Fresh Off the Boat Episode Seven: Showdown at the Golden Saddle

Posted by Cherry Lam & filed under Pop Culture, Television.

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Think back to the first episode of the first season. Mitch is being interviewed by Louis for a position at Louis’ beloved restaurant when he says, “I’ve always wanted to work at a Golden Corral.” Except he’s not at a Golden Corral – he’s at Cattleman’s Ranch. Louis responds with a series of emphatic denials while Mitch points out all the similarities between the two restaurants. However, the restaurateur doth protest too much, methinks.

That’s the first hint we receive that perhaps the Cattleman’s Ranch isn’t quite what it seems to be. It’s now Episode 7, and it’s been revealed that Louis’ restaurant is almost an exact copy of the chain restaurant Golden Corral. After having his new billboard defaced with the word “THIEF,” he admits to Jessica that he couldn’t pony up the money to open a franchise and resorted to stealing the training manual. Instead of being angry as he predicted, she completely accepts this side of her husband and even praises him for his cutthroat business tactic.

We often see Jessica berating Louis or disagreeing with his ways, especially near the beginning of the season but it seems as if the move to Florida is finally beginning to bring them closer together. They even show off a bit of their dark side when they go from country club charity event to decorating rival Golden Corral’s billboard with their own graffiti.

As for Eddie, his crush on the beautiful Nicole continues undiminished. He finally has a chance to spend a little bit of time with her when she comes over to babysit. In his mind, Eddie will whip out a CD with the words “Parental Advisory” on it in a show of cool-cat rebellion and Nicole will fall for him. Of course, things can’t ever be that in real life.

Instead, he spends most the night in the washroom in a misguided attempt to impress her. Eddie’s bumbling efforts to woo Nicole make us a little more sympathetic to him. In previous episodes, he’s displayed a misunderstanding of women and gender relationships that borders on insulting. In this episode, he endearingly reminds us of his age and inexperience.

Despite the night not going exactly Eddie’s way, all is not lost. He finally receives some recognition from his dream girl when she smiles at him on the bus. Hip-hop is the lens through which Eddie looks at the world but he doesn’t have to become entirely subsumed by that culture – a balance is important. Trying to be somebody else is always difficult and in the end, it’s a mix of himself and the culture of his music that help Eddie get forward in life.

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