- "I thought I wanted to have this party to prove to my parents that I'm an adult, but I think what I really wanted was to share a piece of my culture with everyone. Sometimes it's hard to balance keeping Asian traditions alive and also trying to feel American. My comedy program folks and I have been through some tough times recently being forced into a stereotypical box. I realize that everyone's experience is different, no matter what you look like. Celebrating and understanding those differences go a long way. Tonight was healing for me, and I hope in some way for all of you. I've never been prouder to be Chinese, and I'm just so proud to be able to call all of you family."
- —Alice's speech
Alice hosts a Lunar New Year celebration at the Coterie; Callie and Gael address their communication issues; Malika and Tanya forge a new relationship; Davia struggles with her feelings for Matt and Dennis.
Alice tells The Coterie group that the house has to be spotless to clean out the bad energy and let the good energy inside. Gael stops Isabella from using a cleaning supply that has toxic chemicals. Alice wants more red lanterns hung. Gael, meanwhile, stops Isabella from climbing a ladder. Alice rehangs the fu as it’s supposed to be upside-down so they can invite the blessings in. Gael then intervenes and stops Isabella from opening a box with a box cutter as it’s sharp. Sumi gives Alice the tablecloths, but she’s spiraling as they’re pimento and not red.
Alice talks to her parents about the comedy group but they merely say that her brother, David, got a promotion at the bank. He bought a condo and offered to host the Lunar New Year celebration. Alice volunteers to host and hand the envelopes. It will be perfect.
Sumi tells Alice it doesn’t need to be perfect but Alice is adamant that it has to be. Sumi tells her to breathe and reminds her it’s bad luck to have unhappy thoughts around NEw Year. Alice notices the red envelopes are missing.
Sumi tells Alice to be gentle with the fish and takes her hands, showing her to massage the fish. Lindsay interrupts and is surprised to see the whole fish, so Sumi educates them that the fu symbolizes abundance for the coming year. Ruby arrives speaking Chinese while holding the oranges. Lindsay takes the oranges so Ruby can help Alice with the fish. Davia runs happily past everyone as Matt arrives with the balls.
Earlier, Davia had messed up by bringing soupy rice pudding instead of rice balls. Now they had fifteen dishes which is bad luck. She barges into Dennis’s room and asks him to drive to Monterey Park and pick up soupy rice balls, with emphasis on the balls. Not having them jeopardizes a year’s worth of luck depends on it. He goes to oblige but his food truck won’t start. He calls Davia as he sold his car to buy the truck. She tells him not to worry as she has an idea.
Now, Davia thanks Matt for bringing the balls. Alice’s mother, Trea, arrives with extra food alongside her brother and father. Trea throws away the food Alice was making as it’s for the dog. Her dad, Alan, tries to hand the red envelopes out but Alice intervenes. He ignores her and gives the envelopes to Matt and Davia. Davia asks him to stay so he does. She tells Dennis that he brought the rice balls since he lives near the park. Sumi arrives with cocktails. Sumi’s mother is horrified at the off-red tablecloth.
The Coterie Group gathers for drinks while Gael monitors Isabella’s water intake. She has 48 more ounces to go, which Mariana notes are a lot of water. Kelly notes that their baby will be born in the year of the Ox; they’ll be earnest and honest like this crowd.
Earlier, Callie asked Gael about the parenting class as they cleaned the bathrooms. Gael answers a call from Jazmin and asks to call her back. Callie asks if everything is okay and he excuses himself to leave.
Now, Callie asks Gael to elaborate on the pregnant women needing more water. He offers a refill which Callie says yes to but he takes Isabella’s instead. Callie then takes Mariana’s drink and downs it.
Davia is chopping onions while watching Matt. Malika sits and they talk about her situation with Davia’s situation with Matt and Dennis. Malika suggests polyamory but Davia isn’t sure about that. Malika invited both Dyonte and his girlfriend to the party. Malika greets them both as they enter and she dodges his kiss.
Alice introduces her comedy group to her parents, who worry they’ll need more red envelopes. Alice assures them she has it covered and gives them out to her friends. She explains that giving out red envelopes is a tradition that symbolizes good wishes and luck for the new year. A passing Callie takes one. Alice’s money is IOU’s as the ATM was broken. Alice’s brother, David, arrives and announces he closed the deal, earning praise from their parents.
