Alrighty, another throwback review! This time we’re looking at episode 7: A Brisket, Voodoo and Cannonball Run. In the previous episode reviews, I have complained about how some episodes are boring because they don’t propel the show forward by focusing on Sheldon and his quirks but I found that this episode acted as a nice break from focusing on the Cooper kids.

The Texan Holy Grail

We are introduced to the Texan holy grail, smoked brisket. Or more specifically, George Cooper’s holy grail, Meemaw’s brisket recipe. According to him, he knew he loved Mary the moment he had a taste of Meemaw’s brisket. Tired of being hackled for the recipe, Meemaw says she’ll write it down on the piece of paper George hands her but instead the note says ‘keep dreaming Tubby.’  For fifteen years George had been a great son in law, and the only thing he ever asked for was the recipe. Meemaw says he’s right and will write it down. When George goes to get more paper, Mary asks if Meemaw’s going to joke with him again and with a wicked grin says, “I kind of have to.”

That night George and Mary are fighting loudly. George is sick of Mary always taking her mother’s side. Sneaky Missy is eavesdropping, but blames Georgie and then tells Sheldon that they’re fighting. The two youngest Coopers contemplate life if their parents get a divorce and conclude that the best option would be to live with their mom.  The next day when Mary, Meemaw, and the twins are on their way to the Chuch picnic, the kids stress about their parents fighting. Eventually, Mary says that this would all go away if Meemaw only gave George the recipe.

Rights to the Recipe

At home, Georgie having been grounded for ‘eavesdropping’, hangs out with his dad. George decides to go on a recipe treasure hunt. He makes it to Meemaw’s house and into her little bank of recipes before Georgie catches him. In the next scene, Mary and the kids get home but by then George and his son have made it back to their living room, though we don’t know if they found the recipe or not.

Meemaw realizes that they were looking for the recipe while Mary and George get into a huge fight again. Mary insists that George should’ve come to the picnic (Sheldon and Missy won the three-legged race!) but George says that he needed a break from Mary’s mom. Mary wins the argument with a cold look and snapping that “he took a  break from the family.”

In the next scene, Meemaw gives a recipe to George. George is speculative but Meemaw promises that not only is it the recipe but she hopes that one day George will pass it onto his children. Note that I say a* and not the*.

And so George embarks on the doomed quest to follow this recipe. For the spice rub, he treks to New Orleans to find ground coffee, and ground holy ghost root. He then Applies the spice rub with an erotic tenderness and then cooks, basts and spritz it for 14 hours.

When he realizes that this was not the recipe, disheveled George yells at Meemaw in front of the kids and the blame game starts. Eventually, George says he no longer wants Meemaw in the house when he is there. The tension in the house eventually leads the kids to have a meeting, cause they’re worried about a divorce. Georgie wants their dad to get the recipe which snaps Sheldon to attention. Suddenly, he has a flashback to his toddler years when Meemaw told him the recipe.

Cease Fire

Sheldon conducts a family intervention where he announces that he knows the recipe; he remembers it from Valentine’s Day 1982 and begins reciting it. The adults are shocked to learn he remembered something from when he was hardly two years old but Sheldon continues with the ingredients and Meemaw says he might as well tell his dad. Geroge refuses, insisting that Meemaw had every opportunity to do it herself but she’s always treated him poorly. She admits that she never thought he was good enough and he agrees, saying that he wouldn’t have wanted Missy coming home with someone like him back then. Eventually, Meemaw apologizes. Despite all the trust and love within the family, Sheldon gives his dad the recipe soon after.

Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised with this episode. The plot was really different from anything else we’ve seen so far and it was nice to see the shifting family dynamics. Hopefully next week I’ll be reviewing a new episode!