This Fool (Season 2): With its hilarious first season, ‘This Fool’ managed to make a place as an endearing comedy-drama. Co-created by and starring Chris Estrada as the lead, the show gave a personal look into an under-represented, working-class section of the city of Los Angeles. With fantastic chemistry between all its actors, from Estrada to Frankie Quinones, from Michelle Ortiz to Michael Imperioli, the show proved that enough talent can make seemingly regular lives seem incredibly exciting.
The earlier season focused on Julio’s attempts to improve his community while overcoming his co-dependency issues. On the other hand, it showed Luis’s struggle with making a life for himself while growing up as a mature adult. Now, the new season shows their further journeys of growth, realization, and acceptance, packed with a series of experiences meant to enlighten their paths.
What happened in This Fool Season 1?
In the previous season, we saw Julio (Chris Estrada) find a wealthy investor for the non-profit ‘Hugs, not Thugs.’ But Minister Payne (Michaels Imperioli) opposed this deal, which led them on a downhill path. Eventually, it led to the closing of their establishment, which left them both jobless. Julio messed up his bond with Maggie (Michelle Ortiz), which broke their relationship for years. Meanwhile, Luis (Frankie Quinones) manages to turn his life around after his years of prison and gets a job at a local store. In the end, Julio moved in with Luis into the garage.
This Fool (Season 2) Recap:
Episode 1: The Rooster
Luis struggles to make peace with his uneventful and low-paying job. While fighting its monotony, he meets Ruby (Ivana Rojas), who works at the counter at a local departmental store. He develops a crush on this woman, who saves each month so that she can travel across the world. After flirting with the idea for a while, Luis finally decides to ask her out. Since some nosy customers keep interrupting him, he loses his calm. Still, Ruby agrees to go out with him.
Meanwhile, Julio gets in trouble since Don Emilio (Ramón Franco) insists on having his rooster at his place. The neighbors complain about its noise, and Julio becomes helpless. He even starts identifying with the ‘unwanted’ chicken. Because of the neighbors, Don takes it a notch above and annoys them with loud music. He also threatens to shoot the rooster if someone attempts to kill it. Eventually, he accepts defeat and decides to kill it himself. But Julio pities the bird (or himself) and saves it.
Episode 2: Clyde & Clyde, Pt 1
Luis brings Julio to the store he works at to get him a job. Unfortunately, John (Carl W Crudup) has to shut down the place since his landlord sold the building. So, the duo visits a liquor store with Ruby. Julio sees photos of his ex with her husband, who shares his name. Suddenly, a masked man – Sonny (Mike Seal), walks in and kidnaps them. The cops reach there in no time and make Sonny panic. So, he uses Julio as a scapegoat and decides to negotiate a deal with the cops.
The Vet (Rob Corddry) tries to fool him to secure the hostages. But Sonny continues to stall by asking for a plane and a pizza. Julio sees it as a way he can escape his dreadful present and lead an exciting life. Sonny considers it a way out with his girlfriend, Erica. He believes she is the Bonny to his Clyde. It finally dawns upon him that she might be cheating on him with their partner in crime. He and Julio find a connection because of their broken hearts. The rookie officer (J J Soria) does not appreciate that the vet is needlessly stalling.
Episode 3: Clyde & Clyde, Pt 2
Sonny and Julio both receive apologetic texts from their exes. It does not take long for them to realize that Ruby wrote and sent them. She was trying to distract them and get hold of Sonny’s gun. While being tied up, Luis tries to speak with Ruby about their relationship. He keeps boasting about his strength despite his short height. Still, Ruby is reluctant to be ‘his lady’ because he is jobless. She does not want her daughter to live in a financially unstable house again. While Luis’s fragile male ego gets hurt, the rookie speaks out against the vet and calls for action.
Meanwhile, Julio starts becoming increasingly hopeless about his life. So, Sonny puts a gun to his head to make him recognize his life’s purpose. Julio accepts that he wants to start a coffee shop, and Sonny offers a bundle of cash to help with it. Luis attaches himself to this business so that he can win over Ruby’s heart. However, the moment Sonny sees Erica actually cheating on him, he loses hope in a ‘happy ending.’ Right when he is about to bring Julio outside, the rookie falls from the vent and shoots the store manager Farhad in his leg. Eventually, the rookie saves the day by rescuing the civilians and arresting Sonny.