Callie vents to Mariana about Isabella being capable enough to track her hydration without Gael’s help. She doesn’t get why Gael is acting weird and that he might be rethinking their relationship. Mariana wonders if he worries she’s overwhelmed, but Callie hasn’t said anything about it.
In the bathroom, the other night, Gael asked Mariana about Callie being okay. She states that she doesn’t know for a fact but if it were her, she wouldn’t want to hear every detail about him, Isabella, and the baby.
Mariana admits to Callie that she told Gael to dial back the baby talk. Callie is horrified and asks why she did that.
The other night, Callie talked about Gael and Isabella taking parenting classes. Mariana can’t believe they’re doing it together. Callie thinks it’s the right thing to do even if it is going quickly. Mariana notes that it must be hard and Callie admits that it is, but if Gael told her less it might be easier.
Now, Mariana admits that’s why she told Gael because Callie told her. Callie vehemently states that she told Mariana that not Gael for a reason. Mariana wants her to be honest. She doesn’t know what she wants to know. Callie takes another drink as she needs to unwind and not have Mariana monitor her either.
Dyonte, Malika, and Tanya toast to being friends and the Lunar New Year in her room. They sit awkwardly before Malika pours another for everyone. They toast again and down another shot. Malika and Tanya watch a snoring Dyonte who has passed out. They decide to wait until dinner to wake him.
Davia talks to Dennis about Matt being there and Dennis promises he’s fine with it. They kiss before Matt arrives with a drink. She takes it from Matt and kisses him too, smiling dreamily with a wink. In reality, Davia thinks about what Malika said as she watches Dennis talk to Isabella. She imagines watching Isabella and Dennis laugh together and have moments like theirs. She then watches Matt talk with Magda and solemnly imagines them dancing together as they did in The Coterie kitchen.
Malika and Tanya talk on the roof as they admire the view. They laugh as Tanya admits that Dyonte told her about Malika wanting to slow things down. Malika assures her that it wasn’t just because of Tanya but because she felt overwhelmed. Tanya has been poly for a while and it can still be difficult. She felt insecure after seeing Malika and Dyonte together. Malika is surprised as she’s so confident. Tanya admits that she feels better now that she knows Malika. She doesn’t want to be the reason for slowing it down or their buffer. Dyonte joins them on the roof and asks about their discussions.
Kelly tells Dennis his food truck is in a tow zone so he needs to move it. Matt, who knows about engines, volunteers to help. Dennis initially declines but Davia snarkily comments that Dennis would rather pay to get it out of impound. Dennis agrees so the men head out to the alley without Davia. Matt notes that the problem isn’t the battery. He asks what kind of food Dennis will serve but Dennis doesn’t know. Matt learned about engines from his father who used to race. He’s risk-averse which he thinks makes him a bit boring. Dennis notes that isn’t always the case. Matt states that some people need surprises to keep it interesting. Dennis tries the car and it starts.
Trea dishes out the food as she gives a brief history of and meaning of each dish. She compliments Shaun for his dumpling seal. Trea scolds Alice’s dumpling seal as she has foot fingers which are good for farming. David arrives and passes on making the dumplings. Alice whispers to him that she knows he used to pass their Aunt’s dumplings off as his own; he’s lucky she’s not a tattletale. He mocks her which annoys Sumi. Alice asks Sum if she has foot hands so Sumi assures her she doesn’t. She tells Alice to just relax and let Trea do the cooking as they still have a lion dance after dinner. Suddenly, a professional line dance troupe arrives at David’s request. Alice mutters that they took that from her too. As everyone gathers to praise the dancers, Alice sneaks off the roof.
