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GRChereck

S02.E15: U-N--UNFORGETTABLE P-A--PAIN

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Ray is miserable after breaking up with Taylor. When Maya cheers him up with a day out, Ray has a plan of his own. Meanwhile, JJ is nervous about his first friend date with Aaron, so Dylan offers to make sure everything goes smoothly; however, it's everything but smooth. And Kenneth teaches Jimmy how to be the one in charge at home.

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Damn, Jimmy... O_O I was a little concerned his plot with Kenneth might end up being a rehash of 2x3 -- when Maya tried coaching him to be a more assertive boss, only to realize he needed to find an approach of his own that would suit him better -- but then it went somewhere a lot heavier than I'd anticipated... (I guess that's why there's no mention of Kenneth in the plot synopses for the next three episodes; whatever he'll be doing, if he's backing off from JJ for the time being, I could understand ABC wanting to keep that stuff secret so as not to spoil the real twist of this ep.)

It's possible that rant may have been building up inside Jimmy for a while; but it wouldn't surprise me that since his son legally became an adult, it's been hitting him hard that he doesn't have much time left to bond with Jimmy Jr. before the young man will want to leave home and strike out on his own. :(

Speaking of JJ, I like that he was able to find a friend through his Film class. :) After previous episodes have had him pursuing or raising questions about the possibility of romantic relationships (such as the s.1 Claire arc, and "the talk" in 2x4), it was nice to see the show get real about challenges he faces in simply making friends. And while this was the second episode in a row where JJ lashed out at others while wallowing in self-pity, he didn't seem as much of jerk about it this time so it didn't feel as much of a rehash as it could've -- I got the sense that he'd been burned before by others who hadn't been keen on getting that close with him, and he didn't feel he could trust Aaron not to let him down either. (Fortunately, according to the ABC press releases, we'll see Aaron at least one more time in one of the two episodes airing next Wednesday!)

I thought the stuff with Ray was the funniest -- especially his "Unforgettable Pain" song (which reminded me a bit of the infamous "Lady L" from 'Freaks & Geeks'), and afterwards Dylan singing it and wondering "where's that from? it's so good!" xD 

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: clarity
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I liked this episode because I think most people don't really think about the unending grind of daily obstacles, and tney managed to portray it without making it a pity party of a tale of "inspirational overcoming." It's true that JJ is not a perfect angel, but no one else on the show is, either, so I like it. His friend was clueless but he turned out to want to and be capable of pretty decent rate of change and he was totally sincere.

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I liked that episode. Good plots all around and I liked how it showed how inaccessible life can be sometimes.

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JJ's plot was great. His new friend and the constant movie references could get tiresome but I do love that he absolutely wanted to stick it out for JJ and it was JJ who pushed him away. He's a good egg, if a bit annoying. It's amazing how inaccessible the world really is and how little someone like me has to think about that. 10 blocks is nothing to me but everything to JJ. And I love that Dylan was so there for JJ and willing to stress herself out to help him have a good outing. She's so often the "mean" one so it's a nice reminder that she's a sweetheart down in there somewhere and would go to bat for her family.

The Jimmy and Kenneth plot was a bit less successful. I don't think they earned that reveal. We haven't really seen Jimmy missing time with JJ. The lightbulb wasn't really enough to sell that even though the two actors work well off of each other.

Ray's plot was horrid! I hate Ray. Going to a woman's work for a big gesture is so manipulative. It puts her on the spot and she looks like the bad guy if she says no. Plus, it could cost her that job if the customers complain or a manager isn't understanding. Keeping her hair is  super-creepy. And after all of that, Taylor read him for filth (literally the best thing that happened all episode) and Ray took that as a maybe and not the clear no it was. How awful and tone deaf considering the conversations we're having now as a society about respecting women's boundaries. Add in the stalking with the drone and I'm very disappointed. I wish Maya had called him out instead of leaning into supportive mom. You shouldn't support your kid if he's doing something wrong. You should teach your kid and then be there for them.

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I thought the opening sequence was great. I love JJ and Dylan together I think she isn't competitive with him like she is with Ray and that's why their relationship is so touching. I thought Aaron was rude to change plans with JJ at the last minute he never checked to see if the new theater was accessible which would have been tough for JJ. I agree that Ray's obsession with Taylor was creepy and not funny. I think Jimmy realized for the first time that he was jealous of Kenneth's friendship with JJ. Kenneth does spend more time with the DiMeos than he should.

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While I agree about Ray doing what he did at Taylor's work was potentially manipulative, I didn't see the drone as stalking as he wasn't using it to spy on her but as a delivery system of items unless I misunderstood. It looked like he had stuff tied to the drone and was sending it into the shop when Maya stopped it.  

