I was trying to figure out how My Name is Earl would work in the whole Green message NBC has been incorporating in almost all of its shows. I mean, it completely doesn’t fit with the rest of the story yet, strangely enough, I think the writers did one of the best jobs of all the shows at addressing it, the clever duckies (just give them their 8 cents already!).
After the Warden puts Earl in charge of his resurrected Scared Straight Program, Earl auditions some prisoners to fill out the four-person scare squad (including Michael Rapaport as Frank). Once assembled and after they start rehearsing, the Warden meets with them and says he wants to include a Green message in the presentation. When Earl protests, stating that "it wouldn’t really work with the rest of the show" and would seem like it was forced in there (sound familiar?), the warden says, "What if I told you you had to do it because I’m your boss?" I felt like I was in a meeting with the Peacock Network brass right then.
The big storyline tonight involved Earl and Randy getting into a fight over who was really in charge and who really needed whom. Because of the tiff they get in, Randy leaves Earl at the prison instead of bringing him to the Scared Straight presentation. Because everyone did so well, Randy wanted to treat them to ice cream. Unfortunately, this little detour lead to Frank’s escape and Randy and Earl being in deep trouble with the Warden (by the way, Craig T. Nelson is genius in this role). The Warden didn’t designate who was in charge and tells them to figure it out right before they look at each other with a smidge of hostility and the "To be continued" freeze frame (accompanied by the song "Freeze Frame") pops up. I’ve been trying to figure out the greater purpose of this little plot line but I’m not sure what it is. Oh well. Since it’s a two-parter, there’s still time to figure that out. I will say, though, that Randy is a terrible guard and he’d be better served working in the cafeteria…unless the whole point of this plot-line is to get him to be a better guard (which it mostly likely is)
Besides Craig T. Nelson as the Warden (every time I see him, I can’t help but think, "You were in Action Jackson as the bad guy."), the other big highlight in the episode for me was Joy. When we first see her, she’s stuck in the waterbed’s mattress frame. The whole rest of Joy’s portions of the episode involved her trying to induce labor as she’s over 9 months pregnant. Besides her glorious assortment of quotes, some of which I’ll get to in a moment, Joy also provided some fantastical odd visuals – eating jalapenos by the handful, jumping on a mini-trampoline, almost using a plunger before Crabman takes it out of her hands, and squatting for several hours and getting stuck. It was good times. Jamie Pressly totally deserved that Emmy. Anyway, next week we get to see if Joy finally gives birth.
- "This mattress is pressing up against me like a creepy uncle." Super-pregnant Joy while stuck in the waterbed’s frame
- "I feel like BJ and the Bear." Joy to Crabman while trying to waddle out of the house in a squatting position