccolo” was Piccolo from Dragonball Z? He’s my favorite. 

• How much of a flashback was that “End of the Road” montage? I forgot all of the parts of the original music video, but everything in Fresh Off the Boat brought it all back. So fun. Man, I miss the ’90s.

• Just as epic was when the Huang guys start singing “End of the Road” after having it emblazoned in their minds from Eddie’s loud CD.

• Also, bravo to Eddie for being brave enough to say “No” to Jessica. I’m 27 years old, and I can’t remember the last time I said “No” to my mom. Really. I’m sure I must have said it in a different way, but I can’t remember any time I’ve yelled “No” at my mom.

• Jessica’s soliloquy about creepy vegetable babies was one of the finest elongated jokes I’ve heard in a while. It just kept getting more and more absurd. Has someone in the writer’s room been watching Key and Peele, because a cursed vegetable baby having to spend eternity in a cabbage patch fighting for its life sounds like something they’d turn into a skit.

Overall, a fine, fine episode. And it makes me want to re-listen to Boyz II Men CDs. What did you think? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

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  • Pete Salisbury

    Oops. Eddie was mistaken as Nicole’s math tutor not music tutor..

    • Thanks for the correction! Fixing it now.