“Duck Dynasty” airs Wednesdays at 10pm ET on A&E.
“Tickets to the Fun Show”
This episode of Duck Dynasty had me at “It’s Casino Night at Duck Commander!,” which just happens to be the opening line. Willie is wandering through the warehouse like Robert De Niro in Casino. Er, actually, more like the Vegas locals De Niro roughed up in Casino, but still. He’s converted the place into a gambling and gaming emporium to celebrate the company’s 5 millionth duck call made. Not that he has any idea how many duck calls they’ve actually made, but 5 million sounds like a good number, and hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good party? Prizes are offered up for whoever ends up with the most chips, including a nice callback to the ill-fated Duck Commander wine Mallard Merlot. But the grand prize, a $2,000 gift card — much to everyone’s collective groan — goes to Si. As one might imagine Si isn’t the most gracious of winners.
Next scene, the guys are at the warehouse shaking their heads as they watch Si luxuriating in a new massage chair he bought with his winnings (and for some reason decided to have put in at the office at work). Jase speaks for everyone when he’s incredulous that a chair could possibly be worth $2,000, so Si invites him to try it for himself and see. That’s of course when Willie walks in, just in time to see his brother kicking back in the massage chair. Willie is insistent Si take the chair home, but Si says look here, not till you try it yourself. Willie does, with the understanding that afterward the chair will be gone. Even though he does enjoy himself, he still tells Si it’s got to go. Si pushes back, claiming it won’t match his furniture at the house. For some reason, the Dude and his rug tying the room together popped into my head right about then. But Willie convinces him to take it back, even saying he’ll get him another prize worth the same amount of money.
But Si’s not going to make it easy on Willie. As they’re driving around he first starts mimicking Willie like they’re in fourth grade, then insists they stop for pizza at a Chuck E. Cheese’s-type joint. Even though it won’t open for another half-hour, so they have to wait outside the door. Sure, two bearded guys waiting outside a “family fun center” — with a camera crew in tow, no less — that doesn’t look suspicious at all. But they finally get in, only to learn that it’ll be another 30 minutes before the pizza is ready. So Si decides to while away the time playing all the games and riding all the rides the place has to offer, and then decides he’s going to play until he earns enough tokens to win a giant purple gorilla stuffed animal. I’m sure the gorilla will fit in much better at his place, right?
While Willie struggles to find success at the games, Si brings the expertise he showed at the Duck Commander casino to the children’s fun center. He’s found the “sweet spot,” where the tickets keep a-comin’. It’s enough to get the prize gorilla, and even to have $400 left over, which Si says should go toward pizza for the family dinner that night.
Meanwhile, Phil has found a great fishing hole but is, shall we say, reluctant to let anyone else know where it is. That includes Jase, Godwin and Martin, whom he will take there only after putting hoods on their heads for ride over. This is called “Bradshawing” them, in reference to how Phil would take his former Louisiana Tech teammate Terry Bradshaw to choice fishing holes. (Or it could be just a cheap way to remind people yet again about Phil’s football past, but it’s all good.)
Turns out the secrecy was all for naught, since the pond turned out to be a place Jase and the gang were already familiar with. Then things get messier when Jase decides the fishing would be even better if they could take out a pesky nearby beaver dam, but all they really accomplish is getting their vehicle stuck in the water. Later on, the law gets involved as a rather ticked-off game warden comes by and tells them they need to leave. Tells Jase, Martin and Godwin they need to leave, that is, because Phil was savvy enough to high-tail it out of there before the fuzz arrived.
Jase: “So third prize is something that will send you immediately running to the toilet. And second prize is your reading material.”
Jase: “There are fast food chains that give out better prizes in kids’ meals.”
Si: “It’s on like bing-bong, jack.”
Si: “Don’t hate the player, hate the table.”
Si: “I’m the Michael Jordan of gettin’ on people’s nerves.”
Martin (about Willie): “He’s like the hall monitor of our lives, man.”
Best segment title
“Duck Be a Lady”
It’s dress-shopping time at Willie’s house after Sadie gets nominated for the homecoming court. But not just one dress. Try three. But the one she shows off in the kitchen at home is a little too short and sexy for Willie’s comfort. So he agrees to take her to the mall to find a suitable replacement.
At the warehouse, the crisis of the day revolves around a lack of coffee. Jase takes it the hardest, saying that things like electricity, air conditioning and toilet paper are luxuries compared to his cup of black coffee in the morning. This is serious, folks. Si poo-poos the idea, telling Jase he just needs to go get a shot of B12 in his behind, fix him right up, jack. Jase pleads his case to Willie, who’s already tired of the complaints. He pushes forward, trying to attend to some actual business by telling the guys they need to move a bunch of boxes. He also tries to sneak in a message to Si saying they can’t go fishing right after work because Willie needs to take Sadie dress shopping at the mall. Of course, Si thinks he needs to get in on this. If not for his fashion sense, then to seize an opportunity to get out of some physical labor.
At the bridal shop things go about as well as expected, with Sadie and Willie unable to agree on what’s appropriate, and Si flouting the store’s no-drinks policy, clutching to his tea jug like grim death. Si leaves them to it, instead romancing the store’s mannequins. He is good for some comic relief, though, after he decides to try some clothes on himself and ends up looking like a bearded Mr. Peanut. (Willie calls him the Monopoly Man, which also has merit.) But in the end, it’s Si who ends up talking some sense into Willie, telling him he needs to accept that Sadie is 16 and not his little girl anymore. Then in true sitcom — er, reality show — fashion, they end up leaving with the same dress they came in with.
Meanwhile, the quest for coffee takes the warehouse gang to a local strip-mall coffee shop, where they get stuck behind some yuppy type ordering a “raspberry frozen mocha decaf with soy and extra milk.” Jase is hopelessly perplexed, wondering where — amid all the cappuccinos, espressos and breve’ — the actually coffee might be hiding. But it’s nothing four double shots of espresso can’t fix. Jase loves the stuff, comparing it to the kind Phil makes, but is too weirded out by the surroundings to stay long. Apparently “afternoon floetry” isn’t his thing.
Back at the warehouse, though, the effects of the espresso are immediately felt as the crew is hyped up and ready to work. Actually, they’re working and even having time to exercise and goof off, aggressively. But it’s all short-lived as what goes up must come down, and the crash from one’s first espresso ain’t pretty. As much as they were buzzing around moments before, they’re soon lumbering around wandering where their regular old black coffee went.
Si: “You boys got that silver spoon mentality. Next thing you know you’ll be eating brunch and sipping on simosas [sic].”
Godwin: “The mall echoes.”
Si: “I will take retail therapy over moving boxes any day.”
Sadie: “Dad, Uncle Si’s talking to a mannequin.”
Si: “You going to be a ladies man, you got to know about the stuff that girls think is nifty.”
Si: “My style is so fresh and clean, you don’t need to wash it before eating it.”
Si: “I’m so dope that I’m illegal in 55 states.”
Willie: “I know Sadie is tall for her age, but these dresses are short for her age.”
Jase: “If you ever see me wandering around the mall muttering bad poetry, just go ahead and shoot me on the spot.”
Best segment title
Father Knows Dress
Photo: © 2011 Credit: Art Streiber