EASTBOUND & DOWN Recap: Chapter 24
by Shawn Depasquale on October 14, 2013
Not the funniest episode of Eastbound & Down. Maybe the weirdest. Basically Kenny is slowly spiraling out of control. He’s spending way more money than he should. Then to prove they SHOULD be living the life, he takes his family (and Stevie’s and the neighbors) on a vacation. There are some shenanigans, Kenny turns down a blowjob, and April gets drunk. Overall, it was a rather uneventful episode, especially considering how few we have left.
The episode opens with a reminder that Kenny purchased an $80,000 car: it’s sitting in his driveway. We’re then treated to a series of increasingly ludicrous purchases such as a pet wolf for his son and a dancing robot (of which I’ll take two, please). Kenny pops in on Guy Young to deliver a gift basket and a 450 page autobiographical screenplay (typical 2-hour movies are 120 pages) before heading to the water park with his family and friends.
The waterpark is where the majority of the episode takes place. Again, it wasn’t my favorite episode so far; a lot of it felt like filler. Stevie, his wife and their kids join Kenny and his family (plus April’s friend Dixie and her husband) to spend the day in the sun. April gets wasted. WASTED. It’s a return to form for April, a former party girl, as she hammers back shots and lets loose. This is probably the first time since she had the kids that she’s gotten to escape “mom mode” for any extended period of time, and it shows. She gets so shitfaced that Kenny is forced to carry her back to their room and tuck her into bed. He then leaves the kids to watch themselves, putting G.I. Joe Retaliation on the hotel TV before he splits for a night of debauchery.
Kenny, Stevie, Gene, and Tel are invited to party with Shawnsee, a fan of Kenny’s, and his strange family, including sister Jessie. Gene and Tel watch as Kenny snorts coke and generally debases himself. Gene and Tel are a couple of squares, not accustomed to the Kenny Powers lifestyle, and it shows in this sequence, as they look on with a sort of horrified fascination. The party eventually moves to the closed waterpark, when our gang breaks in to enjoy a little after-hours tubing. However this is short-lived, as security guards eventually show up and case everyone back to their rooms.
With Kenny back in his room, the real meat of the episode happens here. Earlier, Shawnsee had told Kenny that his sister wants to give him a blowjob. Amazingly, Kenny resisted the temptation throughout his entire coke-fueled ordeal. However, back in his room with April asleep next to him and his kids in a pull-out bed, Kenny second guesses his decision. He leaves his family a second time and heads to Jessie’s room to claim his free head. He’s saved from himself by Jessie, who’s had some time to think about it and comes to the conclusion that Kenny is a family man and it wouldn’t be right. Denied.
Overall, it was a very low-key episode. The robot scene in the beginning was my favorite. I think what the writers are trying to do is show us a tempted, struggling Kenny. He’s split between wanting to become his old self and trying to be a sort of hybrid between the family-man persona he’s developed and his party-loving-blowjob-getting-former-self. Time will tell if he can keep turning down sexual favors, and learn to spend his money wisely, lest he’s left in the exact same boat he’s sail before: broke and depressed.