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S02.E03: Mo/Masoud

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Al tries to find an eligible Afghan-American bachelor for his sister to marry so she can move to the United States. Also, Riley and Freddy challenge each other to an intense bowling match, on the CBS Original series UNITED STATES OF AL, Thursday, Oct. 21 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+
 

 

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Well. That was quite the end to that fight :D. 

Cool to see Ariana again, though no surprise there was some residual tension between her and Al (I laughed when he saw her at the restaurant, turned to Art, and was like, "You had one job!" :p). But it seems that tension is starting to thaw a little, so...yeah. Should be interesting to see what comes of that, since it's pretty clear that Mo and Hassina won't work out (also loved Ariana's "...I was gone for two minutes!" reaction to the news that they were trying to set up her brother and Al's sister :p). 

It was nice to have Al get a chance to catch up with Hassina online, too, and see how she's doing. Glad she seems to be okay overall, though I wouldn't blame her for feeling a bit lonely. I love that she's helping refugee children :). And Lizzie sending her some clothes was nice, too. 

(Also, on a purely shallow note, I was happy to see Al in his suit jacket from the fundraiser episode again :D. That color looks really good on him.)

As for Riley and Freddie, first off, Freddie's hair looks much better without the man bun. I wonder if he'll hold Riley to the bet about him growing out his hair and wearing a bun, 'cause that would be rather funny to see :p. 

But oof, the double whammy of them both not realizing Hazel had left and Riley learning that Freddie wants to make things more permanent with Vanessa. She was right to chew them out, and while I'm all for Riley and Freddie having a less antagonistic relationship in general, just 'cause it'd be good for all involved, yeah, this whole thing looks like it may be another topic for one of Riley's therapy sessions. And it may be something he and Hazel, as well as he and Vanessa, will need to talk about further, too, 'cause between this and the events of the last episode, he seems to be in a bit of an odd, distracted headspace right now. Understandably so, of course, but still. 

So, yeah, should be quite intriguing to see how things continue to progress with Al and Ariana, as well as Riley and Vanessa and Freddie. 

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How come no one is yelling at Hazel for leaving without telling her dad?

I was a little surprised and pleased to see Ariana be supportive of her brother. And leave it to Lizzie to have seen Mo in action.

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11 hours ago, Grizzly said:

How come no one is yelling at Hazel for leaving without telling her dad?

YES! That was my issue too. Hazel isn't 5. She may have gotten bored, but she's old enough to have walked over to her dad and Freddie and said, I'm bored can we go home now? It seems she just left without saying a word to anybody. That's all on her.  

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15 hours ago, Grizzly said:

I was a little surprised and pleased to see Ariana be supportive of her brother. And leave it to Lizzie to have seen Mo in action.

Ariana seems less traditional (not the best word, but the one I'm going with) than Al and her father. As far as she is concerned, her brother is an adult, he can do what he pleases as long as it isn't illegal or hurting anyone. She loves him because he's her brother and for who he is, not the ideal person her father thinks he should be.

Lizzie is a fun character, because she is a bit of wild child, but can also be the responsible adult, especially when it comes to the finances of the family contracting business.  

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16 minutes ago, Sarah 103 said:

 

Ariana seems less traditional (not the best word, but the one I'm going with) than Al and her father. As far as she is concerned, her brother is an adult, he can do what he pleases as long as it isn't illegal or hurting anyone. She loves him because he's her brother and for who he is, not the ideal person her father thinks he should be.

Lizzie is a fun character, because she is a bit of wild child, but can also be the responsible adult, especially when it comes to the finances of the family contracting business.  

That's what I like about Lizzie. She's fully dimensional. She can kick up her heels and also conduct herself as a grown-up.

What I really like this show is how everyone gets along for the most part, and is supportive of each other. Even the breakdown of Riley and Vanessa's marriage isn't fraught with bickering and backstabbing.

And I loved the look on Al's face when Ariana gave him a chaste peck on the cheek. So cute!

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On 10/21/2021 at 11:11 PM, Grizzly said:

How come no one is yelling at Hazel for leaving without telling her dad?

I suppose this is entirely in my imagination, but I can see Hazel trying to get her dad's attention, and he and bun man being so engrossed in trying to out bowl each other they didn't even notice her.

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5 hours ago, Beezella said:

I suppose this is entirely in my imagination, but I can see Hazel trying to get her dad's attention, and he and bun man being so engrossed in trying to out bowl each other they didn't even notice her.

That's how I read her choosing to leave, too. She loves her dad and also likes Freddie and doesn't like seeing them constantly butting heads like they do. Sure, their competition this time around wasn't quite as antagonistic as it's been, but still, that undercurrent of tension is still there, so I don't blame her for wanting to just not deal with it at all, and being a bit disappointed that a fun outing turned into a sparing match between Riley and Freddie. 

On 10/22/2021 at 1:39 PM, Bookish Jen said:

And I loved the look on Al's face when Ariana gave him a chaste peck on the cheek. So cute!

I appreciate that they had her kiss be a chaste one, given Al's background and all - I like that she seemed to understand and respect that about him. But boy, there were moments during their fight where she sure looked like she wanted to just haul off and kiss him right on the lips :D!

