Kevin Can F**K Himself’s first season ends with Allison reeling from multiple intense confrontations over the course of the hour. The talk with Sam is confusing; with Kevin, it’s extremely brief, but cathartic; with Patty, it’s emotionally devastating; and finally, the one with Neil finally brings him, another sitcom character, into Allison and Patty’s dark, grimy single-camera world. Allison’s face-offs with them constitute the most fascinating, moving parts of an otherwise straggler of a finale. Don’t get me wrong, “Fixed” still has genuinely surprising moments, like Kevin’s short-lived vulnerability, and Lindy Jamil Gomez and Shukri Abdi’s writing is excellent. But for a season closer, “Fixed” focuses more on how a potential season two might play out (the show hasn’t been renewed yet) than provide firmer answers about, well, almost anything.
We learn within the first couple of minutes of “Fixed” that Kevin shot Nick and not vice versa, like Allison and Patty had intended. So, yes, Kevin McRoberts is extremely alive even though he’s definitely shaken up by a home invasion and shooting someone. They are all led to believe Nick is dead after his aunt pulled the plug on him, but Allison doesn’t grieve or face up to her guilt about being the potential cause for his death. She’s onto the next plan: planting Oxy and the cash at his house and now framing Nick as the low-level town dealer so no one can find out it was Patty selling the pills from her salon. They creep into his basement living space to do just that, where Patty expresses concern that her friend isn’t even the least bit affected by Nick’s demise (we do learn he’s alive, pulling the plug didn’t kill him somehow). Allison doesn’t just want to sit and cry in the bathtub anymore, she tells Patty—she wants to act, act, act. It’s why she asks her friend to spy on Tammy’s notebook to know if she suspects them.
It’s a risky ask. Allison is aware of their relationship to some degree and knows they’re not just friends who hang out for fun. In episode six, Patty pretty much says Tammy likes her, and Allison flat-out asks if they’re on a date. I’m intrigued by Allison’s motivations here, which seem partly out of real fear but partly to test Patty and make sure Tammy hasn’t become the priority. KCFH has done a pretty great job of shading Allison as not just a one-dimensional good or bad person to empathize with. After years of being subjected to emotional manipulation, she can’t fully be blamed for her warped worldview. She also doesn’t want to lose the one person she’s grown closets to in a decade, so she ends up using manipulative tactics of her own, intentionally or not, to boss around Patty. It’s why their conversation on the walk back home from Nick’s feels loaded. Patty is unwilling to break Tammy’s trust. “You’ve never had girlfriends, have you?” she asks Allison, who takes a beat before responding: “Well, I have you… right?”
Meanwhile, Kevin is unsure of how to process the break-in or the fact that he shot Nick. His “laugh button is on the fritz,” his usually gelled up and poofy hair is now messy and falling over his face, and he even yells at Neil. It’s shocking because KCFH briefly shows him as powerless even in his world, almost evoking sympathy for a man we have deservedly hated on since episode one. True to form, and as Allison suspected, his soft side doesn’t last long. All it takes for him to move on from thinking the world is broken—the irony of him saying this at the bar is not lost on anyone, right?—is some free beers and flattery to boost him up for almost killing the intruder. Kevin decides to run for city council. Interestingly, it’s only Neil who is against the idea (much like he was with a possible baby McRoberts). Pete is fully on board. In fact, “Fixed” finally portrays just how much of an influence Kevin’s father has on him.
Up until now, Pete has been sidling up to his son as if he’s serving Blair Waldorf as a minion on the Met steps. He usually chimes in with a lame wisecrack or two, laughs and agrees with his son, and pokes fun at his daughter-in-law. “Fixed” has two instances to prove his hold over Kevin. When Kevin returns home from the police station and reveals he doesn’t know how to process his feelings about the shootings, Pete basically tells him to shove and bury them away. After Kevin’s campaign event venue cancels at the last minute, Pete suggests revoking their liquor license when he’s elected, essentially recommending abuse of power. It’s a fleeting insight into Kevin’s upbringing. Seriously, where is his mother? Was Pete always a single dad? We get a glimpse at how the McRoberts’ men have functioned so far, but the story would’ve benefitted from fleshing out these aspects more during the multi-cam scenes as opposed to just letting them make up escape rooms, fake bands, and two birthday parties.
