Fresh Off the Boat, Season 1 Episode 8 Review: “Philip Goldstein”

(Beware, spoilers below!)

This week on Fresh Off the Boat we see the results of Eddie finding another Chinese kid at school. We start three days before, with Eddie trying to convince his mum to let him go to a Beastie Boys concert. In the restaurant Louis is still sorting out trying to get a new host because Mitch has left. Eddie is given the charge of a new student in school, and the kid quickly susses that it’s because ‘Philip’ is Chinese. Whilst this makes him happy at first he realises they actually have very little in common because he’s an adopted child of Jewish parents.

However this isn’t made easier because the teachers also assume that the two boys must get along because they’re both Asian. Furthermore, his mum likes Philip from the get go, which doesn’t help even more. He uses this as an excuse to get permission to go to the Beastie Boys concert. In the restaurant Louis finds the perfect candidate in a tall dashing candidate called Wyatt who starts making quick improvements. Mitch wants desperately to come back but Louis is scared of Wyatt.

Over dinner Eddie is scared that Philip will admit that he doesn’t want to see the Beastie Boys, but the latter goes along with it so that he can get Eddie to make a deal to take him to see Les Mis. Still struggling, Louis gets Mitch to fire Wyatt which still doesn’t work until Louis tells Mitch the’ll have to split a salary. After the performance of Les Miserables Philip goes missing after Eddie goes to the bathroom. Missing his concert to search for Philip they go to the Goldstein’s to find that Philip is safe and sound. This actually makes Jessica rather upset, and she calls Eddie a good Chinese boy. She even takes him to the concert the day later and at school Eddie managed to bond with Walter over the concert.

Once again Jessica manages to steal the show as the mom completely enamoured someone she hopes that Eddie can finally bond with a be a role model for. The episode manages to touch on an important point about how Eddie and Philip are pigeonholed as friends because of their race, which no one realises is offensive. We also have someone to starkly contrast Eddie with, not just as someone who doesn’t fit in with his family, but even with someone stereotyped as ‘the same as him’. However the ending with Eddie’s mom and Walter was charming and showed more depth. The side plot with Louis also highlighted the kind of boss Louis was: one that wants to do well, but that also wants to be kind and find his own way (best scene of the episode: I got no butt).

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