Kim's Convenience recap: Let us root root root for the home team...
Spoiler warning: If you haven't watched the new episode yet, you can check it out on CBC Gem.
You can watch "Field of Schemes" here on CBC Gem. If you are outside of Canada, please wait to read this until the episode is available in your country!
Get ready for some sports puns and analogies from someone who is terrible at both!
The episode begins with Gerald and Appa playing what looks like "Rock, Paper, Scissors" but in Korean so it's technically "Scissors, Paper, Rock." Loser gets flicked in the forehead, which just goes to show how close Gerald has become with this family.
Will we ever see Appa flick Jung's forehead? :(
Janet is up to bat next and plays a round with Appa, taking a win. She then offers up her flick privileges over to Gerald who is probably long overdue for some retribution.
He bungles it.
Call it like I see it
Pastor Nina enters the store, positively beaming that her little league team, the T-Rexes, are on their way to the championship finals. Appa informs her that he is the umpire in the upcoming game, which will pit her team against her boyfriend, Jimmy Young's team.
Regardless of the relationship status of the opposing coaches, Appa vows to call the game as he sees it, and not play favourites.
Jump to the post-final celebrations, Appa is at the store, still in his umpire gear, regaling Gerald with the winning call of the game, which resulted in Pastor Nina's team taking home the championship. Jimmy shows up at the store with sour grapes dripping from his face, and accusing Appa of making a controversial call.
Appa stands his ground. "I call it like I see it," he says.
"And when you don't see it, you still call it," Jimmy opines.
Meanwhile, Gerald is on the sidelines of this confrontation, piping in once in a while to explain the shade that's being thrown at Appa.
The next day, Frank, Umma, and Appa are gathered around Mr. Chin who is showing them a video of his dog Ginger in the park. And I don't care if you're a Boomer, Gen-Xer, Millennial, or Gen-Z, we all enjoy a dog video. Fight me.
This video also just happens to take place during the championship game and Appa can be seen doing his umpire thing. It's through this video's perspective though that Appa can now see that he did, in fact, make the wrong call.
On the plus side, Ginger not only has a Youtube channel but she's nailing the rollover.
Guilt-stricken, Appa goes to the church to confess that he made a mistake but he instead finds that Pastor Nina and Jimmy have made up.
Jimmy recites a clearly rehearsed apology to Appa because as it turns out, losing taught him a lesson in humility. This seems to make Pastor Nina's knees go weak though honestly, I don't see how these two are together. He has on many occasions shown himself to be a bit of a misogynist and I sincerely hope Pastor Nina doesn't think it's her duty to "fix him."
Anyway, Appa backs away since the couple seems happier because of his mistake.
Of course, Mr. Chin starts getting inside his head, shaming him for not fessing up. Appa, however, is given another opportunity to step up to the plate (see what I did there?) when Pastor Nina and Jimmy show up in the store with good news: 1. Jimmy retracted his complaints against Appa with the league and 2. They nominated him for Umpire of the Year because apparently that's a thing.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chin is throwing him side-eye and clearing his throat, prompting Appa to come clean.
Jimmy seems surprisingly okay with this outcome because it does mean that he and Pastor Nina found their way back to each other, but she's not having any of it.
"It's a blessing in disguise," he says.
Yeah, that won't work on her this time.
The Haunting of Kim House
Janet is at home, sorting through her acquisitions from a recent clothing swap with Semira.
Remember clothing swaps? Remember Semira?
Gerald is totally into an "old lady" Christmas sweater – I'm sorry, Norwegian sweater. This has no bearing on the overall story but it's just worth repeating that this boy owns this look throughout the whole episode.
Umma comes in and is drawn to a cozy cardigan sweater which Janet lets her have, despite Gerald's objections.
You see, Semira's grandmother died while wearing it and Gerald thinks her spirit could still be lingering in it. Janet dismisses these concerns and says that's dorky and what Umma doesn't know won't hurt her.
Afterall, it's just an old sweater that happened to belong to a deceased person. It's not like it's a red pen or anything.
But then, Janet starts noticing a disturbance at the house every time Umma is wearing the sweater: lights flickering, pipes rattling, and the television turning on on its own. When she tells Gerald that "odd things have been happening around the house," he reminds her that she doesn't believe in that stuff and that it's probably just a "house ghost coincidence."
Somehow, "house ghost coincidence" isn't the most reassuring statement.
While alone in the house again, Janet experiences more "paranormal" activity when she hears the radio turn on in her parents' bedroom. And suddenly we're in a Bong Joon-ho movie as Janet walks suspiciously down the hallway toward the room. She then finds the cursed sweater on the floor and she nervously says "hi" to it.
