Note: After today, Vera’s taking a much needed break. We’ll still have recaps though. A round of applause to Vera for all her fabulous, glorious efforts!
In another boring episode in a series of boring episodes, today we are treated to “B Man”, in which Ree makes variations of Bryce’s favorite dishes, rather than his actual favorite dishes, and she spends the entire episode droning on about the fabulousness that is Bryce. Yawn.
First up, Italian meatloaf. Since Bryce likes meatloaf, Ree is going to make an Italian meatloaf for him by substituting vaguely Italian ingredients for whatever it is she usually uses to makes meatloaf. As she dumps the ingredients into a large glass bowl, she references her “regular recipe”, as though nobody on Earth already knows how to make meatloaf. She starts off with a large loaf of ciabatta, from which she slices six or so large pieces. No clue what happened to the rest of the bread, so maybe the crew got to eat it? She explains that Bryce is visiting Hyacinth’s house to play with her kids, so Ree will be picking him up later. Gee, so nice of the camera crew to hang around while you do your personal errands, Ree! She mixes up the meat with bread, some milk, parmesan, a teeny dab of salt and pepper, some seasoning salt and Italian seasoning, then hacks up some parsley with that square knife that she always uses for everything. She proceeds to mix up the meatloaf with her hands, dragging her rings and bracelets along to pick up some of the greasy mess. She plops the blob of meat onto a broiler pan and covers it with pancetta, in lieu of the bacon from her regular recipe. She showcases a long biographical flashback piece about Bryce (snore!) then teases the rest of the food and we are out to commercial. Editorial Note: During the bio flashback, Ree stated that “Brycie” plays defensive back for the local football team. Umm, pardon me Ree, but defensive backs don’t hand off the snap to the running back, nor do they wear a No. 17 jersey. Honey, your husband’s the coach, that makes “Brycie” the quarterback.
We are back to Ree in the kitchen at The Lodge and I notice how ugly and unflattering her purple lace shirtain is. It looks like something that was made from some cast-off bordello curtains and it’s the most hideous shade of purple. For a woman who is known for wearing ugly tops, Ree has set the bar to a new level of ugliness with this one. She is making a tomato sauce for the meatloaf, in contrast to the ketchup she would normally use in the regular recipe. To the canned tomatoes in the bowl, she adds brown sugar, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder and cayenne, then she slops the sauce onto the pancetta-wrapped meatloaf.
It seems like it would have been easier to make both meatloaves than to constantly describe the differences and similarities between the regular and Italian versions, but what do I know? Ree slams the broiler pan into the oven (top rack, per usual) and we cut to Hyacinth’s house where Bryce is playing with her kids. The next thing we see is Ree driving the filthy red truck, saying she is going to pick Bryce up. Wait, did she leave the meatloaf in the oven? By the time she drives the ten thousand miles into town, it ought to be thoroughly cooked! We see a flashback of some cookies that Ree made for dessert, then cut to the boys playing basketball at Hy’s house. Ree arrives and Hyacinth comes out wearing a hideous fur vest.
Bryce gets into the back seat of the truck, then he and Ree hit the grocery store. For as much as Ree complains about it being too small and not carrying the gourmet items she needs, the store doesn’t look too bad or understocked. They pick up some fancy cheese and hit the candy aisle and they buy three cans of RediWhip and Bryce gets to pick two flavors of Blue Bell ice cream. Now, does this rate higher or lower than having the ice cream made in the super-duper-fancy ice cream maker at The Lodge, like Alex and her classmates got? Hmmmm. Back at the store, Ree and Bryce have some awkward banter with a grocery clerk, there is a tease for the upcoming macaroni and cheese recipe, some awkward dancing, and we cut to the next commercial break.
Back at the ranch, Bryce is playing with a soccer ball and one of the dogs, while Ree is in the kitchen taking the meatloaf out of the oven. So how long did it bake? I suspect we are seeing some television editing magic, because that thing would have been in the oven for hours if we are to believe Ree’s timeline. Ree says Bryce likes macaroni and cheese, so she’s going to make him a four-cheese version. Because the theme today is apparently, don’t make what he likes, make something else. The whacky carnival music cues in as Ree says to cook an entire pound of pasta. For two people?
The sauce starts off with a cup of heavy cream, which Ree calls decadent, then butter and a garlic clove. She makes the sauce in a Caribbean Blue LeCreuset dutch oven, although there is also an eggplant purple one seen in the background in several shots. Oddly, the purple one is the exact same color as her shirtain. How weird. Next, she breaks up some goat cheese with a fork (yeah, I’m sure goat cheese is Bryce’s favorite) then grates some fontina and parmesan and romano. Cut to Bryce outside, practicing roping, then back inside to Ree dumping the cooked macaroni into the cream sauce. Bryce comes in and Ree tells him to wash his hands (somebody on the production crew must be paying attention to the criticism about their lack of good hygiene), there is a tease for a salad and the ice cream sundaes, then cut to another commercial.
Ree is carrying a huge platter, on which she is going to make Bryce’s favorite salad. She dumps some lettuce out of a purple colander that exactly matches her top and her unused pan, then we see a flashback to a salad dressing recipe. It’s made pretty much the same way everybody makes vinaigrette, except that Ree adds brown sugar. Because, seriously, isn’t that what most salad dressing’s missing? The candy factor? So Bryce’s favorite salad is lettuce and sugar-infused salad dressing? OK.
Ree slices the meatloaf and asks Bryce if he’s ready to sink his teeth into it. He responds “true dat” and I almost fracture something rolling my eyes at the fakery of this set-up. Then the plates are loaded up and Ree and Bryce proceed to eat. She asks him what he doesn’t like and he says Brussels sprouts – I imagine it’s safe to say that none of Ree’s family likes any kind of green vegetable in any form, so why they chose to dis Brussels sprouts is a question for the ages. Then they spend some time making weird faces at each other, then abruptly stop eating with their plates half-full, because it’s time to slop up some sundaes. In this segment, Ree says “Brycie” about ten thousand times. He gets the tons of candy and junk out, while she heats the jarred sauces in the microwave, although it says right on the jars not to heat them in the microwave. Ree tells Bryce conspiratorially that they won’t have to share with the other family members or even tell them about the sundaes (because they don’t watch the show?). Then, to finish things up, Ree and Bryce do some awkward dancing, and thank God, the credits roll and we are out.