blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Kevin Can F**k Himself (2021) s02e07 – The Problem

As is not uncommon for pay cable original programming, “Kevin Can F**k Himself” always ends with a teaser for the next episode. What’s coming up next week or just in general for the season; I think cable shows have been doing it for almost twenty years.

There’s not much original footage in the teaser for the next episode, the final “Kevin.” No hints for what’s to come, though there’s a throwaway line in this episode potentially introducing a whole new aspect to the show. Retroactively. Can’t wait.

But will it be a victory lap or a conclusion? This episode, which is almost entirely character development for Annie Murphy and Mary Hollis Inboden—separately, as opposed to their other big character development arcs—finishes the story to a certain degree. The show’s compartmentalized the character arcs enough next episode can have Annie Murphy waking up in the Rosebud Motel with a hangover and succeed.

The episode begins with Alex Bonifer on a bender, telling anyone who’ll listen to the wild story of his best friend’s wife who—with Bonifer’s sister’s help—tried to murder her husband. Murphy and Inboden had assumed Bonifer was safely in the drunk tank, tucked away so Murphy can go through with faking her death (she hasn’t told Inboden her reservations yet). Plus, Murphy’s got a big non-Bonifer problem: Candice Coke.

Copper Coke has discovered her girlfriend Inboden on some security cam footage before an assault and robbery (back in season one). That subplot will blow up for everyone, with Murphy needing help from odious husband Eric Petersen to ensure they don’t end up in jail. All Murphy’s got to do is convince Petersen he’s in danger of arrest; good thing he’s an amateur arsonist.

Once Murphy gets that ball rolling, Jamie Denbo tells her Bonifer’s out of jail, and the episode becomes a race to find him. Murphy’s looking for her own reasons while ostensibly doing it to help Inboden. Coke’s also looking for Bonifer, with more valiant motives; she just wants to help out her girlfriend.

Pretty much everyone gets a great scene together: Murphy and Inboden, obviously, but Murphy and Bonifer, Murphy and Denbo, Murphy and Coke, Inboden and Coke, Inboden and Denbo. Just lots of phenomenal acting as these characters can’t avoid collisions.

Meanwhile, Petersen’s hanging out at home with dad Brian Howe, thrilled to have his most able accomplice yet—Murphy.

It’s a great episode. Writing credit goes to director Craig DiGregorio in his superb debut. His directing of the performances is particularly good; both Inboden and Murphy hit new peaks here.

So, so good.

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