Last week's episode left us hanging when Darnell's (Eddie Steeples) cover was blown and he, Joy (Jaime Pressly), and the kids had to flee with the help of the government. This week, while Earl (Jason Lee) and Randy (Ethan Suplee) try to find their friends, they find themselves having to keep a careful watch on karma.
After a quick customary rehash of last episode, we find Joy and Darnell in the hands of the Witness Protection Program, apparently in a bunker located beneath the National Mall. The entire family needs to complete a crash course in order to undertake their new identities — a Jewish family from Columbus, Ohio named the Rosensteins. Who would've guessed that Joy had other plans? She immediately begins coming up with her own alternate identity — Goldilocks Cristal (like Diddy drinks). However, they won't let her change a "mouse-fartin' thing." After getting an extreme makeover (or should I say make-under), Joy seems just about ready to call it quits. But after overhearing how Darnell was supposed to leave Camden long ago but stuck around for her, she decides to go for it. She sets to work learning Hebrew, facts about her fake background and Ohio, and her new occupation — dressing dogs.
Meanwhile, Earl and Randy are trying to find a way to locate their friends. Armed with the knowledge that the Turners' mail is being forwarded and with Catalina's (Nadine Velazquez) expertise in "alternative transportation," they load themselves up in a crate and mail themselves to the trailer. While suffering through the long ride, they find themselves doing things like eating crickets to survive — things that are reminiscent of Joy's Fear Factor audition tape. Earl is more-or-less immediately suspicious of karma and knows he has to finish crossing Joy off of the list. His opportunity arrives when they end up in a Dumpster filled with all of the Turners' other mail. One letter is from Estrada Or Nada informing Joy that she is in the running to guest on the show if she wins a viewer vote via text message (and sends a check for $50 made out to Erik Estrada).
Earl frantically buys all the cell phones he can from the pawn shop and distributes them at the Crab Shack. The loyal crowd sets to work and their efforts pay off — Joy has won her spot as a contestant. Earl believes in the power of Joy's ambition, but it's a tad questionable whether she will show up, considering her new Witness Protection status. Little does he know that Darnell and Joy were watching the show and have escaped so that she can attend.
Joy proves to be the toughest contestant the program has ever featured. She starts with her "stretch-singing," performing Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" with her leg behind her head. Estrada answers by playing the kazoo while taking a cannonball to the gut. It's in double-overtime that Joy concocts a talent using her newfound knowledge from the past few days. The challenge: dressing a dog, followed by speaking in Hebrew, and last but not least, answering an extremely difficult trivia question about Ohio. Estrada loses by spelling the answer wrong — that's right, folks, he's not perfect after all.
Joy crosses herself off of the list while being obviously touched that Earl cares for her so much. She apologizes for all the things she's done to him, but adds that "it all came out of love." Darnell tells Randy, "Some of the stuff you've said will stay with me forever." Typically this is where the episode gets wrapped up, but don't go putting a bow on it just yet — Joy and Darnell are saying goodbye and expecting to never see Earl, Randy, or Camden again. And wait, we didn't even get to find out why Darnell is hiding out anyway. Bad memories of last season aside, it will be interesting to see how this episode arc plays out — there are many more secrets to find out and twists and turns to navigate. Earl seems to realize it too, as he vows that he'll say goodbye to his friends "next time."
Now let's get to a few of the one-liners and more humorous moments:
- I got a kick out of the fact that the local news has a regular "Loser of the Week" segment.
- Entering they're temporary underground bunk, Joy and Darnell are told "I know it's small, but it was big enough for Tupac . . . um, you didn't hear that."
- Darnell describes their children as hyperactive and pre-diabetic.
- Randy apparently dreams that he and Earl travel to exotic places every night. Earl ends up making love in all the dreams (last night it was with a hippo on safari).
- When he goes to ship off the crate, Willie the One-Eyed Mailman yells, "Catalina, if that's you in there, have a good vacation!"
- Lamenting her new look, Joy says "I'm a 'Before.'"
- Joy tells Darnell she'll stick by him no matter how much it hurts. He responds, "I hear you — they're gonna snip the tip of my penis tomorrow."
- Randy tries out a pair of hysterical Coke-bottle glasses at the pawn shop, says "I feel smarter already," and then runs into a wall.
- Darnell doesn't want to ruin Joy's shot at being famous and her chance to "possibly be in Parade magazine."
- After the competition Estrada tells Joy she reminds him of his young self with "drive, passion, and a knowledge of Ohio" — all while fixing an apparent toupee.
Last week's episode left us hanging when Darnell's (Eddie Steeples
) cover was blown and he, Joy (Jaime Pressly
), and the kids had to flee with the help of the government. This week, while Earl (Jason Lee
) and Randy (Ethan Suplee
) try to find their friends, they find themselves having to keep a careful watch on karma.