Baskets 3.5 Recap: Christine Battles A Hostile Takeover

by Gary Catig

Christine is feeling the effects from the debacle of her Opera Under the Stars. Her group of friends are icing her out after they had salad spilled on them and were sprayed with a fire extinguisher. While at church, they snicker to themselves as they talk behind her back.  Mama Baskets even alienated her family as well and now Dale is colluding with her brother, Jim, to take over the rodeo. Even good old reliable Chip is icy towards her feeling he’s been undercut when Sleepy the sign turner was hired.  It seems as though the whole world is ganging up against Christine.
[*Spoilers for 3.5 Ahead!]
With all the people in her inner circle mad at her, Christine searches elsewhere for guidance about her failing business. She goes to her neighbors at the Korean church for advice, but even though they weren’t helpful, she enjoys the warm and welcoming vibe.
Afterwards, she goes home to prepare dinner for Jim and Chip. Her brother offers his business acumen to turn around the rodeo, but has ulterior motives. All night, he’s been complimenting her and trying to subtly convince her to give Dale a bigger role in the day to day operations. Suddenly, Dale comes in and blurts out their whole plan for a hostile takeover. They even convince Chip to join their side with the promise of showcasing his clown act. Feeling outnumbered and defensive, Christine takes some time to think.
Meanwhile, Dale is more agitated than usual because he found out his estranged wife is dating a local frozen yogurt entrepreneur. Not only that, their children have really taken to the new beau. To compensate, Dale offers to take his daughters on a shopping spree. He gives them two minutes to grab whatever they want in a trendy boutique store.  Unfortunately, when it’s time to pay, his credit card is denied. He’s still over his limit from all the fireworks last episode and he commences into a public melt down embarrassing his daughters. This leads him to sue his mother for the money and compensation for his deteriorated relationship with his family. This is the last straw as Christine finally concedes and turns over the rodeo to her son.
The next day, Christine is so distraught that she can’t even get out of bed. The very thing she hoped would bring her family together, the rodeo, has brought so much dysfunction and grief. She calls over Chip and asks if he can cover for her to work the collection plate. As he leaves, she tells him he should have had her back against Dale and Jim. At church, Chip bumps into Christine’s “Mean Girls” friends and they had the nerve to insult his mother to his face. Finally sticking up for his mom, Chip scolds them and returns their donations. Christine has second thoughts as she dresses in her Sunday finest. As she approaches the church, we receive a fake out when she opens the door and she’s at the Korean Church.
This episode, we see a side of Christine we rarely see. Usually she’s a very strong and positive person, but she just kept on taking blows from those closest to her. You could see the effort she was putting in to not lose it when dealing with her brother, Jim. She fake laughed at his jokes and played the role of helpless, business neophyte who needed his DeVry educated expertise. Obviously, she saw through him and even correctly deduced that he was helping Dale out of spite. It was also a touching moment in the end when Chip finally stood up for his mom and rebuked her friends. At least the audience knows that Christine isn’t all by herself.
Interesting episode notes:

  • One of Christine’s specialty dishes is hamburger pizza. Sounds good since it’s a combination of two of my favorite foods.
  • Even when fighting with her sons, Christine is still a mother offering them the mixer beater so they can lick off the cake batter.

Baskets airs Tuesday nights at 10:00 pm on FX.

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