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Eastbound and Down Season 4, Episode 4

by Ellie Wilkin-Smith
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After last week’s bizarre excursion to the water park, I was hoping this week would have a bit more focus and direction. I wasn’t particularly keen on the events that occurred that night, I didn’t like the characters of Jessie and Jason, I didn’t like the back and forth exchanges between Kenny and Jessie and to be honest, it wasn’t very funny, it was kind of boring and I was glad when it was over.

The latest chapter sees Kenny backing away from the self destruct button and revelling in his new found fame and glory as a recurring member of the Sports Sesh team. However, with the events of the waterpark echoing in his mind, he needs to come up with a way to make sure April doesn’t find out. While crashing a social engagement hosted by the horrendously annoy Dixie and her dick-whipped husband Gene, Kenny blurts out a whole pack of lies about Gene receiving blow-jobs in the hotel room at the water park and Tel watching on. Obviously, April laps it up and her accusing eye lands on them both as Tel also mentions that they tried cocaine. Thusly, the evening falls into a horrible mess of lies, Dixie is punching gene, Tel is trying to convince his wife it didn’t happen and Kenny and April leave looking pretty pleased with themselves.

Eastbound4ep4_3-300x269A great subtlety in this episode is the way in which Toby’s story is paralleling Kenny’s. After Kenny buys Toby a wolf and chains him up the garage, Kenny attempts to teach Toby how to feed and care for him – how to overcome his fear and give the wolf a handful of meat. Kenny’s cockiness and obscenities make him appear to be a fearless character. However, beneath the surface, in Kenny’s truest moments since season one, we have seen that he is in fact afraid of losing everything. Now, at this crucial time, he is most afraid of losing April (despite the fact he almost cheated on her) and destroying his final chance at fame. Like Toby, Kenny has to be strong in order to provide for the things he loves, he has to turn down the opportunities to cheat and do drugs and he has to resist going full KP on Sports Sesh, offending everyone to the point of no return, getting booed off stage and retreating to his drug/tool kit. This episode is a perfect example of how great this show can be, how it can plunge into the deepest darkest depths of the KP psyche, whilst still dropping side splitting one liners.

The main point of this episode is largely underplayed. Guy Young has asked Kenny to help him out with some charity work. Guy has his own AID’s charity and Kenny decides to start a foundation for impoverished kids to learn how to play baseball. Kenny and Guy take part in the Dragon Boat Race, the winner of which will win money for their chosen charity. They win by a whisker beating former Sports Sesh host and current nemesis to Kenny, Dontel Benjamin who suggestively mentions that working for Guy Young could potentially destroy Kenny’s blossoming career.

Feed the wolf, Kenny.

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