Trea and Alan do Alice at the pool to question why she’s up here instead of hosting her party. Alice exclaims that this isn’t her part but theirs and David’s. He’s been upstaging her for her entire life. She wants to make them proud but doesn’t know-how. Alan assures Alice that they are proud of her for just being herself. Trea admits that she tells her friends at Mahjong about her son, the banker, and her daughter, the building manager. Trea knows it’s a big job and even if the place is in disrepair the tenants are happy. Alice notes that she’s also funny and they should be proud of her for getting into the comedy show. Alan just finds it hard as only famous people get on TV, but Alice notes that the stars weren’t born that way. Trea assures them that they’re proud of her. Alice doesn’t understand why Trea calls her foot fingers then or why they’re so scared of telling the family she’s gay. She wonders if David even knows. Alan doesn’t think it’s their job to tell David. He asks if Alice is afraid too but she isn’t. Trea explains they make jokes about her little hands and is sensitive like her. When she was young her mother tried to toughen her up and wanted her to have thicker skin, especially for people with her sweethearts. Alice is getting tougher and learning to stand up for herself. Trea’s jokes don’t make her feel better. After a speech, Treat agrees to keep her jokes to herself but wants good thoughts so they don’t have a year of good luck. They express their love and share a group hug. Sumi comes out to tell Alice the oven isn’t working.
Alice thinks the ancestor smoke clogged the gas lines. Davia needs Dennis and his food truck to cook everything. Dennis and Treat cook together in the truck and she tells him to cut his hair as it’s unsanitary.
Callie vents to Kelly about things being hard with her and Gael as they can’t find alone time. Kelly tells her the solution is obvious.
Callie calls a group meeting to talk about their living situation problem. She has a proposition that will solve everything, though no one realized there was a problem. Callie happily says that Isabella will move in with Mariana, Gael will move back to his loft, and she will move in with him. The trio hesitantly agrees as Callie giggles to drink more.
Alan tells The Coterie residents and party-goers about the history of the Lunar New Year. The group gathered to watch the lion dance by the pool. Sumi and Alice dance inside the costume. Everyone watches Alan tell the story of joy and happiness that the lion dance brings. Alan bows to everyone when he’s finished. Alice and Sumi bow too and everyone claps for them. Alice thanks everyone for coming and Dennis for being her mother’s sous chef and saving the day. She had the party to prove she’s an adult but she wanted to share her culture with everyone. It’s hard to balance keeping Asian traditions alive while feeling American. Her comedy troupe has been through hard times. Everyone’s experience is different no matter what you look like. That night was healing for her and she’s proud to be Chinese and call everyone family. Lindsay asks Brady if she and Alice are still together. Ruby admits she’s working on it. Derek overhears the conversation.
David approaches Alice as she’s cleaning up. He apologizes for hiring the dancers as he didn’t know she had something planned. She assures him it’s okay. He asks if everything is okay between her and their parents. She assures him she didn’t take his job as the golden boy. He doesn’t like the expectation. She gets to be whoever she wants because he’s the one who has to fulfill their dreams. All they ever talk about with him is her. He’s not funny like she is. He knows how he stood up for her friends and he’s proud to be her brother. They laugh over things but he wants to spend more time together as he misses her. She blurts out that she’s gay which he finds awesome. He wants to get food next week and they hug.
While laying in bed together, Dyonte was surprised Amlika asked him to stay as he thought she wanted to slow down. EArlier, Malika drank with Tanya to finish their chat. Malika admits that she did want her to come but partly because she wanted Tanya to be her buffer. Malika is scared to get close to Dyonte because she got hurt in her last relationship. She’s scared of that happening again.
Now, Malika tells Dyonte that the past is like Nian; it terrorizes you but the new year is a time to start over. She wants to start over and they kiss.
The next morning, Callie rushes into the bathroom to vomit. Isabella asks if she’s okay and Callie states she had too much to drink. Isabella is just hiding from Gael as he’s smothering her. Callie noticed that and they chuckled. Isabella asks if she wants to start the move today or tomorrow. Callie looks at her incredulously.
She calls another meeting with Gael and Isabella to tell him that she isn’t ready to move in together. But she doesn’t want to spend more time together. Isabella wants less time with him as she’s feelings mothered. She appreciates it but there is a time when she needs him to be that guy, but not now. He apologizes as he didn’t mean to smother her. He hears them both. Isabella thinks she should stay with Mariana a few nights a week so Callie and Gael can hang in his loft together. She’s craving a bacon and cheese sandwich anyway, and Gael starts to critique her choice but stops instead, telling her it’s a good idea. With Isabella gone, Callie tells Gael that she knows Mariana told her about the baby talk. She admits it’s hard to hear about it but it’s worse when he holds back. She asked if the call with Jazmin was about the baby and it was. He was trying to protect her feelings. She asks what’s going on.
