Ken and Christine have patched things up in their relationship and have big plans for New Year’s Eve at a cabin getaway for both families. The couple and Chip drive up to their accommodations and are greatly disappointed that it doesn’t match the pictures and description they were given. They head in anyways as Dale and his fiancée, Shannon, have already made themselves at home.
[*Spoilers for 3.10 Ahead!]
Ken and Chip are off checking out the room situation when Ken has an important question to ask. He actually had ulterior motives for the trip because he’s planning to propose to Christine. Before he does, he wants Chip’s blessing. Surprised at first, Chip gives his approval and is actually excited to have a dad again.
Similarly, Christine is trying to bond with her future daughter in law. Instead of giving her the third degree, Mama Baskets carries a casual conversation to learn more about Shannon. Despite her friendly demeanor, you can sense her disapproval.
During a very intense game of Hungry Hungry Hippos, Shannon learns that her future husband has been lying to her. She was under the assumption that Dale owned the rodeo and was an expert bull rider. When Dale calls her a gold digger, she’s had enough. Shannon flips the game over, tosses her engagement ring, and storms out.
Embarrassed and enraged, Dale throws a tantrum and engages in a slap fight with his twin brother. Chip tries to talk some sense into him, but instead of facing the truth, he runs off into the forest. Sensing Christine’s concern, Ken chases after her son despite their turbulent past.
Christine has good reason to be worried. The night her ex-husband killed himself, he marched out in a similar fashion as Dale. She can’t help but think her son might do the same. In addition, she wanted to make a good impression with Ken’s daughters during their visit but there’s been so much drama. They assure her that they do like her.
Ken finally catches up with Dale and the two hit up a bar and have a real heart to heart over drinks. Dale confesses he’s afraid of dying alone and he’s scared that his family doesn’t want him back. Ken gives him some words of encouragement and apologizes again for slapping him. This time, Dale finally accepts it and forgives him.
Ken and Dale go to meet up with the rest of the family at the actual cabin they reserved. Before entering, Dale gives his blessing to his mother’s beau. The two make it just in time for the countdown to the new year. Before it reaches 0, Chip receives a phone call from his ex-wife, Penelope, and Ken gets ready to propose. Unfortunately, before we can receive the results from both, the episode ends.
It was a charming scene when Chip gave his blessing. It was cute how Ken never considered being Chip’s dad, but embraced the idea after thinking about it. Plus, the hug they shared was priceless. There were more serious overtones in Dale’s personal journey. His downward spiral and destructive behavior could have lead him down the same path as his father. He’s felt marginalized at the rodeo and his ex-wife has moved on and found a new man. Luckily, he has a loving and supportive family, which now includes Ken, and needed a literal slap in the face to come to his senses. It’s also a shame that we have to wait until next season to see if Christine accepts her marriage proposal.
Interesting episode notes:
- I never took Dale for a tattoo guy, but he does have one that’s in a place where only a privileged few can see.
- Though they were playing Hungry Hungry Hippos, another game at the cabin was Twister. Could you imagine Christine playing Twister? Neither can Chip or Ken.
- Christine’s still in the experimental mood. After smoking weed a few episodes back, she tried Red Bull at the cabin. She didn’t take to it as well as the marijuana.