Turn off the Lights

Eastbound & Down – Chapter 10

Fans of the show by now should know if an episode starts off bright and happy, then there’s about to be a very dark turn. America’s favorite racist drug addict is experiencing happiness with Vida and finally has a fan base in Mexico… other than Stevie. It seems as if some time has passed between the last episode and this one, since it begins with a montage of Kenny striking people out, enjoying the high-life, and of course making inappropriate jokes. The team’s coach, Roger, who has had a very nurturing and father-figure vibe to him all season, starts the episode by telling Kenny the story of a young player that was very talented from Mexico and eventually got drafted to the majors, but squandered the opportunity. It’s never said, but it’s probably safe to assume he’s talking about himself and doesn’t want Kenny wasting his gift and wondering “what if” later in his life. Of course, Kenny doesn’t listen to him at all.

Seeing the caring side of Kenny is a bit strange, he arranges for Vida to have some recording time in the team’s owner, Cisneros' recording studio. Right off the bat, there seems to be a vibe between them and Vida’s song about wanting to be alone, which doesn’t bode well for Kenny. As things are looking rocky for Kenny/Vida, a new romance has just formed. In one of the funniest make-out scenes I’ve seen in awhile, Stevie and Maria, a man with no chin and a woman with too many, get naked and go at it. The jokes about Kenny trying to change Vida’s song to be about a happy relationship rather than a breakup song, fell somewhat flat, which is unusual for this show and especially this season. Things picked back up rather quickly as Kenny rides a donkey powered mini-stagecoach to the baseball field. Kenny is thrown out of the game before he can even get off of it. However, he doesn’t care since the crowd is going wild.

After looking at the schedule for the next game, Kenny finds out that he isn’t playing. Roger is trying to teach him a lesson and wants him to care about the game instead of the crowd. Of course, Kenny is Kenny, so he takes it like a mom taking candy away from their 8-year-old kid. With no baseball in his life Kenny retreats to Vida’s house and finds out that she’s been staying late at the recording studio when he’s not there. So, Kenny along with Vida’s child goes to investigate… surprise surprise, Vida and Cisneros are getting busy. Kenny then proceeds to lock them in the recording studio and destroy all of its equipment, somewhat shockingly considering its Kenny; he doesn’t burn down the house with them in it. On paper, Kenny is completely unlikable, but due to the superb acting and writing, it is sad to see his heartbroken, even though one of the main reasons he liked Vida was for her perfect butt.

As the downward spiral continues, another “WTF moment” happens as Kenny walks in on Stevie and Maria in all of their glory humping like a giraffe with a hippo. Kenny demands that Stevie ends the relationship because they’re “black-ops” right now. Of course, the real explanation is that Kenny doesn’t want Stevie happy when he’s sad. Even if Kenny was still happy, he might not want Stevie to be happy too. Kenny can’t afford to lose his number one fan during this low point and the term “misery loves company” rings especially true when you’re dealing with an egomanic. Kenny deals with his sadness the best way possible… getting drunk. While wasted he interrupts the ongoing baseball game and assassinates one of his biggest enemies, a soccer ball. While this is a hilarious scene, seeing our protagonist interrupt a crowded event to shoot a soccer ball definitely puts the “dark” in dark humor.

One of the best things about the show is that it apparently has no limits. At certain times, it almost feels like it could be a cartoon in the vein of South Park or Venture Brothers. All three shows expertly mix dark humor, slapstick comedy, sarcasm, and Eastbound can sometimes have an art house element thrown in too. The episode ends with Stevie finding Eduardo Sanchez, then he and Kenny steal Cisneros’ Lamborghini to go after him. Once there, it’s revealed that Eduardo is Kenny’s father and he’s played by Don Johnson. Don Johnson can probably pull off a character with enough swagger to be Kenny’s father, but the man he was searching for turning out being his dad seems a bit too typical for this show. We will have to wait next week to see Kenny’s intentions about wanting to meet him; perhaps it is something unique like wanting to kill him. 



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