In “R-O–ROAD T-R–TRIP” the DiMeos explore the age old argument over whether the best moments in life are spontaneous or planned.
Fans of the hit comedy Speechless were treated to an all new episode on ABC this week. The series is quickly becoming known and appreciated for its perfect mix of humor and heart. And “R-O–ROAD T-R-TRIP” delivers big on both.
The DiMeos embark on their annual January road trip, completely unplanned, except of course for it being January, which Jimmy has embraced as being the cheapest month to travel. Everyone is celebrating except for middle child Ray who objects to the spontaneity of it all. He begrudges the fact that their are no confirmation numbers, itineraries, and such being the very methodical thinker that he is.
— Speechless (@Speechless_ABC) January 5, 2017
The eclectic group head out in their wheelchair accessible van, randomly selecting a path to the left or right, but mostly choosing the opposite direction that Ray proposes.
But somehow the trip is actually turning out okay. They stumble across a “Breakfast Barn” location where Jimmy can use his “free refills for life” mug and enjoy the taste he describes as “free”. And who knew? To Maya’s delight there happens to be a craft fair within walking distance. The fair even has a booth of vintage comic books that Ray can enjoy. Meanwhile, J.J. and Jimmy find an opportunity to pawn off some of the items in the van that surely no one will miss while the others shop the fair.
The family continues onward to discover an amazing fruit stand and an adorable alpaca who just happens to be walking by. Feeling certain they should follow the fuzzy creature, they arrive at its home, the quaint Stargazer Inn that just received a cancellation creating a vacancy for the DiMeos. And Ray is thrilled to learn that the inn is conveniently located next to an observatory, an astronomy enthusiast’s dream.
But just how “convenient” is it really?
As Maya celebrates just how perfectly the spontaneous trip has unfolded, Ray reveals that he has been secretly guiding their course all along. He has even accounted for the family’s habit of choosing the opposite direction of the one he chooses. He planted Jimmy’s “Breakfast Barn” mug knowing there was a location near the craft fair. He even placed a fake reservation at the inn, so his fake cancellation would seem like a perfect happenstance.
Ray is quite proud of himself and thinks his plotting was beneficial to the entire family. Maya is not amused and offended that he would tamper with their family tradition. She finds Ray’s itinerary and insists that they take a truly spontaneous route the next day.
Sure enough, a very random event occurs that no one could or would ever plan. As they embark on day two, Ray begins having severe pain and sweats. Maya quickly recognizes the symptoms as those of an appendix about to burst and the family makes a detour to the nearest hospital.
Ray is panicked as he has no plan for emergency surgery. But, lo and behold, it is his mother who has everything taken care of. Not only does she have a notebook full of records about J.J.’s care, J.J. being her son with the extra medical needs associated with his cerebral palsy, she has full records at the ready for Ray as well.
When Ray sees the well-organized file complete with tabs and dividers, he knows that his mother does indeed plan for the most important things in life. Maya explains that allowing herself to enjoy spontaneity in the less critical aspects of life actually allows her to devote her most organized and meticulous attention to caring for her family in a crisis.
The DiMeos like most families are always learning from and about one another, sometimes during trials and sometimes during celebrations. Either way, they are more closely bonded when they open their hearts and minds to each other.
A fun side note from the episode — John Ross Bowie (who plays Jimmy DiMeo) and Minnie Driver (Maya DiMeo) did indeed actually perform the episode’s opening musical number announcing the trip. John shared on Twitter that they were really singing and playing the guitar. Well done, guys! Keepin’ it real!
Other highlights to watch for in tonight’s episode include:
— Speechless (@Speechless_ABC) January 5, 2017
- The hilarious reveal of Dylan (Kyla Kenedy) having enormously curly hair, which she is unable to straighten after J.J. and Jimmy sold her flatiron at the craft fair.
- Jimmy’s heartfelt words to Ray before he goes into surgery. Hankies, please!
- A side story of Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough) trying to fit in at the high school without J.J. there. He ends up sharing lunch with Principal Dr. Miller (Marin Hinkle). They even plan an after school coffee break, but Kenneth has to leave suddenly to bring items to the hospital. Dr. Miller is disappointed when Kenneth does not show for coffee. Could there be a potential romance brewing?
- Dylan shares her dissatisfaction with her non-verbal brother J.J.’s “tone”! It just goes to show how much is communicated in life non-verbally with a gesture or facial expression.
Be sure to tune in next week for the next installment of Speechless. I will be back to recap episode 112 “H-E-R–HERO” airing on 1/11.
Writer, interviewer in metro Atlanta. Always ready to talk TV and movies. Wife, mom, special needs advocate.