If there’s one thing everyone knows, it’s that you can’t teach a crab to walk straight.
That quote comes from Aristophanes (I think!), but it could’ve very well come from tonight’s Black-ish — specifically Pops. Turns out, the man’s been avoiding seeing a doctor since 1985, when “We Are the World” was released.
Why? Dre offers a quick primer on the knotty history between African Americans and our country’s health-care system. But when Dre himself breaks the cycle by going to see Dr. Windsor (played by the terrific comedian and Review star Andy Daly, who also happens to play a hilariously useless doctor on Silicon Valley), we learn that Pops has been self-medicating: The man has been snorting Afrin on a daily basis for decades in a bid avoid the doc.
But, hey, Bow is a doctor! That’s her job! Remember that? It’s okay if you don’t, the show tends to forget about her professional life for multi-episodes stretches. But not tonight, so Bow uses her medical authority to coerce Pops into getting a physical.
Good thing, too: Pops has a clogged artery. Bow informs everyone that Pops is gonna need a balloon angioplasty, “a routine procedure that has a 95 percent success rate.”
Or, as Dre puts it: “My old decrepit Pops is gonna die! Soon!”
The news starts rippling across the Johnson house like a crab in the ocean. Dre takes it the hardest, but the kids have lots of feelings about it as well.
Like most young children faced with the prospect of losing a grandparent, Junior realizes he wants to know more about Pops — his first kiss, his stance on fracking. “Where is he on SeaWorld?”
His siblings have more nefarious goals: They want dibs on Pops’ stuff when he’s gone. (Hey, the ‘70s are coming back after all.) But Diane’s got even grander ambitions: “The real prize is power of attorney.”
So Jack and Zoey start currying favor with Pops (and sneakily placing colored stickers on the items of his they want), while Junior uses his camcorder to document the life and times of Pops. Young Diane, on the other hand, plays the long con: Acquiring Pops’ signature for the purpose of legal chicanery.
Yet Pops himself is not concerned at all: After getting a second opinion at the neighborhood barbershop, he determines that all he needs is cranberry juice to stay healthy. It always does the trick, according to (gulp) Charlie.
Also, grandma Ruby is roaming the house, too! In the episode’s B (or C?) plot, she earns Bow’s disapproval by spoiling the kids too much. She’s letting them go out on school nights, eat sugary foods for breakfast, play violent video games starring Hitler… that kind of thing.
NEXT: The miracles of cranberry juice medicine