Episode 4: Feel the Payne
Julio and Luis convince Chef Percy Williams (Jamar Malachi Neighbours) to come with them for their coffee shop business. Percy leaves his great job to work with these fools. He lectures them about the health code violations for a food business but eventually agrees to join. Then they try to rope in Minister Payne. The only problem is – they have no idea where he is. So, they look for Payne online and learn that he has an Onlyfans account. Julio manages to trace his location to a deserted island, and they visit him. He is reluctant to join their plan since he is content with his new life. Payne is happy that he does not have to bow down to wealthy folks for a living. However, just the next morning, he learns that the men around him are billionaires trying to live a ‘down-to-earth’ life. So, Payne leaves all the stuff behind to join his old pals for their coffee shop business.
Episode 5: Cut the Shit
Since the coffee shop was Julio’s idea, he keeps insisting that it should move as per his vision. But he has no clarity about his vision. Ruby makes Luis take the initiative as a business partner and have a say in these matters. So, Luis starts asserting his position and making suggestions for the layout, which work better than Julio’s opinions. Julio starts getting jealous of Luis’s increasing appeal. He even sees the crew working without asking him for advice. It gets to him, and he finally takes out his anger on them. He takes a single day to get the café made as per ‘his’ vision. But his entire thought process is filled with cliché marketing techniques and a lot of narcissism. While he still enforces his dictatorial authority, he eventually accepts his narcissism. In the end, he apologizes to everyone and agrees to work in cooperation.
Episode 6: Los Personas Invisibles
Julio’s mother – Esperanza (Laura Patalano), gets retired from her job. Despite the benefits she receives afterward, she is not satisfied. Even if she felt ‘invisible’ around the employees she served, she could keep herself busy. But now, she does not have any work. On that day, she accidentally hits a white lady with her car on a mostly empty street. So, she gets in the house and acts as this old woman’s cleaner lady. Esperanza takes care of her and feels happy. She prefers to be lazy like her daughter. Meanwhile, the old woman shares her life story and how her late husband took a special liking to his gay friend. In a way, she and Esperanza find a company for their loneliness.
Despite spending days in that lavish villa, Esperanza shares no detail about these visits to her mother, Maria (Julia Vera). But in that house, she eventually bumps into the woman’s son, who plans to sell it and move his mother to a retirement home. This is because the woman believes there are some invisible forces in the house. To not lose her friend, Esperanza shushes away the ghosts, i.e., makes the old woman feel that way. Later, we see some of the things from that woman’s house at Esperanza’s place.
Episode 7: The Big Deal
Julio meets Teresa (Yuli Zorrilla) at a party and connects with her in no time. By the end of the night, she tells him that she is a single mother. The next day, she asks him if he can take her daughter to soccer practice. Payne warns him about the implications of emotional connection with the kids of those they date. So, Julio acts distant towards Aurora (Lydia Martinez) and refuses to have even small talk. Since the soccer practice is canceled, he takes her back home. But Esperanza argues Julio should not date single moms. Rocio (Anna Lamadrid) argues against it.
Aurora overhears this argument and starts crying. So to cheer her up, he takes her shopping. That is where he bumps into Maggie with her husband, Julio También (Martin Urbano). Aurora cringes at Maggie’s husband’s behavior and prefers to stay with her mother’s friend. Since he treats her with things that her mother does not, she asks if he can join them for dinner. Teresa asks Julio if he is okay with a long-time commitment to more kids. He accepts. Meanwhile, Maggie comes across a single father who refuses to go on a date with her because she is a single mother. She recognizes the prejudice, even in this ‘nice man,’ and asks her son to kick him in his genitals.