Because everyone knows that ghosts just want to be treated like normal, corporeal people.
Umma catches Janet in the room and notices that she's been acting very strangely lately, so Janet tells her about the sweater.
Jean Yoon, everybody! That line reading made me snort laugh embarrassingly loud.
Janet further explains that Gerald thinks bad things will happen if they don't treat the sweater with proper care. This leaves Umma in stitches.
"You tell Gerald if the ghosts look like Patrick Swayze, I don't mind," Umma says laughing.
Despite that sweet Ghost reference, Janet starts to take this very seriously.
Later that evening, Gerald catches Janet in the living room, with the sweater, surrounded by candles and attempting to dialogue with the garment after consulting their friend's Wiccan mother. In the span of one episode, Janet goes from full Scully to full Mulder.
Gerald then tells Janet that all these weird electrical and plumbing occurrences are because Frank is doing work in the house: first the fuse panel, then the water tank, and then the fuse panel again because nobody is perfect.
Can we take a moment to note how often and comfortable Gerald is in this house lately? First, he's there when Umma slipped in the tub last week, then he's playing Rock, Paper, Scissors with Appa and getting the "forehead flick" rite of passage, and now he is more dialled into the going-ons of the Kim house… more so than Janet is and she LIVES there!
The Babysitters Club
Will Jung and Kimchee ever get a proper bros' night?
The answer is "no" when Jung shows up at Kimchee's place with pizza and beer, ready to watch the game, and he discovers that boy's night is also "babysit Gwen's niece, Becca" night.
We soon learn that their parenting styles are very different: Kimchee is a bit of a pushover, and Jung is far more stern… also, he's not above throwing a tantrum himself but you'd be cranky too if your best friend took your pizza away and handed you kale chips on your cheat day.
Pizza isn't the only thing being sacrificed to appease babysitting night. Kimchee soon gives up the TV so that Becca can watch her cartoons and not be subjected to Gwen's naughty photos on Kimchee's phone.
The next day at work, Jung goes over to Kimchee to apologize and Kimchee returns the favour, adding that it's funny seeing their parenting styles and how they've become their own parents. Jung, however, takes it a little too far and comments that Kimchee's mom was a pushover who let them do anything.
"I'd rather have a pushover than a dictator," Kimchee passively jabs.
Jung of course assumes Kimchee is referring to Appa but Kimchee quite pointedly corrects him and says he's talking about him.
Kimchee: "Becca is seven years old with basic needs. You're all yelly and angry." 15-love, Kimchee.
Jung: "Pizza and TV at 10pm are not basic needs. She needs to be set straight." Jung ties it up.
Kimchee: "Wow, Ahjussi. When did you get here?" Kimchee with the technical foul.
This entire conversation is my favourite part of the episode and I don't think they pull this thread hard enough. Jung clarifies that he didn't mean that Kimchee's mom was a pushover, just that a little discipline might've been good for him. That comment leaves Jung wide open for this devastating blow:
"Like it did for you and your Appa?"
Jung immediately fires back: "It's not my fault that my Appa and I don't get along!" Jung loses the upper hand with that ignorant excuse.
Kimchee rightfully points out how literally everyone gets along with Appa except Jung and the tension hangs between them until Omar breaks it up when he thinks they're having a staring contest.
Oh Omar… go take a lap.
BTW, I have no idea how my metaphor went from tennis to basketball to boxing without even touching baseball considering that's the theme of the Appa storyline this week.
Of course, the next time Kimchee is babysitting, he gets locked out onto the balcony and is forced to call Jung for help. This is the perfect opportunity for Jung to say "I told you so" to Kimchee while Becca smuggly eats a bag of party mix as Kimchee pleads with her to let him back in.
Kimchee eventually hands the disciplinary keys over to Jung who terrifyingly threatens to cut up Becca's stuffies and set them on fire.
Umm… Jung? That's not discipline. That's psychological terror.
Gwen comes home to Becca screaming, Kimchee stuck outside, and Jung apologizing for putting the fear of God in a little girl.
What bothers me about this conclusion is that Jung is pretty much proven right (and admittedly, I do agree with him that boundaries need to be set even though he definitely went too far) but nothing is resolved with him and Appa, even after Kimchee calls him out on it. But he can't pretend those words didn't hit him hard, right?
Join us next week when Shannon accidentally insults Umma's soup, and Janet and Appa engage in a prank war.
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