Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Eastbound & Down: "Chapter 27"

Illustration for article titled Eastbound & Down: "Chapter 27"

"I win."

Kenny Powers has been driving his $80,000 car toward the edge of a cliff for weeks now, and in tonight's episode he puts the pedal to the metal and barrels straight over it. His feud with Guy Young escalates into a seeming no-win situation for Kenny, and his latest attempt at appeasing April backfires spectacularly, leaving his marriage in shambles. Yet in its final minutes, "Chapter 27" gets us back on his side immediately following some of his most reprehensible behavior yet. It may be a minor victory in the grand scheme of things, but it's an immensely satisfying one nonetheless.

On the domestic front, however, everything is going from bad to worse in a hurry. Kenny is still refusing to go to therapy, a stance that has April considering "other options." Kenny immediately assumes she wants to divorce him and is reduced to seeking advice from Dixie. That proves futile, especially once Kenny realizes her marriage is on the rocks solely because of the lies he told about Gene. (His repentance only goes so far at first: He tells her that Gene didn't actually ejaculate into the woman he had an affair with, and that he punished himself by slamming his penis repeatedly between the toilet ring and lid. No doubt this made Dixie feel much better about things.)

Kenny's solution is more extravagance. He throws a party for April, inviting all their friends as well as a bunch of people they don't even know. But she's in no mood to karaoke "I've Had the Time of My Life" along with her husband, or to renew their vows in front of a bunch of strangers. This prompts a complete meltdown from KP, who confesses he made up the story about Gene in order to cover up his own cocaine use and rails at April over her ingratitude for his lavish spending. She throws him out of the house and he drives away, although not without freeing Dakota from his chains with a well-placed gunshot.

On the Sport Sesh front, the outlook is, if anything, even more ominous. Guy Young has instated a Boring Alarm to be set off anytime Kenny starts to ramble, and he brings in a "wild card" guest to act as exactly the sort of surrogate attack dog on Kenny as Kenny had been on Dontel and Forney. Candy Cox may not have a lot in common with Kenny—she's an African-American woman who enters the scene twerking—but she shares his gift for the crude cutdown, sending KP scurrying to the bathroom after she insinuates he sucks cock by choice. Kenny leaves his mic on, so the audience is treated to his pep talk to himself as he tells his reflection to "radiate coolness." It's an embarrassing moment, but also a teachable one, as we later see.

Kenny first puts Stevie on the case of setting things right with Guy, but Plan A quickly backfires. (Stevie hires a guy who looks like a Kenny Powers parade float to intimidate Guy, but the big dude proves to have a glass jaw and a soft underbelly.) After a water jetpack showdown on the lake, it seems Kenny's fate is all but sealed. But Kenny gives Guy his A Face In The Crowd moment by wearing a live mic while groveling for forgiveness, knowing full well Guy will seize the opportunity to unload on him. In doing so, Guy paints his audience as "redneck idiots" and "jigaboos" who would be entertained by him shitting in his hand and offering them a taste. The audience hears everything, and like Andy Griffith's Lonesome Rhodes before him, Guy is finished.


But while Kenny may be in good shape career-wise, at least for the moment, it may have come at the cost of his marriage. His freakout at the party is one of the most raw, harrowing scenes the show has ever attempted, and it's something of a miracle that director David Gordon Green and the episode's writers are able to pull off the whiplash move of giving Kenny a victory that feels earned just a few minutes later. But is it too late for him to pull out of his domestic tailspin? Only two episodes remain.

Stray observations:

  • The Taters 'N Tits stand is up and running, and Maria's giant new fake titties are the star attraction. (This week's Stevie moment I'll have to scrub out of my brain: the sight of him suckling a big fake teat.)
  • "I'm gonna skin him alive and make a lamp with his skin." I guess that would have worked, too.
  • If the end credits are to be believed, Marilyn Manson was in this episode. I have no idea who he was.