Season 1, Episode 8: Bear With Me
If you're at all curious, the title is, in fact, literal. There is a bear on the loose in High River, the Montana town Caitlin lives in. Look at me, picking up on facts! So the show opens up with Caitlin running into a Grizzly that's rummaging through some trash. As it turns out, the bear has escaped from a zoo (which would then imply that there is a zoo somewhere near this podunk town, which I tend to doubt in general) and Jim, as the sheriff, needs to catch it. Enter Caitlin to screw this plan up. Wild things should not be in cages! Shock of all shocks, Caitlin does not believe in zoos or keeping animals captive, unless they're wild horses that "choose" to stay with their human masters by being kept in pastures and stalls and given no chance to be free, when they would actually be able to choose, and if there is ever a point where they get loose, they're hunted down and returned to their stall. If that's choosing, Caitlin needs to hunt down a dictionary.
Nevertheless, Bandit chose to stay with Caitlin! (Except for that one time when he got loose and she had to catch him, which was totally just him working out, like, restlessness or something, and not him wanting to be free again. Sure.) But the bear is wild and therefore must totally want to be wild! Despite being in captivity his whole life and probably having no clue what the hell he's doing outside in the "real world"! Not to even mention that whole danger to humans issue. Caitlin ain't touching that.
So, everyone else thinks Caitlin is being completely unreasonable about this. Also, Jim is up for re-election and he actually has competition this year, giving Griffen fits over whether or not his dad will have a job come...whenever the term is up and everyone votes again. The competition is Eric's dad, so the two boys get into this campaign war that I am going to ignore.
Meanwhile, Dori sets up a bear trap. It's one of those tin can things with a trap door, which is completely safe, but she has to show Caitlin how it works so Caitlin can be pacified and learn how to sabotage it later. Which she does. Then she rides Bandit out in the woods and happens across the bear. Bandit, being smart, high tails it out of there. Caitlin, being an idiot, stays and gives the bear food. And she sits there within striking distance and takes its picture.
Does anyone remember Grizzly Man? About the crazy guy who lived as close to bears as possible and was very possibly deranged and then he got eaten? That was all I could really think of while I was watching this. She's giving a most probably starving bear food and then she sits there like the main course on the bear's menu. You can not be stupider. But, of course, the bear doesn't try to kill Caitlin. In fact, she makes this a regular part of her routine. Ride the horse, be bitchy, feed the wild/not wild starving bear, be bitchy some more...it's all in due course for Caitlin.
Until the bear finds the food Griffen has been preparing for his dad's annual barbecue and has a field day in their back yard. Griffen finds the bear and nearly gets his face ripped off, which finally makes Caitlin come clean about all she's been doing regarding the bear. She takes them out into the forest and shows them what she's been up to. The bear freaking comes when called and the zoo handler puts a chain around the bears neck and walks it, like it's a dog, back to wherever they came from. I really have no words.
Jim wins reelection and the bear doesn't go back to the zoo, but to a refuge. It's suggested that this was their doing, which I highly doubt because they don't own the damn bear. But whatever. Everyone is happy and they go out to eat because Jim still has a job. Yay!