Farmed and Dangerous: Episode 3, Raising the Steaks

Hogs in winter at Sawkill Farm. Photo by Jen Bunin.

This week, the third installment of Chipotle’s web-based series Farmed and Dangerous premiered on Hulu. (Check out our recaps of Episode 1 and Episode 2.)

Episode 3 : Raising the Steaks (Spoiler alert!)

A skateboarding dude following Chip’s pickup turns out to be a process server – and a regular visitor to Chip’s office. Here’s some free legal advice, buddy: you may want to at least file some responses to a few of those summonses, because can you imagine how hard it would be to take down Animoil from jail?

Hungover Chip’s coworkers Amanda and Steve discuss Chip’s plans to get someone from within Animoil to provide incriminating information about PetroPellet. They’re wondering about German scientist Dr. Van Riefkind – and aren’t we all, really?

Cut to Sophia, arriving at Chip’s farm for their agreed-upon meeting. Knowing she was coming to a farm, Sophia elected to wear some fancy, not farm-y heeled brown boots. Chip razzes Sophia, saying that her dad probably watches The Matrix and roots for the machines. You read our minds, Chip.

Meanwhile, Zach is unveiling Animoil’s newest innovation at IFIB: Mega Farm! Thanks to PetroPellets, Animoil can quit making feed deliveries to 20 CAFOs spread over 100 miles, and now all of the cows will just live in one huge building. Zach hopes they can somehow connect Mega Farm to the Keystone XL pipeline. What a Mega Villain!

Buck assumes his job will be to cover up Mega Farm. Zach’s got a big ribbon-cutting he’s already issued invitations for, though. I feel for you, Buck. It’s hard when clients aren’t forthcoming like that. Then Dr. Van Riefkind asks if Buck knows about PetroPellet’s “other” side effects. You can guess Zach’s reaction.

Back on the farm, Chip and Sophia take a walk through the barn, out into some pasture, and he explains how he got involved in sustainable farming. It turns out that Chip’s dad was a factory farmer, but things got out of hand – pigs lived in their own excrement, were sick all of the time and bit each others’ tails off out of stress and frustration. One day, a boar who’d been administered daily antibiotics charged Chip’s dad and gored him. The wound never healed; dad got an antibiotic-resistant infection and died. So Chip doesn’t exactly see the benefits of factory farming practices anymore. It’s a good thing the Man in Black is there to capture their couple’s huggy goodbye with his long lens.

Meanwhile, Dr. Van Riefkind meets Amanda in a park; he’s seen through her ruse to meet him. But he wanted to come anyway – especially, really – to tell her about PetroPellet’s “other side effects” because he doesn’t want to have the lack of testing on his conscience.

Buck and Sophia are meeting with new clients who have the same sorts of problems as other Big Ag outfits. After industry develops powerful herbicides to overcome Pigweed, Pigweed evolves to resist the herbicides, so they need more powerful herbicides – in a continuing cycle. (Think Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops or Dow’s 2,4-D corn.) Sophia wonders if anyone’s ever considered how to stop that vicious cycle – can you hear the needle on that record? While Buck talks up their clients, Sophia daydreams, because Chip is dreamy.

Amanda has hurried to find Chip, because Dr. Van Riefkind said that Petropellet causes tumors. Gulp. As Amanda gets to blogging and Chip gets to playing word jumbles, he’s a) served with another lawsuit and b) texted by Sophia, who says she wants to help, and that he should meet her at 9 that night at Mega Farm. No! It’s a trap, Chip!

When Chip arrives at MegaFarm he slips inside an open gate, Sophia nowhere to be found. Inside the building, he snaps pictures with his phone through narrow windows; we hear a chorus of many upset cows. Before he can get all the way inside, however, officers from the Food Industry Security Team – FIST – arrive and arrest him for trespassing with a phone. They cuff him and lead him off, his phone lying on the ground, and Zach strolls over and picks it up.

Sophia, also missing her phone, asks her dad if he’s seen it anywhere. Buck says no and affirms that they’ve got their new clients. He even muses that they could just spray the pigweed herbicide on the cow tumors, because “I love it when everybody wins.” A pensive Sophia reclines on the sofa, in repose… mirroring Chip, illuminated by moonlight and behind bars. Oh dear. It’s going to be hard to take down Animoil from jail.

Burning Questions after Episode 3

  • Again: Zach, Man in Black, what’s up?
  • Will Sophia end up moving to Chip’s family farm and hosting awesome barbecues where Buck has to walk amongst chickens? Because that would be entertaining.

Notable Quotables, Week 3

I think your dad watches The Matrix and roots for the machines! –Chip

It’s like a Death Star for cows. – Buck

I know, honey, seeing baby goats and piglets pulls at the heartstrings, but eyes on the prize. –Buck

Tumors? Is that what Van Diesel was talking about? –Buck

Farmed and Dangerous is available on Hulu or Hulu Plus, with one more new episode premiering next Monday.

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