Episode 8: The Bigger Man
The café, ‘Mugs, not Thugs’ finally opens for business. Ruby and Teresa also join the celebration. Payne is busy showcasing their business as a well-intentioned non-profit one. But the journalist he brings for publicity ends up writing a scathing review of how things are running. Payne wishes to franchise the café and does not offer health benefits to his employees. Because of the terrible word-of-mouth, he loses confidence in himself. Julio brings Payne’s mojo back by taking revenge on the journalist. Meanwhile, Esperanza and Maria tell Luis to marry Ruby at the earliest and to have babies. So, he asks for Ruby’s hand in marriage. But she rejects it since she wants her life to be more than that. So, she leaves him to go on an adventure abroad. It leaves Luis brokenhearted.
Episode 9: Y Tu Depression Tambien
Maggie starts acknowledging her joyless marriage. Julio También is too nice and corny, more than she can tolerate. Since his behavior gets on her nerves, they seek help. While she speaks about all that she likes and hates about Julio, the listener just calls out her familial issues to be the reason. He puts all the blame on her. Back home, she incites him to get angry at her. When she speaks against his parents, he gets angry. They have sex, and he feels free from his family’s emotional burden. But he ends up injuring himself.
Julio starts spending more time at Teresa’s house. While watching a teenage romance show with Aurora, he points out the terrible writing. Teresa argues with him to let Aurora enjoy the dumb show if she wants. He takes it personally. Afterward, Julio, Payne, & heartbroken Luis start to accept that they need therapy. He makes a therapy appointment after six months since that is the only one he can get without insurance. Later, Aurora decides not to watch her favorite show. Teresa realizes that this is Aurora mimicking Julio’s behavior and does not want her to be depressed as Julio. So, she breaks up with him.
This Fool (Season 2) Ending Explained:
In episode 10, titled ‘Two Fuckin’ Losers’, Esperanza and Maria try to get Julio and Luis out of their misery. Chef Percy tells them they should go on a foreign trip to rewind. Suddenly, they learn about ‘Guilt Free Café’ that copies their brand motto. So, Julio, Payne, and Percy walk up to this café to confront the owner. They look around in awe at their café interior. The owner puts on a bright smile and argues that they are neither copying nor encroaching. Payne takes the insult personally and decides to take action without alerting Julio. Meanwhile, Luis tries to get his record clean with Maggie’s help to be able to travel abroad. Suddenly, Ruby shows up on his doorstep and surprises him. Their argument after a while turns into a passionate kiss. After that, Julio texts Maggie and meets her in person. They speak their hearts out about where they failed in their relationship. Julio understands that he does not need a partner to achieve stability in his life.
The next day, Julio finds his shop in shambles. Payne goes on the news to claim that their competitor, Guilt Free Café, did this. Right after, the cafe owner shows up at Mugs Not Thugs to confront Payne – for accusing him of a crime he did not commit. It makes Julio realize that Payne purposefully destroyed the store for publicity. After an ugly fight with Payne, they both accept that they should figure out their failings before taking any further steps. Payne leaves the town to reconnect with his son. Luis and Ruby also try to figure out their lives. Luis travels to Cambodia on his own for some soul-searching while she stays back for work. Julio sees his business flourish because of Payne’s actions. Nevertheless, he finally goes to his therapy session to speak about his issues.
This Fool (Season 2) Review:
The new season of This Fool continues to talk about some important issues. The good part is how it never lets its analysis seem heavy-handed. It talks about men’s mental health, repressed issues, old age, and morality in the age of late capitalism, among other things. It also tackles subjects of masculinity without letting them feel preachy or forced even a bit. Remember the dialogue between Ruby and Luis in the liquor store? Or the argument between Maggie and Julio Tambien about his familial issues? They all are dealt with a surprising amount of subtlety and infused with breezy humor.
Since the first season was an introduction to these characters and involved an arc of ‘men breaking societal shackles,’ it impacted more. While there are more important issues being discussed, the emotional connection is a tad shorter. The season does not offer as many laughs as the prior season, either. The characters showcase growth, but the newness of its first season trumped a slightly underwhelming second season of this Hulu show.
Read More: Everything Coming to Hulu in August 2023
This Fool (Season 2) Trailer:
This Fool (Season 2) Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
This Fool (Season 2) Cast: Chris Estrada, Frankie Quiñones, Michael Imperioli, Michelle Ortiz, Laura Patalano, Julia Vera, Fabian Alomar, Sandra Hernandez
This Fool (Season 2) Genre: Comedy