After what seemed like an interminable Winter Olympics break, My Name is Earl finally comes back to Thursday night. Life is indeed good again.
This week, we come to find that Earl neglected to pay his taxes after working in an asbestos-filled room with his brother Randy a while back. He did pay his share of fines to the municipality over the years, but Earl feels he owes it to the government and adds this task to his list.
Earl is doing his level best to repay the government in a number of innovative ways, including filling in a pothole on the main highway. Of course, things go awry when a police officer accuses him of burying a baby in the hole at gunpoint, and Earl eventually "undigs" the pothole. He then gets the idea to join a prison road gang, where he meets up with an old friend who is doing time. All of the cons are dressed in jeans and white t-shirts, and as the day goes on and the heat beats down on the gang, Earl takes off his shirt and is in his jeans and white t-shirt. When the guard begins to gather everyone back on the bus, Earl is mistaken for a prisoner, and despite his protestations, is driven to prison.Earl's pleas that he is not a prisoner are ignored, and he ends up in solitary confinement to the strains of Humble Pie's "30 Days in the Hole." (A BRILLIANT song choice!) Finally, after a few meals, Earl is released. One would think that he would put this part of his list aside, but Earl is determined to make amends, even though he has become frustrated with the government and how they don't seem to care.
While attending Earl Jr.'s (who is not really Earl's son) 5th birthday party, Earl and the gang reminisce about the old days where their life of petty crime brought them great joy. However, Earl's karmic convergence has led his "old gang" to express their boredom, but he reiterates the fact that he cannot go back to his old ways.
Earl then recalls the time years ago when he and his partner in crime Ralph stole the local favorite a Pops' Old Fashioned Weiner hot dog cart after accepting $200 from the competing Winky Dinky Hot Dog Chain. Earl decides to cross number 159 off his list by returning the cart to Pop, and helps Pops get back in business by passing out 2-for-1 discount flyers, but Ralph sets fire to the cart after accepting another bribe just as Pops gets going again.
Incensed by Ralph's actions, Earl demands that the Winky Dinky franchise owner pay $10,000 to replace the cart, but Earl backs off when the owner says he will tell the police about Earl's theft from years before. Earl now must do what he can to make restitution to Pops, even though it was Ralph who did the dirty deed.