Welcome to Sweden Recap: 'Fitting In/Vanner'

Things get awkward fast for Bruce in this week’s episode. Emma and a friend are talking in Swedish about another friend of theirs who is in the hospital. Bruce comes up to them making Swedish chef sounds and says that’s all he hears when they’re talking. Then he asks what they’re talking about and Emma says, “A dying friend.” Walk away, Bruce. Just walk away.

Later, at the same party, another friend of Emma’s who doesn’t speak great English tries to tell Bruce a story. She can’t seem to get the punchline across, and it goes on uncomfortably long. Ultimately, the only thing she can think to say is, “Are those American pants?”

Bruce tells Emma that he prefers Hassan to her friends, because Hassan accepts him as he is. Emma points out the obvious, which is that Hassan thinks Bruce is Canadian. Bruce tries to remedy that later, by suggesting that maybe all people should just get along, regardless of nationality. Hassan responds by saying that if Bruce were American, Hassan would have to kill him. So obviously Bruce is just going to continue being Canadian now.

It becomes clear that Bruce is not especially wanted by Emma’s friends when she asks for details about the start time of a party and is told that the host herself does not know what time it starts. In other words, you’re not invited. Emma goes to see her mother, and Viveka does a great job taking notes and trying to find out what’s going on in Emma’s head. She also has some words of judgment: Bruce isn’t trying hard enough, and he needs to learn how to speak Swedish.

When Bruce and Emma discuss the issue of him fitting in with her friends, he tells her he’s doing everything he can but that they just don’t seem to like him. Then he decides that he’s going to make them like him whether he wants to or not. He calls Lisa, the friend who is throwing the party, and uses an online translation service to translate the words he wants to say into Swedish. Unfortunately, these words do not exactly respond to Lisa, who is not inviting them to the party. But Bruce thanks her for the invitation anyway. At least he’s polite!

Feeling like he’s on a roll, Bruce decides to try his hand at charming Viveka. He “treats” her to a spa day, which winds up being her treat when he gets into a disagreement with the attendant over whether he should have to pay for a foot massage he didn’t enjoy, and Viveka puts it all on her card before he can stop her. He does charm her briefly, though, when he tells her that he is going to love Emma more than anyone has loved anyone else in the whole history of people loving other people (awww!).

Emma tries to help Bruce by letting him on a Swedish thing: anytime one of their own becomes famous throughout the world, it’s a celebration in Sweden. Ace of Base, for example. And a Swedish guy who appeared in the first scene of a James Bond movie and then died. Bruce uses his newfound knowledge at Lisa’s party, but the guy he’s talking to, who actually speaks pretty good English, apparently does not celebrate these national treasures. Also, Bruce then tries to tell the story that Lisa told at the earlier party, and it turns out that story was about him. Whoops.

It becomes clear to Bruce that he needs to be honest with Hassan, his only friend. He goes to Hassan’s house and says that he has something to tell him, and he understands if, after hearing it, Hassan no longer wants to be friends.  Hassan replies that he agrees, they should no longer be friends. Clearly this situation is already out of Bruce’s control. Hassan goes on to say that they have nothing in common, and they are probably preventing each other from making Swedish friends. After he closes the door, Bruce yells “I’m an American!” through the mail slot, so at least he worked up the guts to do that.

In the final scene of the show, we get our guest stars, Bruce’s parents, played by Patrick Duffy and Ileana Douglas. They have booked a cruise and are coming to Sweden! We get a brief sense of that relationship when Bruce tells Emma that this is definitely news, though not necessarily good. I really hope we get to see Bruce’s family interact with Emma’s.

Tags: NBC Recap Welcome To Sweden

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