In this week's My Name Is Earl, we once again find Earl (Jason Lee) trying to make amends for harm caused in childhood. But while also trying to show some tough love to Randy (Ethan Suplee), he brings out a side of his sensitive younger brother that no one has ever seen.
Perhaps not unexpectedly, Randy tends to invest a lot of time and money in the Crab Shack's skill crane (or skill claw, claw crane, claw machine, et al.). Joy (Jaime Pressly) tends to bully Randy often, but he begins to get fed up with her demanding his prize whenever he wins. Going to his older brother for help, Randy finds that Earl refuses and instead encourages him to overcome the bullying on his own. The situation, though, causes Earl to remember one of his list items.
In his youth, Earl was once sent to a private school. Fearing he'll be picked on as the new kid, he decides to pick on someone weaker than he as a way to preemptively deflect attention away from himself. A timid, butterfly-loving boy named Wally is the unlucky victim. Earl's labeling of Wally as a "pansy" and his subsequent mean pranks deliver the protection Earl had hoped for, but after taking the bullying too far, Earl is kicked out of the school and never sees Wally again.
When Earl and Randy arrive at adult Wally's (Matthew Willig) door, Earl has no idea what he's getting himself into. The man who answers is no weakling; rather, he's a hulk who looks as if he might go around cracking sternums for the fun of it. When Wally assumes they answered his ad in the paper, Earl quickly abandons any talk of the list and tells Wally his name is Cliff. The Hickey's are at first afraid the ad was for sex, but are thankful to learn that it was for gym partners. Earl's sense of relief doesn't last for long as he soon finds that Wally is the kind of guy who punches people in the face to get them psyched up.
While hanging out at the gym, Earl and Wally end up talking about the local Mr. Camden competition. Even though he's clearly one of the most physically advanced guys around, Wally has never won and refuses to compete again. As we all know, bodybuilding competitions require hair removal and gratuitous oiling, both of which Wally considers emasculating. It becomes clear to Earl that Wally is denying his own ambitions due to Earl's childhood abuse — he doesn't want people to think he's a pansy. Earl, whom Wally views as a man's man, convinces him to compete and vows to do all the prep work right alongside him.
And let's not forget Randy, who's made buddies of his own. He tells two burly gym rats about his problems being bullied. They offer to help him build muscle. But after learning his bully is female, they declare that the solution is more confidence. Their solution? Injections of shark adrenaline. To the scrotum. Randy being Randy, he agrees immediately. Hilariously, after the first injection he screams, "That's my scrotum?!" But soon, the drugs begin taking effect. No longer minding the injections, he takes more and more until he becomes ultra-aggressive and speaks with a deep, intimidating voice when angry (which reminded me a little of Teen Wolf). The next time Joy tries to take one of his stuffed animal prizes, she doesn't know what she's up against. With his new ability to scare the daylights out of people, Randy's now able to keep his winnings.
Earl's plan of crossing Wally off the list without revealing his identity is going well; that is, until Randy the Destroyer gets involved. It seems shark adrenaline does funny things to people. Finding his brother and Wally shaving their legs, Randy lashes out by calling them both pansies and reveals Earl's identity. Wally changes gears from fragile and hurt to enraged and maniacal in about two seconds when he realizes he's face-to-face with his childhood bully and revenge is finally at hand. But as he begins to attack Earl, he doesn't count on Randy being ready to fight anyone for any reason at a moment's notice. Soon, the fight between Randy and Wally spills into the street and then into the Crab Shack. But while in the bar, Randy sees the skill crane emptied of all prizes and a taunting note left for him by Joy. She still has no idea what she's dealing with.
Randy is now on a mission and he angrily trudges his way through the streets of Camden to Joy's trailer like some crazed child born of King Kong and the Ultimate Warrior. Obviously unable to deal with him, Joy hands all of the toys over to him when he arrives. But, as one may have guessed, she's been giving the toys to her children and Randy finds Earl Jr. playing outside with a stuffed animal. He gives the boy the same treatment he doled out to Joy. However, he almost immediately realizes the pain he's causing his innocent victim. That realization is enough to bring the real Randy out of his adrenaline haze. Just as he goes to give the toy back, Earl, who's been in hot pursuit, hits Randy with the car in an effort to save Earl Jr. Earl gets out and begins apologizing for ever encouraging Randy to change from being the sweet and sensitive man he is. Wally, who arrives at the scene just in time, overhears Earl's words and becomes convinced of his true feelings and sincere attempt to make up for his bullying. Soon after, Wally finds the only type of strength that has been eluding him — the strength to be himself. Having become reacquainted with his own sensitive side and now willing to shave and oil up, he goes on to win the Mr. Camden competition.
For my money, this was a solid episode with a decent storyline and plenty of funny moments (which we'll of course get to in a moment). However, I didn't find it quite as impressive as the last few episodes. No worries, though — with only a few episodes left in the season, I'm sure they're saving the best for last. How did this one stack up for the rest of you?
On to the highlights:
- "You guys ready to pump?" "Oh no, he does want sex."
- While describing his bully to his friends with the shark adrenaline, Randy finishes up by describing her cup size. "Wait, your bully's a girl?" "A tough girl. 32C."
- "What does it taste like? The drugs, not the baby seal — I know what they taste like."
- Earl points out that part of the prize for winning Mr. Camden is "a month's worth of something called DVD rentals."
- "Shark adrenaline! That's what's gotten into me, and I love it!" Followed quickly by Earl asking, "Why is your pee blue?"
- Wally throws Earl through a wall in the motel, only to reveal Tim Stack in bed with another man and two sex dolls.
- "Thanks. You just released more shark juice from my scrot."
- "I'm glad my son's flunkin' Spanish. Frankly, I'd be disappointed if he wasn't."
- Darnell (Eddie Steeples) leaving an older patron to watch the bar while he goes into the back and returning post-fight. "Sam, may we have a word?"
- "Who you trying to keep away?" "Joy." "Try hummus."
In this week's My Name Is Earl
, we once again find Earl (Jason Lee
) trying to make amends for harm caused in childhood. But while also trying to show some tough love to Randy (Ethan Suplee
), he brings out a side of his sensitive younger brother that no one has ever seen.