'My Name is Earl' remembers Sammy Jankis

Jaimepressly_mynameisearl_240 After watching tonight's episode, I'm officially convinced - My Name is Earl is having a good season. I know that it's still early to say that, but I've been pretty happy thus far and tonight's episode in particular was funny. From playing on the themes of some good movies to Joy being Joy, it was an episode that had a little bit of everything (except Catalina, which it only had a tiny bit of).

I don't know why, but Joy always seems to have the worst things happens to her. Who knows, maybe it's karma getting back at her, but whatever it is that causes her bad luck, it was in full effect tonight. Joy found herself carjacked at the beginning of the episode and rather than the carjacker making a clean getaway, he found himself driving down the street with Joy's hand stuck in the door.

I imagine it hurt Joy quite a bit, I'm not sure though if it was more painful than the big spill she took when she finally got her hand freed. It definitely left her quite angry, angry enough to buy a gun and exercise her First Amendment rights (yes, Darnell tried to point out the mistake in that logic).

For Earl's part, he and Randy witnessed Joy getting free from the car, which started the night's main plot. It led Earl to remember good old Sweet Johnny, a local stuntman whose girlfriend, Sheila, Earl had "borrowed" on more than one occasion. I know that it's wrong to cheat, but if I was Earl and a girl that attractive was willing to be with me, I would have done the wrong thing too. While Earl regretted his dalliance with Sheila, he really felt guilty about having Sweet Johnny perform stunts guaranteed to cause injury in order to have more time with her.

Earl's confessed to Sweet Johnny about his mistakes and it went slightly worse than usual, with Johnny pulling a staple gun on Earl. Earl turned tail and ran, figuring it was better to let Johnny cool off before discussing the list with him. Unfortunately for Earl, Johnny seemed to have no short term memory, as when Earl returned the next day, Johnny didn't remember the first conversation and ended up pulling the staple gun on him again.

One visit to a much larger bottomed and less attractive Sheila later, Earl learned that Johnny's memory problems weren't caused by Earl's actions. Johnny had caused his own issues by falling when he was trying to put on a pair of pants. And, despite learning of Johnny's condition and apparently never having seen Memento, Earl was still completely determined to cross Johnny off his list.

A trip back to Johnny's the next day didn't go quite as planned. Earl waited out Johnny's beating him and then explained to Johnny all about Sammy Jankis or, perhaps not Sammy's but Johnny's own problem. Johnny didn't buy the story -- he didn't have tattoos all over his body to help him out -- but after Sheila's ten years of butt growth confirmed everything Earl had said, Johnny was off to drink some generic Nyquil and forget that the day ever happened.

Earl went back to do the whole thing again the next day, and Groundhog Day-style, grabbed the generic Nyquil just in time. Earl was able to calm Johnny down by singing "La Vida Loca" to him and realized that Johnny really wanted to do a big stunt he was planning. This exploit involved Johnny attaching some weather balloons to a chair and after reaching an appropriate height -- he said something about giving God a high-five -- parachuting back down to Earth. Johnny fell asleep just before Earl could get the whole thing organized. It was a mistake Earl corrected the next day, and the jump was on.

Of course, Johnny's emotional wounds were once-again fresh and he opted not to wear the parachute, thereby ensuring his demise. Our astute Earl realized this just in time, and jumped onto the chair to try and keep the stunt from taking place.

He failed, Earl and Johnny were both lifted into the air. Joy tried to point out to Darnell that if he hadn't traded in her gun for a ham in Camden's Guns for Hams program, she could have shot Johnny and Earl down while they were still low enough to live. For the first time in the episode, Darnell accepted that guns weren't all bad and that in this one specific instance they might have helped, so Joy whipped a newly purchased handgun out of her pants and shot the guys back down to Earth.

,p> Contrary to what I expected, the crash landing didn't eliminate Johnny's Memento problem and Earl realized he was just being selfish by trying to cross Johnny off the list. Thus, Earl broke out the list, circled Johnny, and accepted defeat. I wonder what karma will think of them apples. Maybe Earl will get carjacked next week.

Thoughts and a question or two:

  • I'm not giving a quote tonight, there were a bunch of possible choices, but I was so happy with the funny-level of the episode that I'm not sure I could pick just one if I started picking. So, go on, throw down your choices below.
  • Randy. I like Randy, but I'm not sure about him spending the whole episode trying to pull a label off a bottle of beer in one piece. What do you think -- was that excessive for Randy, or just about right?

The TV and Film Guy's Reviews -- where we snap many a Polaroid.

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