'My Name is Earl': Randy's Ranchero

Ethansuplee_mynameisearl_240 The longer My Name is Earl runs, the more we get to see that when Earl was a bad guy, the people he treated the worst were in his own family. Earl is pretty lucky that Randy isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, because someone moderately smarter than Randy might have dropped his brother a long time ago.

Right off the bat tonight we learned that Randy's birthday was coming up fast. Such information is never bestowed without it being clear that we're dealing with a Randy item from the list. Plus, Randy asked Earl whether or not Earl had gotten him a present yet.

Though Randy didn't know it, Earl in fact had gotten Randy a gift -- a car, a Ranchero, a better car than Earl's (not that either was really great, sorry Camino and Ranchero fans). It was actually because it was better that Earl got it for Randy -- one of the items on the list dealt with the fact that bad Earl always took the better of any two choices away from Randy (like in women, bloody sides of a bed, and coats).

While Earl's heart may have been in the right place with the car, his brain was not as he parked it outside the Crab Shack only to have it promptly stolen from him. Thankfully, Joy was in the Shack and put Earl onto the scent of the thieves, Clyde and Bedbug.

Despite the code of Camden stating that thieves didn't steal from thieves, Clyde and Bedbug refused to return the vehicle upon learning that it was Earl's. Not surprisingly, Clyde and Bedbug figured that since Earl had gone straight he was fair game. And, according to Mr. Wallace, the great Camden arbiter in all matters criminal and part-time crossing guard, Earl was fair game. Earl paid the cash and got the car back only to have it instantly stolen again.

What could he do?

Earl snitched. Joy told him not to, she explained that snitches were the worst kind of people in existence (lower than the stuff you squeeze out from a zit), but Earl figured that if Camden's thieves were going to treat him as though he were a regular guy, he was going to act like one.

Now, I applaud Earl's decision. I wouldn't refer to it as "snitching," merely informing the authorities about a wrong in order for them to put it right. I, however, don't live in Camden. If I lived in Camden I probably wouldn't snitch -- while the criminals aren't terribly bright, the police there seem slightly more dimwitted.

Earl regretted snitching pretty quickly. Returning to the motel, Earl found the place a mess, the word "snitch" spray painted all over the room, and Catalina found a gift left by either "a big dog or a small man" in the sink. Now, you knew and I knew and Earl knew how the bad guys figured it out so quickly -- good old Officer Hoyne, one of Camden's finest had let the cat out of the bag. Hoyne had told another officer about Earl's dropping the dime on Bedbug and Clyde in front of a prisoner, who promptly texted Clyde, who promptly trashed the motel.

After a trip with Hoyne to go see Clyde and Bedbug resulted in Earl getting nowhere fast, Earl decided he was going to have to fight fire with fire -- he was going to steal Clyde and Bedbug's lowrider. The way I see things, Karma wouldn't approve of such actions, Earl stealing never goes quite right and such was the case tonight.

Unable to find someone to hotwire the lowrider for him (everyone knew him to be a snitch), Earl tried to get Randy on board, but Randy ate some peanut butter crackers with sleeping pills meant for Clyde's dog and was thus incapacitated. Forced to go it alone, Earl completely failed to hotwire the lowrider and only managed to steal, in a trash can, Clyde's dog. Even that wasn't a win because Hoyne had been staking out the place and caught Earl red-handed.

As is always the case, Earl managed to salvage victory from the jaws of defeat. In the police station, he realized that he'd seen countless criminals in Camden going around with prizes given to them by Hoyne for snitching. All Earl had to do to get the Ranchero back was snitch on one criminal who snitched on the next who snitched on the next until finally Mr. Wallace snitched on someone. Earl not only made all the criminal-snitches aware that he knew that they'd broken the code, but used his leverage against Mr. Wallace to get him to have Clyde and Bedbug give back the Ranchero.

Sorry, that was kind of a mouthful, but it was a beautiful thing to watch. Earl isn't the smartest or fastest guy on the block, but when he finally gets a good idea he can turn any situation around.

Questions, quotes, and thoughts:

  • Randy on learning his name wasn't Randolph but Randall and noting that he'd never heard the name Randall -- "Randolph is a name I've actually heard before, like 'Randolph Hitler.'"
  • Randy again, when Earl finally showed Randy his birthday gift, with Catalina posing in front of it -- "I already had her... not great."
  • Having watched this episode it seems to me that Earl is walking a very fine line between being with the criminal element that he used to be a part of and travelling the straight and narrow with like-minded individuals. Do you think Karma will ever have him drop the criminals completely?

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