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18 hours ago, Beezella said:

I suppose this is entirely in my imagination, but I can see Hazel trying to get her dad's attention, and he and bun man being so engrossed in trying to out bowl each other they didn't even notice her.

Same. Freddy gave her $20, plus whatever change her dad gave her, and they assumed she was still in the arcade. I know video games are expensive but I seem to recall bowling alley arcade games being more of the 50cent vs $5 variety.

I re-watched this episode because I completely missed the fight at the end. I love that while Al is staying true to his roots and perceived role, the women in his life aren't just kowtowing to what he thinks is best and I really love that Arianna is an independent, freethinking woman who speaks her mind. I hope whatever story they have planned for Al and Arianna results in Al growing beyond his rigid traditional beliefs and finds a way to reconcile them in a way that works for his new life.

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1 hour ago, theredhead77 said:

I really love that Arianna is an independent, freethinking woman who speaks her mind.

I think that's what Al finds most appealing about her, too, alongside her physical beauty. For all his traditional ways of thinking and living, he does support women having more of a prominent role in society - look at the way he talks up Hassina and all that she's achieved, for instance, he clearly admires her greatly :D. He's also been empathetic to her when they've discussed how their mom would feel about Hassina doing all this work instead of focusing on giving her the grandchildren she wants. And in the first episode this season, he was distraught over what the Taliban takeover would mean in terms of affecting women's ability to go to school, or learn music. So based off all of that, I can definitely see where he'd be intrigued by Ariana - she challenges him, and she shares a lot of the kinds of traits he admires in women like his mom and sister :). 

But yes, that traditional streak does still run strong within him all the same to some degree. Some of it, I think, is simply borne out of the fact that he's just a natural protective/caretaker sort as it is, and that's what motivates a lot of his interaction with women in general. Though, yes, when you've grown up being taught certain beliefs and ways of thinking, it can take a while to shake some of them off even when you personally may not agree with them. So I too hope to see how he and Ariana navigate that issue going forward. Luckily, he has shown himself to be quick to adapt and learn new ways of thinking and living, so I imagine it shouldn't be too difficult for him to find some more common ground with her over time :). 

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On 10/22/2021 at 2:39 PM, Bookish Jen said:

And I loved the look on Al's face when Ariana gave him a chaste peck on the cheek. So cute!

He does that starry eyed look so well, without literally putting the stars in his eyes. “Seasoned” viewers might remember how they did that with Davy Jones in The Monkees!

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7 minutes ago, chitowngirl said:

He does that starry eyed look so well, without literally putting the stars in his eyes. “Seasoned” viewers might remember how they did that with Davy Jones in The Monkees!

Ha! Yes! Great comparison. 

But yeah, I remember in the episode where they first met, the way he was looking at her, you could practically almost see the hearts in his eyes :D. So it was nice to see that expression again here, too. Especially after they let out all that tension that had been simmering throughout the episode. 

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1 hour ago, nelroy78 said:

Was it just me or did Lizzie seem to have the hots for Mo? 
 

And yes how did Hazel get off so easy? 

Thete was totally a little flirting going on.

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Nice to see Ariana, there is clearly still some tension between the two of them, actual tension and some sexual tension, but it looks like there might be some romance in their future! Another fun episode, I really do love how everyone on the show is a basically nice person, it makes the show so delightful to watch.

Of course Lizzie has seen Mo at his DJ gig before. While Mo and Hassina might have a future, I did get a vibe between him and Lizzie. Its sweet that Ariana is so supportive of her brother, even if his dad is still hoping for him to trade in his turn table for teeth. 

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On 10/24/2021 at 6:56 PM, Annber03 said:

I think that's what Al finds most appealing about her, too, alongside her physical beauty. For all his traditional ways of thinking and living, he does support women having more of a prominent role in society - look at the way he talks up Hassina and all that she's achieved, for instance, he clearly admires her greatly :D. He's also been empathetic to her when they've discussed how their mom would feel about Hassina doing all this work instead of focusing on giving her the grandchildren she wants. And in the first episode this season, he was distraught over what the Taliban takeover would mean in terms of affecting women's ability to go to school, or learn music. So based off all of that, I can definitely see where he'd be intrigued by Ariana - she challenges him, and she shares a lot of the kinds of traits he admires in women like his mom and sister :). 

But yes, that traditional streak does still run strong within him all the same to some degree. Some of it, I think, is simply borne out of the fact that he's just a natural protective/caretaker sort as it is, and that's what motivates a lot of his interaction with women in general. Though, yes, when you've grown up being taught certain beliefs and ways of thinking, it can take a while to shake some of them off even when you personally may not agree with them. So I too hope to see how he and Ariana navigate that issue going forward. Luckily, he has shown himself to be quick to adapt and learn new ways of thinking and living, so I imagine it shouldn't be too difficult for him to find some more common ground with her over time :). 

Al is an interesting mix of the traditional and modern. I would say he has some of the best qualities of both. He is proud of Hassina for her accomplishments and supports her career. He believes in women having opportunites in the world beyond being a wife and mother. At the same time he has a very strong belief in respecting elders, sacrificing for family/putting family above the self, does not gamble and does not drink alcohol.  

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