10 Thoughts on The Ranch – Better as a Memory

Things on today’s episode of The Ranch got a little heated after Colt accidentally sets fire to his mother’s trailer (see what I did, there?). Colt, in all of his wisdom, invites his mother to stay with them without his father’s permission. Meanwhile, Colt tries to understand the delicacies of courting a woman and when a birthday gift is acceptable. It was a heavy relationship episode, with not a lot of happy results.

Here are some thoughts.

The Ranch

1. Finally, a conversation about mustaches

The episode begins with Rooster and Colt gushing over the true magnificence of Burt Reynold’s mustache. Sam Elliot, being a contemporary of Reynolds, dismisses it as not that great. It’s the closest the show has come to self-referential, and added some extra layers of surrealism to a show that doesn’t really dabble in that style.

2. The recurring Burt Reynolds laugh

The first half of the episode is marked by the recurring mimicking laugh of Burt Reynolds, shown below for your pleasure:

What a champion.

3. Ashton Kutcher’s accent is slipping

I mean, it was never very good to begin with. But as the series goes along, he’s getting lazier and lazier with his enunciation, and now it’s at the point where I can’t even tell what part of the country he’s supposed to be from.

4. Graphic sex!

For the second time, we have seen Kutcher’s naked butt. Only this time, it was just as he was about to have sex with Heather, his much younger main squeeze. It is Netflix, so the show can get away with a lot of stuff. I’m mostly ust confused as to why if they can show nudity, why they are showing Kutcher booty? WHY!?

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 6.24.11 PM

5. Then a fire!

Things go from hot to hotter when Colt accidentally lights his momma’s trailer on fire. It was a rather unexpected turn of events, setting the rest of the episode in motion and making us wonder what other things Colt has set on fire during sex.

6. Rooster remains problematic in his misogyny

The show in general has a bit of a problem with misogyny. Granted, the culture being depicted has a bit of a different view on the etiquette when talking about women, but it has gone over the line several times, especially with Rooster. In this instance, he’s telling Colt about all the sneaky ways he gets out of giving gifts to the women he’s sleeping with. It’s supposed to come off as charming and funny, but instead comes across as gross and sleazy. It seems to imply that women aren’t worth the trouble of getting a gift. I know this is just the depiction of Rooster, and depiction is not endorsement. But it’s indicative of a larger trend throughout the show of the men marginalizing the women. I does not sit well with me.

7. Watching Sam Elliot’s transition is lovely

Sometimes I forget that Sam Elliot is a damn fine actor. But then he gets an arc like this one, and I wonder how I could have ever forgotten. When Becky first comes to live with the boys again, he’s put out and irritated; a man robbed of his peace. But as the episode goes along, it becomes increasingly clear that he likes having Becky around and is slowly growing accustomed to having the woman he clearly loves back in his home. The transition is subtle and happens really without the audience noticing. It’s a testament to Elliot’s acting abilities.

8. Beau and Becky have a touching moment

There’s a moment where the two of them dance in Beau’s bedroom by themselves. There are no jokes. No sight gags. It’s just two people who love each other enjoying a moment. That’s one of the things this show does really well. It sets up situations where we expect a joke, and instead we get real pathos. And every single time I’m knocked off guard by how lovingly these characters are treated.


9. Beau still doesn’t get it

Of course, Beau ruins it by asking her to move back in with him for good. He doesn’t realize that they’ve created a delicate equilibrium that could crumble at any moment. Which, lo and behold, it does after he asks her to move in. We leave Beau stewing in his sadness and regret by the end of the episode, leaving us to wonder what his next step will be.

10. Lingerie? As a birthday gift?

So Colt DOES decide to give Heather a gift. And what does he give her? Lingerie. Is that an acceptable birthday gift for somebody you’re sleeping with? Seems a little presumptuous to me. But she seems fine with it. Heck, I guess I don’t know much about gift giving etiquette either.



Mustaches and Burt Reynolds

Sam Elliot’s acting

– Misogyny, still

– Kutcher is slipping


Check out reviews for previous episodes of The Ranch below!

The Ranch – Where I come From

The Ranch – Some People Change

The Ranch – The Boys of Fall

The Ranch – Got a Little Crazy

The Ranch – American Kids

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