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Thursday, 25 of February of 2021

The Boondocks – “Fried Chicken Flu”

“I bet it’s your brother! I knew I should have abandoned him at the mall when I had the chance.”

Earlier in the season The Boondocks gave us its take on Asian cinema with “The Red Ball” and now we are treated to an apocalyptic episode with “Fried Chicken Flu”. Besides being an excellent take on the genre, this episode allowed the show to do a few things that had been noticeably absent from this season as a whole. Most notably would be the focus on Huey and his conspiracy theory personality traits.

There have been a few Huey centric episodes this season but none have hit at the heart of Huey’s character much like this one. Even before the flu breaks out, Huey is hard at work building a generator in the garage, preparing for the survival of whatever imminent disaster is heading his way. Jazmine marvels (as she so lovingly does) at Huey’s drive and comments on how smart he is. She has always been the only character to really appreciate Huey’s radical beliefs and ideas. Until trouble starts anyway.

Riley and Robert are incredibly excited for Kernel’s Fried Chicken’s new recipe but as soon as the chicken is linked to a new new incurable disease responsible for killing millions across the country, they take a lesson from Jazmine and decide to listen to Huey, who has their survival all planned out. There are enough Cheerios and canned green beans for the four of them to survive so long as they don’t allow anyone else into the house. For once everyone is on board with him since it means they’ll get to live. But of course it doesn’t last and the conflict that arises is actually another great point about the episode.

The Boondocks has a deep supporting cast roster and not many of them have been utilized very much so far in season three. But they start coming out of the woodwork once word gets out about the Freeman’s safehouse and Robert and Riley begin inviting people over out of loneliness. Here is where Huey’s militant personality begins to clash with his human nature. He chastises the others for not reading the survival manual he prepared, for wasting provisions, and for inviting people to stay at the house, but he does give in in certain instances and offers sanctuary to the supporting cast.

It was great to see Jazmine around not only because she is a fun character herself, but the dynamic between her naivety and Huey’s overt cynicism always makes for a nice contrast. While her feelings for him are less than subtle, you can tell he does care for her as he generally comes to her aid and every time we can see his wall being taken down just a little bit. Their small moments really make up the emotion of the show.

Thugnificent is back as well. His presence in the new season’s  intro sequence is rather misleading as he doesn’t get as much screen time as his inclusion would imply. But he and Leonard show up to escape the riots and the disease as well. Tom and Sarah also join Huey’s growing survivalist camp. Ruckus even shows up but is promptly kicked out. It was nice to see a lot of the familiar faces of Woodcrest interacting and working together, arguing over food and throwing tear gas at invading neighbors. It felt like a hilarious zombie survival episode of Good Times.

As an apocalyptic story, “Fried Chicken Flu” hits the points it needed to as well. Small band of survivors trying to make it, have problems amongst themselves, are targeted by a larger outside group, are forced to fight back, one of their own becomes sick/infected/dies, realize they have to leave their fortress, engage in a vehicle battle, and ride away into the unknown. Insert typical humor and shenanigans and you get the picture.

Final Thoughts:

  • The conflict is resolved in a very humorous, very The Boondocks manner, but it would have been interesting to leave it open and have this as the series finale. Quite a tone change but would have been fun.
  • I want to see the number of people craving fried chicken despite the events of this episode. I am among them.

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