So, there’s a moment in this episode when Wendy and Marty disagree on what to do with Jonah and his rebellious attitude. Wendy is fire and brimstone, as always. Marty is lowkey, as always. Both seem to think their respective methods are what got Charlotte to come back. And that made me think…what did make Charlotte come back to the fold and be a more helpful daughter?
Maybe this episode has a theme of “parenting” going on in it.
The episode does open with the conversation between Omar Navarro and Maya Miller. She’s, as always, too idealistic for this world, and she’s there to represent the FBI and what it would want from Navarro. Neither finds the other’s conditions all that acceptable. But the thing is Maya (and, for that matter, Omar) are both parents, but the problematic children are all older, so how do people deal with problematic members of the younger generation?
Wendy and Marty
I mentioned these two above. Charlotte came back and is even helping out by dealing with Erin Pierce. But Jonah is blatantly defying them in a way that says he just plain doesn’t care. Even when Charlotte was chomping at the bit for emancipation, she still didn’t go as far as Jonah is this season, mouthing off to his parents and doing the exact opposite of what they tell him to do. Marty tried talking to Ruth, but all he learned when she shows up a second time is Jonah came to Ruth first with the shell companies already set up. No matter what was going to happen, Jonah was going to be doing some sort of money laundering. A shrine for Ben in the woods and a family trip to Chicago just does not impress the youngest Byrde, to the point that when the trip is proposed, Jonah says he can’t because he has to go to work.
And everyone knows what his job is.
Charlotte, for her part, advices simply waiting for him to come around, and that may be more or less Marty’s plan. If this is Charlotte’s advice, then methinks I know which parent was more effective when getting her to return, and it wasn’t Wendy, whose big plan here is to shut off the power to Jonah’s set-up. That just has the boy move to Ruth’s motel to take over the operation there.
Parenting lesson: be patient and don’t try to rush things
Darlene isn’t Ruth’s mother, but Ruth is far younger than Darlene, and Ruth believes the reason she was brought in was because Darlene needed new blood with fresh ideas that could match her in every way. Darlene says it was as a favor to Wyatt. Darlene also owes a lot of people a lot of money and just will not sell to the trendy chef that Ruth cut a deal with. In fact, Ruth decided to keep the deal going despite Darlene’s objection. And Darlene keeps objecting…until she sees how much money Ruth made. Then she changed her mind.
People really should listen to Ruth, even if Wyatt is quick to point out Ruth has butted heads with every employer she’s ever had.
Parenting lesson: listen to the next generation sometimes because they aren’t always wrong
Omar is, like Darlene, not dealing with a child of his own. In this case, it’s his hotheaded nephew Javi, the guy who inserted himself into a deal the Byrdes worked out with a Big Pharma CEO and made the sort of statements that, well, weren’t cool. He believes he went to business school in America to do that sort of thing while Omar may have just wanted to shut his sister up. Javi has a habit of making things worse, and his tendency to shoot first and ask questions later if at all are going to be more trouble than they are worth.
But Javi has a gun shipment coming into the United States, and Omar needs to give Maya a reason to keep talking. Marty’s suggestion is to throw Javi’s weapon shipment to the feds, something Omar does, and that will keep his hopes of immunity with the U.S. government afloat for a little while longer. Sure, Javi probably knows it was the Byrdes that got his gun shipment hit as he was eating dinner with them at the time and his toast to them was awfully ominous, but Javi probably deserves to get metaphorically slapped back once in a while.
Parenting lesson: some kids need to be kept a close eye on because they’re just gonna cause trouble
You know, as I type this up, it occurs to me that I am following up this show every week with what may be its polar opposite in terms of family care with Lost in Space. Now I am wondering how the Byrdes would have dealt with Dr. Smith…