Baskets – Ronald Regan Library
By: Jay Smith
“We are now gonna be on an upward ‘trajecdity,’ to just, uh, fly, spread your wings” – Mama Baskets (Louie Anderson)
Chip (Zach Galifianakis) wakes from a dream about the final moments leading up to Morpheus’ (Tobias Jelinek) death. Mama Baskets (Louie Anderson) gives Chip a phone to keep in touch with each other. She wants Chip to be better and move forward in the right direction. She plans for them to leave the room today, but heads to breakfast first. As he lays back down Chip looks at the dresser and sees things from the county jail. He sees Morpheus’ pan flute and starts thinking about him again.
At breakfast Mama Baskets runs into Ken (Alex Morris), Cypher’s dad, again. Ken reassures her that Chip’s sentencing will be light since he’s a first time offender. Before he leaves to make his phone call, Mama Baskets invites Ken to her and Chip’s outing to the Ronald Reagan Library. Chip is at the pool and he sees Cypher (Eva La Dare). He offers Morpheus’ flute to her, but she’d rather not have a dead man’s pan flute. In the car Chip is slightly upset Cypher didn’t have to join. Mama Baskets calls Chip, while she’s driving, and it’s excited to hear the clarity in the call.
Ken pays for the tickets since Mama Baskets drove them there. She asks the attendant if there’s a discount for those who participated in campaigning for Reagan. There isn’t one and she is disappointed. Chip wonders off and finds himself in the section of Reagan’s movie career. He makes the comment to the staffer that he threw his movie star life away for a boring desk job. One of the movies has a train scene that catches Chip’s attention and sets off the final moments of Morpheus in his head again. He jolts out the theater, but before he leaves the staffer calls him “Morpheus” to give him back the pan flute he left behind. He finally leaves, hitchhikes and gets picked up by a trucker.
Back in the library Mama Baskets and Ken continue their talk about their lives and Reagan. Ken admits to being married twice and running a carpet business with his daughters from the previous marriages. They take a photo behind a green screen that portrays them being in the Oval Office and then visit the gift shop. Mama Baskets falls in complete love with a charm bracelet, but doesn’t get it. She jokes with Ken about him getting hit with the Regan bug because he’s about to purchase a mug, but he states he’s only getting it because the hotel’s cups are too small. She picks up a shirt for Chip, but doesn’t know his size and calls him. Chip is still with the trucker but acts likes he’s still in the place. Chip hangs up and Mama Baskets has the front desk make a huge announcement to look for him and for him to come to the front.
The trucker, who we learn is named Travis, drops Chip off at the police department. Mama Baskets calls again to find out where Chip really is, but he doesn’t admit his location. He assures her he’ll be at his hearing. Chip tries to return the pan flute to the morgue receptionist (Jeff Rubinstein), but it’s not accepted. He does check to see about getting information for Chip on Morpheus’ family to give it to them. Back at the museum, Mama Baskets blames herself for the way Chip is. She admits to Ken that Chip’s father died when he was young and she didn’t get help for them.
Chip arrives at a hotel and sees Morpheus’ (Betsy Baker and Rick Scarry) parents with a little girl. Even though they are apprehensive because they knew their son, his problems and the type of people he hung around with, they let Chip in. He pulls out the pan flute and gives it to the little girl (Marion Van Cuyck) who we discover is the daughter Ellie that Morpheus left behind. Chip has one more flashback of Morpheus and it’s of him accepting Chip and saying, “Welcome home.”
At the hearing, Chip shows up late but like Ken stated he was let off light and is on six months’ probation. Mama Baskets learns her son witnessed a death and her mood changes to being worried for Chip. She asks why didn’t he tell her and he admits to not wanting to worry her. She tells him it’s her job to worry because she’s his mother. Ken comes out of the court room and announces that Cypher got five years in jail. Before he leaves to go back home, Ken gives Mama Baskets the charm bracelet she had been eyeing at the Ronald Reagan Library. He also gives her his card with the home phone number on the back. She gets in the car and her and Chip head home.