Rutherford Falls Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Buckheart Lodge

RUTHERFORD FALLS -- "Buckheart Lodge" Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Leigh as Bobbie Yang, Ed Helms as Nathan Rutherford -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/Peacock)
RUTHERFORD FALLS -- "Buckheart Lodge" Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Leigh as Bobbie Yang, Ed Helms as Nathan Rutherford -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/Peacock) /

After getting introduced to the central conflicts at the heart of Rutherford Falls, the second episode focuses on Reagan and Nathan’s individual journeys. In Rutherford Falls Episode 2, Reagan tries to win over the Tribal Council while Nathan meets with a professor he idolizes.

The episode begins with Nathan and his nonbinary assistant Bobbie Yang (Jesse Leigh) meeting with Terry at the Rutherford Falls Heritage Museum after Nathan’s disastrous Founder’s Day performance. Nathan extends an olive branch, or a chew stick, Lawrence Rutherford’s chew stick to be exact.

Surprisingly, Terry thinks Nathan was right. People don’t respect the town’s history, or their ancestors. In fact, Terry even believes that Big Larry should stay right where he is and encourages Nathan to keep up the good work. Terry definitely has an ulterior motive. But Nathan is oblivious. Inspired, he and Bobbie start planning a big event to help the town honor their ancestors.

Reagan, however, immediately suspects that Terry is trying to take advantage of Nathan. She confronts him at the casino, as bluntly as possible, and Terry is refreshed by her rude honesty. He offers to let her be part of Operation Running Lightning, but Reagan is isn’t interested in working for the casino, or the “cesspool of blind capitalism,” as she calls it (Yes, she technically works in the casino but for the cultural center not for the casino).

We pivot to Nathan and Bobbie on their way to a visit with historian (and alcoholic) Professor Tobias James Kaufman (Paul F. Tompkins). Nathan gets a call from the Rutherford company’s head of PR Kaitlyn (Mimi Gianopulos). She saw Nathan’s Founder’s Day rant on YouTube (it only got a measly 300 views) and wants him to promise he won’t do anything else stupid since Big Larry is the company’s mascot and logo. They don’t need anymore dustups.

Rutherford Falls Episode 2
RUTHERFORD FALLS EPISODE 2 — “Buckheart Lodge” — Pictured: Jana Schmieding as Reagan Wells — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/Peacock) /

Rutherford Falls Episode 2 recap: Terry takes Reagan under his wing

Back at the casino, Reagan runs up against more dismissals from the shady casino staff members. Terry watches her try and fail to make more connections for the cultural center. He tells her the reason people dislike her is because of what happened with her ex-fiancé, Ray. Reagan dumped him the night before their wedding and no one has forgiven her. I guess Ray was beloved. Terry recommends Reagan come to a council meeting with him.

At the meeting with Tobias, the professor invites Nathan to be a guest on his podcast. Things quickly start to go awry when Tobias starts making implications that life was better when the “elites” were in charge. Back then, the town’s most notable families would gather at the infamous Buckheart Lodge to make decisions instead of bowing to the whims of the “unwashed masses.” The podcast starts veering off-course as Tobias asks if it’s true the Rutherfords were the first white family in the town (a.k.a. colonizing the area from the Missishonka).

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Then Tobias starts ranting about the PC police and Nathan is distinctly uncomfortable. It’s all very remniscient of our country’s current reckoning with Confederate statues and the outcry to have them all removed. Tobias is part of the “good ol’ boys” party who likes things the way they used to be.

While all of this is going on, Reagan is out in town with Terry who has assured her he’ll help reintroduce her to the community. Instead, Reagan spends the day mostly doing busy work like chopping wood and fixing leaks. She thinks Terry is messing with her until he points out that she was willing to work four jobs to put herself through college, so why is she so opposed to putting in the work with her own community? He’s done all the same stuff in the past. “We all do the work. Who are you to think you’re somehow above it?”

Rutherford Falls Episode 2
RUTHERFORD FALLS EPISODE 2 — “Buckheart Lodge” — Pictured: Jana Schmieding as Reagan Wells — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/Peacock) /

His speech affects her and Reagan agrees to try things his way, including chopping more word, operating a food truck, running a bingo match and instructing a yoga class.

Once Nathan and Tobias wrap their podcast, Nathan is panicked by the “white baby” stuff Tobias brought up and asks the professor if he can cut it out. Tobias doesn’t want to do that because his viewers anticipate controversy. Nathan is adamant they cut it out. Since they’re on opposing sides of the argument, Tobias recommends they head to Buckheart Lodge to settle things just like their ancestors did.

Rutherford Falls Episode 2 recap: Nathan and Tobias duke it out at the Buckheart Lodge

Things at the lodge get steadily worse for Nathan, especially as Tobias goes full-blown racist, even calling “non-white babies” those of lesser minds. And of course he’s a Joe Rogan fan. Drunk and crazy, Tobias challenges Nathan to a fight if he really wants him to edit the podcast episode.

All of the work Reagan does starts to pay off, she gets some new friend requests and even a baby shower invite. It looks like the night will come to a happy ending, until Terry surprises Reagan by driving her to Ray’s mom house. Reagan is not thrilled to see Rayanne (Geraldine Keams), who hates her since the wedding was called off. Despite warning Terry not to mention the wedding at all, Reagan can’t stop mentioning it because she’s so nervous to be sitting across from a woman who hates her.

Rayanne tells Terry that she’s not going to vote yes to his proposal and Terry is understand, so it seems. Suddenly he turns on Reagan like a snake, insulting her for Rayanne’s sake. After, Terry tells her that yes, he did trick her, but now the news of the showdown will spread and finally people will accept that she’s suffered enough, the Ray saga is officially over with Rayanne getting closure.

Despite his drawbacks, Terry is trying to help Reagan because he thinks she’s a story with too many loose threads.  “No one likes a complicated story, that’s why everyone hated Cloud Atlas.” He thinks she might be a shark too and now she’s ready to take the next step.

As for Nathan, his fight with Tobias goes about how you might expect. The drunk professor keels over after one shove and Bobbie panicks, thinking Tobias dead. He’s not, just passed out. They call Reagan for reinforcements.

Unfortunately for Nathan, the podcast didn’t end up getting edited and Kaitlyn heard it. She’s not happy, to say the least. She warns Nathan that if she has to call him over another controversy there are going to be serious repurcussions.

In the final moments of Rutherford Falls Episode 2, Terry meets with Rayanne. She’s in. The entire council is agreed on one thing: They’re going to sue Nathan Rutherford!

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All ten episodes of Rutherford Falls are now streaming on Peacock TV.