Kevin ends up throwing his campaign event at Bev’s Diner, where the whole local community comes to support him, including the cops from “The Grand Victorian” and his well-liked boss at the cable company. Defending his home with a gun followed by a political agenda has only earned him goodwill in Worcester, which makes it tougher for Allison to kill him now. She’s obviously frustrated that, once again, he’s come out as the winner. She storms out of the event only to run into Sam in an alley right next to couple of dumpsters. Sam offers her an out. He’s left Jenn and wants a chance to be with Allison, who rejects and even gets angry at his proposal. Clearly, she doesn’t just want to figuratively burn down her house with Kevin in it, she wants to burn down the patriarchy as a whole instead of letting Sam “save her.” Her conviction is commendable but, in this case, perhaps misguided.
Yes, she should absolutely leave Kevin and ideally without committing a killer crime, regardless of whether or not she chooses to be with Sam. But her approach here is confusing, especially if she has feelings for him. I think in this moment, when Sam offers her something “real,” she recognizes that she was glomming onto the idea of a better life but anchored it to yet another man. She wants out but she also probably wants independence and has no idea where to find it. It’s a pivotal moment for Allison but Sam faces the brunt of it. In this moment, she finally confronts Kevin after downing a shot. “You might think you’re an everyday hero, but you’re really just a dick,” she tells him. I gotta admit, I was surprised she did that, but I also applauded. Petersen and Howe register the shock (no claps here, though), and even the laugh track fades away for a hot second. But the show unfortunately doesn’t let us or the characters dwell on any aftereffects, swiftly moving on as Kevin and Pete’s takeaway is to use “everyday hero” as the official campaign slogan.
Allison is also on edge because Patty has decided to skip the event. She’s about to get a rude awakening because when they finally catch up in the McRoberts living room, a big fight awaits. Patty holds her accountable for demanding she spy on her girlfriend, but Allison’s defense is she didn’t want to assume details of their relationship. Inboden and Murphy are terrific in this scene, as is the camera work which amps up the tension between the two women, but it’s jarring to watch them yell at each other after “Broken”’s bathtub scene. Yet, this was a poignant scene because they got to air out their feelings: Patty’s disappointment and Allison’s admission that she “raised her from the dead.” Once again, it felt like Patty was expecting some kind of romantic declaration from her friend by the end. Or they’ve purposely left it murky to test the waters of their friendship being more than that.
They’ll have to contend with coming together anyway, now that Neil, who was hiding out in the McRoberts kitchen, has overheard their plans. He decides to call Kevin right away but Allison snatches his phone. Bonifer looks menacing as Neil even in the sitcom scenes where he’s crushing Allison’s throat. It’s unusual for this moment to take place under the bright lights, but we switch to the darkness when Patty saves Allison by breaking a bottle on her brother’s head. It’s a nice callback to episode one, which ends with Allison daydreaming that she’s used a bottle to jab into Kevin’s neck. Only, this is very real and Neil has moved out of multi-cam, his face full of rage. KCFH has written itself into quite a corner if it gets renewed because in what world would Neil not immediately inform Kevin that his wife wants him dead? I’m curious to find out. Until then, we’re left with a very Dead To Me-style visual of Allison and Patty clasping hands and waiting for the chance to explore this new twist in their story.
- It’s been a long read already, so I won’t put you through much more. Thank you for following along with weekly recaps. It was a thrill to dissect a show like Kevin Can F**K Himself, and to discuss it with all of you in the comments.
- It wasn’t a perfect show, but kudos to the team for attempting to subvert a beloved trope—and easily trigger those who continue to defend a “Kevin.”
- Semi-related but raising one for the likable on-screen Kevins, including This Is Us’ Pearson, The Office’s Malone, Home Alone’s McAllister, and Mean Girls’ Gnapoor.
- Annie Murphy, Mary Hollis Inboden, and Eric Petersen really sold their characters’, but Inboden is KCFH’s true breakout.
- Best Patty dialogue from “Fixed”: “Good Catholic repression takes time.”
- Here are the options Kevin considered for his campaign slogans: “Kevin McRoberts, tough on crime but soft on the pointless stuff, like taxes” as well as “Kevin McRoberts, because the world is going to Hell.” I feel like the second one is accurate for the times.
- If there’s a season two, how much of the dual multi-cam, single-cam stuff would you want to see?
- Finally, I can’t wait to go back to typing F**K without the damn asterisks.