The Neighborhood season 1, episode 4 recap: Party at the Johnson house!

THE NEIGHBORHOOD -- Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express
THE NEIGHBORHOOD -- Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express /

The Neighborhood partied at the Johnson house. How fun was their housewarming celebration? Ultimately, how did the Butlers and Johnsons get along?

The Neighborhood saw the Johnsons officially moved into their house. After four weeks of unpacking boxes, how did they celebrate the occasion? With a housewarming party, for the whole neighborhood! How did everyone enjoy themselves? Let’s find out.

The episode begins with Dave (Max Greenfield) and Gemma Johnson (Beth Behrs) personally inviting Calvin Butler (Cedric the Entertainer) to their housewarming party. Calvin immediately says he cannot attend, despite not reading the invitation date. Dave says the party will be tons of fun. he’s known as the king of Kalamazoo! Calvin declines, but promises to tell the rest of his family. Folks, baby steps on the path to friendship.

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Calvin attempts to dissuade his family from attending. He insists on his weekly tradition of throwing darts at the local bar. Tina (Tichina Arnold) tells him he is rude.

Upon their arrival though, the housewarming party is a dud. Dave and Gemma previously disagreed about the party atmosphere. Dave wants beer pong whereas Gemma wants to peacefully enjoy their new home.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD -- Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express
THE NEIGHBORHOOD — Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS — Acquired via CBS Press Express /

Elderly woman Miss Kim hits on Malcolm, yet Malcolm (Sheaun McKinney) describes her as a golden girl. While Marty (Marcel Spears) and Gemma enjoy themselves, nobody else from the neighborhood is here. They’re all at the bar. Desperate to fit in, Dave begs for help. The Butlers come to his rescue. Marty becomes the DJ, Malcolm texts everyone the invites with the promise of free beer and food, and Tina sets about adding some excitement to the event.

Calvin is at the bar clearly enjoying himself. He  is delighted at the initial failure of the party. He and the bartender reminisce about their past. Most of the businesses from the old days are gone. Even the bar may be sold. As they regale each other, people start leaving. Party at the Johnsons!

Malcolm and Tina play beer pong, Marty is blaring hip music, and the king of Kalamazoo loves it. C’mon, with a picture like this, who wouldn’t want to party at the Johnson house?

The only bummer of the party is when Miss Kim flirts with Malcolm. He playfully deflects it and flirts with a pretty girl. I like Malcolm. He is open-minded, he understands Dave’s intentions, and he can match his father with his funny remarks.

Unfortunately, the rowdiness of the party overwhelms Gemma. Tina tries to quell her worries only for a party guest to wear Gemma’s wedding dress. Needing a quick end to the party, Tina summons Calvin, who tries to end the party, only to initially realize nearly everyone has the last name Butler or Johnson. Nobody in this neighborhood has the last name Smith or Jones?

Calvin finally ends the party, much to Dave’s chagrin. Calvin tells Dave to talk to his wife, yet Dave disregards that. We’ve seen small glimpses of the Johnsons marital problems. Gemma doesn’t communicate well with her husband, and he sometimes doesn’t heed her advice. CBS rewarded The Neighborhood with a full-season order, so maybe the writers will discuss relationships within families rather than relationships with neighbors. Everyone can relate to that.

Angered by Calvin shutting down the party, Dave finally vents his frustrations. Of course, Calvin has no problem voicing his opinions. Dave says the Johnsons have tried to fit into the neighborhood. He has treated Calvin with respect, and he opened his home to everyone to party together. Calvin disputes that, especially given the behavior of the party guests.

When Calvin’s grandparents moved into the neighborhood, they were treated poorly by the white people. As time passed, more black people moved in, and the white people moved out. Calvin worries that trend will flip now that the Johnsons live in the neighborhood. Dave apologizes for how Calvin’s grandparents were treated, but the Johnsons are not those white people. He actually calls Calvin a jerk! Appropriately, Marty makes a sound-effect which reiterates the feeling in the room, tension.

Sensing trouble, Tina ushers her family out. Later that night, Calvin returns. He brought garbage bags, but Dave isn’t thrilled. He thanks Calvin for the garbage bags though, and Calvin replies with the below saying, which carries a double meaning.

Like Dave, I was slow in picking up the second meaning. Essentially, welcomed to the neighborhood. Dave finally understands, he thanks Calvin, only for Calvin to retort he changed his mind. The catchphrase of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was, “Welcome home (family name), welcome home.” I borrow that line and say, “Welcome home Johnson family, welcome home.”

I hope this episode resolves much of the tension between the two families over race. Like I said, I hope this show can show the difference in other relationships, such as marital, parenting styles, cooking techniques, etc. Last week, The Neighborhood briefly touched on the topic of friendship. Let’s hope it continues that trend of discussing the differences of the two families outside of race.

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The Neighborhood airs Mondays on CBS at 8/7c.