Fresh Off the Boat Season 1 Episode 7 Review: Showdown at the Golden Saddle

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So it turns out Louis isn't as good of a guy as we thought.

Of course, he's a sitcom dad and sitcom dads are never so much morally corrupt as they are misguided in a goofy sort of way. But, in the interest of treating sitcom dads as people and not stock characters, let's acknowledge that Louis stealing the idea of Cattleman Ranch from a Golden Saddle was a pretty dirty move. 

This isn't the primary take away from Fresh Off the Boat Season 1 Episode 7, but it's certainly the main development.

Elsewhere is a look at pre-teen love as Eddie decides to take action with the hot neighbor. From what we know about Eddie so far, he's not a shy kid and he has even made advances on Honey's stepdaughter Nicole.

On Fresh off the Boat Season 1 Episode 5, he was pretty forward with her in asking her to wash his car and let him take pictures. That interaction, however, had a very broad comic tone.

Here, there are a few tonal shifts the show has to pull off to make any romance work. For one, when we first saw Nicole, she seemed pretty satan-like. She swatted a kid's basketball shot for no reason when she first entered the frame in Fresh off the Boat Season 1 Episode 3 and we heard stories from Honey that she was pretty much a brat.

Nicole is a little more like a typical teenager now. Additionally, Eddie had to be written a little more timidly because he's had absolutely no shortage of confidence up to this point.

One of the themes of this series is that rap can save the day. It's Eddie's love letter to the girl and it works fairly well here. It's unrealistic that he'll get the girl (at least the early in the series) but there can be a small exchange. As I've mentioned before, this show is influenced by the stylings of TGIF, so there's going to be a leaning towards a happy teachable moment at installment's end.

On the Louis-Jessica front, there were a lot of balls being juggled in the air: Louis's dark secret, Jessica's love of country clubs, and a new rival in the form of a Golden Saddle owner named Finnegan (Eastbound and Down's Steve Little). At least two of these plot lines were underserved here, but it's quite possible that Finnegan will return.

It makes sense that Jessica sympathizes with Louis's confession to the extent that I kind of wonder what took Louis so long to reveal this news. It's pretty obvious that cutting corners like this is in Jessica's wheelhouse. 

The funny thing is that Mitch (not the brightest tool in the shed) is the one who called it in Fresh off the Boat Episode 1 Season 1.

Mitch: I've always wanted to work in a Golden Corral.
Louis: This isn't a Golden Corral. This is the Cattleman's Ranch.
Mitch:But I thought this is a spin-off of Golden Corral. You've got all the same stuff.
Louis: Not the same stuff. It's very different stuff.
Mitch: But that bear is the same.
Louis: The bear's brown. At Golden Corral, the bear's black
Mitch: Snake skins?
Louis: Different snake.
Mitch: You're the boss. If you tell me that it's not a Golden Corral.
Louis: No, it's not. You're crazy. (jokingly)
Mitch: I am (jokingly). I mean, not supercrazy, because it has all the same stuff.

The problem here is it does paint Eddie as a little sleazier than I initially thought he was, but maybe that's just me. Do you guys think that it was a little low of Louis to steal the training manual of another restaurant and use it to design his restaurant? Does it matter in terms of the show? Do you think it was unnatural how timid Eddie's character was here? Remember when you're in doubt, you can always watch watch Fresh Off the Boat online here at TV Fanatic. 

Next week on Fresh off the Boat Season 1 Episode 8 Eddie tries to befriend the only other Chinese kid in the school. Meet us here for another full review!

Showdown at the Golden Saddle Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

Orrin Konheim is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and his personal blog at Sophomore Critic.

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Fresh Off the Boat Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Louis: You better watch out because Scarface and Miller's Crossing are coming at you.
Restaurant Owner: Is that what you guys call each other? There's nothing I hate more than a couple of cinephiles.

Which one says I'm rich enough to be invited but not rich enough that you can ask me to donate money?