This week's episode pitted Earl's (Jason Lee) faith in karma against another man's faith in Christianity. But as we've learned many times from watching My Name Is Earl, having faith in anything is what really counts. Let's review how this one played out.
The gang starts out at a church picnic (or bazaar, as we call them where I come from), which Earl points out is usually the only time of the year they're anywhere near a church. When Reverend Greene (Faison Love) calls Earl and Randy (Ethan Suplee) over to one of the game stands, Earl recognizes him as someone he's wronged in the past. Confident that this man of the cloth will probably not explode with anger, he comes right out with the fact that he and Randy once stole the organ from the church (after hearing they could make money selling organs on the black market). Sure enough, Reverend Greene prays to God to thank him for this test and promptly forgives Earl but not before explaining that he can relate to Earl since he used to be a vicious thug by the name of Hash Brown, for the way he used to treat his victims. Of course, this makes Earl's ears perk up, but he doesn't worry as he's already been forgiven. He and Randy promise to return the organ.
At about the same time, things aren't looking as rosy for Joy (Jaime Pressly) and Catalina (Nadine Velazquez). After getting fall-down drunk at the picnic, Joy becomes jealous of Catalina for winning so many prizes, including a radio headset. Also annoyed with Darnell (Eddie Steeples), she storms off. In a drunken haze, she steals a riding mower and drives it down the sidewalk. Seeing an unsuspecting Catalina walking while listening to her headset, Joy sees her chance for revenge and, obviously not in her right mind, runs Catalina down with the mower. Thinking she's murdered her, Joy takes Catalina to the shed. When she awakens, Joy realizes she can't let her go because she'll run to the cops. I have two kids and two strikes, she says. So she holds Catalina hostage, pinned down by the mower, until she can think of what to do.
Thinking all's well and good, Earl and Randy deliver the organ to the church and Reverend Greene. Of course, there's a catch. Greene notices Earl's tools and realizes they're his. Earl hadn't remembered and apologizes. The reverend, looking a little more like Hash Brown, accepts the apology and prays to God yet again for another test of forgiveness. You're bringing it. This is some good stuff. To make up for stealing, he asks the brothers to volunteer at the church. When they arrive on Sunday, Reverend Greene calls up Earl so he can be an example during a sermon on forgiveness. As everyone becomes inspired, they begin yelling out their sins so that they can be forgiven. Caught up in the moment, the reverend's wife calls out that she slept with Earl. Whoops. That's another thing Earl forgot about. This is too much for Greene, though. Forsaking his faith in God, he hilariously ransacks the altar and claims that since he used to sell crack, God owes him 10 years of lost income. Having fully turned back into Hash Brown, he heads for the door.
Joy has her hands full meanwhile with the Catalina situation. She spends a few days trying to convince her not to go to the cops, but Catalina won't budge on the issue. Finally, she let's Darnell, the voice of reason, in on what's going on. In his classic, logical, man-of-action fashion, he considers the situation and concludes that the only option is to kill Catalina. Catalina protests. We've been friends for 10 years. But he claims he's killed people closer to him than her. Joy disagrees as well, but all she gets in reply is Shut your hole and start diggin' one! When the time arrives for Darnell to kill Catalina with a knife, I was sure it would be revealed that he and Joy planned the whole thing to get Catalina to not rat Joy out. But no, he was really going to do it (is it weird that a part of me admires his courage and decisiveness on this? I guess not, it's only a television comedy). However, Joy bashes him over the head with a shovel at the last moment. In one of the few touching Joy/Catalina moments, Catalina forgives Joy and decides to not tell the cops anything. When they hug, Joy says she knew Catalina would smell like burritos and stripper pole. Tease me all you want; now I know you love me, Catalina responds.
Outside the church, Earl tries in vain to quell Hash Brown's anger. After warning him not to say another word, Earl speaks and it looks like he's about to receive the business end of a hammer to the face. But after he had realized that he also once busted a taillight on Hash Brown's truck, he puts his faith in karma and admits he wronged him one last time. Surprisingly Hash Brown's anger recedes. It turns out that he was pulled over because of the taillight and found with all sorts of contraband, the only illegal thing being black market flu shots. His gang was supposed to deliver them and dynamite for a Dominican gang with the sniffles. But after a scuffle, they had all been killed. In a roundabout way, Earl had saved his life. The realization restores Hash Brown's faith in God he returns as Reverend Greene to his congregation, who forgive him.
This was a fairly decent story, but the big shock for me was just seeing Catalina have a substantial share of the plot. Not that it's a huge problem personally, but the character is notoriously overused to the point that I often forget about her altogether. Some solid lines too, which we'll get to . . . right now:
- Well congratulations, Slutty Gonzalez.
- That psychic was right. I am gonna die in a shack pinned to a wall with a lawnmower.
- Catalina says that they're going to end up making a movie about this with J. Lo as me and Sally Struthers as you.
- Earl at the front of the church, which is an all-black crowd except for Randy: My name's White . . . I mean Earl.
- The various sins of the parishioners, including a man surrounded by about a dozen children who says, I hate kids. I just love sex. Randy's is I touched a boob on a statue outside.
- Earl and Randy's poorly-acted prison advocate scam, which is how Earl managed to seduce Hash Brown's wife.
- First of all, thank you about Jeff Foxworthy.
What were your favorite moments?
This week's episode pitted Earl's (Jason Lee) faith in karma against another man's faith in Christianity. But as we've learned many times from watching My Name Is Earl, having faith in anything is what really counts.