Eastbound & Down Recap: Chapter 25
By Shawn Depasquale on October 23, 2013
This season, it seems, will come down to a battle between Kenny and Guy Young, host of Sports Sesh. This weeks episode further provided background for that final showdown (most likely it will be for control over the sports talk show) by giving us a deeper look at what kind of man Ken Marino’s Guy Young really is. The answer? He’s not a good man. Oddly enough, he’s a lot more like Kenny than was initially suggested. It’s almost as if he’s a refined (perhaps by money and success), slicker version of the man Kenny Powers thinks he wants to be. Whether or not that’s the man Kenny really is remains to be seen.
Kenny needs to find a charity to play on behalf of in order to join the rest of the Sports Sesh team in a Dragon Boat race. After coming up empty on all the “big name” charities, Stevie suggests Kenny take on troubled inner-city kids as his cause. This leads to several uncomfortable scenes of blatant racism, made less offensive only because it’s pretty clear Kenny doesn’t realize anything he’s saying is racist. Is it still offensive? Yes. Is it mean-spirited? No. Why? Because Kenny Powers is a moron.
Let’s all agree on that fact before we forge on. Although Kenny is presented as “cool” or “bad ass,” something I think a lot of this show’s audience takes at face value, it seems obvious to me that the show’s creative team is actually a bit disgusted by most of his behavior. Time and time again, we see examples of Kenny’s incompetence, selfishness, childishness, and deceitfulness shine though – like when he insultingly tells April that she needs to be the “Bill O’Reilly of tits” in order to impress the high-society partygoers at a fancy shmoozefest Guy invited the couple to attend. While it seems like this final season is all about Kenny trying to find the balance between being a super cool bad ass and a normal, law abiding, caring, sensitive and productive member of society, so far, we’ve seen very little growth, and I wonder if this won’t all end with confirmation that Kenny just isn’t capable of being at peace with himself, and thus never capable of finding his place in the world.
The boat race plotline culminates in typical Eastbound fashion with Kenny learning that he can trust no one but himself; when Dontell shows up at the race, he tells Kenny (which we already kinda figured) that Guy is not to be trusted. Turns out the only reason Guy kicked Dontell off the show was because he was worried the big man was gunning for his spot as host. Of course, Guy doesn’t help his case much by confirming he’s a backstabbing shithead when he berates one of the other teammates for not paddling fast enough, eventually ordering Kenny to toss the “dead weight” overboard. The plan, douchey as it is, works, and the Sports Sesh crew (minus poor waterlogged Jeff) wins the race.
Throughout all this, the running B-plot followed Dixie and Gene (Workaholics‘ Jillian Bell and Tim Heidecker) struggling to keep their white-bread, cookie cutter lives together in the wake of the waterpark trip. When Dixie notices Gene’s bruised face, she presses him for details. To his credit, Gene attempts to lie about the evening, but he’s a terrible liar and Dixie can tell something is amiss. This leads to the excommunication of the Powers family from several neighborhood gatherings. April starts to realize her friends are having parties without them and asks Kenny if something happened at the waterpark. Kenny lies (of course), and then hurries to find Gene and Tel to ensure they keep their mouths shut about the wild events of the evening in question.
Eventually April can’t take being ignored by her friends, so she and Kenny march over to Gene and Dixie’s house to confront them. Kenny REALLY doesn’t want to go over there, wisely, because as soon as the confrontation begins, it comes out that Kenny punched Gene. Then, of course, everything else comes out. Except… it gets skewed. Kenny starts to tell a whole story about walking in on Gene and a woman doing the beast with two backs, while Tel was watching and playing with himself. As Kenny tells it, THAT is why he punched Gene in the face. Dixie believes this (although I’m not sure why she believes a maniac like Kenny over her husband), and they get into a huge fight, resulting in Gene being kicked out of his home.
That was mostly it this week. Kenny continues to unravel, not only ditching the good husband routine but flat out becoming a total dick-hole. Of course, Guy Young vs Kenny Powers is where the season is heading; the question is: Will we even want to root for Kenny at that point?
Oh… also… Kenny’s son fed his pet wolf. It was bad ass.