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‘SPEECHLESS’: Top 5 moments from ‘U-N-R–UNREALISTIC’

SPEECHLESS on The ABC Television Network (ABC/Richard Cartwright) JOHN ROSS BOWIE, MINNIE DRIVER, MASON COOK, MICAH FOWLER, KYLA KENEDY, CEDRIC YARBROUGH
SPEECHLESS on The ABC Television Network (ABC/Richard Cartwright) JOHN ROSS BOWIE, MINNIE DRIVER, MASON COOK, MICAH FOWLER, KYLA KENEDY, CEDRIC YARBROUGH

Graduation is imminent as JJ learns the news about his application to NYU on the season finale of Speechless.

The third season finale of Speechless is full of surprises, laughs, a short-lived mustache and a long legacy of DiMeo love. Let’s take a look at the top 5 moments from ‘U-N-R–UNREALISTIC’.

“Non-verbal” – Jimmy

The DiMeos and Kenneth wait anxiously for JJ’s news from NYU, even Maya who has been practicing her happy face. They learn that the acceptance notices have been posted, but JJ has chosen to look up the news over FaceTime with Izzy who is also awaiting her fate.

The family gathers outside JJ’s bedroom hoping to hear the news themselves. Wait, something’s not right. Leave it to Jimmy to be the voice of reason. He dryly points out that they will not “hear” anything because, you know, JJ is “non-verbal”.

Aside from Jimmy’s perfectly hilarious delivery, the scene is also an endearing reminder that the JJ’s family does not think of him as differently than themselves.

They finally swing open the door to see JJ shaking his head no that he did not get accepted to NYU. Hold that thought.

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“I dad-ded you up good” – Dylan

Jimmy is relishing some bonding time with Dylan. The pair is constructing a model of the Golden Gate Bridge. Jimmy’s bubble is burst when Maya points out that Dylan is using Jimbo for help with her school assignment. Jimmy gives Dylan a parenting speech about doing her work herself.

Later, Dylan finds Jimmy working on some architectural models and finds out that her dad has an upcoming interview with an architectural firm. Then Dylan drops four words that halt Jimmy’s progress, “I’m proud of you.”

Now Jimmy is feeling the pressure to impress his daughter. Having promised to not shave his mustache until he gets a job offer, we see Jimmy sitting in the living room a month later with little progress on his model and a full mustache. The tables turn and Dylan tells her dad to buckle down and do his work.

When she returns to see him making progress, she tells him, “I dad-ded you up good.” And she continues to do so when she forces Jimmy’s hand by stomping on his projects until he stops her for the one he likes the most.

“Guy-ology of Ray DiMeo” – Ray

Graduation is closing in for JJ, but Ray is just getting ready for his junior class school trip to Catalina Island. He’s hoping to make a romantic connection on the trip. His hopes increase when he learns that all the other boys are being sent home for locking the track coach in his room forcing him to escape through a window that results in injury.

Ray is on the island with all the girls in his class. Have Ray’s chances of romance just increased exponentially? No. The girls express their frustration with Ray’s approach to romance. Ray takes this as an opportunity to learn what he is doing wrong and says that instead of studying biology on the trip, it will the “guy-ology of Ray DiMeo”. Even his play on words irritates the young ladies!

In the end, Ray discovers that he is not really seeking a particular girl but the mere idea of romance. The girls suggest he is so desperate for their attention that he does not really take the chance to get to know them. Ray is happy to gain these insights and even more happy when Dylan tells him the girls have decided to make Ray their special project for senior year.

“Look at the big picture.” – Jimmy

Remember the news about JJ not getting into NYU? It turns out he actually did get accepted. He only pretended otherwise to stay in California and be near Izzy who would be attending Chapman University. When Izzy learns of his sacrifice, she breaks up with him, not wanting him to miss out on his dream of NYU.

Maya approaches Izzy about the breakup and finds out that JJ was accepted to NYU. Her relief over having JJ stay close to home turns to anxiety as she struggles with what she thinks is best for him. She is happy that he has found Izzy but also does not want him to miss out on his dream school.

Maya confides in Jimmy who encourages her to “look at the big picture”.  Just then we see Maya turn her head to literally look at the gigantic graduation cutout of JJ. Perfection!

“Be unrealistic.” – Maya and JJ

Maya sits down with JJ for a heart to heart conversation about his future just before he is supposed to give his class speech. As hard as it is to see JJ move to New York and take on the task of navigating NYU, she remembers what has allowed him to get to this point in the first place. She tells him to “be unrealistic” just as she did when doctors and “experts” said JJ would not be able to accomplish all the things that he has.

JJ is called to the stage for his speech. Kenneth chokes up and cannot read the words. The family comes to his rescue to read the speech. One by one, they break down in tears until Maya steps in. JJ decides to make a change to his speech and Maya calls Kenneth back in for the big finish. JJ’s advice to the student body is to not be afraid to say goodbye (as he looks at Izzy) and to “be unrealistic”.


There are so many funny and heartfelt moments in the season 3 finale of Speechless. It is the overriding theme of family support, however, that rings so true. Of course, when I say family, that most definitely includes Kenneth. The entire family has supported and empowered JJ to reach this milestone and take on the challenges of his dream.

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We are treated to a final scene of JJ in New York practicing his routine for getting to class. He is met on the sidewalk by his family who is there to help him “get things up to speed”.

We are all hoping for Speechless to be renewed by ABC. So many families feel a deep connection to the series. Others may not relate specifically to the disability aspect but absolutely love the unique brand of storytelling present in the series. Most of all, fans embrace the heart and humor of the show.

Use #RenewSpeechless on social media to spread the word about wanting more Speechless!

Meanwhile, thank you to the writers, cast and crew for a fabulous third season!

 

 

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