Friday, December 7, 2018

REVIEW: 'Fresh Off the Boat' - Eddie Gets Jealous of Trent Working for Louis in 'Where Have All the Cattlemen Gone?'

ABC's Fresh Off the Boat - Episode 5.07 "Where Have All the Cattlemen Gone?"

Louis is crushed to find that Matthew is quitting the restaurant to take a job at Dollywood. Louis ends up hiring Trent, which doesn't sit well with Eddie. Jessica goes against all of her pent-up negative feelings about Amy and does everything she can to appease her to get the job of PTA president.. After telling a joke and getting a laugh from Emery, Evan deludes himself into thinking that he's the funnier brother.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of ABC's Fresh Off the Boat.

"Where Have All the Cattlemen Gone?" was written by Erica Oyama and directed by Josh Greenbaum

This episode actually addresses the fact that there has been a lot of turnover at Cattleman's Ranch. That business was full of many recurring characters who could be utilized for a good joke every now and again. Last season, it received a ton of focus because it was under a new ownership structure. It saw Louis become best friends with Matthew Chestnut. And now, Matthew is the latest employee to leave Louis. And yet, Matt Oberg doesn't appear in this episode at all. Instead, it's an awkward exit because Angela Kinsey has to come back as his wife, Amy, in order to deliver the news. That makes it a little too impersonal simply because the relationship between Louis and Matthew actually meant something while Amy was never a prominent character. But again, this is mostly just the setup for the story that happens with Louis and Eddie. It once again revolves around the idea of Eddie working for his father at Cattleman's Ranch. That too is a story that the show has told before. Both Louis and Eddie remember it as a time that didn't work out at all. They figure that things will be different now because they've matured. It's just a little awkward because Eddie already went out and got a new job. And now, that job at the mattress store seems to implode solely because Eddie doesn't like having to wear the outrageous mascot costume and be out on the street. That's not why he wanted this job. That also plays a role in him lashing out at his father and Trent after they start working together. Of course, it's also just a pure jealousy that makes him do an incredibly destructive thing without really caring about the consequences. He just wants to destroy this opportunity for his friend. At school, the friends are all discussing the ways that they are earning money to get cars for more independence in their lives. Trent does put in the work to make that a reality. It's just not something that Eddie can accept as a good idea. Of course, Louis has no problem working with Trent and quickly promoting him to assistant manager. Sure, it's strange that he is giving that responsibility as well as the restaurant's new delivery service to two teenagers who won't be able to work full-time. They still have to go to school after all which will leave those posts empty. As such, there is the hint of this being an intriguing dynamic moving forward. It's just a little forced here to set it up. Elsewhere, Jessica spends a significant amount of time with Amy because she wants the job of PTA president. That's the position that Amy currently holds but is leaving because of Matthew's new job. That sets everything up perfectly for Jessica's new goal of being in charge of teachers at her son's school. It's not a position she really thought of before. She just wants it because she sees Amy in action while demanding something before she leaves. That means that there is importance for her in this story beyond handing that note over to Louis at the start of the episode. Plus, Jessica and Amy develop a mutual respect for one another after spending more time together. It just comes at the very end with the show not really being able to explore this dynamic any further. That's a little disappointing though Jessica does succeed in getting what she wants. Of course, it's also notable that the show highlights the many careers she has had and how she doesn't have something as consistent as Louis does with the restaurant. And finally, Grandma is absolutely right in the slapstick comedy of walking onto a rake being hilarious. That's really the only highlight of that very minor subplot though.