blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Kevin Can F**k Himself (2021) s02e03 – Ghost

I didn’t understand what Eric Petersen was saying when he says, “Pal-o-ween;” I thought he meant Halloween, and then the dialogue implied he thought every month with a thirty-first meant that day was Halloween.

I figured out what had happened quickly, but it was strange because it wouldn’t not fit the show.

Petersen’s regular but not monthly Pal-o-ween events involve him and Alex Bonifer watching scary movies while Annie Murphy dotes on them. They probably make fun of her too. She’s not interested this month (I mean, is it set in August, it could be) because she and Mary Hollis Inboden have to go look at dead bodies. Murphy’s faking-her-death plan involves finding an identity to assume from a recent, unclaimed corpse. Her P.I., Tommy Buck, knows a guy who likes to claim unclaimed corpses. Inboden and Murphy have a hilarious discussion on that subject as they walk through the creepy, empty funeral home.

Murphy doesn’t tell Inboden going in, but sixteen years before or whatever, her father’s funeral was in the same funeral home, and that night was when she met Petersen (and Inboden) for the first time. “Kevin” makes a big swing with the flashbacks, which have the actors playing themselves with different hair and clothes, obviously, but no big make-up things. No CGI de-aging or youth casting. It works once Peri Gilpin shows up; she’s got a scene as Murphy’s mom, who berates Murphy after the funeral. And Murphy goes from the funeral home in reality—in the flashback, obviously—into the sitcom universe for that scene with Gilpin, which raises all sorts of questions.

It also makes the flashback hair and make-up approach “TV,” meaning just focus on the content and the performances. They’re memories, after all, almost entirely from Murphy’s perspective because Inboden doesn’t want to think about it. In the flashback, we see Inboden’s spirits fall, watching Murphy surrender to Petersen’s amiable influence. In the present, Bonifer’s having a breakdown about the whole thing—the whole thing being him assaulting Murphy, then Murphy and Inboden smacking him into reality from the sitcom universe—and forgets to go to Pal-o-ween.

There’s a subplot for Inboden and girlfriend Candice Coke, with Coke trying to involve Inboden in her life, but Inboden is still hanging with Murphy instead. Corpse-hunting beats game night. There’s some good material for Coke in this episode; she gets to interact with different people, not just whine about Inboden being friends with Murphy.

I still feel like the season’s a little unbalanced, with this episode the first to deal entirely with season two issues.

It’ll be fine. I’m just obsessing because I think “Kevin” might wrap up super.

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