The sign of a strong series is when you know it has a deep bench of supporting characters. The best example is The Simpsons, which has hundreds of characters most fans — even casual ones — know by name. And at any time the writers could choose to build an entire episode around any one of them. I mean, I would totally watch a Duff Man episode, wouldn’t you? Depth has never been a problem for Duck Dynasty, with the members of the Robertson family alone accounting for more possible storylines than any reality series has a right to. But in this Duck Dynasty recap, we get to follow a non-family member, Martin, who is preparing for an upcoming date and, let’s just say, needs a little help.
Si sets the appropriate mood by belting out an exquisitely butchered rendition of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” during a fishing trip. For my money, it’s more entertaining than Liza Minelli’s version from Sex and the City 2. (Sorry for putting that image in your head.) The fish didn’t think so apparently, because the reelin’ wasn’t so good after Si’s serenade. Not even when he breaks out “You Dropped a Bomb on Me”!
The fellas then make plans for a poker game that night, but Martin has to bow out because, as he eventually, sheepishly, admits, he may or may not have a date. According to Willie, this is not something that has happened often in the 10 years he’s known Martin. Word gets out soon to Korie and she can’t help herself but to come down and help Martin get ready for romance. They insist on making over his dresses-like-a-seventh-grader-who-has-yet-to-discover-deodorant appearance almost right away. It’s makeover time! Martin follows Korie out of the room like he’s walking his very own green mile.
Later, we finally get to see Martin’s house, something no one else on the show has seen either. Willie and Jase seem sorta surprised at the decor, but I dunno, didn’t you always picture Martin ensconced in wood paneling, dirty laundry and scattered shotgun shells? I must say, though it all Willie seems very relaxed, probably because he’s not the one getting picked on this episode. It’s a nice change of pace for him and for us. We also see old pictures of Martin, and without the beard he basically looks pudgy and altogether undistinguished.
Martin then is forced to do a little fashion show of increasingly odd-looking outfits. Not that they’d be odd looking on, as Willie points out, a software salesman, but with Martin’s raggedy beard and utter refusal to remove his camo hat, it all seems a bit of a mess. Korie and Missy badger him to take the hat off and are stunned when he shows them the half-decayed bird’s nest that lies beneath. Their work is cut out for them, but I gotta say, the resulting combover doesn’t look half bad. But that very well could be only because we got to see the “before” picture.
If Martin thought his troubles were over, he had to despair when he saw Si pretending to be a woman and go on a pretend date with him. Si’s idea of looking like a woman is putting on a feather boa, btw. He throws out a bunch of cheesy pick-up lines and a semblance of proper utensil etiquette, but it soon devolves into another ribbing of Si and his crazy ways.
The next day Martin shows up to the Robertson house for lunch and proudly announces that he was just himself on the date and because of that he’ll be missing next week’s poker night as well.
This week’s B story is Phil hanging out with some “squealin’ grandkids” at his house, where he tries in vain to get the young ladies interested in some nature as opposed to the electronic devices. He does manage to get them out fishing a little, even though they assure him that they have video games that allow them to fish. Phil calls this condition “digital dementia.” They’re adorably grossed out when Grandpa shows them how to bait a hook and, just for fun, bites a snake in half. (Has someone alerted Morrissey to this?) The actual fishing part doesn’t go too long before some more squealin’ breaks up the tranquility, but it still doesn’t stop one of the little girls from reeling in a big one. Phil is happy happy happy until they become horrified at the thought of eating their catch, because, you know, of all his brothers and sisters out there. Eventually he wins them over, appealing to their love of a tasty catfish.
“When Si opens his mouth, the fish close theirs.” — Phil
“If the fish were vampires, Si would be garlic, daylight and a stake through the heart simultaneously.” — Phil
“You have a date? Is it Mother’s Day?” — Willie
“I didn’t date the girl from the ice cream parlor, because she sampled the goods a little too much, if you get my drift.” — Si
“You’re hoarding mustard and you have an inordinate amount of socks.” — Jase, to Martin
“You look like a hairy Easter egg.” Jase, to Martin
Best Segment Titles
Screecher From the Black Lagoon
Si and the Real Girl
Turds of Advice
Yuppies and Guppies
Are You Trying to Si-Duce Me Mrs. Robertson?
Photo: © 2013 Credit: Karolina Wojtasik