The Husband:

My Name Is Earl 4.18 “My Name Is Alias”

Ah, so on this week’s My Name Is Earl, we finally learn why Darnell was in the Witness Protection Program in the first place, pre-Camden, and it’s not exactly what I expected. Is that good or bad? Well, the answer itself is a little lighter than I originally anticipated, but I’m happy that it gave us a bigger insight into Darnell’s private life, and not simply that he did some really big action-movie things.

Danny Glover, looking and sounding as scary as he has over the last 15 years – man, that guy turned into an intimidating force of nature (that voice) – a mysterious man in a dark suit, comes into town looking for Darnell, and knows to go visit Earl and Randy at the trailer park, but they feign ignorance and have no idea what he’s talking about. Why Earl didn’t just say that Darnell was in the Witness Protection Program and that’s all he knows – even though he technically knows exactly where Darnell and Joy are – is beyond me, but I guess Earl is trying not to be such a liar anymore. So Danny Glover handcuffs them to each other, as well as to a bomb slowly ticking down to explosion. Earl and Randy, after some sibling fighting, decide at the last second to go down with the bomb, but when it hits zero, they learn that it was a fake.

So Danny Glover isn’t a bad man. Just a scary one. And, lo and behold, Darnell’s father. This is, of course, a surprise to Earl.

“Darnell always tells us that his dad died in the American-Canadian War.” – Earl

But Danny Glover has loose ends to tie up, and while he leaves Earl and goes on his merry way, he plants a tracking device on a note that Earl is to give Darnell. So when Earl goes to the newly christened Cristals, Danny Glover is not far behind.

“You told me your dad died in a ferris wheel accident.” – Joy

So here’s the story. Danny Glover is in Secret Ops, and noticed that his son, at an early age, showed signs of great intelligence, so he trained him to become just like his old man. Rising quickly in the “company,” Darnell become one of their best agents, until he balks on a mission, given to him by his increasingly distant father, during which he was to assassinate a young, nine-year-old tribal boy king. Infuriated that his father would ask him to do something so horrible to somebody so innocent, Darnell testified before a subcommittee, ratting out his father and nearly destroying the company in the process. His only safe way out? Get a new name and move to a new place – Camden.

He strikes with the grace of the flying squirrel.

He strikes with the grace of the flying squirrel.

After some sweetles hand-to-hand combat with Danny Glover…

“Stop blocking! I’m your father!” – Danny Glover

…Darnell learns that it is possible for him to do one last mission, and his entire slate would be wiped clean. It’s a big, international mission to be sure, and Danny Glover isn’t going to take any chances, so in order to ensure that Darnell goes through with the mission, they bring along an unconscious Earl as collateral. We get glimpses of the mission in bits and pieces, as Earl groggily wakes up and sees them questioning suspects, being buried alive, in a gunfight, etc., each time ending with Darnell putting Earl out once again via a hypodermic needle.

The mission isn’t important – obviously – but the end is, as their helicopter is going down, and Darnell decides to give one of the two parachutes to Earl so he can safely arrive back at home. One parachute left, Danny Glover intends to go down with the copter and save his son, but Darnell takes the one chute left and ties it to his father, jumping out of the helicopter and thus saving the both of them.

Darnell, now forgiven for his testimony, is now free to live a life without having to look over his shoulder, and he, Joy and the kids can come back to Camden and be the happy family they always wanted to be.

I’m glad this story is done, and while I’m always appreciative when Earl steps out of its comfort zone every once in a while, Darnell is best when he is just the goofy Crabman, putting his hyper-intelligent perspective on less-than-smart people in a less-than-smart town, and saying by far the show’s best one-liners. A good extended story is done, and we can return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Other fun bits:

  • Randy makes a “scarecrow Crabman” in a failed effort to replace Darnell, and later makes one for Earl. Both are great designs of stupid genius.
  • “While I was imagining myself as azalea fertilizer…” – Earl
  • The fact that the show used an Isaac Hayes score to show how awesome and bad-ass Darnell was, and yet the music was not Shaft. It fact, it was the title theme for Beavis & Butthead Do America. I’m not sure how many people caught that.

The Wife:

Kath & Kim 1.15 “Competition”

There was nothing funny about this episode at all, and I think it stands as the only thing in the world to ever make something so kick-ass as women’s roller derby – where, let’s be honest, ladies tear that shit up and beat the crap out of each other – look so fucking lame.

When they apply for their marriage license, Kath finds out that she’s technically still married to Kim’s dad, William Gerard Rusty Day (Husband Note: Played by the incredibly unfunny Ron White), who used to be Kath’s coach back in her roller derby days as the best jammer in the state of Florida, Kath “Destruction” Day. The only way Rusty will sign new divorce papers is if Kim joins his roller derby team to fill in for his current jammer, who quits because he won’t let her show up late to practice. Kim decides to do it, and Phil goes to wait in an infinite number of lines at the courthouse to try and find the original document that Rusty signed years ago but never properly filed. Craig becomes the derby team’s bitch because he’s lulled into submission by the hotness that is his wife in uniform. Phil eventually gets a copy of the original paper, Kim gets hurt on the derby track and Kath fills in for her. Randy signs the papers and Craig quits being the team’s bitch.

Worst. Derby Girl. Ever.

Worst. Derby Girl. Ever.

That’s it. That’s the whole episode. The only marginally funny moment for me was watching Phil respond so casually to being mugged as he sleeps in his Smart Car outside the courthouse. The rest of his plot, in which waiting in line makes him so physically disheveled that people think he is homeless, was not even remotely funny.

I can’t wait until this show is off the air, even if it did appease me last week with cat costumes.