Episode three of “Ben and Kate” had a satisfying storyline, and no major subplots. Put simply, it was cute and uncomplicated.
We first encounter Ben (Nat Faxon) and Kate (Dakota Johnson) in Kate’s kitchen, where a discussion about the possibility of Kate taking some business classes turns into a full-on argument about which sibling is better geared for success. Kate’s sure that it’s her, as she’s the one with a stable job who’s also raising a daughter, but Ben thinks it’s him, as he and Tommy (Echo Kellum) have frequently devised hair-brained entrepreneurial schemes.
Ben and Kate decide that the only way to solve this sibling rivalry is to revive the “Fox Hunt,” a homemade scavenger hunt that their family used to do, when Ben and Kate were kids.
But because there are other characters on this show, Tommy and BJ (Lucy Punch) are asked to participate, too. The Fox Hunt teams are Ben and Tommy versus Kate and a very un-athletic, unenthusiastic BJ.
Shortly after the Fox Hunt officially commences, we find out that Ben wants to let Kate win, because he knows it’ll make her feel good. But when he actually reads the Fox Hunt instructions and learns that the loser has to do the winner’s housework for a month, he decides that he absolutely cannot lose.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a really short and funny scene in which BJ forces Kate to make a detour to her ex-boyfriend’s place, so that BJ can finally collect the things she’s left there. The only catch? BJ faked her own death-by-decapitation in order to break up with him, so Kate ends up having to plead with the boyfriend for her friend’s stuff. (“I have nothing to remember her by…not even a pair of sunglasses. Or three — I mean, four — pairs of high-heeled shoes.”)
But back to the Fox Hunt. One of the items on the scavenger hunt list is a fake fish, and there’s an amusing scene in which Ben and Tommy go to the country club where Tommy works so they can steal one. Tommy awkwardly sings in a dining room full of people, successfully distracting them while Ben steals an enormous plastic swordfish from off the wall. Success!
But don’t start laughing too soon — stuff gets serious, fast. The two teams collide in Kate’s garage (a.k.a. Ben’s bedroom…classy), and a fight ensues between Ben and Kate. Kate yells at Ben for being a nobody (conveniently pointing out the fact that he’s living in a garage), and tells him he’s going nowhere in life. Ouch. No, seriously — it’s really, really mean. But instead of curling up and crying, Ben just becomes even more determined to win the Fox Hunt.
A little while after cursing out her brother, Kate starts feeling dejected too. But after a helpful pep talk from a possibly-drunk BJ (she’s been casually sipping on a bloody Mary made from the groceries they accidentally bought earlier), Kate is raring to go again.
Obviously, there is only one way this fateful competition can end: an epic montage. In slow motion, Kate and BJ race towards the finish line, as Ben tries valiantly, although ultimately unsuccessfully, to capture a live pigeon, one final list item.
The final scores? Ben and Tommy end with 190 points, while Kate and BJ have 200. Kate and Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) do an adorable victory dance, and everyone is happy.
And because we have to end on a happy note, Kate goes into the garage later that night to apologize to Ben for calling him a nobody. Ben also apologizes for the things he said to her that morning about not having the right skills to manage a business. Kate confesses that one day, she wants to own her own bar and serve a variety of gluten free beers, and it’s like, super progressive. Celiac viewers everywhere were likely stunned.
Oh, and then Kate presents Ben with one of his childhood participation medals that she had secretly kept all these years, and Ben cries. And it’s sweet.
Lines of the Night
“But…Kate’s housework is EVERYTHING.” – Ben, realizing why he has to win the Fox Hunt
“Who had the answers? You. In your head, or in your extremely unflattering magical handbag.” – BJ, giving Kate a pep talk
“Why do you always say ‘actually’ when you say I’m right?” – BJ, to Kate