Fresh Off the Boat 4×14 & 4×15 Review: “A Man to Share the Night With” & “We Need to Talk About Evan”

Fresh Off the Boat seemed to be about a conspiracy theory and chili in the last two episodes, but those were just fronts for what really happened. The Haungs actually became closer as a family.

“A Man to Share the Night With” was the better of the two episodes. It’s always surprising to see how far Jessica will go to encourage her boys to succeed. She lied about Michelle Kwan winning and even went as far as destroying a VHS and stealing all the papers in town to make sure it seemed believable. Then she made up that conspiracy theory, which should’ve given her away, but somehow the boys and even Honey thought it was true. They did research and everything to prove that a fake Michelle Kwan lost. That honestly took me by surprise. In the end, Nancy Kerrigan had to tell them they were all wrong, but Evan played along with the conspiracy theory bit in order for his mom to not give up hope. It was heartwarming to see him dive in further for her sake.

Meanwhile, Louis and Eddie were coming to blows because Louis had given his son more freedom, but Eddie wasn’t using it to hang out with him. Instead, he was hanging out with Dave eating leftover donuts and talking about a mannequin. I felt like if Eddie had simply told his dad that was what he was doing then Louis wouldn’t have been as upset. Instead, the two were at odds because Eddie was being defiant and his father wasn’t used to that. Louis had to put the boot down and it worked, but not in the way he intended. Turns out that Eddie was only really going out for the donuts, but Dave wanted to steal the mannequin. It was in that moment that Louis learned that Dave was the one that really needed help. Dave has always talked about his dad being gone and sadly it’s always been a joke, but having an absent parent can really affect a child. It was really touching that Louis went out to go find Dave in order to stop him, so when they tossed it up into a joke it was frustrating. Hopefully the surrogate father moments will continue if there’s a next season because Dave really needs them.

“We Need to Talk About Evan” was a major episode for his character. He always needs to succeed and be the best in his class, so when he wasn’t the student of the month it really threw him off. He dove even harder into his work at school and it was too much for him. He ended up having a panic attack just talking about it. Good thing the school had a counselor to help him out. Fresh Off the Boat does a good job of integrating their characters into current issues. Mental health is as serious as physical health, and Evan needed help. To me, the best part of his arc this episode was when the counselor told Jessica that him skipping some grades hasn’t been easy for him, which was surprising because he’s the one that usually has it together. In the end, Jessica saw that counseling could help her son, and of course it’s free so she’s saving money.

Jessica and Mrs. Chestnuts bickering was kind of funny. Neither of them have anything to prove, but for some reason they felt a need to be better than the other. I think what made it really funny was that they’re both strong women, so they should’ve bonded, but somehow they pushed each other away.

As for Louis, he was trying to get his own signature dish on his own menu. Don’t know why he went with chili, but no one was buying it. Apparently, it was too hot for anyone to want to eat something hot, which is funny how Louis didn’t take that into account, but he was determined. Mr. Chestnut helped out by ordering it himself and he almost died eating it, but his story started a rumor that the chili was so hot that it put a man in the hospital.

Saving the best for last, Eddie and Emery were trying to figure out how to undo a bra. No matter what they did they couldn’t figure it out. In fact, at one point Eddie hooked it back on by accident. It would’ve been funnier if more people were involved like if Eddie’s friends came over to help, or if they asked Marvin how to do it. That gag could’ve gone farther, but it was all worth it to see the look on Evan’s face at the end.

Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.



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