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Fresh Off the Boat - Ha-LOU-ween - Review

Well, this is an improvement. Last season's Halloween episode felt like the series was treading water with their Halloween tradition. This year is a dramatic improvement, with Louis playing the "make Jessica love Halloween" game smarter and adorable brother bonding.

If there was a list of things Jessica Huang hates, handouts, strange people in her house, and children focusing on anything other than achieving their future goals would be high on it. On the other hand, murder mysteries and stroking her ego are among her favorite things. So it makes sense that Louis, facing another year of resistance from his wife on his favorite holiday, decided to use her failed book to try to lure her into celebrating All Hallow's Eve with him. Jessica's hyper suspicion is overshadowed by the idea that her work is adored by small children (in spite of the apparently multiple sex scenes), and we get to see Constance Wu practically bouncing in glee in a Chucky costume, looking for a party celebrating her creation. Plus, Louis actually got one over on Jessica, minus a tattling Trent tripping him up, but in a typically nice Louis way. He just wants Jessica to love Halloween too, and he got his wish when the night ends with them chasing irate Powerpuff Girls with oversized carrots. Jessica loves being celebrated but she might love discipling unruly children that aren't hers even more.

I also had a great time finding out more about Jessica's book. I don't know if the old time-y one armed sea captain or the intriguing clumsy crane operator (I mean, that can't lead anywhere good) is my favorite tidbit of the book we got from this episode, but I treasure each weird detail we get. Why is the graveyard a school? Why were so many people prostitutes? And why did no one buy this book? Because it sounds amazing.

The B-story was a good counterpoint because it was just so sweet. Evan and Emery are already worried about when Eddie goes to college and decide to ask him to join them in a joint costume, and Eddie is pretty easily persuaded. Eddie and Emery were adorable as Evan, awkward shorts issues aside, and then they play each other just as well. And then the visual gag of the three of them in their old Three Amigos costume, especially on the towering Hudson Yang, was just *chef's kiss*. Still, the best part here is the undercurrent of three brothers realizing they might be doing something like this together for the last time. It's played subtly, but I think anyone with siblings has experienced those moments when one of you is getting ready to leave the house and you know things won't be quite the same anymore. Evan and Emery decide to spend their Halloween holding onto their childhood with Eddie just a little longer. I wonder how many more moments like this we'll get as the season continues. I'm certainly looking forward to them.

Okay, that's it for this week. I hope you guys had as much fun with this year's Halloween episode as I did. Do you also sit around on a Friday night wondering exactly what A Case of a Knife to the Brain is about and how a clumsy crane operator is involved? Let me know in the comments below!

90's Stuff: Mad Cow Disease (there were so many mad cow disease costumes around that time, which is weird when you think about it) Cartman

Best Line: "He notices when they kill Kenny."

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