Is Joe changing for the worse?
Ask Angela, and she may tell you he is, but it's easy to lose your sense of self when your ordinary life is suddenly unrecognizable. And Joe is most certainly not the same man we met in Average Joe Season 1 Episode 1.
With the money still out there and the Russians closing in, Joe and company needed to get back into the Washington house during Average Joe Season 1 Episode 6, and their plan was all sorts of crazy. But what else would you expect from this crew?
Angela and Jennifer have been a little wishy-washy about whether or not they should keep going after the money, so on the one hand, it's understandable why Joe pushed back on his wife when she told him to skip town and leave it all behind.
Because she was telling him to go after the money not too long ago.
But Angela's fears and desire to run have always been rooted in wanting to protect her family and nothing else.
She could feel the walls closing in with each new death that popped up, and above all else, she didn't want to see the people she loved become collateral damage in this war she never asked to be a part of.
Angela didn't seem to fully grasp how much it's not possible to back out now, though. They had an assassin on their tail, bodies were dropping all over the city, and it all circled back to them.
They were running out of options.
Going after the money wasn't going to solve all their problems in one fell swoop, but it would be a win, and they could use it to help them get out of town and maybe even help them with the Russians.
It's clear that Angela has always been the odd person out of the group, and you can see her becoming increasingly disillusioned with Joe the longer things go on, and she's not wrong to feel that way.
Or were they?
Dad could have us thrown in jail or killed, and you've just gone along with it. Make him listen to you. Stop protecting his ego. You're better than that. You're better than that, Mom.Jen
They're now at a point where Joe sees a life that's more than just "nice." His father left him a mess, but it's not only something he seemingly feels like he has to see through but something that he wants to see through.
He's been battered and bruised, and he doesn't want all the pain and suffering to be for nothing.
And while Joe is most certainly a changed man, he hasn't completely lost his soul. He's still a man with a conscience and a heart. The man who will go back to save a dying man in a grocery store when it means he could die himself.
Jennifer is so young, and it's easy to forget, once you're years removed from being a teenager, how much you thought you had it all figured out back then. There's little you can tell an eighteen-year-old that they will accept at face value.
But Jennifer was the only one who seemed to understand Angela right now, and it's a good thing they have each other. Though, obviously, by the end of the hour, they're no longer together.
We're not done by a long shot, Touch. I'm going back to your friend's house, and you better hope I don't find anything.Talford
One of the best things the series did was introduce Arina. She's just as menacing as Nicolai and just as dangerous, and she's a formidable villain. They're saving Nicolai for the latter parts of the season, and it's a good move. Arina fills the role very nicely.
A shadowy bad guy can be a good thing when done correctly. And while Nicolai has been a background character mainly, he has proven to be diabolical and a man worth fearing. And they tease him just enough that he doesn't venture into cartoonish.
And adding Arina, as an assassin also beholden to Nicolai's power, only adds to his mythic lore.
I was curious why Arina took Angela's medicine previously, and now we know it was to track her down in a different way.
Taking Angela changes EVERYTHING because now it's very personal. And Joe will have to come face-to-face with his decisions and what it all means in the long run.
He's getting the money for his family, yet he's putting them in the most danger.
At least now, he has the ten million as a bargaining chip.
This man sure know how to fuck up a Christmas.Joe
Teddy put A LOT of effort into hiding that money and ensuring that only Joe could figure out where it was. But a man that leaves his son in the woods to teach him a lesson would surely not make a cute little map with an 'x marks the spot' plastered on it for Joe to find.
With the cops swarming the house, getting back inside wouldn't be easy, and Jennifer's plan to tell Talford some half-truths wasn't the worst. It would have gotten Talford off their case, at least prematurely, but involving people you can't trust is always dangerous.
And Talford is VERY much a loose cannon.
Did you fall for Touch's shooting? I did.
It was a pretty clever plan, if not a bit scary. Shooting someone, even with a vest on, could go wrong if everything doesn't go exactly as planned.
What if someone caught up with Cathy? Or she tilted the gun a little too much, and it missed Touch's chest?
They're lucky things went off without a hitch.
Fucking, Cathy. Bitch is a maniac. But her plan did work.Joe
Touch took the hit, but he wasn't expecting to get the third degree from Talford while recovering in pain and looking for his morphine.
The back-and-forth between Touch and Talford has been entertaining since she came on the scene, and with her mother's case lingering in the background, it just adds another absorbing layer.
Because while she wants to find out who chopped off Dimitri's head, she's tied to Nicolai differently.
For someone who does a lot of lying, Touch is awful at it. His face gives everything away, and Talford is far too intelligent not to see what Touch was trying to do. Obviously, he's protecting Joe, but Talford doesn't see Joe as some cold-blooded killer.
In a way, she's blinded by her Nicolai hate, though in other ways, she's not wrong to put her focus there.
It's too soon for Talford to understand what's going on, so it wasn't surprising to see her narrowly miss Joe hiding in the closet clutching ten million dollars to his chest. But she's certainly getting there.
Searching Touch's house didn't yield anything that would help her with the case, though now that she knows about his drug problem, it'll be interesting to see how she moves with that information.
Touch needs help, so will she be that help for him, or will she use this new knowledge to get something she wants from him?
We're halfway through Average Joe Season 1, and if you were worried the series would lull or bring that high energy down, there's no need to fret.
The series is only getting stronger.
Extra, Average Facts
- Why do they always make the Governor the slimy guy in these crime dramas? Governor Davis being a Nicolai minion again reiterates how much influence Nicolai has and how brutal this fight against him will be.
Talford: What exactly do you need me to do, Governor?
Governor Davis: Chill.
Governor Davis: Chill.
- RIP golfers. Let this be a lesson not to use someone's tragedy to seek out a viral moment.
- Leon is easily the heart and soul of the group, and I feel so bad for him because he continues to get such little respect. But my guess for the back half of this season? Leon will eventually come through for his friends and family in a big way.
- This hour was missing Cathy heavily.
- If Angela can try to appeal to Arina, from mother to mother, there may be a path there. Arina is as hard as they come, but she's reprogrammed herself solely so she can get back to her daughter, and if Angela can get to that part of her, Arina is the weakest link Nicolai has right now.
- The flashbacks at the beginning of each episode are such a nice touch in setting up the tone of the hour and giving you some much-needed context.
Things are getting very, very real now for Joe and everyone as the Nicolai threat gets closer every day.
Let me know in the comments what you thought about the hour and where you feel things may be headed next.
Make sure you catch Average Joe on BET+ every Thursday when a new episode drops!
Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.