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Chapter 10 marks a rebound for Kenny Powers. After losing everything that he gained in Mexico, Kenny ran away… again, this time into the not so loving arms of his father. Right off the bat you can tell where Kenny gets a lot of his ways, only someone from his bloodline would claim to have a private plane, boat, and own a successful business while they are digging a hole in a poor Mexican village. This season continues the trend of seeing multiple sides of Kenny, last week he was loving before his heartbreak and this week he’s like a 10 year old boy that wants his father’s approval. Of course, Kenny has to start drama; he instantly ignites a rivalry with his half-brother. It’s amazing how this show can have hilarious moments without a word being said. Kenny simply looking at his brother (who’s supposed to be 14 years old but looks closer to 44) with such disgust was one of the better moments of the episode. Kenny boldly tells him that he’s going to beat him in the battle for their father’s love.
How Kenny behaves toward his father is a bit surprising. It’s very similar to the relationship between Kenny and Stevie. Kenny is overly agreeing and trying to impress his dad, while he apparently ignores it, even when the conversation is as interesting as talking about multiple orgasms on off-road vehicles. Their similarities don’t end there, they’re actually almost the same person. The biggest difference between them is that Kenny lacks self-awareness while his father seems to be missing a conscience.
Kenny is racist, has a huge ego, a bully, and has a ton of other personality problems but he’s still likable. That’s mainly due to the fact that he’s really just a big kid. Getting mad at him would be like holding a grudge against a 7 year old that blows up an anthill. Kenny may have been looking for his father to find guidance like he said, but he’s also trying to fill in the hole from when he left. An abandoned child looking for their parent as an adult isn’t the most original storyline ever, but it’s somewhat handled in a unique way here. Much like gravity, when things go up on this show they have to come down. With Kenny finding a nice father and Stevie revealing that he was lying about April getting married to Cutler; an obvious decision on whether to leave or stay had to be made.
Apparently, Kenny’s father made the choice for him, since he ratted out Kenny and Stevie to the police to get a reward. It’s nice to see Kenny mad rather than sad or depressed, his character needs emotional variety, so going back to sadness so quickly would feel too soon. After Kenny’s step-mom reveals that she’s really the successful one the similarities between father and son become even more clear. If Kenny doesn’t change his ways then he’s going to be exactly like his father when he’s that age. Luckily, Kenny realizes this and decides to stop running. The episode ends with Kenny making a threat like promise to April that he’s coming to get her, which sounds a bit murderous, but he most likely means it in a good way.
It will be interesting to see how the show translates back to America and if Kenny can believably get back April. Much like Dexter and Breaking Bad have the continuous tension and story of “Will the main character get caught? “, Eastbound and Down is the journey of “Will Kenny Powers reach happiness?” and due to self-realizations made in this episode, he’s finally maturing and becoming closer to that goal… assuming he doesn’t get so high he forgets everything he learned.