This week's episode ended the season with a bang. With a few great cameos and some revealing information, we certainly had enough to keep us wanting more the next time around — and with a teasing "to be continued," I'm sure we'll have Earl in the back of our minds while we enjoy the summer.
With Dodge's career day at school looming, Darnell (Eddie Steeples) decided to rehearse his presentation in front of Earl (Jason Lee) and Randy (Ethan Suplee). Now, if my dad were dangling seafood around (with some of the Crab Shack's crustaceans falling off of their own limbs), I'm sure I'd have no problem, but Dodge decides he wants his real dad to give the career day presentation. As far as he knows, Earl is his real dad, but Earl and Joy (Jaime Pressly) know better. Out of a sense of honesty, Earl insists that Joy tell Dodge who his real dad is and convince him to give the career day spiel. However, Earl remembers that he once ruined Dodge's career day by posing as a doctor and stealing an x-ray machine with which to analyze his "patient" (Randy). Another student's dad, a cop, put a stop to that. Acting out of love for his list, Earl decides to fill in at this new career day so as to cross Dodge off his list.
It doesn't go well. First off, a list isn't really a career. But that's not even really an issue. During the presentation, a girl in class calls out Earl regarding Dodge's slightly dodgy (sorry, I had to do it) family life. Why is Earl giving the talk when Dodge lives with Darnell? Earl craftily tries to explain that even though he's Dodge's real dad, that Darnell likes him a lot too and that Dodge should try shifting his love more in that direction. "Ooh, burn," is the input Randy gives. After this incident, Earl really pushes for Joy to reveal Dodge's real dad. She finally reveals that Dodge is the prodigy of Little Chubby.
Big Chubby (Burt Reynolds) is a Camden bigwig. Having since died, Little Chubby (Norm MacDonald) has inherited everything. Before we go any further, let me just say that, in my opinion, Norm MacDonald is one of the truly great comedic geniuses still living. If you don't believe me, go rent anything he's ever done. Currently, Little Chubby spends his time at the strip club Catalina (Nadine Velazquez) works at, since he owns it. When Earl and Randy go down to inform Little Chubby that he's Dodge's father, he promptly denies it. "Prove it," is his general attitude. Earl more or less immediately begins trying to devise ways to perform a DNA test. However, through Catalina's attempts to help, we learn that Little Chubby, as Camden's big cheese, has cameras all over the club and all over town for that matter. As Joy's insistent that he's the father, this is going to take some cunning.
The scene where they finally obtain the DNA evidence was probably my favorite of the episode. A hand clandestinely emerges from the toilet bowl as Little Chubby is, shall we say, indisposed. As the hand plucks a hair from Chubby's nether regions, he is understandably surprised, but eventually brushes it off by calmly saying, "Ah, that was probably nothing." Um, sure, that's how we'd all react. The brothers Hickey hastily obtain DNA evidence from Joy's trailer — they take all the toothbrushes since they all look the same. When the results finally come in, it's not what anyone expects. Dodge doesn't match Little Chubby at all.
It's time for Joy to do a little explaining. She recounts the Halloween party after which the apparent deed took place. With Little Chubby in a skeleton outfit (who else thought of John Entwistle?) and her in her Monica Lewinsky outfit, it of course looks like a perfect match. But Chubby first gets shot down, and we watch as a few more gentleman suitors make passes at Joy. I was certain Dodge's father would've been Tim Stack. After all, the man's a celebrity. But even after his great pickup line ("Hey baby, let me ask you, is it Halloween?") he gets shot down. Finally, after more drinks, Joy leaves with a man wearing a skeleton costume. Of course, this is why she always thought Little Chubby was the father. However, after some quick consulting about which Halloween this was, it's revealed that Earl wore a skeleton costume that night as well. So after all these years of us thinking Earl isn't Dodge's father, the big twist comes out that he indeed is.
But is that the big twist? C'mon, we know better since this is an Earl season finale. As they marvel at the DNA tests, one thing becomes clear to Darnell — he doesn't match anyone. So he's not Earl Jr.'s father, as we've been led to believe pretty much since this series began. And that's where we're left off, left to ponder Joy's varied and mysterious infidelities for an entire summer. This was a great episode full of clever twists that were well planned out (the episode's called "Dodge's Dad" — how were we to know that the real storyline is the mystery surrounding Earl Jr.'s dad?) I know I'll have a front seat (on my couch) for episode 1 of next season when this gets solved. How about you?
It was a great season everyone. Let's take a closer look at some of the funnier moments one last time. As always, let me know what yours are:
- Joy to Darnell: "Honesty's the reason your sister Pam's dead."
- Little Chubby's SAT Prep commercial = gold.
- "I saw things in there that scared me so much I did the sign of the cross and I'm not even Catholic (does sign of the cross, complete with moves from the Macarena)."
- Little Chubby offers another woman having his baby the option of a one-way bus ticket of a pistol: "Choose fast because you might be missing a bus."
- "No two people's boogers are the same — they're like snowflakes."
- Glow-in-the-dark shrimp from Camden Lake.
This week's episode ended the season with a bang. With a few great cameos and some revealing information, we certainly had enough to keep us wanting more the next time around — and with a teasing "to be continued," I'm sure we'll have Earl
in the back of our minds while we enjoy the summer.