In Episode 8 of Season 1, Eddie is excited to meet Phillip Goldstein, another Asian-American, in hopes of bonding over their potential similarities. However, it turns out their similarities are very slim but much of the school staff forces them to be together because they assume the two boys would get along based on their physical similarities. The episode is trying to argue that even if certain people share a race, they still have many other characteristics that make them unique. The show continues to emphasize this theme by presenting Phillip as the “stereotypical” Asian kid who is sophisticated and plays the cello. Eddie, on the other hand, is the complete opposite with his affection for rap music.
Though it seems like the two boys could never get along, that changes after Phillip lies to help Eddie go to the Beastie Boys concert. Even though, Eddie is not like the typical Asian child, a consistent theme within the show, him and Phillip are still willing to have each others’ back due to their similar circumstances. The show is simultaneously arguing that even though race is not a defining factor, it can still be a unifying characteristic within a community. However, after Phillip ditches Eddie, Eddie has to reevaluate what he is looking for in a friend. Like Jason Howard mentioned in his blog post, the show continues to revolve around the idea that “Eddie is not entirely Asian, and not entirely American, but has pieces of his identity within both cultures” which leads Eddie to form a bond with an African kid over music. Ending the episode like this argued that even though race is a common unifying factor, it is not the only.