One down and one to go. Well, one main character down and one episode to go, that is, as Chapter 28 of Eastbound & Down marked the beginning of the (presumably) very end for Kenny Powers, and our loved and hated antihero went down in a bright, fiery ball of Christmas flames this week. I had this concern that Eastbound & Down might invoke the tired, old TV trope of A Christmas Story, and we’d see KP visited by three “ghosts” that would help him realize that fame and wealth weren’t the things that mattered most in life. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but I almost tried to get all metaphorical on your asses and explain how it actually did happen, and fortunately I realized that would take way too long.
In the meantime, Kenny and Stevie busted their asses to get back to the top in this fourth and final season of Eastbound & Down, and last night in Chapter 28, they took the service elevator straight to rock bottom once more. And every second of it was glorious.
Good Lord, Stevie Is A Ghoulish Man
We can’t really step too far into this pool of despair without first mentioning the butt chin in the room. All season long, I didn’t think Stevie Janowski could get any worse as a character, between his puny, broken dick and his horrible fashion renaissance, but all it took was one $50,000 chin to prove that theory wrong. What I found funniest about Stevie’s role in Chapter 28 wasn’t that he blew all of his money on a new chin or Maria’s cartoonishly large fake breasts, but how it affected his kids.
In a show that is just constantly overflowing with characters that we hope are swallowed into the lowest, darkest, hottest depths of Hades, I’ve always loved that they’ve managed to stick Stevie with the worst kids imaginable. At least, in this episode, when Stevie weeps that he can’t afford presents for his kids, my only thought was, “Good, f*ck those kids.”
Kenny Didn’t Even Get A Sports Sesh Honeymoon
While I had hoped after the first episode of the season that we would have had a season that dealt with Kenny making a movie about his life, the Sports Sesh plot turned out to be pretty great, thanks mostly to the wonderful performance of Ken Marino as Guy Young. He truly played one of the finer spoiled assholes in this series’ great history of characters we loathe. Additionally, Sports Sesh allowed us to watch Kenny parody the asinine industry of sports debate shows, and E&D did a great job telling what we already know – that those shows suck.
Unfortunately, with Kenny pulling off the stunning coup d’état on last week’s episode, we didn’t really get to see a transition or figurative changing of the guard. Instead, we just jumped head first into the cess pool that is Kenny’s insane arrogance and lack of leadership, and clearly that just made the most sense. In fact, just writing that, I completely understand that there was no way they could have done it any differently. As always, the writing on this show manages to not only capture the ultimate essence of the lowest human beings ever created, but also while making perfect sense.
RIP Taters N Tits
We hardly knew ye and your horrible food idea combined with awkwardly large breasts. If ever a restaurant chain should rise from the ashes of a TV show… it should not be this. Seriously, Darden and all you other chain restaurant parent companies out there, don’t even think about it.
April Is A Saint
I don’t think we can ever truly celebrate how well Katie Mixon has played April in this final season, because she’s been surrounded by horrifying lunacy. But April has been the weak, evaporating glue of normalcy that is the only thing that keeps Kenny from falling into the abyss. Granted, Kenny opens Chapter 28 doing blow in front of everyone, nailing a hooker up against the window in his presidential hotel suite (the subtle line about downtown Charlotte was fantastic) and being wheeled into his divorce hearing dressed like Michael Jackson if he’d been raised in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, so normalcy shmormalcy.
And throughout this entire episode, both April and Kenny’s brother manage to keep their cool and wait for him to come back to them in a sort of disturbingly and hauntingly sweet Christmas story. How do you go from Kenny Powers hanging from a wire in his studio, screaming about being a god and eventually almost killing people with an epic anti-Christmas hissy fit to the sweetest possible heart-to-heart between Kenny and his brother that none of us ever expected would happen?
That’s the kind of magic you only get from Eastbound & Down.
All Of The Emmys For Steve Little
I have said it after pretty much every episode this season, but Steve Little’s performance as Stevie hit an incredible new high (or low, technically) with him being holed up in a hotel room with a gun to his freakish cosmetic chin. That scene should have been awkward and hard to watch, but between Kenny peeking through his fingers as Stevie threatens to blow his head off and Maria’s hilariously GIANT breasts, it somehow became the best scene of the season.
Stevie laying on the floor, crying and screaming as his wife and her absurdly, insanely large breasts try to reapply his fake chin is somehow an almost perfect scene to close out this series. But we’ve still got one more to go.
On Next Week’s Final Episode: Lindsay Lohan shows up as Kenny’s long lost daughter and we say goodbye to HBO’s mulleted antihero. At least I think we do.