If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Ramon and Shokrani explore the possible psychic connection between “11:11” and a photograph in the doctor’s office. Kristen and Ashley run into trouble. Duc gets good news about his self-help manuscript, but his mood is dampened by the publisher’s request. Audrey is enlisted to help break up a politically incorrect new society at school. Disturbed in part by a medical diagnosis, Greg loses his cool in the classroom. Ramon crashes a family meeting. (HBO)
Writer: Alan Ball
Director: Uta Briesewitz
Running Time: 57mins
Last week’s premiere saw the Bayer-Boatwrights and their multiracial family come together for their father Greg’s birthday party. Their family dynamic was an interesting one but we still don’t know all that much about any of them yet. Ramon’s unique issues helped to set the episode apart from other family dramas, however, the way in which it all fits together remains to be seen.
The last episode ended with Ramon seeing Dr. Shokrani about his outburst and his mysterious connection to “11:11”. Despite smoking weed and maybe sleep deprivation, he was adamant that something was trying to communicate with him. It was revealed that Shokrani was the child in the picture and that he shared a similar connection, getting a quick flash to his time from the picture.
Aubrey believed he needed medication but it was too early to tell. She just didn’t want him to become her brother. Meanwhile, Duc and Ashley wondered what they should do for Ramon. Greg was loosing his sight and may need surgery. He did not handle that news well. Trying to understand Ramon, he was doing his own research into “11:11”. In typical Audrey fashion, she scheduled a family meeting to deal with Ramon.
The Bayer-Boatwrights aren’t the only family on the show as Shokrani and his family got some focus in the episode. He told his wife Minou (Necar Zadegan) about his patient and they tried to logically disprove his so called connection to Ramon. His birthday also happened to be on November 11th. He later decided to do some more research on his own (it’s an actual thing). His family’s quirk was that his son, who was already Muslim, liked to dress as a girl.
Ramon was worried that he was loosing his mind but at least he had his boyfriend Henry (Andy Bean) to confide in. Henry wasn’t scared away from Ramon’s problems because he believed that this was where he was meant to be. Their impromptu camping trip was interrupted once Kristen texted him about the family meeting they were going to have about him.
After her first sexual encounter, Kristen got an STD so Ashley took her to Planned Parenthood. There were protests outside for the usual stuff so they got some flack for being there even if it wasn’t for an abortion. They both were arrested after Kristen beat up a protester for calling her a whore. Kristen had fun than Ashley, especially after being caught in a lie after Malcolm bailed them out. He just wondered why she didn’t want to do all that stuff with him. The protester Kristen beat up was a sex offender who shouldn’t have been there to begin with.
Duc’s book was going to get published but the publisher wanted Greg to write a forward to it and tie its release to a new addition of Greg’s book. This did not sit well with him perhaps because he didn’t want to ride his adoptive father’s coat tails. We also got a glimpse of his upbringing which involved a promiscuous mother. This was intercut with scenes of him becoming unhinged and being promiscuous himself with several women despite being celibate.
Audrey sparked a healthy discussion between high school students over the creation of a straight, white heritage club which obviously offended other minority clubs. She later tried to push medication during the family meeting but Ramon arrived just in time to share his thoughts.
While driving to a conference, Greg found himself at an intersection where he found his own “11:11”. He decided to go a different way.
Overall, this was a good episode that more or less saw more of an even spread between the family members. The Ramon and Shokrani connection continues to be fascinating enough without introducing his own family dynamic. Each of the family members had something to do here and were all fun to watch, beit Kristen and Ashley’s trip to Planned Parenthood or Ramon and Henry doing anything. It was nice to see the start of Duc’s backstory and it will be interesting to see how all the backstories play out but hopefully the show finds the right balance between all of its characters so it remains compelling to watch and not convoluted because it’s heading in that direction.