Baskets 3.6 Recap: Thanksgiving Dysfunction, Baskets Style
by Gary Catig
It’s Thanksgiving and the drama of last week continues. As Christine starts to prepare for the big feast, she is visited by a process server. Dale has carried through with his threat of suing his own mother. Obviously, he won’t be joining them for dinner, but Chip, still bitter from the lack of support for his clowning, also bails to join Martha and her parents. Christine’s only company is Ken via Skype, but there’s so much activity on his end, it causes him to hang up and call her later. After leaving a message to her other twins, the DJ’s, she gives up on having a happy feast and tosses her decorations and turkey away.
[*Spoilers for 3.6 Ahead]
When Chip arrives for dinner, the Brooks family is also having a dispute. Martha’s parents are quarreling over her dad’s refusal to take his pills. Her mom refuses to cook dinner so it’s up to the two friends to create the Thanksgiving spread. However due to their limited culinary skills, they can only prepare Eggos or tilapia. At least for Chip, he’s happy to hear another family arguing for a change rather than his own.
Meanwhile, Mama Baskets is taking an afternoon nap since she doesn’t have to slave away in the kitchen. She is suddenly awoken by a group of foreigners knocking at her back door. First, she mistakes them for burglars trying to rob her, but when they tell her they are Chip’s French clown friends he asked to perform for “Opera at the Rodeo” a few episodes back, she welcomes them into her home.
Christine takes to her new guests because she feared spending Thanksgiving alone. The clowns are so appreciative of the hospitality, they give their host a makeover and bring macaroons, or as Christine likes to call them, tiny burgers. Since they are Chip’s friends, they even end up watching some of his home movies when he was a child.
Watching the videos is an emotional experience for the Baskets matriarch. They bring up memories of her late mother, who passed away last season. Even though she’s had time to grieve, it didn’t hit her until now that it was her first Thanksgiving without her mom. Scenes with her father bring out the painful recollections of his abusive behavior towards the rest of the family. Sensing the change in mood in the room, the lead clown, Julien, begins to parody the expressions and actions of her dad hoping to lift Christine’s spirits.
The clowns find the hymn Christine wrote earlier in the day and begin to perform it. Though they sing it with a happy and fun tone, the words themselves reveal something different. Christine compares her current suffering from the family conflict to that of Job and even was willing to perform filicide on her sons like Abraham. Unfortunately, Chip comes in when that line was sung.
Chip reunites with his friends and is so excited to join their revelry, he goes to change into his French clown costume. When he comes down, his visitors are shocked and insulted. They see the outfit as a stereotype of what others think they are. Along the lines if someone performed blackface in front of African Americans. They even convince him to burn his outfit.
At the end of the night, Julien begins rolling a joint. Curious, Christine asks if she can partake. High off the weed, she has a moment of reflection. Finally, she apologizes to her son about how she acted at the opera and her lack of support. She then admits that she has higher expectations of Chip and that he can dig deeper to become a better clown. His own clown. Not the unoriginal Renoir whom they just burned. Also, she confides in him her appreciation of all that he adds to her life. Through him, she was able to hang out with world travelers and performers. Without him, she’d just be an old woman sitting on her couch alone, like earlier in the episode. Upon hearing that, Chip cracks a little smile.
As with any night that involves marijuana, everyone catches a case of the munchies. Chip calls in a favor from Jode and they all hit up Arby’s for a late Thanksgiving dinner.
This was a very bittersweet episode. Nothing accentuates the dysfunction of a family more than the holidays, but at least here we see some reconciliation. Initially, it was sad to see Christine as every single person close to her abandon her. Chip and Dale are angry with her, the other twins are too busy, and even her boyfriend, Ken, ditches her for his grandkids. She’s so lonely, she brings in total strangers so she has company. It was touching for her to finally admit to Chip she was wrong and how much she values the excitement he brings into her life. In the end, she finally has the bountiful feast she wanted with friends and family, both old and new. Thank you, Arby.
Baskets airs Tuesday nights at 10:00 pm on FX.