Kevin Can F**K Himself’s second and final season has reached its halfway point with episode four. Perhaps that’s why “Jesus, Allison” feels narratively stuffed as the show steadily builds its conclusion. Allison and Tammy plan Patty’s awful surprise party, Kevin egregiously tries to pair up his dad with Allison’s heartbroken aunt, and Neil disastrously distracts his sister at the ice skating rink. Luckily, these fascinating arcs tie together perfectly, and none of them are boring, not even the increasingly expendable sitcom bits. Wait, hear me out.
It’s a necessary evil to see Kevin in his vexing element to understand how KCFH forces us to look behind genre clichés about the goofy husband. It’s also okay to be fed up with those moments because the audience is familiar with his toxicity by now. Why must we continue to endure the ridiculous fake laughter and poor sitcom antics? I’m ready to see Kevin in the real world, too, especially with only four episodes left. Yet the writing continually succeeds in using the multi-cam/single-cam gimmick to provide insights into his unearned ego. He wants Pete and Diane together plainly because he dislikes his dad’s current girlfriend’s loud laughter. Who cares if Pete—as gross as he is—is happy and non-invasive in his son’s life for a change? Or that Diane is recovering from her husband, Chuck, cheating on her? Certainly not Kevin, that’s for sure.
He deems Diane a suitable match for Pete because she’s single and miserable, pointing out that her vulnerable state is a bonus. It stems from his own experience of meeting and impressing Allison on the day of her dad’s funeral, as we saw last week. The McRoberts’ men then go out of their way to mock Diane’s messy hair, alcohol consumption, and general attitude. In truth, she’s mourning Chuck’s infidelity and the scary implication that he tracked her down in South Carolina and brought her back to show her what she’s missing. Kevin’s opportunistic behavior here recalls a question Allison asked Patty back in season one: “Who were you laughing at when you were laughing at his jokes?”
It was far more interesting, though, to see Allison and Tammy’s begrudging dynamic as they run around town for Patty’s birthday errands. Mrs. McRoberts is quite gutsy as she takes Tammy, a detective, to a shady street to purchase illegal menthol cigarettes as a gift. Worse, she unwittingly exposes her affair with Sam when they go to collect a cake at his diner (We’ll talk about Allison’s other motive to meet him in a minute). Tammy is quick to pick up on her lingering chemistry with Sam—this may explain why she has a nagging feeling about Allison and Patty’s seemingly unshakable bond.
Tammy doesn’t diss Allison for stepping out on Kevin. It’s the opposite. “I know guys like him,” she tells her, citing the example of her recently deceased partner, who manipulated Tammy into doing things she didn’t want to. Thanks to her professional experiences, she realizes Kevin is bad news and divorcing him isn’t an easy option. It’s a surprising step in Allison and Tammy’s relationship, and a sign that sharp outsiders notice her pain of being married to Kevin. Even so, Tammy’s sympathy doesn’t extend beyond their car rides because she eventually asks Allison to back off from Patty. It was mildly infuriating and confusing to watch Tammy—who earlier showed support for Allison’s circumstances—dismiss her like that. Not that they’ll ever be BFFs, but her words felt needlessly cruel in light of their previous conversation.
KCFH places Tammy in a game-changing position by the end of “Jesus, Allison,” when she views the Vermont footage and spots Patty in it from when they bought Oxy pills. Will she go through a Stan Beeman from The Americans-like journey to help Patty and Allison evade the law? Or will she be the ultimate undoing of their grand plans? I think when (not if) Patty sides with Allison, there’s no telling what Tammy might do, and that’s an exciting setup for the remainder of season two.
The other thrilling setup for the show’s end comes when Allison confesses to Sam. After requesting and getting his help in securing Gertrude Fronch’s (not French, as I falsely assumed) death certificate, he basically calls her a scam artist. Instead of deflecting, she finally admits that she’s in trouble and is assuming a fake identity to escape Kevin permanently. It’s a major moment because she has only trusted Patty about her plans. What compelled Allison to open up to Sam? It could be a last-ditch effort so he can fathom her anguish instead of hating her, or it could be a realization that she might not see him again. Will he persuade her to stay in Worcester or go with her to Connecticut? “Jesus, Allison” produces several burning questions.
KCFH has now expanded the list of people who could potentially aid Allison in seeking retribution. Heck, even Diane seems ready to burn Kevin and Pete to the ground. She’s moved back with Chuck, but hopefully, it means she wants to help Allison break out of the pattern she finds herself in. Neil is already struggling to maintain a mask of normalcy while hanging out with his obnoxious buddy. Knowing Allison’s former murderous ideas and being more cognizant of Kevin’s attitude is taking a toll on him. In this episode, I loved digging into Neil and Patty’s wrenching sibling bond.
Alex Bonifer is crushing it as season two’s MVP, believably threading the line between Neil’s sitcom and dreary single-cam approaches to Kevin. He takes Patty ice-skating out of tradition and keeps her away from the surprise party. But his guilt makes him act out by aggressively drinking and getting them banned for life. His actions are rooted in the inability to still stand up for himself and his sister in front of Kevin, or prioritize his mental health over engaging in shenanigans like getting Pete and Diane together. They might not be close anymore, but “Jesus, Allison” delves into how Neil and Patty were once a team, even if it was ages ago. And it’s where they might be headed next.
- Good for Robin Lord Taylor, who got paid to come on set as Nick for a few scenes, only to stand menacingly and torture Allison’s psyche.
- “I want a quiet day alone with myself,” Patty says about her birthday, proving that she’ll always remain a relatable queen. (Based on her past nonexistent celebrations, can you blame her?)
- Tragically, the only person to remember Patty’s big day is her client (and Nick’s aunt) Cindy, who is later invited to the party and chastizes Patty for dating a cop. She’s not wrong.
- Patty and Allison’s final scene on the porch was a lovely callback to their conversation in the same location in KCFH’s series premiere. It also signifies how much they and their friendship have evolved since that night.
- So has the show just abandoned Kevin’s run for city council?
- Who else caught that fleeting shocked expression on Kevin’s face when Allison yells at him to shut up and help plan Patty’s birthday in the sitcom world? It reminded me of season one’s finale when she calls him a dick, and he processes it for merely a second before moving on.
- We get an update on Kevin’s mom when he says, “She had the good sense to die.” Yikes. Also, did Allison ever meet her before her death?
- Finally, the scene where Neil and Patty enter the McRoberts’ home for her surprise was in multi-cam, but the very dim lighting made me momentarily freak out that it’s happening in gritty single-cam. I cannot wait for both worlds to finally collide.