Baskets 3.8 Recap: Ken And Dale Clash Over The Rodeo TV Commercial

by Gary Catig

After attending her business conference, Christine feels inspired in turning around the Baskets Family Rodeo. She has a new power ‘do and a whole lot of new ideas. One involves improving the branding of their venture through a new TV commercial. Dale is all for the idea because of his prior experience in making ads. When head of his own university, he made 55 total, with one even going viral (it had two hits on YouTube). His mom had a different idea, bringing in her boyfriend, Ken.  He’s no stranger to TV spots either being the Carpet King. As both want control of the advertisement, they are brought into direct conflict once again.
[*Spoilers for 3.8 Ahead!]
The two want to go in completely different directions. Ken, the more conservative one, wants a more wholesome commercial that everyone can relate to. On the other hand, Dale knows that sex sells and wants to emphasize certain parts of a woman’s anatomy. Mama Baskets decides that each should make their own ad and she’ll pick the best one. Another thing Mama Baskets picked up at her seminars was to pit her employees against each other. Sometimes a little friendly competition can cause people to bring their “A” game.

While shooting Ken’s Wild West-themed advertisement, Dale has difficulties saying his lines. He could be trying to sabotage his mom’s beau or the camera could be making him nervous. After multiple takes, Dale finally is able to recite the lines without a mistake.  Unfortunately, Christine has a flub and they have to start over.  Always a prick, Dale belittles his mother for her inability. This doesn’t sit well with Ken and he gives him a well-deserved slap in the face when Christine steps out to reapply her lipstick.
Instantly regretting his actions, Ken fesses up to his girlfriend. It’s too much drama to deal with in one day for Christine. She asks for some space and goes after her son. The entire Baskets clan and Ken all end up at a Halloween costume shop. Dale is so furious and irrational that no one can talk him down. Chip tells the truth saying he deserved the slap, his mom tries to console him, and Ken even apologizes. All of them fail and Dale even threatens to leave the family.
Christine drops Ken off at the airport and it doesn’t look good for their relationship. He begs for forgiveness, but it falls upon deaf ears. Her mind is somewhere else. She then goes straight back to the rodeo to finish the commercial. It appears that she didn’t need either Ken or Dale as she does it all on her own in one shoot.
I know that Christine said she was going to stay in her lane last week when it comes to the rodeo, but this is a fine example of why she shouldn’t. She rolled in, improvised her dialog straight from her dome, and made an endearing commercial in one take. She has so much untapped potential and she’s been gradually coming into her own these past two seasons.
Also, I hope this isn’t the end of Christine and Ken. They are a lovely couple and he’s so supportive and loving. Sometimes he can overreach, like flying in to talk to Dale while his girlfriend was out of town, or slapping Dale upside the head, but his heart is in the right place. He’s also man enough to own up to his actions and isn’t afraid to communicate how he really feels for Christine.
Interesting episode notes:

  • To play along with the theme, scattered throughout the episodes were commercials from the Baskets Universe like for the costume shop, Dale’s lawyer, and for Dale’s university. There was even an old Carpet King ad, though it would have been funnier if it was from his failed personas like the Carpet Bagger or Carpet Brother.
  • Chip has been looking at real life for inspiration for his next clown personality. He has Tipsy, which was based off a drunk homeless man who peed in a potted plant at the library.  However, he was especially fascinated watching his brother pull out the long microphone wire from his pants like the streamers from the mouth gag.

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

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