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The Neighborhood - Welcome to the Bad Review & Welcome to the Hockey Game - Reviews

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Welcome back! This week there is two episode recaps, so let the reviews begin:

In last week’s episode, it turns out Calvin and Tina’s auto shop keeps losing its employees, and it might be because they don’t like the way Calvin treats them. Dave immediately offers his expertise as a conflict mediator, saying he can manage to reach a middle point between the employees and Calvin, and after some teasing from Calvin (and a threat) he agrees to let Dave help.

Later in the day, Dave comes over to the Butler’s house to question Calvin about his point of view on the work situation. Despite Calvin closing the door on him and being uncooperative, Dave, always the positive and persistent one, manages to get some answers out of him. Calvin thinks the problem is everyone else except him, and even when Dave, Malcolm and Marty try to tell him it might be the other way around.

At the auto shop the next day, Dave now has to talk to the rest of the mechanics to hear their side on the situation. He reassures them that none of the things they say will get them in trouble with Calvin or Tina since it’s confidential (he took an oath! Even later in the episode we see him eating a piece of paper that Tina tries to take from him to make sure it remained confidential), but in the middle of it, Calvin arrives with a big box of donuts for his employees, at a desperate attempt to get them to like him as a boss.

Calvin is so stressed while waiting for Dave to come back with the results, because he’s afraid that his employees will just say ‘lies’ about him. Tina tells him that he’s the one who made the mess, so he’s gotta deal with the consequences. And he sure did, but poorly, because Dave hasn’t even finished saying his findings because he screams immediately.

Anyhow, turns out the complaints weren’t about Calvin, but they were about Tina. She also didn’t take it well, getting really angry just like Calvin was minutes ago. Dave tells her that the employees think that she doesn’t respect their work, and she can be unfair with them. Calvin is just enjoying this a lot, happy that for once he’s not to blame as everyone thought, which in turn just makes Tina even angrier.

Tina goes to the Johnson’s house to get the folder that contains the employees complaints, but Gemma refuses to give it to her. Tina says she wants revenge because she thinks it’s sexism - that the mechanics aren’t okay because she’s a boss and a woman at the auto shop, hence the complaints.

Meanwhile, Marty still has a crush on his new neighbor, Kiera, and is afraid of asking her out. Malcolm tries to push him to ask her out for real, but Marty panics really bad to the point he ends up saying several not-funny jokes. After some time to think, Marty makes an elaborate plan to ask her out: he put some of his mail in Kiera’s mailbox, hoping that she’ll return him and he’ll have an in to ask her on a date, but it clearly backfires since she returns it… but she just slides it under his door, leaving Marty back to square one.

Marty tries to make another more complicated plan to ask her out, but Malcolm thankfully stops him in time. Marty tells him he doesn’t know what to talk about with girls, but Malcolm tells him to just be normal and give it a try.

Marty does ask her out in the end, but turns out that she has a boyfriend back in Houston (yup, Marty made the Houston, we have a boyfriend! pun), but that she would like to remain as friends. Malcolm tries to give him his condolences, but Marty seems to be in complete denial, because he says that he is on track for maybe in the future dating her.

Anyway, back to the auto shop, Dave offers to mediate between the mechanics and the Butlers to reach an agreement. Tina tries to apologize, but in the end her anger wins her over and she calls the mechanics a ‘bunch of whiny-ass babies!’. Tina calls them out on their sexism, but the mechanics say they aren’t sexist, just that the working conditions she puts them through are unfair.

Once they begin airing their grievances, it turns out that Tina had been finding ways to soften the things Calvin wanted to do, like fire some of them over breaking some things, or having them work on Christmas day. Tina and the mechanics suddenly realize Calvin is the problem after all, and they gang up on him.

Calvin still refuses to admit he’s the problem, blaming Dave for conducting this mediation. After some encouragement from Dave, Calvin half-apologizes for the way he behaves (a half-apology is a full-apology for Calvin), and they reach an agreement. It might be baby steps, but we’re getting there with the character development from Calvin - he even gave Dave a gift for his work: a mug that says “World’s Best Grandma”. Again, baby steps.

