Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Black-ish 2x15 Recap: "Twindependence" (An Awkward Ditty About Jack & Diane) [Contributor: Jen W.]

Original Airdate: Feb. 17, 2016

I always say that the kids of Black-ish are the true MVPs of every episode, and this episode shows that to be true in best of ways.

This episode starts out with Diane (Marsai Martin) declaring she no longer wants to be twins with Jack (Miles Brown). Actually, the episode starts about with a hilarious montage about twins, narrated by Dre and including that twins are “nature’s weirdos.”

Diane tells Bow that she and Jack are in need of separate rooms because she “hates Jack a little more each day.” Jack is completely taken aback by this new information, not at all aware that anything is wrong between him and Diane.

Diane asks her mother, “Do you have any idea what it feels likes to be permanently hitched to an embarrassing dope who can barely even take care of himself?” just as Dre comes stumbling into the room with an arm full of ribbon. Diane instructs her mother to “really think about what she just said.”

Jack and Diane get separated after Diane attempts to smother him with a pillow, and poor Jack is relegated to sleeping in Junior’s closet.

While the Jack and Diane drama is brewing, Dre gets himself into a situation due to listening to his co-workers, the Greek Chorus of Really Terrible Advice™. Dre and Bow have given Zoey (Yara Shahidi) a brand new car (a Buick Encore, which was a very interesting product placement ad). Zoey is thrilled to start driving and Bow is ready to push off picking up Jack and Diane from school and taking Junior to clarinet lessons on the newly minted driver.

There’s a moment when Ruby (Jenifer Lewis) comes into the garage as Bow and Dre are presenting the car to Zoey. Ruby believes the car to be for her and, in typical Jenifer Lewis fashion, steals the scene and brings the ridiculous funny.

Dre, being the proud car-buying father, shows his co-workers, GCoRTA for short, a photo of the car and they proceed to let Dre know he’s given Zoey a sex-mobile. This of course makes Dre go a little bit nuts and instead of talking to Zoey about it, he sets forth a series of impossible tasks for her to complete before she’s able to use the car she was given. It’s of no consequence to Ruby, however, who gets to use the car while Zoey cannot.

Jack and Diane have separated at school, and Diane tells Jack to find a new lunch table to sit at. Jack so happens to find the table of “cool kids” who actually welcome him in — one of the kids is even the grandson of Al Pacino. They enjoy Jack’s stories, and his presence, and for the first time, we see Diane having second thoughts about being separated from Jack.

Jack’s new found independence is troubling for Bow, who tries to have a mediation session between the two kids. Since she “did a psych rotation in med school” she figures she can handle it. Spoiler: she cannot handle it and doesn’t realize the difference between psychology and psychiatry until she watches an instructional video. Bow’s attempts at reconciliation fall flat, and Jack and Diane remain at odds.

(During said mediation, Jack and Diane find out they’re named after John Cougar Mellencamp's iconic song. Jack asks if they’re brother and sister, to which Bow of course responds no. Neither of the twins are very pleased with their parents about this information.)

Zoey performs incredibly well under Dre’s timed, ridiculous tests, which include regular car maintenance things like checking the oil and tire pressure, as well as counting to five in Mandarin and learning German. She aces all the tests, but Dre still isn’t satisfied, telling her she has to complete the test again outside in the rain.

Jack and Diane end up reconciling after Jack chomps down on a toothpick in his sandwich — something Diane always prevented him from doing — and Jack sticks up for his sister against the cool kid’s taunting.

Dre has to face the hard truth after Zoey “steals” her car. Dre is furious with her for taking the car when she’s not allowed to, and ends up punishing her, until he looks through the last known destinations and realizes she stole her car to go to the library. With the help of Bow, he realizes that Zoey is not going to fundamentally change her personality with the presence of a brand new car. Bow and Dre realize they’ve lucked out with their kids, and it has very little to do with either of them.

The kids really pulled through, as per usual, in an episode that showcased how wonderful they play off of one another as well as the adults in the cast. Also, Jenifer Lewis remains everything.

Hilarious moments:
  • Zoe telling her father he’s a disappointment in Mandarin.
  • “Call the police, but make sure that before they come here, they know a black man owns this house.” — Jenifer Lewis
  • The Greek Chorus of Really Terrible Advice™ sexualizing the features of the Buick.
  • Bow’s glee at telling Ruby the car isn’t for her, then her disappointment when Dre doesn’t let her have her moment.
  • Bow’s confusion between psychology and psychiatry the entire episode. 
  • Ruby’s whole section talking about the car and the 32nd anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s death.
  • Ruby singing "Mercy Mercy Me."
  • Everything Ruby.

1 comment:

  1. The Greek Chorus of Really Terrible Advice™ - tears of laughter.