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September 4, 2015

My Name Is Earl: Buried Treasure

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Jan 12th 2007 12:20AM

my name is earl jason lee(S02E12) Ahhh, a return to Earl crossing something off his list and continuing his quest for karma. However, things were a little different this go-round, and it made for very interesting viewing.

After describing the premise of number 52 on his list, Earl takes us back to when he, Joy, and Randy stole the historic silverware from the Camden County Library/Museum and eventually decided to bury it until they could figure out a way to make money from it. We see Earl describe his methods of trying to get the $2,000 the silverware is worth, and his luck at not being caught after Dotty the Librarian made the money drop in the outdoor waste basket. In addition, we see an exploding bush and it looks like Earl escapes from being caught. He describes it as karma being mad at him.

It seemed like a fairly routine storyline and I thought we would see Earl learn the error of his past ways and he would do something nice to make up for them. Well, things took a slightly different turn, to say the least.

When I started hearing Randy narrating the story, I thought that this seemed very odd. Then all of a sudden, it took on the flavor of the opening credits and TA-DA, we have "My Name Is Randy." I was definitely taken by surprise, and what made it even more delightful was that we were treated to Randy's version of the story through his eyes and his plot to get more money from the buried silverware that involved his dealing with a "Russian" businessman. (I couldn't stop thinking about Boris Badanov and Natasha Nogoodnik when the man and woman first appeared.)

Of course, it turns out that Randy is fleeced, and the scene of him asking people "Do you have the stuff?" ended with a near-sexual experience with a man in tight striped pants.

OK, so that seemed like a clever plot twist, and I thought that somehow Earl and Randy would figure things out. But what do we have here? Joy starts narrating, and TA-DA (again), we have "My Name Is Joy." This time, we see the story from Joy's point of view, and how she tries to turn the silverware into cash, first by attempting to fence it and then by melting it down into silver, but without much success. We later learn that the exploding bush was really Joy's discarding of her still-lit cigarette after hacking her way through Faith Hill's "Breathe" and then re-buries the silverware.

Then, wouldn't you know it, Darnell enters the picture, and we soon have TA-DA (yet again) "My Name Is Crabman." It turns out that Darnell brought the melted-down silverware into the Library-Museum and thought it was something from the Paleolithic era. We also learn that he graduated college at 14! Let's hope we'll learn more about Darnell--he is the show's most dynamic character, outside of Earl.

Eventually, Earl couldn't find the buried treasure of the silverware, so he decides to make a cash donation to the Library-Museum so that he can make amends. Of course, he sees the melted silverware with the distinctive markings on it, but he is pleased he did something good.

You would think that would have wrapped things up, but TA-DA (one more time) we see "My Name Is Dotty," and we get a very brief introduction to the woman who says that once she takes the pencil out of her hair, she is a totally different person.

I really liked the concept of having the story told from the viewpoint of the different characters. It was clever, and it satisfied those of us who wanted to see Earl get back to crossing things off his list as well as learning more about the other major characters in the show. I didn't think the story itself was that fascinating, but the way in which it was told was innovative and hillarious.

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The one thing I love about watching "My Name is Earl" is trying to figure out where in the San Fernando Valley they film the different scenes. One was around the corner from my parents house! I love that show (and not because of filming in the SFV!)

January 23 2007 at 1:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh Akbar, I feel your pain. The thing that sucks is half the shows "stay tuned for more..." actually *does* mean more content. "More Heroes" and "More 30 Rock" mean more content, while "More Scrubs," "More Studio 60," and "More Earl" mean the shows are over.

January 12 2007 at 10:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

one thing that bugged me about last nights episode:

Correct me if I am wrong here but no episode in season 2 has had the full intro to the show with the narration setup. So for anyone who only joined in on season 2 did the reusing of that gag last night work at all?

And overall... I am SICK TO DEATH of NBC saying 'stay tuned for more Earl' making me think we will get a scene over the credits like we used to just to promo other NBC crap.

January 12 2007 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Weird. I think this season of Scrubs is better than last, while Earl has taken a nosedive. This week's Earl was OK, but last week's Cops parody was just horrible. It was so bad that I almost completely deleted the show from my weekly lineup (just as I did with Grey's Anatomy after last year's awful final episode).

January 12 2007 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

elf, I could be totally wrong, but I thought both names were used for Natasha at one point.

January 12 2007 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

just when you starting wondering what happened to last year's karma, two great episodes in a row.

Now, I just hope Scrubs gets backon track.....

January 12 2007 at 12:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After some mediocre to good episodes for a while, 'Earl' has definitely become much better. This episode was really funny, and a good way to keep the momentum going from the last episode.

I like seeing Crabman...definitely an interesting character.

January 12 2007 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Aric, the producers made it very clear that this season WOULD NOT BE every episode dealing directly with Earl's list. I for one welcome these slightly different episodes to add more depth and life to the show. Especially since I wasn't convinced that the concept could last more than half a season but I was very glad to be proven wrong.

Now, if they could just explain the logic behind Darnell's new identity and his supposed family.

January 12 2007 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I'd like to make a donation."

"I'm sorry, honey... We don't sell weed here anymore, that man got fired."


January 12 2007 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

dotty's shoebox was the library/museum's cashbox. She went to get it for Earl's donation.

January 12 2007 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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