There are times we all wish we could choose a different family. Families are challenging.
Ordinary Joe Season 1 Episode 11 explored birth families, adopted families, and chosen families. Some bonds were very frayed by the end of the hour due to harsh words or impulsive decisions.
When Ordinary Joe focuses on familial bonds, the series shines. When it features tired old plots like Frank or Joe’s grudges and anger, it brings it down.
James Wolk and John Gluck have shown they shine as playing a father and son duo in multiple timelines, but both Rockstar Joe and Cop Joe needed some lessons in boundaries.
Rockstar Joe has continued to bond with his birth son, Zeke. They have such natural chemistry as they’re rocking out to songs together.
Joe decided he needed a new image and to perform at bigger arenas, so his manager got him a gig to sing the national anthem at a Giant’s game.
When he saw how excited Zeke was, he invited him to join him, overstepping his bounds and forgetting that Zeke’s parents have rules and schedules.
Zeke: They worry about me. It’s all they ever do.
Zeke’s mom: It’s my job. I’m your mother.
Zeke: They can come, right?
Joe: Absolutely. You’re all invited. We will make whatever accomodations are needed.
Both Zeke’s family and Amy looked disconcerted at how well Joe and Zeke fit together singing on the ball field on game day.
Rockstar Joe seemed like Peter Pan, in the way that he never truly wants to grow up. He tried to play songs and bring others joy.
Now he wanted to share this gift with his newly found birth son, so he made the mistake of inviting Zeke on tour with him, again without checking with his parents first.
Joe just thought of the fun they would share, bonding and catching up, but not of the hardships of caring for a disabled child or that the Turners had other responsibilities.
It’s a delicate line trying to balance how involved a birth parent should be in a child’s life.
Joe came bulldozing in, full steam in ahead, since he longed for a child, forgetting about everyone else’s needs.
It’s time for him to be the grown-up and take up a step back and think about what Zeke needs. Going on tour away from his family and friends wasn’t the best idea.
Meeting up for TikTok sessions or jam sessions may be more appropriate for now.
Cop Joe made some of the same mistakes. He and Amy went over to Jenny and Ray’s to watch the Giants game. Lucas thought they were super cool, even though Ray was terrified Lucas would like Joe more.
Joe fumbled when he and Lucas bonded over football, and he offered to take him to the game sometime.
Joe made it worse by bringing his Giants hat to give to Lucas. It was presumptuous since Ray wouldn’t want his son having a Kimbreau family heirloom.
Like Rockstar Joe was told, Cop Joe was now told to butt out of his biological child’s life.
With all of Rockstar Joe’s drama with Zeke, you’d think he’d be more compassionate with Amy. He’d expected her to understand that his long-lost son came back into their lives, but he won’t forgive her one-night stand and unexpected pregnancy?
Families come in all shapes and sizes. He can choose to love that baby as his own if he could just get over his stubbornness and anger. It’s very tiresome to watch.
At least, Gwen told Amy she still loved her, despite the mistake.
I am upset. I’m sick about it, but I’m still your mother-in-law and I love you.
Gwen was team Joe and Amy, and she even took Amy with her to the Giants game to try and save their marriage.
Gwen: I say this with love, Amy, but this is on you. This is how you save a marriage. One of you shows up.
Amy: I’m the only one that’s fighting.
It gets so tiresome watching Amy beg for forgiveness. She didn’t break this marriage by herself, but she’s the only one trying.
When she saw Joe was hurting after Zeke and his parents left, she tried to comfort him, but he brushed her off as usual. Eric tried to intervene, and Joe blew up at him, too.
You know what I think? I think you’ve been my coattails since we’ve been 10 years old, and now you’re riding my wife’s, so why don’t you mind your own business for once?
Joe and Eric have always acted like brothers, so for him to be that mean seemed so hurtful. As Amy said, they are family.
That seemed like the last straw.
Eric also experienced some baby woes. He annoyed Mallory by complaining about how expensive car seats and cribs cost.
I know Eric works in a pizzeria, but was he always this cautious about money?
Eric: Carseats, swaddles, cribs, it all adds up. Yeah, you smile, but you’ll be having the same argument in no time.
Joe: Dude, stop!
Mallory: Enough forcing people to have babies.
Watching Eric and Amy meet with a potential birth mom was more enjoyable, especially how Eric tried to bribe her with his cooking. It’s so nerve-wracking to find the right match, and they want this baby so bad.
Both of them looked so nervous that she wasn’t picking them outright and still meeting other couples.
While Jenny fighting for a single mom and Nurse Joe making adaptive clothing were important issues, they paled compared to the rest of the stories.
It was disappointing that they were so busy that they canceled their couples counseling session.
Hopefully, Jenny will return home soon, and the two of them and Christopher can have some happy times before the end of the season.
Over to you, Ordinary Joe Fanatics. Did the Joes make too many impulsive assumptions regarding Zeke and Lucas?
Will Amy and Eric find a birth mom? Will Nurse Joe and Jenny ever re-connect? Chime in below in the comments.
Remember, if you missed the episode, you can watch Ordinary Joe online right here via TV Fanatic.
Ordinary Joe airs at 10/9c on Mondays on NBC.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.