Baskets 3.2 Recap: The Investigative Team Of Chip And Martha Track Down An Old Boss

by Gary Catig

After a successful television interview, the Basket family are back to the daily grind trying to reopen the rodeo. They hold their first company-wide meeting and it seems there’s a disconnect between the employees and management. Some of their complaints are understandable, like being able to set up a direct deposit, while others preferred to be paid with a little hootch and a little cootchie. Despite their grievances, they all thought the previous owner, Eddie, was still involved and running the show. It seems the family is in over their head running the business, so Chip sets out to find his old boss to help run the rodeo, or at least to break the wild horses his brother previously purchased.
[*Spoilers for 3.2 Ahead!]

Chip enlists the help of his friend Martha to track down the elusive Eddie.  Like a dynamic team of private investigators, the two scope out Eddie’s old hang outs trying to dig up some clues. Martha has a knack for detective work as she is able to hunt down their target. She uses her femininity to gain intel from informants, but it also helps that she rewards info with a couple of fives and some certs. They find Eddie is shacked up with a rich lady an hour away from town.
On the drive out, the subject of love comes up in their conversation. They first discuss the men in Martha’s life as she has a date with a Basque shepherd she met at a feed shop and she’s also been talking with a cross country truck driver who serenades her over CB radio. Chip is dubious about the legitimacy of her relationships as she hasn’t even met one of them in person. However, who is Chip to judge? Although he was married, it was to a French lady who didn’t live with or talk to him.
When they arrive at the home, they are greeted by an amiable and energetic old woman named Dottie. She has a spacious property so they have to search the entire estate.  They are unsuccessful and become freaked out when Dottie locks them in a room with no cell reception. Luckily, Eddie shows up and he explains to them Dottie was worried they’d take him away from her. He can’t return to the rodeo full time, but he will help breaking in the horses. He can’t leave Dottie since she’s been awfully good to him and also, he’s grown fond of mansion living.
Eddie has a change of heart when Dottie’s sons arrive at the house. Apparently, he’s been taking advantage of a senile woman and impersonating her stable boy. The sons think he’s stealing from their mom and want to kill him. In order to avoid the conflict, the three make a hasty exit. Before heading back to Bakersfield, they pay a visit to Jim Jack Mahoney, the man who swindled Dale with the horses. To make things even, Eddie shoots up the crook’s store and steals his car.
Martha felt she had a near-death experience after the shoot out and feels more emboldened. She decides to visit her Basque shepherd. She starts having cold feet thinking he won’t remember her, but Chip, being a good friend, gives her a pep talk and convinces her to take a shot. The show ends with Martha disappearing over the horizon to find her man.
Though the episode focused on the investigative prowess of Chip and Martha, I feel the latter really shined this episode. Sometimes it can be missed because of Martha Kelly’s dead pan and monotone delivery, but she says some pretty insightful things, such as that when you like somebody, you get a feeling of excitement, but mostly panic. Anyone can relate to that. Martha is nice, but she never comes off as the most outgoing person. Now, she’s making an effort to connect with people and is putting herself out there as she pursues new relationships.
Despite being a hater all day towards Martha, Chip does care for her in his own way.  While searching for Eddie, the two of them are surprised by gun shots and Chip jumps to shield his friend. It is also touching at the end when he encourages her to talk to the shepherd. He acknowledges that he’s not good at picking up people’s signals like her and one of best qualities is her sweetness.
Interesting episode notes:

  • Martha is experimenting with a polyamorous lifestyle she referenced in the premiere as she has two potential love interests.
  • Dale was at Jim Jack Mahoney’s right before the shoot out and ran off with a new goat for the rodeo amidst the chaos.
  • You should never trust a man with three names. Like Jim Jack Mahoney, James Earl Ray, John Wilkes Booth, and David Lee Roth.

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

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