Now, for this week’s episode, we begin with Tina and Gemma getting ready to leave for their girls’ trip to a winery. Calvin thought he was going to get some alone time, but Dave comes over and tells him he got front row tickets to a hockey game. Immediately, Calvin refuses, even with Dave trying to convince him that hockey isn’t what it used to be.

Somehow, Dave manages to convince him and they go to the game. Calvin remains unimpressed at the beginning, saying it’s boring while Dave continues to list the positive things about hockey. Calvin isn’t convinced until the players start hitting each other, and then that’s when he begins enjoying the game.

Marty and Malcolm are at home watching a horror movie, when Calvin and Dave return from the game. Calvin is wearing a hockey mask with the uniform, and he scares both of them because of his resemblance to Jason from Friday the 13th (this might be the funniest bit of the episode). Afterwards, Marty asks what’s up with the matching outfits, and Calvin tells him about the hockey game, and even goes so far as to do a secret handshake with Dave, to everyone’s shock, and they even have plans to the planetarium for tomorrow.

Marty tells Calvin that he has been turning into Dave, he’s even making lame puns just like him. Calvin denies it, but his sons begin telling him that ever since he became friends with Dave he’s become a different person and doesn’t do the things he used to do, like go to Ernie’s. Calvin calls them a couple of ‘negative nancys’ and immediately backtracks because he realizes they might have a point.

The next day as they’re taking out the trash, Calvin and Dave look like they dressed very similarly. Dave points it out, and Calvin denies it, trying (poorly) to point out the differences, but even the mailman tells them they look like ‘twinsies.’ This makes Calvin reconsider and he ends up dressing the complete opposite, and making plans with his old dance crew. Marty and Malcolm tell him he looks like he’s having a midlife crisis, but Calvin tells them he’s just connecting with his old roots.

Dave comes over ready to go to the planetarium and Calvin tells him he’s sick and can’t go, and somehow Dave believes him. Calvin thinks he’s in the clear and leaves, but later on it turns out Dave didn’t go to the planetarium because he decided to stay and make some soup for Calvin. Marty and Malcolm try to cover for his dad, but as Dave was leaving, Calvin walks in dancing and not sick at all.

Dave confronts him on the lie, and Calvin tells him he’s sick of being so much like him, like dressing alike and going to hockey games. Dave is clearly upset, saying that he thought they were friends, then leaves the house.

Meanwhile, Tina and Gemma arrive at the hotel to check in, and while they’re there the front desk clerk thinks Tina is Mary J. Blige because of Tina’s blonde wig. She tries to explain that she’s not a celebrity, but the man doesn’t believe her, and instead upgrades them to the penthouse suite, making Tina change her mind so she goes along with the charade.

Tina is enjoying the benefits of being a ‘celebrity’, but Gemma is worried they’re going to get caught. Tina tells her that she doesn’t have to worry, and that she always dreamed of being a singer since she was little, and this situation is the closest she would get to it.

Everything seems to be going well so far until the clerk comes by and asks Tina to sing at a party in the hotel. Gemma agrees for her, and when Tina begins worrying that she won’t be able to pull it off, Gemma tells her that she has a killer voice and that this is her chance to be the singer she always wanted to be.

When the time comes, Tina is ready to sing but then she finds out that the birthday girl isn’t a white woman like she thought so she panics because she won’t be able to get away with fooling her that she’s Mary J. Blige. However, it’s too late to back out, so Tina goes and sings, and she does have fun with it. She thinks she managed to fool everyone, but the birthday girl, Cynthia, tells Gemma she knows that isn’t Mary. Gemma manages to convince her to not say anything in exchange for the penthouse suite, and she agrees.

At the end of the episode, Calvin goes over to talk to Dave, and explains why he did what he did. Dave tells him that he doesn’t see what was wrong with them influencing each other, and tells him that he has changed as well and become more like Calvin, but that he doesn’t want to be friends with someone who thinks being him is a bad thing. Calvin apologizes, and Dave forgives him, and they go back to normal.

This episode showed most of Calvin’s character development through the seasons, especially when he apologized, because he has changed quite a lot, and it is in some way thanks to Dave. Of course he hasn’t changed completely, since the two still disagree and that difference will always be what makes this show funny.

What were your thoughts on these two episodes? Leave a comment below!

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