As someone who actually had a stalker, this didn't seem stalkery to me.  Now if he does it again after her clearly rejecting him then...

YMMV.

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was indifferent to this episode

 

jj being an ass because of his needs and his behaviour with his friend, is getting old really fast, wheveter it's this or the party or college, also wouldn't his wheelchair be waterproofed or something? seems odd that it wouldn't be protected from rain, also the movie references got old fast

 

the jimmy and kenneth plot was uninteresting, like jimmy should know that kenneth spends as much time as he does because he's jj's assistant, if it's such a big deal then why doesn't jimmy make more  of an effort to spend time with jj,  also it felt weird that the dog wasn't already trained,

 

ray's plot annoyed me, like if taylor is being like that when he didn't even want to be kissed by the girl and he wasn't allowed to explain himself, then he should move on from her, also i hate how basically all ray's plots involve dating or girls, like there's nothing wrong with being single, i don't know if it's a conscious thing on the part of the writers, but part of me wonders if because ray isn't your typical masculine guy  and looking masculine if they are trying to make ray seem into girls so people don't wonder if he's gay but i find it annoying and unneeded

 

it'd be nice if instead ray did move on from  her and we explored non romance plots with him, i hate when shows do plots like the guy is always needed to have a romance. 

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On 3/8/2018 at 9:22 AM, vibeology said:

The Jimmy and Kenneth plot was a bit less successful. I don't think they earned that reveal. We haven't really seen Jimmy missing time with JJ. The lightbulb wasn't really enough to sell that even though the two actors work well off of each other.

That's largely why I would think it more believable if this were a more recent development (brought on by JJ turning 18) than something he'd been feeling for a while -- if it were the latter case, it would've needed a lot more groundwork than simply being set off one day by the lightbulb and the dog-training. (Sort of like in the "Star Wars" episode when JJ confessed to Ray how much he'd been missing him since Taylor came into the picture; aside from one or two lines earlier in the ep, it seemed to come out of nowhere.) 

On 3/8/2018 at 5:19 PM, kathyk24 said:

I think Jimmy realized for the first time that he was jealous of Kenneth's friendship with JJ. Kenneth does spend more time with the DiMeos than he should.

I saw where in the next ep that airs ("One A-N--Angry M-Maya"), Kenneth and JJ are supposed have a plot together while Maya's away at jury duty and Jimmy picks up the slack with Dylan and Ray -- sounds like a return to the status quo, though I like to think the two men at least have a new understanding between them that 1) if Jimmy feels his relationship with JJ is lacking or suffering in some way, he needs to speak up and 2) Kenneth would be more than happy to step back and give them any space / time they need to work out their stuff.

***

Something else I thought about this episode: I knew going into it that it would have the basically the same character pairings as this season's Christmas ep (2x10, "S-I--Silent N-I--Night"), but I thought it was neat how their plots had some parallels but also enough differences to not seem like a total repeat:

1) Ray/Maya -- just as he'd had her back when he had stood up to Taylor's mom (instead of siding against his own mother, as Maya had feared), Maya ultimately showed her support for Ray by letting him confront Taylor in person (despite her having been rightly concerned about him making an ass of himself with the drone) and being genuinely happy for him when he got what he wanted (any kind of emotional response to let him know she still cared on some level -- even if just to angrily tell him everything he'd done wrong -- as opposed to the "so distant, so unfeeling" way she'd treated him earlier);

2) Jimmy/Kenneth -- both plots started out kinda silly yet took a more sincere turn as the guys came to some sort of understanding about each other; but while the Christmas plot wrapped up sweetly (with each man learning a bit about the other's work-life and then giving him something he wanted), this plot ended abruptly on a rather intense note;

3) JJ/Dylan -- besides both eps featuring JJ's Film class, they each dealt in some way with everyday challenges and obstacles he faces; but while the Christmas episode had Dylan learning from JJ about what he goes through as a nonverbal person (not through her vow-of-silence experiment, as she had assumed, but by figuring out exactly what she'd done to anger him and how she needed to make it up to him, as well as through the video he ended up making as a gift to his family), this one instead focused more on the wheelchair aspect (especially accessibility problems and various hazards -- rain, dog droppings, blocked pathways, etc. -- in public places) and had JJ learning a lesson from Dylan about not getting in his own way when it comes to forging friendships*.

(* - not unlike the advice their dad gave her -- "let 'em in" -- in 2x2 after she told him about her lack of friends at school.)

