Fresh Off the Boat could not resist a politically themed episode just in front of the November 8 voting day next week. “Citizen Jessica” allows a few sly digs at the proposed Trump “wall” between the US and Mexico, as well as immigration full stop. Eddie, along with his friends, talk Tupac, Biggie Smalls and Suge Knight. While Barefoot Dave wants to know if Tupac sang “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
Louis has set up his restaurant as a polling station for his district. It is the 1996 presidential election, Louis and Emery are excited about the idea of voting. However, Jessica, Grandma Huang and Eddie are not bothered at all. Evan, is on the fence, although as he points out to Emery, the “one vote” concept is undermined by the Electoral College.
As far as Jessica is concerned, the election is all about taxes for things she does not support. She also learns that Hector; the cook at Louis’ restaurant, does not pay taxes and he is an illegal immigrant.
Jessica sets up advertisements around the polling station and the Cattleman’s Ranch telling voters to say yes for immigration reform. Hector responds by picketing the restaurant and then quits after Jessica calls immigration officials.
Emery hands out Bob Dole buttons and Evan reminds him of the pointless nature of his actions.
At school Eddie and his friends are congratulating themselves on getting the best table in the cafeteria. This does not last long however as the discussion soon turns to the death of Tupac Shakir.
Everyone has an opinion on who killed the rapper. Suspects include Biggie Smalls, a suggestion and angers Eddie, and even Suge Knight. Communications break down between the boys and everyone deserts their cool new table.
Meanwhile Jessica gets in trouble when the immigration officials arrive. She finds out that her permanent visa ran out and she is now an illegal immigrant.
There is an added sense of irony when the lawyer that Louis hires to represent Jessica speaks Spanish. She explains that she thought the permanent visa was just that; permanent. The problem is quickly sorted as is Hector’s illegal status.
The cook learns what he must do, with Jessica’s help, and agrees to come back to work as soon as the problem is sorted. He also agrees to help on the Huang’s taxes.
Emery is disappointed that Senator Bob Dole did not get in and Louis is upset that they only got four voters at this polling station. Eddie and his boys sort out their differences with a little help from Grandma Huang and MTV.
Eddies watches a music video with Tupac in it and realizes that the trousers the rapper is wearing only came out after his death. The boys now believe that Tupac is alive.
Harmony reins supreme once more in the Eddie Huang gang, but the lads have not lost their cool table in the cafeteria.
This was an excellent episode, in that it touched on the importance of voting, while simultaneously pointing out that the Electoral College has the final say. It also tackled issues brought up in this election from the Trump side of the fence.
Fresh Off the Boat manages to consistently entertain and is getting funnier and funnier. It also manages to occasionally address social issues.
The series airs Tuesdays on ABC.