"Duck Dynasty" season is here, and the bearded brothers are once again up to their old tricks -- this time with a heavy dose of estrogen from the Duck Commander wives.
The one-hour long Season 4 premiere, "Till Duck Do Us Part" introduces the newest character in the cast, Alan Robertson, the beardless brother. The episode also takes viewers on a trip down memory lane, courtesy of Uncle Si, as Phil and Kay Robertson prepare to renew their vows.
The episode opens with Willie Robertson's wife, Korie Robertson, trying to figure out what the family should get Phil and Miss Kay as an anniversary present. After all, the patriarch and matriarch of the Robertson clan are coming up on the 49th anniversary of their nuptials, which were conducted back in the day by a local Justice of the Peace.
Korie decides giving Phil and Kay the wedding they never had would be the ultimate gift, But Willie is having none of it. "There's some things you only want to do once," he says. "And helping Korie plan a wedding is one of them -- trust me."
But Korie sneakily tries to convince Willie he was the one with the bright idea, and it was a great idea at that. "There's really only one way to convince a Robertson man to do anything," Korie explains. "All you got to do is let him think it's his idea. Actually, there's two ways, but I save the other one for special occasions." Whoa, T.M.I., Mrs. Robertson.
The men are 'whipped'
The wives team up and hold a meeting to plan the surprise second wedding, and the Duck Commander men are forced to cooperate. Willie and Jase are branded "whipped" for playing along, replete with whipping demonstrations from Si, Godwin and Martin.
Meanwhile, as the rest of the crew plans the big surprise, Phil and Kay spend some quality time out in nature, with Kay chattering away as Phil attempts to fish. "Miss Kay likes to hang out with me at all times," Phil says. "The only time I'm away from my woman is out in the woods. But in my case, you have to go way deep in the woods."
Kay quizzes Phil, who doesn't seem to know their anniversary is coming, and after she tells him they've been together more than 48 years, Phil admits, "Miss Kay, you want to know somethin'? You are my best buddy." Aww ... the longtime romance gets even sappier later in the episode, but this little moment was just too sweet.
As the wedding plans get into motion, the men really start to gripe when they find out they have to wear tuxedos. "You can't put a lipstick on a pig and make her look right," says Si. He's put in charge of getting Phil and Kay out of the house all day, so the rest of the clan can set up for the ceremony and reception. And that's where things get funny.
For starters, he almost blows the big surprise by calling Kay and leading with, "Hey look, we got a big surprise for ya." Jase says he's "stunned" that Si lasted a full five minutes into the planning before blowing the surprise. But Si pulls a quick save and tells Kay he wants to take the happy couple to celebrate their anniversary with an ice cream date.
Said date starts off with typical Si confusion, but continues with, well, more Si confusion. He drags his brother and sister-in-law all over town, trying to revisit special places in the history of their relationship. But in typical Si style, he has all the names and locations wrong.
Back at the Robertson ranch, Korie supervises Willie and the brothers as they set up and decorate for the wedding. But Jase is dying to escape and get some fishing in. "I'm stuck setting up for a wedding that's 50 years late," he says. "I wouldn't call this work; this is more in line with torture ... I've had a lot of nightmares that started off just like this."
The beardless brother
And now the moment we've all been waiting for: The arrival of the beardless brother, Alan Robertson. "What's up, bearded bretheren?," Al asks as he arrives to officiate the wedding. (Have we mentioned Al's day job is local pastor?)
"For whatever reason, our brother Alan got away with never growin' a beard," Willie says. "It may be odd to call a pastor the black sheep of the family, but that's what he is. The perfectly-shorn black sheep of the Robertsons." But, Willie reveals Al is not necessarily the good boy we might take him for.
"If anyone's ever wondered where Jase and I learned to torture Jep, Alan's taught us everything we know," Willie explains. "That smooth-faced man of God has a black belt in purple nurples."
Chaos ensues as the women of the family face off with Willie and Jase over the heavy lifting of the wedding setup, leaving Jep to place his bets for the wives winning the fight. And he's right ... with one exception.
Jase announces to the men that "nature is callin'," and sneaks off to catch some fish. Meanwhile, Jep gets the coveted duty of picking up the wedding cake, while Willie and Jase argue over which one of them deserves to be best man.
Si, as he will, continues to take Phil and Kay on a wild goose chase down a misguided memory lane. "I don't think this was quite the special day that Miss Kay was lookin' for," says Phil. "Where are the memories? ... It would be nice if you went down memory lane, to run up on somethin' that you remembered."
But Si finally scores by bringing Phil and Kay to a tree where Phil had long ago carved his and Kay's names into a heart. "Now that was romantic," Kay says. Phil adds, "It really was. Now there's one place I have been." When the couple realize Si has added his own name into the mix, saying, "Ive been with y'all since the beginning," Kay admits, "I guess he's gonna be with us forever."
Next we get to see the men of Duck Commander in their rented tuxedos, which is not only a site to behold, but also an opportunity for Willie to brag on the size of his -- ahem -- manhood. "Willie, your crotch is like at your knees," Korie points out, inspiring giggles before Willie says, "Hey, what can I say? It's maddening buying pants."
The best man
Despite some setbacks at the hands of Willie and Mountain Man during the decorating stage, the place is set beautifully when Si arrives back to the ranch with Phil and Kay. The brothers predict their dad will give a thumbs up and walk past the wedding locale, telling the clan, "Y'all go ahead." But they're wrong.
Phil and Kay are both touched by the surprise, and Phil reminisces on the moment he paid the Justice of the Peace to marry them 49 years ago. "That's the best fifteen dollars I ever borrowed," he says. Phil also makes his decision on who should be his best man after hearing arguments from all the brothers. But it's not going to be one of them. "My best man will be Silas Robertson," he says. "We been runnin' together since he was naked."
During the ceremony, Jase's wife Missy sings as Kay walks down the aisle. "I guess dreams really do come true," Kay says. I feel like I'm livin' a fairytale." The next moments are tearjerkers -- literally, Jep is sobbing openly -- as Alan presents the couple to "four generations of Robertsons" and Kay begins reciting her own vows.
"From the time I was 14-years-old, I loved you," she tells Phil. "I loved you when we were poor, and you were not so nice. Now you're really nice and kind, and all I can say is I'm not going anywhere. I will love you forever."
Phil's vows are equally short and sweet, and far more sentimental than what we're used to seeing from the family patriarch. "We been runnin' together since we were teenagers," he tells Kay. "You have cooked me many a good meal; from your loins came four healthy, godly men; you are my best friend, and I love you dearly. And I'm gonna be with you for the long haul, 'til the put me in the ground. Deal?"
Of course, Si has to interrupt the ceremony to bring some levity to the moment. "Here's what I wish for y'all," he tells the couple, after reminiscing on being a part of their first date. "I ask God to bless both of you, 'cause I love you and I know he does ... Now let's marry these two before we go eat."
Family prayer time
This time, Alan brings the episode to a close by leading the family prayer. Then Si announces it's "time to get down and party." Willie, as usual, has the last word and points out how making the wives happy is what's really important to a Robertson man. And after seeing Miss Kay so thrilled over her surprise wedding ceremony, Willie will go ahead and let Korie make people think the whole thing was his idea.
Photo/Video credit: A&E