blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Kevin Can F**k Himself (2021) s01e07 – Broken

High narrative density this episode, starting with Robin Lord Taylor getting this great prologue where we get a glimpse into his daily life. Then we see how Annie Murphy getting too involved with it doesn’t help anything. Then there’s excellent material for Murphy and Mary Hollis Inboden, not to mention the absurdly effective sitcom riff. Still, nothing really compares to the end teaser saying next episode is the season finale.

Season? Season? I don’t know if I can handle another season of “Kevin.” It’s too raw. Murphy starts the episode three times. First with Taylor in the prologue, then she’s in an interrogation room for a separate framing device. The episode proper finally starts with Murphy fighting with Raymond Lee. He makes some very sharp, very mean observations about her, and it sets her down a spiral. However, it’s not the right time for a spiral because she and Inboden are planning on killing Murphy’s husband, Eric Petersen, and framing him as an oxy kingpin. Taylor’s the trigger man. And Inboden is dating Candice Coke now; Coke’s the cop after the oxy kingpin.

So most of the episode is Murphy planning this murder while spiraling out about herself. It’s very dark, and it’s very intense. There’s a diffused bright spot for Inboden in the newfound connection with Coke, but it’s based on just as many lies as anything else in the show. Everything’s tainted; everything’s corrupted. It’s magnificently dark.

And I don’t know if I can handle another nine episodes. Especially if it means worrying about a cliffhanger and a renewal.

I mean, I’ll figure out how to handle it, obviously, but the show’s constantly upping the ante, and there ought to be a good enough somewhere.

The sitcom has Petersen and bestie Alex Bonifer starting a band. It’s ridiculous and often quite funny. We even get to see Coke in the sitcom universe, as Bonfier manifests it too. Though there’s some wonderful stuff from Inboden about the nature of perspectives and such. “Kevin” is very self-aware this episode—Craig DiGregorio and Kate Loveless get the script credit; it’s excellent. Anna Dokoza directs again. Again, excellent.

They even manage to make this episode’s cliffhanger feel like a cliffhanger on a sitcom (the laugh track editor on the sitcom sequences is phenomenal). Even though it’s this precisely layered, forecasted event, the ending still comes as a surprise.

I have no idea what to expect from next episode, which is great and all, but I hope they don’t mess it up. Murphy, Inboden, Petersen, and Dokoza deserve an unqualified win. Fingers crossed.

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