On this week's My Name is Earl, the Camden County crew gets its fair share of excitement in the form of a few tornadoes. Even though this episode didn't completely blow me away, it was yet another strong showing as the show works its way through season four.
Most of our characters kicked this installment off angrily — Randy (Ethan Suplee) was sick of crossing things off Earl's (Jason Lee) list, Joy (Jaime Pressly) and Darnell (Eddie Steeples) were beginning to argue over who is more intelligent, and Catalina (Nadine Velazquez) was fed up with unwanted male attention (and all three scenes featured some hilarious freeze frames). Soon after Randy accidentally let the list fly away with the breeze, the first of three tornadoes hits the area, and in the aftermath, a spirited, town-wide game of Finders Keepers is underway. Catalina has other plans though, when Patty the Daytime Hooker (Dale Dickey) tries to take her purse. She sees a gun on the ground and, after an overdue diatribe about being fed up with everything, uses it to take her purse back (and a few other things). Soon though, a well-traveled Bible flies into the picture causing her and Patty to try and seek forgiveness from God.
During the next two tornadoes and their aftermaths, plenty more is going on. Joy and Darnell's argument over intellect escalates as she asserts that he doesn't have "street smarts" and he pretty much calls her dumb flat out. She challenges him to a board game competition and try to show off their smarts to the children after the second tornado. Finally, after the third one leaves Darnell stuck like a javelin through the side of the trailer, Joy snaps out of it and her love for him shines through as she races to get him to the hospital in a wheel barrow.
Meanwhile, much is going on with the Hickey brothers. After finding a boat after the original tornado and flying away in it during the second one, Randy wants to go on another trip. To keep him safe, Earl finds the same gun Catalina had and tries to shoot Randy in the leg. When it doesn't work, Randy and Earl decide that Randy must be invincible (which is the most gullible I think I've ever seen Earl). A seemingly random and weird flashback scene explains that the gun was filled with blanks for some sort of footrace involving a a father and two sons (minus a mother, who was presumably accidentally killed before they thought to use blanks).
All of the characters end up together while trying to get in a storm door. Randy's oafish plan to break the door open proves that he isn't invincible after all. It is then that Joy gets the chance to finally prove her smarts to the now-awake Crabman. Complete with theme music, she pulls off an ingenious plan to blow the door up using the gun, a garden hose, and a propane tank — a feat the "King of Street Smarts, Mr. MacGyver" would be proud of.
Soon after Darnell compliments her intelligence, she quotes him to explain to everyone that they had been seeing meaning where there was none just because of the intensity of the tornadoes. And by the end, it did seem like the episode was full of random, meaningless events — countless run-ins with the Bible, Randy finding the list but forgetting to tell Earl, the scene with the father and sons. But it was that family who brought everything back to normalcy, at least normal for a show this surreal. As it turns out, they show up at the end and Earl realizes he had stole his blue car door from the father, giving him an opportunity to cross an item off of the list. And so all's well that ends well (I just can't wait to see what Earl does for a door now).
Here are some of my favorite moments of the episode:
- Randy finds harvested human organs after the first tornado, thinks they're steaks, and is grilling them as soon as he gets a chance.
- Joy made "silver dollar pancakes with a lighter and spoon, heroin style!"
- Randy finds half of a cat on the roof and says it's made out of "really gross soup and snakes" before gagging.
- While praying, Catalina explains that she says this a lot at her job, but she's "truly been a bad girl."
- When Joy explains that getting the deed to the trailer while married to Earl was smart, Darnell claims it isn't because Earl was "whacked out on morphine."
- "Operation, a game invented by doctors."
On this week's My Name is Earl
, the Camden County crew gets its fair share of excitement in the form of a few tornadoes. Even though this episode didn't completely blow me away, it was yet another strong showing as the show works its way through season four.