"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Name Is Earl: Little Bad Voodoo Brother

Halloween is here in Camden County at last. While Randy and Earl argue over who gets to be a sunburned guy this year, they run into Joy, who uses a surprisingly brilliant scheme to scare them. Well, brilliant for Joy, at least. Joy reminds Earl that he has to make up for number 94 on the list, “ruined Dodge and Earl Junior’s Halloween,” which he ruined by sending them out trick or treating alone, and this resulted in Joy getting to drive the speedboat while the cops dragged the lake for their bodies. It’s safe to assume that fun was had by all.

Meanwhile, Catalina’s nephew Oscar has been mailed to the crab shack, which reminds Randy that Earl also owes him for costing him a little brother. When Earl and Randy were kids, Earl says their mom got “fixed” after Earl put Randy in the washing machine. I can’t say I’m all that surprised. Since Randy wants a little brother, he and Earl go to Big Brothers Little Brothers. Randy seems to be an exemplary candidate until he trips a kid in dodgeball. Since Randy is rejected, Catalina says he can look after Oscar. Earl uses his “high-pitched lying voice,” and Randy is determined to prove that he can be a good role model to Oscar.

For the boys’ Halloween party, Earl wraps a blow-up doll in toilet paper (2-ply, Joy says) and Joy criticizes him for his effort since this mummy isn’t authentic enough. In my favorite moment of the night, Joy asks Earl “were you there? Are you Brendan Fraser?” While Earl is at the Crab Shack talking to Joy, he and Randy see Oscar steal money from a table. Randy confronts Oscar, who then goes into a trance and makes voodoo dolls of “Earl and a fat guy who has stains on his shirt.” After Catalina refuses to take the boy back, Earl and Randy decide to take him to the Halloween party, where Joy is dressed as Barbie. By the way, her explanation of the costume was brilliant. Joy, being the astute mastermind I know and love, recognizes instantly that Oscar is doing voodoo because as a child, she had a babysitter who cursed her to an unwed pregnancy after she stole cigarettes from her purse. Seeing Joy as a child was awesome. Earl and Randy flee with Oscar, but Joy forms a witch hunt posse. When Randy refuses to give up Oscar and fights “30 people at once” to protect him, Oscar learns something about goodness and changes his ways.

I liked this episode a lot, but mostly because I got to see Joy as a child, and it was everything I hoped it would be. Randy got a lot of screen time, and his dialogue with Catalina (“I’m sorry other strippers, I’m just mad!”) was hilarious.

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