Extended Family – Season 1 Episode 5 “The Consequences of Matchmaking” Recap & Review

The Consequences of Status

Episode 4 of Extended Family Season 1 begins with Jim in the bathroom at The Nest. While brushing his teeth, he notices he has a “dermoid cyst” under his arm. Concerned, Jim immediately phones Julia, who is already in bed with Trey. However, the call wakes him up as well. Both advise Jim to “hack it off,” suggesting that it is an ordinary skin tag. After the call, Trey puts his foot down and asks Julia to establish boundaries with Jim. No more late-night calls like these that disturb his peace.

Coincidentally, Julia receives a message from her friend Lydia on Facebook. She uses this as an opportunity to set them up for a date. Jim and Lydia approve each other’s photos and Julia is successful in her matchmaking efforts. But the night of their date is chaotic. Although it starts off well, the moment Jim grimaces in pain from his cyst wound, he begins to explain to Lydia every detail of how it happened and its current state. 

Without any sense of self-awareness, he keeps on going and she watches in horror. That is enough for her to pack up and leave. Jim is left wondering what he did wrong. Julia calls him, angry over what happened. When Jim tells her what he said, both Julia and Trey have a face-palm moment. Thankfully for Jim, a woman seated at the next table, Thea-Lynne, overheard the conversation and joins him for dinner. Alarm bells start ringing in Julia’s head, who drags Trey with him to check out this woman who was impressed by the gross cyst story.

When they reach the restaurant, the couple have already left. Next, Trey and Julia head to The Nest, where Jim and Thea-Lynne are about to get cosy with each other. But they are interrupted by Julia’s haranguing and enquiries. She comes under the pretence of picking up some things from the house but her demeanour speaks otherwise.

She bombards Thea-Lynne with questions and needless introductions about the nature of her prior relationship with Jim. Thea-Lynne finds the overprotective and overbearing Julia to be problematic. She says so explicitly before thanking Jim for the dinner and leaving. Jim isn’t angry at her. He doesn’t lash out with words of resentment or regret. Instead, he rationalizes the situation in a distinct monologue by pointing out how she must have felt guilty for the failed date. 

It reeks with sarcasm and Jim rightly bookends his monologue with the revelation. Before leaving, Julia is reminded by Trey to set ground rules for night calls. Jim graciously accepts and they come to a truce. 

The Episode Review

This episode has to take the mantle of being the worst in Season 1’s short stint. It exposes the frailties of the two lead actors in trying to be funny. When the dialogue is even less funny, there isn’t much they can do. Jim’s character is a trainwreck with no signs of improvement. He is utterly irredeemable and comes off as plain stupid rather than as endearing or flawed. What kind of grown man has this little self-awareness?

All of this might have worked in the 90s when the formula was still acceptable. But today’s TV watcher will not be so kind. No wonder the show has completely tanked in terms of viewership, promising a bleak future. The child actors were completely off the script, which perhaps isn’t dictated by choice anymore. Extended Family is helped whenever they aren’t involved.

Donald Faison remains the only bright hope in the skies of grey. Unfortunately, the plot isn’t centred around him and his involvement is few and far between. 

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You can read our Season 1 Review of Extended Family here!
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