Chicago – Welcome to the “Welcome to Flatch” recaps! In this week’s episode, “RIP Cynthia,” Kelly and Shrub volunteer in a computer class for seniors and the town gets a lesson in catfishing. Meanwhile, Mandy teaches Cheryl self-defense after she is attacked for her alliance with Pockton. Did you just start the show? Here is our recap of the first. Ready to stuff yourself? The first seven episodes are stream on Hulu.
After last week’s slightly more plot-focused episode, “Welcome to Flatch” is back with the gaffes this week. In fact, “RIP Cynthia” might be the dumbest “Welcome to Flatch” episode yet — and that’s a good thing. The show is locked in a crazy sensitivity that suits it well. For example, small-town slacker Shrub (Sam Straley) has a long monologue explaining the nuances of emojis that could have lasted twice as long and still been just as funny. (“Emojis are complicated…the hourglass means someone’s hot, but not like fire.”)
So let’s skip the clown emoji and dig into the hilarious highs and even more hilarious lows of “RIP Cynthia.”
WELCOME TO FLATCH: LR: Holmes and guest star Karen Huie in the “RIP Cynthia” episode of WELCOME TO FLATCH airing Thursday, April 21 (9:31-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX Media LLC. Creator: Brownie Harris/FOX
It’s all about technology this week, as Father Joe (Seann William Scott) hires Shrub to volunteer at a local computer class for seniors. He pays in free apple-grape juice. Add to that the lure of the church’s new super-fast wifi plan (“it’s like the unicorn of wifi!”) and Shrub can’t resist. Even his cousin Kelly (Holmes) stops by to soak up some of those smooth, sweet download speeds.
As Kelly finds herself in a rivalry with June (Karen Huie) to see who can come up with the best slogan in town for a contest with a $100 prize, Shrub has an even more unusual dilemma on her hands. It turns out grumpy local resident Len (William Tokarsky) has fallen into the e-book’s oldest trap: his new Estonian long-distance girlfriend, Cynthia, is actually a phishing scam trying to get him fired 3 $000 to a bank in Nigeria. (“Cynthia” is just a file photo of Miss Estonia 2006.
WELCOME TO FLATCH: LR: Guest star William Torkosky and Sam Straley in the “RIP Cynthia” episode of WELCOME TO FLATCH airing Thursday, April 21 (9:31-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX Media LLC. Creator: Brownie Harris/FOX
Shrub is clearly in over his head here, so he’s holding Len back with a lie: you can’t wire money over the internet on Tuesdays.
The art of self defense
Elsewhere, things are a bit rough for Cheryl (Aya Cash) this week. After being seen with her new boyfriend, Jimmy (Desmin Borges), editor of “Pockton Gazette”, she has become something of an outcast of the town. Cheryl may think the famous rivalry between Flatch and Pockton is silly, but the people of Flatch certainly don’t think so. When they’re not throwing water balloons at her windows, they submit town slogans like “Flatch: Cheryl’s home, unfortunately” and “If you love Pockton that much, you should just move in. Cheryl.”
WELCOME TO FLATCH: Krystal Smith and Aya Cash on the “RIP Cynthia” episode of WELCOME TO FLATCH airing Thursday, April 21 (9:31-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX Media LLC. Creator: Brownie Harris/FOX
It is therefore Mandy Matthews (Krystal Smith) to the rescue, who offers to give self-defense lessons to Cheryl. (Mandy trained to be in the Secret Service before realizing she wasn’t good at keeping secrets.) While Smith has mostly floated around the edges of “Welcome to Flatch” so far, l Pairing with Cash unlocks a great comedy duo for the series. Mandy’s tough, direct demeanor is a perfect counterpoint to Cheryl’s blend of outward softness and inner intensity.
In fact, Mandy even (unwittingly) helps Cheryl release some of the sadness she repressed about moving to Flatch with Joe only to be dumped by him. “I knew she would cry today,” Mandy told the camera. “I just didn’t realize it would be this soon.”
Put the “fun” in the funeral
Screenshot: “Welcome to Flatch” (FOX/Hulu)
Speaking of Joe, Shrub turns to him for advice on how to handle Len’s catfishing situation without breaking the old man’s heart. Their original plan is to just tell him the truth. But when the time comes, Shurb and Joe somehow find themselves in a deeper lie: Cynthia is dead…after drowning in a train wreck right after passing her driving test.
“All she had was me. How will we remember her? Len laments. “Probably as a woman who drove a train into a lake,” Shrub responds sympathetically.
Straley and Scott are very funny as Shrub and Joe continue to spin their lie into bigger, more absurd levels. Soon they agreed to hold a funeral in memory of Cynthia. And a trip to the party store later, the church is decked out in colorful decor.
“I believe that every living thing deserves a dignified death,” says Shrub. “Even if they are made up.”
WELCOME TO FLATCH: Guest star William Torkosky in the “RIP Cynthia” episode of WELCOME TO FLATCH airing Thursday, April 21 (9:31-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX Media LLC. Creator: Brownie Harris/FOX
Cynthia’s surreal funeral becomes the episode’s big centerpiece. (Though everyone but Len knows Cynthia was just a scam, they’re happy to play the game for the free cake.) This is also where Cheryl’s story begins to come together. with the main plot of “RIP Cynthia”. Although Cheryl is the only one in town not invited to the funeral, she decides to join Mandy as a plus one. And after hearing Joe give a moving speech on the power of love (which seems to be speaking directly to her), Cheryl takes to the pulpit for her own proclamation.
It’s hard being a “single middle-aged woman” trying to fend for herself, Cheryl says. And whether you’re an Estonian model looking for love on the internet or a Flatch resident dating someone from the nearby town, you deserve to find a connection wherever you can, even if it’s at Pockton. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love Flatch too, Cheryl reassures the crowd by celebrating some of the quirkiest elements in town. “Because if you want to uproot your life for love,” she adds, “Flatch isn’t the worst place to be.”
Flatch: Not the worst place to be
Screenshot: “Welcome to Flatch” (FOX/Hulu)
And what better slogan than that? With “Flatch…not the worst place to be!” Proudly displayed as the town’s new motto, Cheryl is once again embraced by locals. (Kelly, meanwhile, ends up with a box of t-shirts with his favorite slogan: “Full of Flatch-ulence”.)
Next comes the episode kicker: it turns out that Cynthia actually is real, and after arriving in Flatch, she stops to ask Cheryl for directions. Unfortunately, Cheryl’s self-defense training starts at the worst possible time and lands Cynthia on her back.
WELCOME TO FLATCH: LR: Guest stars Amanda Nicolas and Aya Cash on the “RIP Cynthia” episode of WELCOME TO FLATCH airing Thursday, April 21 (9:31-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX Media LLC. Creator: Brownie Harris/FOX
A terrified Cynthia rushes down the street as an excused and excited Cheryl tries to chase her down. But as the episode’s closing titles reveal, “Cynthia was never seen again. She is now considered a Flatch urban legend.”
[Insert shocked emoji here.]
“Welcome to Flatch” airs Thursdays on FOX. The first seven episodes are also currently available to stream on Hulu. Summaries are run weekly.
About the writer: Caroline Siede is a film and television critic in Chicago, where the cold never bothers her anyway. A member of the Chicago Film Critics Association, she spent four years lovingly analyzing the romantic comedy genre, one film at a time, in her When Romance Met Comedy column for The AV Club. She also co-hosts the film’s podcast, role calland shares his views on pop culture on Twitter (@carolinesiede).
This station is owned by the FOX Corporation.
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