As we saw her agree to last week, Mj accompanies Reza to New York to see his dad's side of the family. Earlier in the episode we see Reza with his mother, they talk a little bit about his parents' history. Very briefly: his mom is Muslim, his dad is Jewish. Their union was a no-no in Iran, but his dad converted to Islam to marry his mother, and his grandmother hated that. Their marriage didn't work out, Reza thinks, because of all the pressure they had on them. Reza surrounds himself with photos from his parents' past, a time he said when everything was perfect. It's all just heartbreaking. Reza travels to Great Neck, Long Island to visit his father. I giggled a little when I saw the title of this episode -- "The Shahs of Great Neck" -- because I always joke to Persian people I learn are Long Islanders by asking if their family is from Roslyn or Great Neck. They usually are. My relatives are Roslyn and Woodbury, so go figure!
MJ and Reza stay in NYC at the Dream Downtown and talk about the Shabbat they're going to attend. Reza is nervous about seeing his "mean" grandmother, the one who he feels has caused all the problems. Before heading to Shabbat dinner on Long Island, the paristop at Bruce's, a place close to my heart as they have one of my favorite baked goods -- a Philly Fluff cake. There actually used to a Bruce's very close to me in NYC, but it moved down near Union Square. There is also one on Long Island. But I digress. About food. Always. They get to Reza's cousins' place and I started getting choked up. The scene was all too familiar, and I was just about to head home to my aunt's house in Roslyn for Passover seder. Still at work at 5:30, co-workers asked why I wasn't already gone -- wouldn't I be late? No, I replied. They're Persian -- seder won't start till 9. Persian Standard Time is all too real.