If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Greg and Audrey look to the past to find financing for the Empathy Initiative. Kristen is partnered with Navid, Farid’s son, in a school project, and learns there’s more to him than meets the eye. Farid debates Islam with the mosque’s Imam, much to Layla’s chagrin. Ramon worries that he may have shared too much with Henry. The family heads to a familiar retreat to celebrate Hailey’s birthday, with an unexpected conclusion. (HBO)
Writer: Nancy Oliver
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Running Time: 58mins
Now we’re back on track with another focused story that furthered the main narrative as we saw the family play at the parc.
With Audrey losing her job and funding for her Empathy Initiative, it was up to her and Greg to find the money elsewhere. Looking for help, Audrey turned to Ashley for advice. She later shared with Greg that she was thinking of quitting after questioning her contribution to society. The subject then changed to their need to go on an adventure.
Today was Ashley and Malcom’s daughter Hailey’s (Avynn Crowder-Jones) birthday. They soon encountered problems while trying to find people to attend the party so Ashley had an idea to do a family picnic at a park where she used to go to when she was a kid.
Shokrani tried Ramon’s game. Meanwhile, Ramon continued to work on his game that featured imagery similar to Shokrani’s back scars. Henry wanted to fool around but Ramon wanted to work on his game. They created fake profiles on farmersonly.com. Henry struck a chord within Ramon during an argument about technology and normal life. Ramon’s game was an outlet for his issues and he so desperately didn’t want to become his mentally ill uncle. Henry vowed to still be with him, however, when Ramon woke up in the middle of the night, he was gone and left his phone in Ramon’s appartment.
Duc interrupted a conversation between Greg and one of his students to finally ask him to write a forward to his book. The problem with that was that Greg wasn’t sure what to write. While attending an award ceremony for one of his clients, Duc networked with other prospective clients and also ran into a woman who wanted to have sex with him but he shrugged her off.
Shokrani and his wife Layla were set to visit their Imam Chuck’s (Michael Weaver) home. Chuck struck a chord within Shokrani which led to an argument about the rationality of religion. Shokrani wasn’t a fan of religion which is fair considering what he went through as a child. He was offended by Chuck’s attempt to emphasize with him. Layla was unhappy with him and he was with her for trying to push religion onto him.
After a failed joke, Navid ended up paired with Kristen for a class project. Kristen was then invited to a party that she would later regret attending. Kristen was surprised to see the different side of Navid when she visited him at his house. She was fascinated by him and his life.
Though Ramon wanted to stay in his apartment until Henry came back. Greg convinced him to go to Hailey’s party. Meanwhile, Audrey found a sex toy in Greg’s car but didn’t know that it was a sex toy which was kind of hilarious. No one told her until Greg later told her was it was, however, he lied about why he had it.
The family was having fun at the park until it was time to play hide and seek. Ramon found a old stone structure to hide in and in was in there that he had another vision of what appeared to be his mother clawing her face and erupting into flames.
Overall, this was a good episode with plenty of satisfying character moments and also brought back the main storyline into focus with another Ramon vision. How this all fits together remains to be seen but it’s heading in the right direction. Though Shokrani has slowly become the most interesting character on the show, I fear that his backstory will get lost in the shuffle. The show as a whole has been compelling to watch for the most part despite seemingly going nowhere at times so hopefully the payoff with be worth it.