Overview (Spoilers Below):
It’s the day of the Squavenger Hunt and Cole is super pumped. Based on his favorite fantasy book series, the hunt takes place in Central Park and the prize is a lunch of acorn cake and leaf juice with the author himself. Owen tags along with Cole for some bonding, but eventually Cole ditches him for his bad attitude. Owen reconsiders, and ends up helping to win the day.
Meanwhile, Molly and Paige wind up at the chess playing part of the park, where Molly tests her skills and loses to the unbeaten chess champion. Paige is afraid she’ll be crushed, but she’s pleasantly surprised. And Bitsy visits her family get together, where she announces her plan to buy Central Park and is met with polite silence.
Squirrel, Interrupted is an episode that focuses the plot on Owen and Paige’s parenting, and does so pretty successfully for the most part. Owen and Cole’s storyline is the more interesting of the two, and it’s chock full of little references to classic kids books about warrior animals that everyone has at least seen while passing by library shelves. Paige and Molly’s angle is a bit less exciting, but still has funny gags to keep it entertaining. And while Bitsy’s bits weren’t the best, her plotline gave us some new insight into how she sees herself compared with her family.
This may not go down as my favorite episode of Central Park, but I have to give the show credit for trying to explore different styles of parenting and how Owen and Paige get through their struggles raising their kids in their own ways. Cole’s glorious opening musical number was definitely the highlight of the episode, and unfortunately the songs went a bit downhill from there in my opinion. (Although Bitsy’s tune was… interesting.) Owen being such a park expert, it’s pretty fun to see him having to reconcile his love of facts with his sons love of fiction.
Paige’s struggles with Molly’s growing drive to test her chess talents weren’t quite as fun to watch. Both of them are very strong personalities, and so they can come off as almost too grating at times when paired together. Paige’s constant need to affirm Molly is a textbook parenting trap, but I wish the show had connected it to her own past in some way, rather than just it being another overbearing mother thing.
Bitsy’s reunion wasn’t much for jokes, but I was interested to learn how Bitsy views herself and her livelihood in contrast with the rest of her relatives. All this time, we’ve seen her as the money-grubbing evil real estate mogul, but it seems like she’s one of the most down to earth self-starters of the entire Brandenham bunch. While her brother sits on the inheritance, Bitsy’s actually trying to make something of herself. It doesn’t excuse any of her behaviour, but it does paint a different picture for viewers on how to reconcile her actions.
All in all, this was one of the lesser episodes so far in my book. There were some really cool things, like Cole’s big song and the reveal that Molly’s crush is actually a Brandenham. But it just didn’t seem to come together as well as other episodes, and neither the songs nor the jokes felt like they were up to the usual standard to me. Oh well, even parks have cloudy days.