Fresh Off the Boat | Episode Ten: The Science of Jealousy and Love

Posted by Karen Ng & filed under Pop Culture, Television.

Constance Wu as Jessica Huang and Rex Lee as Oscar Chow | Photo: tvequals.com
Constance Wu as Jessica Huang and Rex Lee as Oscar Chow | Photo: tvequals.com

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Episode Ten (“Blind Spot”) is a literal love triangle. Jessica Huang’s college ex-boyfriend, Oscar Chow (Rex Lee), is coming to visit—only, Oscar didn’t think he was really dating Jessica. What he was really doing was dating Louis, but Louis thought they were saving money by sharing dessert all the time.

I’ll explain.

Louis doesn’t seem worried at all that Oscar Chow the ex-boyfriend is coming to stay in their house for a short visit. Jessica finds Louis’s lack of jealousy upsetting (“Be more jealous!”) because the women around her are surprised that Louis is okay with the visit. Honey explains how her husband would never let one of her ex-boyfriends stay over in their house, implying that other men still want her. All the talk leaves Jessica wondering if she’s still desirable.

Plot-twist (but not really): Oscar Chow is gay. It’s no secret; he sports a golden “Gaysian” necklace, and he even borrows Jessica’s pink robe because it’s “very swish”. Jessica has a hard time believing it because her “gaydar” is broken. Super plot-twist: Oscar is in love with Louis. He buys Louis a hundred-fifty-dollar French press, for goodness sake, but Louis doesn’t believe it. Where Jessica’s gaydar is broken, Louis’s “love-dar” seems beyond repair.

Louis has such a blind spot when it comes to recognizing when people like him that he never realized that he and Oscar were dating (“for three months!”). Oscar had introduced Louis to his parents, and the two had Friday dinner dates, which Louis considers “frinners”: friends + dinner. He thought splitting dessert was just a way to save money like broke college students.

Eddie, Emery, and Evan form the backdrop of the episode. They’ve had six months to prepare for the science fair—a most serious and competitive event indeed—but Eddie hasn’t thought of or done anything for his project. Meanwhile, his younger brothers Evan and Emery show off brilliant projects as the good, studious Chinese boys that they are. As always, the younger brothers are adorable, even more so when they compete against each other to produce a project worthy of the pizza party prize.

Just one problem—Evan, whose project looks like magic to me, comes down with chicken pox. No longer can he work on his science project and win the pizza party. Although the “only things [he] need[s] are (ironically) chicken soup and the healing powers of white flower oil”, this boy is going to make sure that it’s not only his problem, but his close competitor Emery’s as well.

“Blind Spot” is an episode where everyone learns something new—even Eddie! He wants desperately to catch the chicken pox so that he doesn’t have to participate in the science fair, but by doing so much research into how he can contract the virus, he “accidentally learn[s]!”

Although Jessica is now aware of her gaydar, it still remains hilariously broken, and so does Louis’s “love-dar.” I found it to be really sweet how Oscar finds inspiration and hope that he will find love from Jessica’s and Louis’s relationship.

The tenth episode of Fresh Off the Boat is a refreshing step towards further representation that goes beyond ethnic background. “I’m a gay Asian, okay? The only thing I run is half-marathons,” Oscar tells the woman running the lesbian bar that Jessica visits when she’s feeling low. And no, she doesn’t know what kind of bar this is.

Watch Fresh Off the Boat on ABC on Tuesday 8/7c.

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