Speechless – W-E– WE’RE B-A– BACK!
By: Taylor Gates
Ray (Mason Cook) has a nightmare that his long-distance girlfriend Taylor (Sedona James) is breaking up with him, as Dylan (Kyla Kennedy) is whispering mean things in his ear while he’s sleeping. Ray tells her to go back to bed, but Dylan says she’s not tired. It turns out it’s actually noon and the sun hasn’t been shining through their window because the fumigators are outside.
JJ (Micah Fowler) video chats Maya (Minnie Driver) and the rest of the DiMeos, telling them about his crush Alexa (Rose Crisman) who happens to be deaf. He updates them on what he’s been doing, including swimming, kayaking, and waterskiing. They’re all impressed by what he’s been able to accomplish, and he tells them the camp’s motto is that disability is no excuse. When a neighbor asks them if they’re ever going to fix up their lawn, they all yell that their family includes someone with special needs. JJ calls him hypocrites.
Maya realizes the family has been using JJ as an excuse for letting their lives fall through the cracks. They vow to start cleaning up, and Ray is ecstatic. Knowing Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough) will share in his enthusiasm, he calls him in to sing a song about how disgusting the house is.
The family gets motivated and does a surprisingly great job making everything look nice. Dylan also decides to get a job mowing lawns and Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) starts being on time to work. Maya starts using a phone calendar to keep track of appointments and going to the gym with the tiny, condescending neighbor woman.
Ray is shocked the family actually manages to keep their acts together for a couple weeks. However, feeling like he has no purpose is driving him crazy and even causing some grey hairs. Jimmy tries to comfort him by saying sometimes things just go your way in life. Because they’re DiMeos, they’re not built for that, but things are sure to eventually get worse again, which comforts him.
JJ finds an old note from Alexa in his bag, asking him to be her first kiss. He tries to talk to Maya about it, but Maya has book club planned. When Maya gets back home, JJ shows her the note he found and Maya feels about about ignoring him.
Maya rallies the family together, telling them about Alexa’s note. Kenneth is also there, having been sleeping in the DiMeo’s van since the boat made him seasick. JJ informs them her family is driving from Maine to Seattle, and Maya is determined to locate them. Although getting their act together was fun, the family doesn’t split apart to do sensible things—they bond together to do awesome, stupid things.
Dylan finds Alexis’ dad’s Instagram, which says they’re in Chicago and headed to the Grand Canyon. They all hop in the car. Maya insults the stuck-up neighborhood ladies, Jimmy calls into work, and Dylan throws all the money she earned that summer out the window.
While they’re stopped to get gas, JJ tells Maya that he’s wasting their time. He says he holds them back and that they do better without him. Maya assures him that he taught them to be spontaneous, which is Maya’s favorite thing about their family.
Using the walkie-talkie from his boat Island Girl, Kenneth finds Alexa’s car parked outside a motel an hour away. The family starts driving, but their van stops in the middle of the road since Jimmy forgot to fill it with gas. They get towed to another gas station, and just when it looks like all hope is lost, Maya spies Alexa’s car at the same station. Ray and Alexa get to kiss after all.
The DiMeos see the Grand Canyon from a distance, and Ray is happy and impressed they even managed to make it that far. Maya takes a nice family photo on her phone but quickly loses it when she gets annoyed by another alert and throws it.
Taylor shows up to Ray’s house, saying she’s loved being his girlfriend but they have to end things. Like Ray, she gets stressed when things are going too well, but Ray convinces her to stop worrying about that and just enjoy the nice time they’re having.