The Obama’s get some attention on this episode of Blackish as it’s Halloween and the Johnsons are the first family of the neighborhood. That’s right, this year the Obama’s are coming to town.
If you remember last Halloween, the Johnsons were the Jackson 5, so it is only natural that they be the most influential black family in the world this year. Every Halloween, the neighborhood “turns up” as people from all over the Los Angeles flocks to Sherman Oaks because they do the tradition better. This means that the Johnson kids’ cousin from “the hood” show up, Straight Outta Compton, with the plan to bully and beat up their Valley family members as they always do. But this year, they have another thing coming.
Dre laughs at the fact that his kids get beat up by their cousin because he says it builds character. But what we find out is that Dre used to and still does get beat up by his cousin, Junebug, played by Michael Strahan. This year, though, the Johnson four put a beating on their cousins from the hood and Dre is pleasantly surprised. And so are the kids when Junebug comes in and puts Dre in the headlock and makes sing like a teapot.
This episode gives us insight into family relations through the dynamic of the cousin’s interaction. After beating up their hood kinfolk, the Johnson kids are proud of themselves, until their cousins hold up in Junior’s room. They then, at the suggestion of Diane, commence to verbally assaulting them by telling them (through the door) the ugly truths about their realities. Like the fact that their oldest cousin doesn’t know his father because he was conceived on a cruise ship (his mother slept with a busboy). Or that they don’t have Air Jordans they have Air Jorbans. Their making fun of their less fortunate cousins is actually an interesting narrative on how people from different neighborhood perceive each other. Zoey and crew’s taunting hurts their feelings, and they lock themselves as they stay locked in Junior’s bedroom.
Downstairs, Bow is having a great time passing out candy to the neighborhood kids because to her Halloween is all about fun despite the fact that Jeanine wants to stop Halloween in the neighborhood by 9 pm. She even hires a Samoan ex- XFL player to police the community.
That doesn’t matter to Bow, though, and her spirits remain high. It doesn’t matter if a pair of trick or treaters change wigs and return to the door for more candy; that’s what the night is for, trick or treating. As she happily drops candy into kids’ baskets, Ruby, ever the devout Christian woman gives the little campers mini bibles. She also tells her daughter in law that she is defaming the first lady by dressing like trashy Michelle Obama with her cleavage hanging out. Bow then gets a taste of what Jeanine means when an older trick or treater demands candy; another kicks her frog, and a group of kids say some pretty non-kid words to her. Thus, Bow retreats to the in the house.
Speaking of “in the house” Dre hides from Junebug. First Bow finds him in their bathroom “fixing the sink.” But since when does tightening a pipe cause you to cry? Bow calls him out for being afraid of his cousin, and he turns it around on her being afraid of the trick or treaters. She denies it at first blaming Jeanine for wanting to end Halloween early, but when Dre looks out the window, she’s having a blast doing the whip/Nae nae with the hood kids. Bow confesses that she is the one who wants to end Halloween early because of the trick or treaters (too much pressure I guess), and he looks at her shaking his head in comical disgust.
The hood cousins have come out of the junior’s room, but they aren’t in the trick or treating mood. The kids try to cheer them up but they are too bummed. Zoe and her siblings go asking for candy without them, sad that they offended their cousins when all of a sudden Jack is jacked for his candy. They return to the house in defeat, and their Compton family members are not having it. “Oh hell no. No one messes with my family.”
Dre continues to hide from his cousin and gets a lesson from his mother when she finds him “changing the oil” on his car. She checks him about always running from Junebug and points out that the thing he’s been holding over his cousin’s head for all these years (Junebug kicked him out the car while it was moving in 1992) was to protect him. As soon as he did that, he was pulled over, and he knew if Dre got caught, he would lose his scholarship.
Dre is humbled and goes into the house to find his cousin. He apologizes for “flaunting” all his money in front of him and his kids being that they don’t have much. Junebug tells him it’s all good because he just won a $2 million brutality case against LAPD. They laugh, make up and this time, Dre turns Junebug into the teapot.
There’s nothing like the holidays to bring the family together right?