Dr. Ken this week looks at divorce. In keeping with this season’s focus on family, “Child of Divorce” (aka D.K.’s Divorce) looks at how we turn into children when faced with our own parents’ divorce. D.K. reveals to Ken that his marriage ended two years ago and Ken is devastated.
The fact that his parents broke up after so many years of marriage bothers Ken and he worries that his relationship with Allison is in danger. Dave, proving that he is his father’s son, decides that his relationship with Emily is also doomed.
The episode begins with a slightly awkward “welcome meal” for Allison where she learns that Ken has been telling stories about their personal life. The awkward shifts into high gear when Pat spies D.K. with a young blonde in the restaurant.
As the group watch, D.K. and the blonde kiss and Ken is not happy. Later he confronts his father about the incident and D.K. reveals that not only have he and Ken’s mother gotten divorced, but Ken is literally the last person to know.
D.K. and Ken’s mother both believed the news would be too traumatic and that Ken would not be able to handle it. After Ken assures D.K. that everything is fine, he goes into the kitchen ands screams silently. Allison, waits a beat and asks, “So how’d it go?”
Later she tells Dave and Molly about the breakup. Molly immediately asks how her father is taking the news and Dave worries. Both kids know where their dad goes to cry.
Pat believes that D.K. has mastered the dating scene and is determined to learn his secrets. Ken panics and works overtime to “save” his marriage to Allison. He brings her lunch and then, after “overthinking the situation” takes the food away.
Molly treats her grandfather to a psychiatric session. She tells him that Ken is not handling the news well at all. D.K. shows up at Welltopia to see his son and gets hijacked by Pat. He takes Ken’s dad to buy him a beer and pick his brain.
Damona pranks Ken and he goes to the bar to talk with D.K. After learning why his parents broke up, Ken tells his father about his worries. D.K. explains that Ken and Allison have a good marriage as they talk about things and have a chemistry.
The episode ends with Ken talking to his mother on Skype and learning that she has a new male friend. Cue more upset from Ken.
Ken’s silent scream and collapse in the kitchen.
Allison’s deadpan reaction to the silent scream.
D.K. telling Pat to talk less.
Molly’s practicing psychiatry. “I read ahead.”
Ken surprising Allison at work with flowers and takeaway only to leave with all the gifts seconds later.
Molly and D.K. and their counseling session. “Well, that’s our time…”
Dave and Emily in the kitchen playing monopoly. “Someone’s in a chatty mood.”
Damona’s “dead dad” prank that she plays on Ken.
Molly saving Dave and Emily’s “broken” relationship.
Dave clearly wanting his girlfriend to be less verbal; as in silent.
D.K. with his explanation of how he and Ken’s mother grew apart:
“She watch a lot of golf…I hate golf. Ball go up, ball come down. I fall asleep. Woke up 30 years later and we have grown apart.”
Pat’s reaction to D.K. making him buy “Asian Doogie Howser” a beer. “Sexy, sexy man.”
This episode was one of the funniest episodes this season. However, apart from the laughs and the divorce plunging Ken into instant childhood, the show revealed a number of things about the Park family.
Dave is clearly just like Ken in some areas and Molly takes after Allison in others. The kids have grown this season. Molly is less about the parties, boys and being popular and more about school and family.
D.K.’s pep talk where he helps Dave make friends in an earlier episode may have helped but the youngest Park is also growing up. Although he still has to learn about letting girlfriends talk if he wants to keep one.
Ken’s relationship with Molly has also matured. He is less focused on losing his daughter. With Allison now almost literally working down the hall he is more focused on his relationship with his wife.
This was a splendid direction for the show to take. There is just enough mischief at the “office” to keep things interesting and the addition of D.K. makes the Park family comedically complete.
Kudos to Dave Foley, Jonathan Slavin and Tisha Campbell-Martin. Slavin and Martin are the new Dr. Ken double act and Foley is truly hysterical as the single-minded Pat.
Albert Tsai and Krista Marie Yu are “Mary Poppins” kids; practically perfect in every way and have an effortless give and take. Zooey Jeong is beyond perfect as Emily and the day she and Dave break up will be a sad one.
Ken and Suzy Nakamura continue to be “that” couple. They are sharing the laughs evenly this season and the show’s familial comedy is stronger for it.
Dana Lee as D.K. nails it, each and every time he is on screen. He is the master of comedic gravitas.
Dr. Ken continues to be one of the best ensemble comedy shows on television. The series airs Fridays on ABC. Stop by and get ready to laugh…hard.