Kim's Convenience recap: Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

You can watch 'A Tangled Web' now on CBC Gem and If you are outside of Canada, please wait to read this until the episode is available in your country!

Spoiler warning: If you haven't watched the new episode yet, you can check it out on CBC Gem.

You can watch "A Tangled Web" here on CBC Gem. If you are outside of Canada, please wait to read this until the episode is available in your country!

The episode opens with Appa skirting around selling vape juice to a woman who appears pregnant. In my opinion, it's not his call, but ethically… still not his call. In any case, the fed up customer begrudgingly goes to pay for her tampons, without her blueberry flavoured vape juice, much to Appa's surprise.

"Did you think I was pregnant?" the woman asks accusingly. This is my #2 nightmare: either being mistaken for a pregnant woman or mistaking a woman for being pregnant and making her feel terrible.

Curse the empire waistline blouse!

Down with empire waists! (CBC)

Kim San-Il: Spider Hunter

Nayoung is back after traveling through Canada. I mean, it's no Tanzania but whatever. She is staying with the Kim's before heading back to Korea. Oh hey look, she's brought along my #1 nightmare with her: her pet tarantula, aptly named Spider. I feel you, Appa. I feel you.

Fear Factor: Appa Edition (CBC)

Naturally, Janet takes this opportunity to tease Appa about his obvious fear of spiders, even pulling pranks on the poor guy just to see him jump. And while I'm with Appa, running for the hills at the mere sight of a furry, eight-legged creature, I haven't forgotten how he bullied Gerald two episodes ago for not being a "real man," whatever that means. That's karma for you.

Anyway, sitcom shenanigans ensue and the tarantula escapes, much to Appa's dismay (and that's putting it mildly). In an attempt to calm Appa, Janet tells him that she accidentally stepped on Spider and in a panic, flushed it down the toilet, which would be quite impressive considering Spider is the size of a Funko Pop. 

"Make sure you flush the spider all the way down," Appa tells her. 

If that actually happened, the spider wouldn't be the only thing that needed flushing.

While Janet's ruse might have calmed his nerves temporarily, Appa discovers Spider in the store, looking the opposite of crushed and flushed. After ushering a mother and her kid out of the store, both of whom were rather too chill about seeing this possible health code violation making its way to the pasta aisle, Appa gets into position for an actual sneak attack.

Armed with a rolled up magazine and an empty box, Appa successfully traps Spider, declaring himself "Kim San-Il: Spider Hunter." Now, where have I seen him face off against spiders before…

Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) killing spiders. (Star Wars, "The Mandalorian" - Disney+)

Of course, he wouldn't be Appa if he didn't gloat about his victory to Janet later that day. When he lifts the magazine that was covering the box containing his prized prisoner, the tarantula seems to have disappeared; that is until Janet notices Spider clinging to the magazine in Appa's hand. And that's when "Kim San-Il: Spider Hunter" became "Kim San-Il: Spider Executioner."

I actually gasped and choked on my tea with laughter at Appa screaming and smashing the magazine to the floor with Spider giving a final middle finger to his captor. It was horrific, hilarious and a little cathartic (don't @ me PETA).

Very sad day but life goes on. Not for Spider but...- Appa consoling Janet after she falsely claimed that Spider was dead.

Meet the Umma

Meanwhile, Jung is back from L.A. And I mean, actually back. Simu Liu, who plays Jung, had been stuck in Australia due to the pandemic. So, sorry Simu stans; no more shirtless Zoom calls.

While having lunch with Umma, Jung comments that Kimchee and Gwen are now comfortably living together. Umma easily figures out that Jung must be staying with Shannon now, which leads Jung to accidentally making lunch plans the next day so that Shannon and Umma can finally get to know each other better. 

I love this growth we've seen in Umma. We've gone from her wanting Janet to find a cool, Korean, Christian boy to date back in season one, to accepting a lunch date with Jung and his non-Korean, live-in girlfriend.

Shannon, however, always thought Umma didn't like her so she sees this as a big and exciting step for them as a couple, which just ups Jung's anxiety to 11. He tries to protect, I mean prepare, Shannon by giving her some rules, I mean guidelines, for hosting his mother. Shannon's enthusiasm slowly slips away when Jung even suggests that she learn a few phrases in Korean.

"Simple Korean phrases to impress my Umma" (CBC)

When Umma arrives, Shannon is ready with her Korean greeting and her own ballet flats which she offers as indoor slippers. Umma comments on how big Shannon's feet are, because of course she does.

"Wrong BIG foot." (CBC)

And Jung doesn't make it any better.

"Big foot, mouth, and heart." (CBC)

Oh, believe me. It gets worse.

During lunch, Shannon is following the rules of serving (hold the dish with two hands, offer Umma twice, then Jung, and then you can have the leftovers). Umma tries to make small talk by complimenting the view from the condo yet Jung is clearly playing defense when he reads into everything Umma says as an insult to Shannon.

Nice view = South-facing would be better
Place is nice and cozy = It could be bigger, in a better location with more amenities

It's at this point Jung brings up that Umma probably has a problem with their other room mate, Kwami. Well, she can't have a problem with him if she has no idea he existed. 

"See, this is why [Shannon] didn't want you to come over," Jung tells Umma.

How Shannon didn't use two hands to pick up that dish and smash it over Jung's head is beyond me. What follows is an unravelling of Jung's web (spider callback!) as he seemed to have pitted these two women against each other.

However, once Umma and Shannon have a chance to chat privately without Jung making a mess of things, they come to an understanding. Shannon admits that while she might not be the perfect match, she does really like Jung a lot. Umma assures her that she is not the problem, it's Jung who's making the problems (something we the audience picked up on a while ago).

She tells Shannon about one of Jung's old girlfriends who was very dumb, but Shannon is smart, which is Umma's code for "I like you very much." Umma also tells Shannon that relationships are not easy and can be unpredictable. "Why should I care about you if maybe you two break up?" Umma asks sadly. And that question hangs in the air in a way I'm not comfortable with. 

Jung approaches them and says he realizes that he might have put too much pressure on this lunch. But it looks like his two favourite women seem to have found some common ground as Umma leaves Jung to do the dishes and asks Shannon to give her a tour of the condo where they obviously don't sleep in the same bed.

To empathize with Jung a little, I'd imagine that he hasn't brought many (if any) serious girlfriends home to meet his parents, and the one who we just learn about is apparently really dumb and Umma hates that. So, we can understand why his anxiety took him to this destructive behaviour.

Other stuff that happened:

  • There is a C-storyline that rounded out the half hour. Kimchee is put into an awkward position at work when he seemingly ignores a crying employee while he was under the gun with Handy's head office. The staff scrutinize him over his insensitive handling of the situation so he attempts to stage a ruse with the help of Terence, thespian extraordinaire. It's as disastrous and cringe-inducing as you'd expect.

  • Aya Bryn Zakarya plays the crying employee that Kimchee mistakenly calls Melissa and then later on, Melanie. She has appeared a few times on the show, always credited as "Not-Melissa." This little tidbit brings me so much joy.

  • Jung is totally jelly of "the Kwams."

  • The Appa and Jung storylines don't really cross over except for this small moment when Appa runs upstairs to inform Umma and Jung that Nayoung is here with a tarantula. It's nice to see the formerly estranged father and son duo share a fear of the arachnids. Maybe Simu's pitch for a Shang-Chi / Spider-Man crossover is looking more likely...

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