Duck Dynasty Season 4 returned last night after what seemed like an interminable two-week hiatus. But in that time there was plenty of news about the Robertsons, like a sneak peek of their Christmas album Duck the Halls, and word that there were plenty more Duck Dynasty-related books on the way.
Back to the here and now, though, “Scoot Along Si” starts with Willie having a long, excruciating phone conversation with Jep, with Willie’s contributions mainly consisting of “Yep” and “Mm hm.” He’s sitting in his truck waiting to go somewhere when all of a sudden his huge Duck Commander truck is rear-ended by another huge Duck Commander truck, this one being piloted by Si. By the way, this has to be the least convincing “accident” in reality TV history. Willie’s truck is not moving, and there’s plenty of room in the lot, yet Si just pretty much drives up and bumps right into him. Makes no sense whatsoever, but it does turn out to be relevant to the “plot” of the episode.
Willie gets out to see what happened and Si tells him that he needs to pay for the damage to his vehicle. Only there is no discernible damage. This doesn’t stop Si from railing about how Willie shouldn’t be on his phone while driving (Note: he wasn’t driving). Willie does the smart thing and just nods his crazy uncle away and drives off, not agreeing to pay the $3,500 Si quoted. Or even the $1,000 “family discount” rate for a fender bender.
Turns out this isn’t just a standard cold opening that has nothing to do with the rest of the episode. Not long after the title sequence we see Si being “delivered” out of a handicapped-friendly van and driving a scooter around. Apparently he’s suffering back pain from the accident and needs some aid. Willie says this is just his uncle’s annual attempt to miss work.
Si might think he’d have some allies in his fellow coworkers, who definitely enjoy putting one over on Willie, but his antics are actually making them have to work more. The old man also doesn’t do himself any favors when he gets his scooter stuck in the bathroom and bellows out for help. He’s saying he’s going to pee in his pants if he doesn’t get the help, so the man is committing to the gag with admirable dedication.
After the bathroom debacle, Si proceeds to go nuts with his scooter, driving it on the open road as the somewhat speedier vehicles behind him lay on their horns quite angrily. The interview during this part actually could be a bit poignant if not for all the silliness, with Si complaining that Willie and his ilk have no idea what a 65-year-old man goes through every day with his body breaking down. But then again it’s hard not to think this isn’t just another angle from Si to gain sympathy. And attention. He’s as addicted to attention as he is to that glass of tea.
Eventually Willie wears down, with Si getting him to buy his bumper, plus two days’ rental on the scooter and a lunch. Immediately after the negotiations, Si gets up and walks to the truck, able-bodied as can be. Just like we knew he would.
The quest for saner behavior leads us to Phil and Kay’s house, but unfortunately we come up empty there, too. Kay is running around the house looking for “Mr. T,” who is not the 1980s mohawked superstar, but her turtle. Phil is convinced the dog ate him, but Kay still wants him to get up out of his precious chair and find her another, under threat of “no honey on the biscuits.” I’m choosing to take that literally and not as some sort of unthinkable innuendo.
They head out into the woods and sure enough Phil catches a turtle in a trap right away, but it’s not quite the sort of turtle that fits what she wants. Neither are the next 10 to 20 he shows her. This is after Kay had said turtles were like Phil’s version of giving her flowers, something he has done for her quite a bit over the years. Wonder if he ever showed up with carnations if she would tell him she’d rather have roses.
But perseverance pays off, and Phil does find the perfect turtle for his woman. Everything seems happy happy happy until Miss Kay considers that maybe the reason Mr. T ran away (still assuming he didn’t get eaten by the dog) is that he didn’t have a mate. So she tasks Phil with finding her another turtle.
And that’s about it for this one. Is it me, or are the Robertsons running out of steam just a little bit? Perhaps it’s like any heavily scripted series where the middle of the season lags a bit before picking up the pace by the finale. I just wrote about 900 words on the episode, and that feels like entirely way too much.
“He’s male, he’s hairy, definitely fat. He looks like a whiskey barrel.” — Si, describing Willie
“This lady is a professional mermaid.” — Jep
“This thing is off the hook, and the chain.” — Si
“You can’t fool me, turtle breath.” — Phil
Best Segment Titles
“Nobody Puts Bobo in a Corner”
“Scoot It and Boot It”
“Trapped in the Water Closet”
Photo: © 2013 Credit: Karolina Wojtasik