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September 4, 2015

My Name is Earl: Faked His Own Death

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Oct 11th 2005 11:38PM

earl4In the four weeks since we first met Earl Hickey, we have come to learn that he is truly sincere about atoning for his past transgressions in order to find true redemption or, as he puts it, "karma." However, it would not be a stretch to say that Earl's past misdeeds are a bit more flagrant than most would admit to, such as humiliating a classmate, playing a role in the jailing of a friend, stealing a car from a one-legged woman, and fixing his high school's football game. However, Earl realizes that doing good deeds for others will result in a better life for himself, and he is doing his utmost to wash away his wicked past.

This week we see Earl attempting to tone for the transgression of faking his own death in order to break up from his former girlfriend Natalie Duckworth, who turned out to be NOT the woman of his dreams. He originally met her at a biker party, but after a night of passion, she turns out to be a sweetheart. As Earl put it, "I went home with a Harley and woke up with a moped."

Earl and Natalie are two totally different people--she introduces him to nature and the fine arts, but it just doesn't appeal to him. To make matters worse for him, Natalie is a clingy, needy person who constantly needs attention. But instead of being honest with her and lacking any courage, Earl takes the route of faking his own demise by having his brother Randy break the news to Natalie. She is heartbroken and has carried a torch for him ever since.

After spotting her at a convenience store, Earl decides to fess up to Natalie. She is understandably shocked, and he tries to soften the blow by telling her that it was all his fault and that "your perfection made me feel inadequate." Suddenly, we see a new man in Natalie's life, Dirk, who seems to have filled the gap in her life. Everyone seems to be OK.

Suddenly, Natalie re-enters Earl's life after finding out that Dirk has gone to the great beyond and later admits to still loving Earl. Earl discovers Dirk hiding in his motel and admits that Earl had the right idea all along. In a quandary, Earl seeks advice from his friend Catalina, who says that to get Natalie away from him, he must act like a bad boyfriend. Earl does his slovenly best, but nothing seems to work. He finally arranges to have Natalie catch him in bed with Catalina, but Natalie still sees the bright side. Earl finally tells her that she is the problem by being so clingy. Natalie gets angry, and then discovers Dirk. She exacts "revenge" by faking her own death, but one-ups Earl by arising from her coffin in the funeral home screaming, "Who's the joke on now?" She emerges as a stronger, more independent person, and Earl crosses her off his list.

What did I learn from this episode? Primarily, it is better to be independent than dependent upon others to make your life whole. Plus, I think I can make a pretty cool pinata with paper mache.

In any event, another solid episode. The playing of Chicago's "Saturday in the Park" while Earl and Natalie went hiking was an especially good touch.

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I was on the floor when during the ontage of Earl's attempts to be a "bad boyfriend", he poked around the corner (surgical tube firmly affixed around his arm) and said disgustedly, "Baby, did you throw away my junk?" It was a classic moment out of nowhere ... kind of like Family Guy or American Dad.

October 14 2005 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Funbags

Good stuff!! Cuz living is better then being a dead.

October 12 2005 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved Randy in this episode. The squeaking/hurt toes motif and circular arguments were fantastic.

October 12 2005 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lacy Hall

i really got a kick out of the whole rubbing her nose against mine thing...ha ha ha

October 12 2005 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to TOTALY agree with post #1. Quite possibly one of the best new network shows of the season!!! "Dang shower caps!"

October 12 2005 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Favorite line (about papier mache): "She found a way to make newspapers MORE boring!"

October 12 2005 at 8:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Anderson

I loved it. The show gets better and better. I'm so glad NBC reran the first three episodes so I could catch it all and see what the fuss was about. Keep it coming, NBC.

October 12 2005 at 2:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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