In episode ten of “Average Joe”, shared traumas bond unlikely allies, secrets teeter on exposure, and the weight of past mistakes confront each character, leaving audiences at the edge of their seats.

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General Information

More From The Series
Previous Episode: “Sounds Like Mail Man” Next Episode: N/A
Release Date (08/17/2023)
Director(s) Eric Dean Seaton
Writer(s) Rob Cullen
Noted Characters and Cast
Joe Washington Deon Cole
Angela Washington Tammy Townsend
Leon Montgomery Malcolm Barrett
Jennifer (Jen) Washington Ashley Olivia Fisher
Touch Michael Trucco
Dimitri Chris Petrovski
Cathy Montgomery Cynthia Caye McWilliams


Episode ten opens with a collective flashback featuring the entire crew. Handymen Leon and Joe stroll alongside their wives, accompanied by Officer Touch. The women share a hearty laugh before entering a late-night spot where they’re treated to a karaoke performance by the men.

“You Must Be Joe” delves into grave incidents in “Average Joe,” such as young Jennifer Washington’s abduction, a sinister act rooted in Nicolai’s ties to Dimitri Dugeshvelli. As Joe encounters the mob boss, viewers witness a poignant monologue addressing the ramifications of absent and overtly abusive fathers. Joe and Nicolai unexpectedly bond over shared traumas as Jennifer befriends Arina, the femme fatale. Cathy has an alarming moment when she’s roused by a cop tapping on her car window after she fell asleep at the wheel. Post-rescue, Jennifer finds solace in her father’s embrace outside the lakehouse, marking the end of Nicolai’s reign of terror. The narrative then turns to Arina’s reunion with her estranged daughter. When Leon and Cathy cross paths at a hotel, she reveals Teddy’s assets have been converted into drugs.

The episode concludes with a tense dinner organized by Joe, where he finds Angela and Jennifer have left for peace of mind. Angela says she can no longer be Joe’s “Ride or Die” after he put their daughter in danger.

Trauma Bonding – Joe, Nicolai

Bound by Nicolai, Joe is paradoxically offered a drink before the mobster recounts daily beatings from his father. Joe empathizes, sharing his experience with his emotionally distant father. Teddy Washington’s abuse stemmed from alienating those he loved. Joe theorizes that Dimitri is mentally fragile, a sentiment Nicolai later confirms, reminiscing about using a toy train – a gift from his father – to violently retaliate against him.

Flipping Weight – Cathy, Leon

Following her drug use in episode nine, Cathy’s secret teeters on exposure. She intends to sell a significant heroin stash to an underground dealer she’d heard of. But when he refuses full payment, a skirmish ensues. Cathy deploys mace, but he draws a gun. Leon intervenes after seeing Cathy run for her life, he resurrecting his old “nail man” persona. His protective gunfire reveals the dealer’s true identity: a policeman, complicating matters further.



Taking A Mother’s Advice – Jennifer, Arina

Jennifer persuades Arina to show mercy, leveraging the imminent return of her daughter. She provocatively asks: would Nicolai want to provide Arina with her missing daughter back if his grandson, Dimitri, and Jennifer’s child were dead? Jennifer defiantly showcases her pregnant belly, drawing Arina’s empathy. Arina, having been a victim of Nicolai’s malice and greed, which was likely related to her child’s vanishing, displays unmistakable sorrow.

Despite this, Arina uses her fierce spirit to fight against malevolent energies, officially ending Nicolai.

On The Fence

Rinsing Your Sins With Cash – A Dark Perspective in “Average Joe”

Towards the episode’s close, Touch seeks Donna at an elderly woman’s residence, the girl who tragically shot her mother. The grandmother offers a scathing critique of Touch’s actions. Unaware of the complete picture, Touch learns that Donna, tormented by the accidental shooting using his own police gun, took her own life. While the news devastates Touch, the grandmother coldly suggests he’d be better off dead, dismissing the money he had provided over the years as inadequate compensation.

Touch internalizes this and seemingly shoots himself at the end of the episode. All the guilt from his cover-up of an avoidable situation started to build up.


Uneven Pacing

The pacing of this season felt somewhat uneven, with the direction rapidly shifting focus among various characters. This swift transition didn’t allow for sustained reflection or commentary, which was disappointing for viewers, especially considering the rich content provided throughout the season. Many action-packed scenes deserved a more cohesive conclusion.


Who forms an unexpected bond in this episode?

Joe and Nicolai form an unexpected bond over their shared traumatic experiences with their fathers.

What secret is Cathy trying to hide?

Cathy is trying to hide her recent drug use from snooping officers and her intention to sell a significant stash of heroin to an underground dealer.

What tragic backstory is revealed about Donna in this episode?

It is revealed that Donna, haunted by the trauma of accidentally shooting her mother with Officer Touch’s gun when young, eventually took her own life.

Touch Michael Trucco Joe Washington Deon Cole S1EP10 22You Must Be Joe22 e1692503670757
Average Joe: Season 1/ Episode 10 “You Must Be Joe” – Recap and Review (with Spoilers)
"Average Joe" masterfully weaves intricate character backstories into the main narrative in its tenth episode. The unexpected camaraderie between Joe and Nicolai adds depth and nuance, while Cathy's brush with danger showcases a thrilling blend of suspense and action. The episode challenges the viewer's perceptions of right and wrong and pushes boundaries on character redemption, especially in the haunting revelation about Donna. It's a testament to the show's ability to balance darkness with raw emotional moments.
Taking A Mother's Advice
Uneven Pacing

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