The Righteous Gemstones S3E3 Recap: “For Their Nakedness Is Your Own Nakedness” — Baby Billy Is Back, Baby!

Kelvin, Jesse and Judy stand alongside each other looking offscreen.
Photograph by Jake Giles Netter/HBO

The following recap contains spoilers for The Righteous Gemstones S3E3, “For Their Nakedness Is Your Own Nakedness” (written by Kevin Barnett, Danny McBride & Chris Pappas and directed by Danny McBride)

Immediately this week in The Righteous Gemstones “For Their Nakedness Is  Your Own Nakedness,” Baby Billy makes his triumphant return. And God bless him, the man still is all about the money. His opening musical number doesn’t quite hit the legendary status of “Misbehavin’,” but it was a really nice touch to film his song with the residents of the resort dancing alongside him before the hard cut to him looking like a moron in his seashell costume before a swimming pool of disinterested visitors. 

Retreating to his room, his son Lionel and his (once again) very pregnant wife Tiffany, Baby Billy has a revelation: he’s going to host a game show. The slightly surreal framing of this scene, culminating in Tiffany delightedly clapping her hands before the title card, is delightful. And of course, even though we all know it already, Walton Goggins is just an absolute national treasure. 

I really liked the more character-driven nature of S3E3: there’s really no plot attention given to the floundering Gemstone empire, or the looming threat of the militia attempting to hunt down Chuck and Carl. The majority of the episode is focused on continuing to build out the relationships between these characters. 

Chuck and Carl remain upset with their mother that they’re on the militia’s hit list. Knowing that staying with the Gemstones would drive away her sons and put them at risk, May-May decides to leave, begging Eli to keep them safe. Despite his insistence to not harbor the fugitives, Eli nonetheless pushes back against his children’s toxic attitude towards the boys. Chuck and Carl, for their part, slowly start to show signs of nostalgia towards the Gemstones, suggesting that this current hatred wasn’t always the norm. 

Chuck and Carl, wearing bathrobes, sit at a table eating breakfast.
Photograph by Jake Giles Netter/HBO

Having heard of Judy’s affair, Amber delivers to the Barnes household her purported marriage-repairing product, The System. It’s a bizarre, garish kit in which a spouse deposits a gender-corresponding gem into a vase as opposed to saying something hurtful. Judy is furious upon discovering this, deepening BJ’s suspicion that’s he’s being gaslit. That said, Judy walking into the room where BJ is watching the video in the kit and asking “What the f*ck are you watching in here, horror movies?” gave me one of the biggest laughs of the episode, thanks to Edi Patterson’s reliably perfect line delivery. 

The pitch for Baby Billy’s Bible Bonkers goes about as well as expected, with Jesse, Judy and Kelvin soundly rejecting their uncle’s obvious Family Feud ripoff. This scene serves as a great showcase for McBride, Patterson and DeVine to play off of Goggins, and just makes me more excited for Baby Billy to be a larger player in the season going forward. 

Cousins Night is about as weird, tense and hilarious as expected. Keefe puts on a bizarre fire-dancing performance (with incredible reaction shots from everybody), Baby Billy once again attempts to pitch Bible Bonkers, and Baby Lionel eats dirt as Tiffany affectionaly cheers him on. Meanwhile, Eli visits May-May at the run-down chapel she’s been staying at, something that he was surprised to learn from Chuck and Carl. May-May is surprised that Eli even cares that much, and he agrees. We’re already starting to see them starting to mend their relationship, and it’s great to see. 

Kelvin and Keefe sit awkwardly at a table.
Photograph by Jake Giles Netter/HBO

Carl begins choking as Jesse and Chuck square off with their pocket knives. They drop their conflict and rush to Carl’s aid, and Jesse coaches all of them to work together to Heimlich (“Lick his what?” asks Keefe) the massive man and clear the obstruction. As Carl and Chuck hold each other and weep, the Gemstones awkwardly stand watching (BJ retches, his face splattered with the contents of Carl’s airway). The Montgomery boys set off on foot back to Eli’s house, and the Gemstone kids approach them and admit that it was nice hanging out with them, and Jesse offers them a ride back home. 

“For Their Nakedness Is Your Own Nakedness” ends on a surprisingly sweet note, finding all of our characters in a place of relative bliss: Judy affectionately embraces BJ and flips the bird to Amber, who seems to accept that Judy has moved on from Stephen; Kelvin reassures Keefe about his sausage dip not being the cause of Carl’s choking; Baby Billy and Tiffany agree to exchange a sexual favor for waffles; Eli helps May-May mop up the chapel; and Jesse and Amber let Chuck and Carl hitch a ride on their golf cart back to the house. The boys howl playfully into the night, and Jesse and Amber join in. 

It probably won’t last, but that’s the Gemstone way, isn’t it? Peter’s militia is still out there, and Chuck and Carl are still very much in danger. Even with the overarching plot not moving too much this week, we got some great movement with the character interactions, Baby Billy and Tiffany back in the mix, and the looming threat of the other Gemstone ministers probably trying to get their shoes back. It was a great episode in a great show, and it’s never not fun to hang out with these horrible—but often wholesome—people. And we’ll see if I eat those words next week. 

Written by Hawk Ripjaw

Hawk Ripjaw has been sharing his opinion on film and TV since his early teens, when the local public library gave away prizes for submissions to their newsletter. Since then, he's been writing for local newspapers, international video game sites, booze-themed movie websites, and anywhere else he can throw around some media passion. He watched the Mike Myers Cat in the Hat movie over 50 times in two years, for science.

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