Raven’s Home is finally giving its older viewers what they crave from this show: more of Raven, Chelsea, and their lives. The show still takes its time to focus on the children, but in ‘The Baxters Get Bounced,’ we learn more about Raven’s life after high school and can see that she’s still in the fashion industry — albeit not in the way she hoped.
The episode starts with klutzy Chelsea making pancakes for breakfast, to the rest of the family’s chagrin. (Not to worry though – Raven comes through and replaces everyone’s pancakes with edible ones she made herself.) It’s a shame that Chelsea continues to be a one-note and vapid character on the show, because the times when the script gives us a glimpse of what’s underneath her exterior, it’s plain to see that Chelsea is not just the same ‘dumb mom’ joke on repeat.
When the apartment’s dishwasher breaks, Raven pleads with the kids and Chelsea to not call the landlord until she has time to let him know that Chelsea and Levi have moved in unexpectedly. Naturally, this spurs Booker and Nia into sneaking the landlord into the apartment, only to have him find out that Raven’s had people living in the house illegally. He raises the rent by $1,000, and says that if they don’t pay it, they must be out by the end of the month. That’s not to say Raven didn’t see this coming. Unlike last week’s episode, Raven had a vision this time (as did Booker.) Raven’s Home plays down the supernatural aspect that tended to be more front and center in That’s So Raven, but it’s nice to see that it hasn’t abandoned it completely.
While Nia and Booker snuck the landlord in, they sent Levi to be lookout to make sure that Raven didn’t come home and find out (which she still did, anyway.) While he’s waiting outside and playing with his drone toy, Tess comes out and destroys his drone with a bat. (Ugh.) Tess continues to be an even less developed character than Chelsea, with a bad attitude that’s supposed to be somewhat lovable. Sorry, Disney, but having a knockoff version of Cash Me Outside Girl in anything but a villainous role just doesn’t work.
Despite being totally malicious in hitting Levi’s drone, Tess vows to help him find it. Maybe she was just spooked by a drone outside her apartment, and thankfully had a weapon in hand? Unlikely. Anywho, the two find themselves outside the apartment of the building’s intimidating ‘witch.’ A piece of the drone lays outside her door, and the two are nearly too frightened to go in and retrieve it.
Meanwhile, at the apartment, everything is about to hit the fan. Raven returns home from her job as a fashion designer for dogs to find that Chelsea has invited the landlord over to try and make peace with him and to get him to be more agreeable. Her terribly made coffee convinces him that she’s trying to poison him, which leads Chelsea to tying and gagging him up until she can get help. It’s a bit unbelievable, but whatever. Raven’s bedazzling dog butts, so it’s safe to say the characters from That’s So Raven are somewhat afterthoughts in Raven’s Home‘s writing.
Booker and Nia hastily throw together a sale, trying to raise the rent money after rightfully feeling guilty for betraying their mom’s trust and calling the landlord behind her back. Tess and Levi meet the witch lady and bring her up to the apartment where everything comes to a resolution. The frightened landlord is actually her son, and she does what all mothers do best — putting him in his place and telling him that she sees Chelsea and Raven as one family, and therefore they’re not moving out or paying higher rent.
It’s a clever twist to have the two plots come together via the intimidating ‘witchy’ mother, but the ending resolution still feels a bit rushed and sloppy. Raven’s Home manages to save itself though with its ending scene, where the proud mothers all share baby pictures, much to the distaste of Booker, Nia, Levi and the landlord. Raven’s Home is all about a sense of family, and it ends up hitting that mark. A bit more love and attention being shown to the characters in that family would knock the series out of the park.