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: additional thoughts

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I still think thst JJ is inhibiting his ability to more easily interact with a friend (and warn about piles of poop) by being reliant on others to speak for him. It inhibits his efforts at independence.  This also happened when he visited a local college by himself and couldn't communicate with anyone.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse

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I thought the JJ/Aaron friendship was great..and although I did initially think that Aaron was a little rude at not checking with JJ about the change of venue, I changed my mind later. I was thinking that maybe Aaron found out about the movie at the last minute and had no way to contact JJ.  Aaron seemed very willing to do whatever it took to get JJ to the theatre and didn’t seems bothered in the least that they actually missed the movie. I was disappointed in JJ though in that he didn’t admit to Aaron that he understood how it felt to have people tire of you.

Dylan was very sweet in being the chaperone for JJ.

and Ray. He is starting to creep me out a bit. And I’m very glad that Taylor was strong enough to stand up for herself and tell him off. She apparently has boundaries , which is a good thing. (I’m in a line of work where girls and women stay in unhealthy relationships because they are afraid of being alone)

and..Taylor has a job. Maybe Ray ought to get one so he isn’t self absorbed.

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Normally I love Ray, but yeah, I think he went a bit too far this week. I am not fully jumping to "creepy creep who needs to die in a fire" or anything, but I hope he backs off, or has an actual conversation with Taylor if he wants to get back together with her. He hasn't ever had a girlfriend in his life, so I can cut him some slack that he has no idea how to deal with heartbreak. I would say that Maya should tell him about boundaries...but boundaries and Maya have never really been two things that go together. 

I really like JJs new movie obsessed friend, and I am glad that it looks like he will stick around. I can certainly see he would be a lot to deal with, but he seems like a nice kid. My favorite part of the plot though was seeing how hard it can be for JJ to do something as seemingly simple as going to the movies, or going down the street. It was sweet to see how Dylan tries so hard to be there for him and make things easier, in her typical, abrasive way. I always love when the show gets into the nitty gritty of what its like to live with a disability. Not in a pitying way or "inspirational" way, but just in a practical way. 

I was surprised at how real the stuff between Jimmy and Kenneth got. This show really does do a good job at going from wacky sitcom jokes to having real conversations. 

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I like JJ’s friend.  I like how Ray’s problem started when he ignored his dad’s advice and it was compounded when he ignored his mom’s.  I had hoped Taylor would have calmed down from last week’s episode so I wasn’t thrilled that they are still broken up, but she was absolutely right to be annoyed when he showed up at her work.  Thank you, show, for not validating the usual cliche that women secretly love the big disruptive gestures.

JJ’s story was unfortunately very realistic.

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As a disabled person, I really liked seeing them show how it's really the "little things" that most people never even think of which are often the biggest obstacles (such as the crack in the sidewalk, or curbs). I also thought it hit home when Dylan asked the movie manager about accessibility at the theater, finding out that what existed was either broken or unavailable...and she already expected his answers. I see this all the time, sadly. 

However, Aaron didn't exactly meet JJ for the first time on that outing. He knows very well that JJ has a lot of special needs and limitations. While he may not know exactly what they are in any particular scenario, he could at least have ASKED. He pretty much didn't until the very end, which was pretty strange IMO. I would have chalked it up to his being self-absorbed, had Aaron not confessed later that he knows people don't always like him, etc. indicating that there was a fairly good amount of awareness on his part.

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4 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

As a disabled person, I really liked seeing them show how it's really the "little things" that most people never even think of which are often the biggest obstacles (such as the crack in the sidewalk, or curbs). I also thought it hit home when Dylan asked the movie manager about accessibility at the theater, finding out that what existed was either broken or unavailable...and she already expected his answers. I see this all the time, sadly. 

However, Aaron didn't exactly meet JJ for the first time on that outing. He knows very well that JJ has a lot of special needs and limitations. While he may not know exactly what they are in any particular scenario, he could at least have ASKED. He pretty much didn't until the very end, which was pretty strange IMO. I would have chalked it up to his being self-absorbed, had Aaron not confessed later that he knows people don't always like him, etc. indicating that there was a fairly good amount of awareness on his part.

One of the bigger issues I have physically is doors.

More places than you'd think have *really* heavy doors.

Some of those heavy doors I can't really open - I have to hold the handle, lean back with most of my weight, and it budges a bit. Usually after a minute I might be able to squeeze in the door. Sometimes people open the door when they see me struggling.

Crosswalks are also a bit difficult. Sometimes I cross the road and people just speed through the crosswalk right behind me - I usually take the full 20 seconds or whatever the crosswalk timer has.

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I agree that he should have asked, but in my experience, most people don't think of it. They just figure the world is accessible and you have everything you need, and they have no clue that your daily life is full of planning and workarounds and advocacy just in order to get through regular activities. People literally don't think about it, or notice, until they experience it themselves. It's completely invisible to them even when you'd think it  would be obvious.

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