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Black-ish - Manternity - Review:"The Middle Ones"

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Is this the first time ever that Dre’s coworkers have had a good idea? Maybe, although he wouldn’t see it that way. When Josh first suggests that Dre take paternity leave, it kicks off the plot into high gear.

Dre, of course, scoffs at the idea. As do his other coworkers. Connie is laughing so hard he’s crying at the idea of a man wanting to spend crucial bonding time with his child. Leslie makes the incredibly true observation that there’s more pride in a man being unemployed than taking paternity leave. Charlie is just concerned about Josh’s wellbeing after some desperation creeps into his voice: “You’re not a danger to others, just yourself, right?”

Dre hates the idea at first, but begins thinking about his children’s births. The only kid he was home with was Zoey, who ended up the best. The others are nerdy, spacey, and evil, respectively. Dre decides that taking paternity leave will ensure that DeVante ends up well-adjusted. Then he and Zoey can take care of the middle ones.

Dre’s plan of creating bookend children is derailed when his coworkers start preparing for the leave. Bow was ecstatic when he told her, and Dre joined her in celebrating a hopefully closer relationship with the baby. His face falls when he sees Connie, Josh, and Charlie divvying up his precious accounts. Although Leslie tells him that, from what he’s heard from Rachel the HR executive, he’s legally allowed to take paternity leave, his coworkers make it difficult to make the decision. Dre finally cracks and tells everyone that it was all a big joke.

Zoey and the “Middle Ones” are busy trying to catch their nanny in the act of stealing their stuff. Vivian hasn’t been seen this season and I had assumed she had left at some point. The kids seem to go to Ruby when it comes to advice when Bow and Dre are working. That might not be the best idea, after all. Ruby starts a shame-based witch-hunt when she suspects Vivian of stealing her precious iPod shuffle, the most easily-losable electronic device ever made. While Junior valiantly defends Vivian and shows off his creepy “candids,” the other kids are talked into joining the mission to catch the thief.

Vivian isn’t a thief (obviously), but she is pregnant. Bow doesn’t take the news as well as she could. Bow is in the middle of fighting for a partnership at her practice. She’s up against “Holiday Hannah,” who’s sad life allows her to take the ER shift on all major holidays. Bow unfortunately has loved ones to care for, which puts her at a disadvantage. She tried to hide her pregnancy as long as she could, but it couldn’t last forever.

Instead, she shows her bosses why she would be an asset as a pregnant employee. This inspires Vivian to come out as pregnant as well. Bow suddenly understands how her bosses feel, and understands when they pass her up for partner. Just because their feelings are understandable, doesn’t mean that they are right.

Bow schedules another interview with her bosses and, with grace, talks about how pregnant women aren’t supported by society. She wants to change that, and she starts with offering her support to Vivian.

The kids and Ruby don’t agree. They try to catch Vivian in the act, only to get lectured by an angry Dre. Dre was the one who threw out Zoey’s crop top and Bow donated Jack’s old toys. Dre also took Ruby’s money, because it was there. The kids (except Diane) apologize to Vivian and Dre tries to maturely turn down her advances (that didn’t actually exist).

Bow and Dre decide that both want to be there for the baby’s first weeks and Dre asks for his paternity leave back (Bow wasn’t aware he had declined it).

The case of the missing iPod shuffle is solved when Ruby finds it clipped to her sweat suit. She’s just going to pretend that never happened…

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!

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