With three episodes left in the fourth and (presumably) final season of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, there are a lot of questions left to be answered. So many, in fact, that I was starting to get pretty irritated by the lack of actual conflict between Kenny Powers and Guy Young, but then this week’s episode, Chapter 27, came along and was by far the best of this season, in this humble blogger and handsome gentleman’s opinion.
Not only did we finally get Marilyn Manson’s long-awaited and very curious cameo, but we also finally witnessed the culmination and conclusion of the showdown between two arrogant and childish pricks, and I have to admit – KP fooled me with his nasty curveball. Let’s recap and ponder, shall we?
Holy Crap, Look At Marilyn Manson, You Guys
We all knew for a while that Marilyn Manson was going to be making an appearance on an episode of Eastbound this season, but we didn’t really know why, other than he’s a huge fan of the show. You know who else is a huge fan of the show? Me. But I’m not on the show. I guess I should have taken my high school goth band a little more seriously.
Anyway, on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being “Worthless” and 10 being “Crucial,” Manson was a whopping 1 as far as his character’s necessity. However, his presence was still great and his personal transformation should win an Emmy for makeup or costume design if those exist. Otherwise, it really makes me wonder what Lindsay Lohan is going to look like. I really hope it’s pre-strung out Mean Girls Lindsay Lohan.
Just kidding, this isn’t Rick Baker makeup work that we’re talking about.
Guy Young Is An Evil, Evil Bastard
Okay, so after last week’s episode, Chapter 26, I didn’t think that we could have a bigger piece of sh*t villain in this season than Kenny himself, as he was sacrificing everything that he had to become famous again, all while throwing money around like that’s what truly matters in personal relationships. But HOLY SH*T Guy Young was an absolute monster in the opening scene of Chapter 27. You kind of knew what was coming with the lowly, old janitor being called in for his honest opinion, but Guy screaming at him and telling him there’d be no Christmas was downright psychotic.
When all is said and done, Ken Marino deserves Emmy consideration for this season. He won’t get it, obviously, because shows like Eastbound & Down aren’t ever taken seriously because of their vulgar nature, but Ken should know he deserves it.
Meanwhile, Stevie’s Back To Screwing Everything Up
There was nothing about this entire Taters N’ Tits scene that wasn’t cringe-inducing. Maria’s new breasts were borderline terrifying, but once Stevie started sucking on her nipple in the middle of the mall, I honestly felt ill. Again, there will never be enough credit given to Steve Little for how warped and depraved of a character he has given us, but what Stevie is pulling off this season is disgustingly magnififcent.
Also, while Stevie probably wants to go with the John Kerry, we’d all be lucky to have a chin like Aaron Eckhart’s. You can set your watch to that incredible butt chin.
At This Point, Kenny Doesn’t Deserve His Marriage
A true sign of remarkable TV writing and storytelling is how well the characters can trick you into emotional investment. I don’t give two shakes of Maria’s giant breasts about Gene and Daisy as characters, because they’re possibly the most boring people on the face of the planet (which, again, is a massive compliment paid to Tim Heidecker and Jillian Bell). But with what Kenny has done to their marriage, not only do I silently cheer for Jillian to tell Kenny to go f*ck himself as he demands that she help him with his problems with April, but I also want him to come clean for once about how Gene didn’t do anything wrong.
As he finally did that in this episode, I realized that I don’t want April to stay with him. Is it because I have a pathetic crush on a TV character? Probably. Am I ashamed to admit that? Strangely not.
Kenny’s Advice For Tobey Is Very Important
This scene killed me. This is so brilliantly written and executed that I can’t even pile on with my gushing appreciation for it.
The Showdown On The Lake Was Perfect
Perhaps I’m being overly positive about Chapter 27 because I haven’t enjoyed this season as much as I’d hoped from a season that should have probably never existed, but if I decided to burden myself with a Top 5 list of the best scenes from the entire series, this would definitely be included. The fact that these two assholes are ultimately fighting over their childish pride and despicable arrogance could not have been displayed better than by Kenny and Guy shouting at each other over the sound of their open water jetpacks that were the original source of dissent between these two “friends.”
By the way, if this season has done anything well, it really is capturing the douchebaggery of these jetpacks. Should I ever find myself in the position where I have the disposable income to afford one of these stupid devices and I’m handing over my debit card to complete the purchase, I pray my pet wolf attacks me.
The Hit Gone Wrong
My only real complaint about this episode was how anticlimactic Guy’s response to the hit gone wrong was. Sure, Kenny had already humiliated himself in front of the Sports Sesh audience by complaining about the new female “wild card” while he was peeing, in a scene right out of 30 Rock, but when Stevie picks the wrong Baby Huey to mess with Guy, there should have been a more serious blowback than what actually happened. It felt like a big step was missed, and it would have made Kenny’s burden so much greater with April finally deciding to leave him after his horrible meltdown at the party that he threw for her.
Instead, Kenny Actually Comes Out On Top
It’s pretty obvious from the preview for Chapter 28, which is the second to last episode of the fourth season, that when Kenny takes over Sports Sesh for the now humiliated and outcast Guy Young, things aren’t going to work. But the switcheroo that Kenny pulled on Guy had me momentarily cheering for the antihero again, before I had to remind myself one more time of my mantra for this season: “Kenny Powers is a horrible man. He is not the character that we want to succeed. He must pay for his terrible behavior.”
I predict that we get a very warped Christmas realization out of Kenny by the end of Chapter 29, but only after we see him at his absolute worst in Chapter 28. And yet I’m sure that I’m wrong.