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Speechless – J-J’s D-R-Dream

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By: Taylor Gates

 

 

Ray (Mason Cook) informs the DiMeos that Taylor (Sedona James) will be coming over to celebrate their 100 day anniversary and that they should get all their insults and embarrassing stories out before she gets there. They all blurt out their favorites but stop more quickly than Ray anticipated. He reminds them of all the things they forgot but it turns out Taylor is standing right behind him, having already come in. Instead of being horrified, however, she excitedly gives him glasses shaped like the number 100 and wishes him a happy anniversa-Ray.

 

Taylor notices how in sync and alike she and Ray are. Wanting to prove her right, he acts extra nice to JJ (Micah Fowler) and Dylan (Kyla Kenedy), but when they’re not super nice back, Taylor notices their families have some differences after all. Taylor admits she’s a little over-the-top, even having started a 5k in honor of her brother. Ray lies and says he started a charity as well called JJ’s Dream.

 

Taylor tries to research JJ’s Dream online but nothing comes up. Ray tells her that they ran out of money and had to shut it down. Taylor apologizes to JJ, and JJ decides to use Ray’s lie to his advantage. He says they’re going to have a fundraiser that Saturday at the Ashcroft Hotel in order to save JJ’s Dream. Ray goes to look at the Ashcroft’s ballroom, and although the space is available for the next day, there’s no way he can afford it.

 

Dylan spies Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough) sleeping in her bed, hiding from JJ’s therapist Joyce (Liz Cackowski). Things have been awkward since he broke up with her. To make matters worse, Kenneth accidentally eats the meat Dylan has been saving. Dylan tells him that the summer was great without him around to invade her space. Kenneth tells Dylan he understands what she’s going through, as he had to share a small space with both his sisters and Aunt Martha when he was a kid. The day his aunt died was the best day of his life since she was the worst. Kenneth promises she won’t see him around the house again. Dylan makes it her mission to try and catch Kenneth, but he’s exceptionally good at hiding.

 

Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) is so exhausted from his new promotion. He feels too awkward ordering his old coworkers around now that he’s technically their boss and lets them slack off while he does all the work. Maya goes to Jimmy’s work to surprise him with lunch and sees all the chaos. Jimmy admits he doesn’t know how to be stern and make his employees work, so Maya tells him to pretend to be her when they’re at the hospital with JJ.

 

Jimmy calls Maya to give him a pep talk in the middle of cracking down on the employees. He ends up firing one of the guys, and Maya finds his assertiveness attractive and tells him to hurry home. She tries to role-play with him when he walks through their bedroom door, but Jimmy says he’s tired and had an awful day at work. Although everyone is working hard and doing their jobs, they’re afraid of him, and he wants to be fun. Maya is slightly disappointed, as stern Jimmy really turned her on.

 

The employee Jimmy fired is now working for another crew so Jimmy must play a game of high-stakes luggage golf against the employee’s new boss in order to win him back. He comes out victorious, as he had a lot of experience screwing around before he got his promotion.

 

The next morning, Ray sees that there’s a gas leak in their kitchen, which gives him an idea. He decides to go to the Ashcroft but then pretend to get a text saying there’s a gas leak in the building. He sits his family down and asks them participate in his plan, but they’re reluctant since he lied. Ray is frustrated, as they always seem to cover for JJ.

 

Ray and Taylor walk into the Ashcroft and Ray is surprised to see that Maya and Jimmy have shown up. Maya leads him into a ballroom filled with people and posters that say JJ’s Dream. They tell Ray that JJ decided he needed a win. Maya called in some favors from other special needs moms in order to make it all happen.

 

Dylan sees Kenneth sitting at a table and tells him she misses seeing him around the house. Her situation is different from his because she doesn’t want him to die like Aunt Martha did. Kenneth reflects that that’s the nicest things she’s ever said to him and promises to start coming around more often again.

 

Maya presents Ray with a made-up Dreamer of the Year award. In his speech, he thanks Taylor and his family. He decides that, since they have all helped him so much, he wants to actually make the charity a reality. After the ceremony, Taylor congratulates Ray but asks exactly what JJ’s dream does. JJ explains that it builds accessible playgrounds so kids of all abilities can play together.

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