Eastbound & Down, "Chapter 15": a close "Schaeffer" with death

Quick Take: Eastbound & Down, “Chapter 15”
“Now hand me my son, I have a life to ruin.” – Kenny

Kenny Powers has a Baby

Review: Eastbound & Down, “Chapter 15”
(S0302) When audiences look back to their favorite shows, they tend to label seasons to keep track of the timeline. If Eastbound & Down was your typical bottom of the batting order comedy, its run would look something like a series of children’s books: “Meet Kenny Powers,” “Kenny Goes to Mexico,” and now “Kenny Raises a Baby.” But Kenny Powers – despite all of his anti-intellectualism and redneck raunch – is no simple sitcom character.

Kenny’s comeback has always been more of a “come close;” his over-inflated ego keeps springing leaks, and he subconsciously self-sabotages every step forward he occasionally makes. He’d have you believe that he only helps others when it helps himself, but he makes some pretty selfish stretches to involve himself in what otherwise shouldn’t concern him.

Then again, there’s Stevie (Steve Little), who Kenny hasn’t spoken to in the year since he forced him into debt by having him self-publish his book. Stevie is back in the States with Maria and her mom, but not having Kenny in his life has left him more pathetically destitute than ever. After Kenny makes his runs to April’s house, work, and former school in Shane’s (Jason Sudeikis) tricked-out truck, he tracks down Stevie to the nearby Kia dealership, where he finds him working for his fair-haired “frenemy,” Ashley Schaeffer (producer and guest star, Will Ferrell.)

Facing eviction in a week, Stevie needs to make ends meet, which means subjecting himself to Schaeffer’s humiliation at his new dealership. Schaeffer had to give up his job with BMW after facing some criminal allegations; he holds Stevie hostage and Kenny in contempt for his failures, which eventually sends Kenny on a dangerous rescue mission. When Kenny can’t convince his brother Dustin to raise Toby as his own, and can’t bring himself to send the baby down the river like Moses or the baby in Willow, his mind turns again to Stevie.

Kenny finds Stevie entertaining Schaeffer’s dinner party dressed as a geisha, but before he can make an exchange of hostages, Schaeffer’s insidious spawn knocks Kenny over the head with a golf club, disarming him of his katana. Schaeffer takes his guests outside to his plantation, where he makes a sport of firing a Civil War cannon at a fleeing Kenny and Stevie. Maria saves the two of them in Shane’s truck, getting a cannonball lodged in the back in the process.

So Kenny drives off into the night, sharing a cathartic laugh with Stevie after escaping death and sex-trafficking, ready as he’ll ever be to raise a son. He’s certain to encounter the same conflicts that drove his own father away, but that just might make him a better man. Of course, he’s already a better man for not leaving his son on an air mattress in a river, but he still needs to find something better than a lettuce-filled backpack to carry Toby in, and explain to Shane why there’s a cannonball in his “p***y rocket.”

By Mark D Curran

About the author

Mark is a freelance writer, student of English and Philosophy, and still has too much time on his hands. If you have any of your own, check out the blog and follow him on Twitter!

http://twitter.com/#!/MarkDCurran

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