Bupkis – Season 1 Episode 6 “ISO” Recap & Review


Pete Davidson is going to Canada – alone  – on Christmas – to shoot a scene with Brad Pitt. That is what we get in the first five minutes of Bupkis episode 6. He is re-shooting the scenes for Sebastian Stan in a JJ Abrams movie. Abrams isn’t there on the set, and Monica, the second AD, is handling things for him.

Joe has started his chemotherapy and Casey is looking after him at the hospital. Pete is bored all day doing nothing sitting in his vanity. The day turns even worse for him when he learns that his character is being killed after the first 10 minutes.

His big dreams of having an arc and doing serious drama are dashed via FaceTime by Abrams. The cherry on the cake is that Brad Pitt isn’t coming physically to do the scene. His body double – a charming Devon Leech – is taking his place. Every time we have seen Pitt’s back in a movie, it has apparently been Leech all along.

Amy is concerned that the family isn’t spending the holidays together. She feels Joe might not be around for long and they should be with each other as much as possible.

Pete is incredibly bored and disheartened given how the circumstances have panned out. He walks out from the set and walks around the city.  Since everything is closed for the holidays, he finally finds some teens working at a bowling alley reception. Pete desperately asks them for drugs and they oblige him.

Evan calls Pete and lets him know the people on the set are freaking out. Pete is unfazed and gets high. He has a vision of dancing to a song in the empty parking lot with a spotlight on him; the reshoots will take place the next morning at 6.

Back home, the Christmas dinner happens without Pete. Unsurprisingly, his so-called “Friends,” none of whom went with Pete to Canada, are all hanging out in the basement without him, smoking weed, watching television, and eating Amy’s home-cooked meal. It is quite a telling punch without us having the impression.

Pete falls after smoking the drugs, only to be woken up by house cleaning. He is incredibly late and scampers to the set.

Meanwhile, Amy has been invited to a “friendly” basketball game to vent. Amy gets really competitive and wins praise from the women at the game. Pete reaches the set – driven by the same driver who admired him when he picked Pete up from the airport, but this time he had his reservations – and Monica sets up the scenes.

While waiting in his vanity, Pete gets high while watching “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He hallucinates Ray Romano, who played Raymond, coming to his vanity and encouraging him to get out of this slump. Pete is quite positive but it turns out that he smoked his way through two weeks of shooting, which has officially wrapped.

It’s now time for him to go back home. The surrealist ending sees Pete meeting Evan at a coffee shop. Sebastian Stan comes out of nowhere and confronts Pete for buying 112 individual episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond in his name. Pete asks for a selfie and Stan punches him, headbutting Evan next when he squares up to him.

The Episode Review

Episode 6 of Bupkis is truly one of the most bizarre Christmas episodes you could possibly see on television. This seems very much inspired by Pete’s personal experiences. It clearly had the majority of his imprint but was still an existential treat.

Pete tried to “buck himself up” for soldiering through his emptiness and being high while doing so. There is no sense in trying to rationalize its events. There were strong undercurrents of social commentary on the isolationist celebrity culture and how they miss out on wholesome family time in such situations.

We did think we’d see a cameo by Brad Pitt in the end but had to be content with Ray Romano and Sebastian Stan. The lack of colour in episode 6 was jarring but effective and added to the unique charm and appeal of Bupkis.

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You can read our full season review for Bupkis here!


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