Callie lays in bed with Mariana to tell her she isn’t moving out and did take her advice to talk with Gael.
Gael and Jazmin were talking about how to tell their parents about the baby. He knew they would want to meet Isabella and it felt weird for them to meet her before meeting Callie. He doesn’t know how to introduce them both. She understands and doesn’t think there’s a rush for them to meet her. They should meet Isabella first. He wants her to be honest. She admits it hurts a little but she’s sure.
Mariana thinks it’s good she was honest. She warns that they won’t have a happy ending in every problem in their relationship. Callie wonders when her sister got so wise, to which Mariana retorts this is the new Mariana. The one Callie should have listened to when she told Callie to drink water and not whiskey. Callie admits he was right which thrills Mariana, who makes her say it again. She wants to record it and send it to their moms as video proof. Callie obliges and records the saying. Mariana is thrilled.
Alice, Malika, and Davia drink water to soothe their hangovers, Davia tries to clean as she forgot about the no-cleaning rule on New Year. Malika asks her about the choice between Matt and Dennis, to which Davia admits polyamory isn’t for her. She can't share two people she loves. Malika and Alice are shocked to realize Davia loves Matt, and Davia hadn’t realized it until that moment. Alice is also confused.
Last night, Alice said goodbye to her parents and Alan gave her a red envelope. They hug to say goodbye. Alice turns to find Sumi and Alice reveals she got a hundred bucks. She can make good on her IOUs from that night. Alice thanks Sumi for being supportive as she couldn’t have done any of it without Sumi’s help. Sumi states it was since to be there for Alice for a change. She then kisses Alice. They kiss again beneath the lanterns.
Now, Malika and Davia look at Alice in disbelief. Alice has no idea what to do. They look up to find Dennis has cut his hair at the request of Alice’s mom. Alice, Malika, and Davia are horrified as it’s bad luck to cut your hair on New Year’s Day. The women scatter hurriedly as Davia smacks his arm on the way past.
- Maia Mitchell as Callie Adams Foster
- Cierra Ramirez as Mariana Adams Foster
- Tommy Martinez as Gael Martinez
- Emma Hunton as Davia Moss
- Sherry Cola as Alice Kwan
- Zuri Adele as Malika Williams
- Beau Mirchoff as Jamie Hunter (credit only)
- Josh Pence as Dennis Cooper
- Marcus Emanuel Mitchell as Dyonte
- Priscilla Quintana as Isabella Tavez
- Kara Wang as Sumi
- Rhea Butcher as Lindsay Brady
- Erik Stocklin as Matt
- Anastasia Leddick as Kelly
- Shannon Chan-Kent as Ruby
- Liisi LaFontaine as Tanya
- Lee Chen as Trea Kwan
- Robert Michael Lee as Alan Kwan
- Zainne Saleh as Sanjana
- Chau Long as David Kwan
- Marissa Rivers as Magdalena "Magda"
- Nabeel Muscatwalla as Derek
- Nicole Dele as Stacey
- Kye Tamm as Shaun
- Alex Dea as Lion Dance Troupe - Musican #1
- Jacqueline Lam as Lion Dance Troupe - Musician #2
- Brandson Le as Lion Dance Troupe - Musician #3
- Vincent Tan as Lion Dancer - Big Head Buddha
- Calvin Lam as Lion Dancer #1
- Andy Ta as Lion Dancer #2
- Elaine Ha as Lion Dance Double #1
- Ida Lam as Lion Dance Double #2
Notes and Trivia
Behind the Scenes
- Effortless by Danger Twins
- What You Do by Red Red Lips
- Spell by Yaeji, YonYon, G.L.A.M.
- Light Up by Frank Pierce (ft. Audrey Nuna)
- Whisper My Name by Adeline
- Catching Feels by Sioux Sioux
- Ooh Song by DYAN
- Pile by Gracie Gray