Tuesday, July 5, 2022 Jul 5, 2022
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State Fair of Texas

Deep Fried Dynasty: Fried Jesus Saves

It’s not all fried peaches and cream when you’re a food vendor at the State Fair of Texas.
By Alice Laussade |
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Illustration by Alice Laussade

It’s the last weekend of the fair on Deep Fried Dynasty, and the Fried I-35 is hitting the fan. It’s unclear which concessionaires will meet their financial goals by the end of the fair’s run, but one thing’s for sure: Abel Gonzales is covered in bees.

Clearly, the production team sat Abel down to talk about his fried lobster. His segment starts with a detailed description of the item, from lobster tail to champagne gravy to fries, which will run you $60. That’s right: $60. He says he only sells 20 or 30 per day, but they’re worth keeping around because they get a lot of attention.

And that’s when Abel notices his booth has become a full throttle bee festival. There are bees on his shirt. Bees in customers’ faces. Bees asking for a side of Ranch. Bees sunbathing on the counter like they’re at the rooftop pool at The Joule, wearing Gucci sunglasses and talking trash about their best friends.

“Oh my God! Where’d all those BEES come from?” Abel yells as he looks over at his soda fountain. Spoiler alert: It’s got bees. Terrible case of the bees.

There are bees on this soda fountain like there are kids sliding on that planter (which is clearly a slide to any and every child in existence) in NorthPark Center. The number of bees on this soda fountain and the number of successful plastic surgeons in Dallas is equal. There are so many bees on this soda fountain, not one single bee was like, “Why are we here?” 

Bees : This Fountain :: Bros : American Airlines Center

And it costs Abel money immediately, because people who were in line for fried butter are running away, deciding that—while super delicious—fried butter is not worth getting stung by one thousand million bees.

Plus, the bees aren’t paying for refills, so he’s losing all that cash, too.

As he watches his customers fleeing the bee scene, Abel has become more concerned, “Wow! That’s a lot of BEES!” And I don’t know why hearing his voice crack every time he says “BEES” is making me laugh, because it’s not nice to laugh at someone else’s pain, but I’m me, and I do, and it’s very good television.

Over at Smokey John’s, Brett and Juan Reaves think they’re having a bad day when they show up to an empty booth and find that their staff has decided to no-show. Just when they get that problem handled, a fryer catches on fire at another one of their locations on the other side of the fair, firefighters show up to put out the blaze, and they are forced to shut down.

Meanwhile, Abel is all, “BEES. We have a BEE invasion.” The bees just keep full eye contact and chew their gum at him.

Then, we cut to Chef Cassy, who, for 10 episodes, has been shown overwhelmed and below her sales target. It’s hard to watch her struggle every week while everyone else has a support system to help them through. You immediately see why working a booth at the fair becomes a family business: When challenges hit the girls at Fernie’s Funnel Cakes, it seems like a never-ending supply of additional family members pops up from behind the frappe machine and suddenly, they’ve got so many back-up plans to solve their problem they need a beeping noise and special lights.

At the end of the episode, Chef Cassy recruits some help from Brett Enright from Juicy’s, and while he did help her create a more streamlined order process, it really seems like she might just need to hang out with Abel Gonzales some more if she wants creative solutions to what-the-fair problems.

Just when you think Abel’s going to lose it, he googles “how to get rid of bees” and becomes the A-Team of the State Fair of Texas: He entices the bees to leave his booth by spraying the soda fountain with pickle juice. (This works because everyone knows pickle juice will ruin a bee’s Christian Louboutins.)

Abel wins the day. Because, of course he does. #TeamFriedJesus


Deep Fried Dynasty airs every Tuesday at 9 p.m. on A&E. Come back here every Wednesday for Alice Laussade’s recaps.

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Alice Laussade

Alice Laussade

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