Ree storms into the house and goes straight to her bedroom closet. She takes out two shotguns and several boxes of shells, dropping the boxes in the pocket of her coat. She calls for Sonny and Harold to follow her out to the front porch, where she begins to load up the guns. She tells her brothers that it’s time that they learned how to properly shoot a gun, and instructs them to set up some tin-cans out on a nearby hill for target practice. Her brothers excitedly do so.
If Harold and Sonny’s “basketti” concoction wasn’t enough to push Ree to train them more diligently in survival skills, Blond Milton’s deception and subsequent offer—or threat—of guardianship definitely was. Ree literally arms the boys, hopeful that they’ll be able to protect themselves should the need arise.
Sonny and Harold love learning how to shoot, and once Ree is satisfied with their progress, she calls the lesson to an end. Sonny then sees a figure approaching, and Ree readies a shotgun. Once the figure draws closer, Ree realizes it is Gail and her baby. Ree laughs and embraces Gail, telling her she “knew she wouldn’t eat shit [from her husband] for long.”
Ree is so prepared for violence that any visitor is seen as a potential intruder or assailant. Gail’s arrival is a relief on several levels, and it proves to Ree that her best friend is just as resilient as she hoped—a sign of potential for independence and female empowerment, however small.