Ben and Kate Season 1 Review “Emergency Kit”

With “Emergency Kit,” Ben and Kate is really working on expanding its world, and it ends up hitting a little and missing a little, alternately. The core of the episode, which centers on Ben bucking up against Kate’s overprotective parental anxiety, is strong, and provides the most reliable laughs of the night. That’s proof to me that, even when the episode isn’t as consistently hilarious as the last few have been, the basic engine of the show is enough to keep it going for a long while to come.

Tommy and BJ had a pretty good night too. Although we didn’t get any clear development of Kate and Tommy’s possible romantic involvement hinted at in the end of last week’s episode, he does shift towards the middle from his previous position solidly on Ben’s side. The way both Fox siblings use the same reverse psychology trick on him is delightful, as is his complete inability to lie about being sent to spy.

BJ, meanwhile, serves as our introduction to Rob Corddry’s douchey owner of the bar the series spends so much time in, and she’s hilarious, as usual. Giving her an equally scummy counterpart as a romantic interest is a great decision, comically, and their bit about hiding screws and shards of glass in restaurant food was really fun.

The one weak spot of the episode for me was Ben’s new ex, Louise. She didn’t seem to fit into the plot very much at all, and she came out of absolutely nowhere, enough so that it almost makes me wonder if the airing order of the episodes was messed with, and we were supposed to know her already. If she comes back, I certainly hope we get more out of her; here she was almost more of a poltergeist than a character, and while some of the mayhem she caused was certainly funny, I wish she had been a little more human, or fleshed-out. The best thing she was involved in (aside from stabbing the bouncy castle, which was just a great way to end the episode) was the reveal of BJ’s sapphic past. I can’t say it came as a shock, but it played nicely off the Buddy plot, with both revealing a new, softer side of BJ. Well, maybe “soft” is the wrong word – flustered, maybe.

The most impressive thing about “Emergency Kit,” and Ben and Kate as a whole, is the refusal to play the cute little kid for laughs. She acts like a fairly realistic kid, and the fun of it comes from the dysfunctional adults buzzing around her. And it certainly is fun, even in an episode that’s just okay.

How did you guys feel about “Emergency Kit”? Hit up the comments and let me know.