As we’re heading toward the end of the show, Kevin Can F**k Himself is digging deeper into its subtext and metaplay as Kevin’s monstrous abusiveness affects every character, while Allison and Patty’s gal-pal bond is proving too bright to snuff out.
In Sitcom World, Kevin reads the paper as Pete’s girlfriend, Lorraine, comes in with her signature cackle. Kevin’s disgusted by her, so he is cruel. When she puts her hearing aid down, he grabs it and throws it into a coffee cup, leading to some spit-take physical comedy as Allison comes in, takes a sip of said coffee, and gets a mouthful of hearing aid. It turns out Kevin is in an extra-foul mood because he’s mad about the Worcester Wild Dude article, (Remember that?) It’s barely about him! It focuses on Allison’s thwarted dreams as a former champion swimmer!
Meanwhile, Patty knocks on Tammy’s door, a dramatic gesture for the hairdresser. Turns out the two haven’t talked since Patty’s disastrous birthday party. At first, the two talk past each other. Tammy asks Patty to sit down. Clearly, she has something to say, and it feels like the windup for a breakup. Instead, she asks, “Patty, will you move in with me?” A constellation of emotions crosses Patty’s face, and she runs out the door.
At the liquor store, Neil saves Diane from getting preached at. Diane shows her appreciation by giving the big lug an employee discount on his six-pack. He asks to drink a beer at the store. Diane decides to join in — and the lights go off. Blackout!
Allison drops by Sam’s diner. She updates him on his City Hall connection, and Sam interprets Allison’s every move as a possible manipulation. They fight, but it doesn’t matter, because … it’s a blackout! Sam sends his employees home, and he and Allison remain in a booth among the lit candles.
Suddenly, the lights rise but just barely. Is the blackout over? Nope! Things are just a little lighter and brighter in Sitcom World — though the two have never looked more similar. Kevin comes in singing “Who Let the Dogs Out?” How did Kevin find Allison? He tracked her location via her phone. Gross and possessive. Since she was already over there, he figured Bev’s would be the best place to wait out a blackout. Neil, Diane, Pete, and Lorraine trail behind. It’s currently a party, I guess. Kevin brought a generator and a projector screen, for his Blue Bloods DVDs. A man of taste!
Kevin forgot gas for the generator, so Allison and Patty, who has also shown up, use that as an excuse to leave. Kevin worries about sending two women out into the postapocalyptic world, and Allison snaps back, “Kevin, your father’s a priest, and your mother’s a nun. Think about it — your whole life is a mistake.” Ha! Sam is confused and probably a little wistfully horny as Allison leaves all of a sudden. What is their situationship?
When Kevin barges into the back office to get some butter, he makes a shocking-ish discovery: Sam has been sleeping at the restaurant! But because Kevin is “Mr. Marriage,” he can help. He shares his wisdom with marriage lesson No. 1: Don’t correct your wife. Lesson No. 2: Don’t say stuff that’s insultingly obvious. When they return to the front to meet the gang, trouble strikes: The generator is gone!
Outside, in Bleak World, Patty is ready for an Allison scheme insofar as it’s better than sitting at home stuck in her own head. What a way to react to your girlfriend asking you to move in! Allison compliments her haircut, unlike Tammy, who simply observed it. Allison 1, Tammy 0. The gal pals break into Patty’s salon, only to be interrupted by cops who think they’re thieves. Since Patty is a cop’s girlfriend, the cops are overly solicitous, offering a ride to their next stop.
The super-friendly cops take Allison and Patty in the back of their car, perp-style, to the “friend’s house,” i.e., wherever the corrupt City Hall person lives. The vibes are weird. Patty’s basically having a panic attack. The cops compliment Allison on the Worcester Wild Dude article and linger as the girls knock on the door of this random person. It’s Rachel Dratch, asking, “What are those goddamn pigs doing parked on my street?” It’s all very awkward!
Dratch gets a crazy monologue, chewing it like a RADA grad tearing into Shakespeare. She sums up Allison and Patty as “some mousy delinquent and her goth friend,” to which Patty goes “Goth?” and Allison protests, “I changed my hair!” This episode is funny, no matter what world we’re in.
There is no death certificate to be found, however. All Dratch does is hook them up with the keys to the building so they can break in for the death certificate.
Meanwhile, in Sitcom World, Kevin’s being a bully about the missing generator. You might say Kevin’s narcissism is creating its own monster version of No Exit. Kevin’s interrogation of Sam — who he knows is innocent — leads to some insight and another marriage lesson. Kevin describes his funniness as his greatest strength. Getting rid of Lorraine’s hearing aid wasn’t mean; it was funny, he thinks. (It wasn’t.) He aptly says Sam is too hot to have a useful sense of humor. He suggests that Sam find his own strength and use it to fix his marriage, describing it as “your strength that makes you get away with whatever you want.”
Finally, j’accuse! According to Kevin, the villain was Neil. Neil protests while Kevin reveals that he’d started the blackout because Neil had “bailed on fireworks practice.” The Sitcom World guitar riff plays as Neil, angry, runs out of the restaurant into the alley and punches a brick wall. His hand hurts. Diane is fast behind him, asking if he’s okay. And — twist! — they make out.
Breaking into City Hall, Allison observes that it’s weird that the building is so nice, with gorgeous murals and stuff on the walls, while the rest of the town is, well, Worcester. And like other townie Diane, who snaps when Allison talks shit about their hometown, Patty tells her that Worcester isn’t so bad. They get into the death-records room easily, and it’s huge. Finding Gertrude will be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Allison is emotional and ready to do what she always does — make excuses and bail. Luckily, they find the certificate without too much trouble. Patty tells Allison she’s not a hopeless screwup: “I’m here, I’ve been here, standing next to you. If you’re some loser who can’t do anything, I follow your lead, what does that make me?” But there’s no time to answer because the power comes back on.
In the diner, everyone is pissed at Kevin and rightfully so. Sam sums it up: Kevin caused a citywide power outage, raided his diner, and basically held everyone hostage. Sam asks for an apology while Pete, the enabler, can barely demand an apology, though he lamely confronts Kevin once Sam reveals that Kevin has ruined Lorraine’s hearing aid. Neil returns, and Kevin asks them to remind the people of his good qualities. Neil says, “I got nothing.” Kevin is shocked, shocked! Everyone else starts threatening Kevin. Things reach a fever pitch when Neil yells, “Kill him! Uh, hit him,” only for the lights to go back on and placate the mob. And the generator reappears; it was simply hiding in a booth. Kevin laughs it all off and says they can all laugh about it after a few dozen beers.
Neil and Diane linger in Bleak World. They talk about their kiss, saying it has to be a blackout thing as Chuck still has his “sawoff.” (Oh boy, another threatening scary male. They are legion.) Neil asks Diane if she hid the generator. Yeah, she did it. It was payback for the Pete setup. Neil isn’t going to rat on her, though. Instead, he’s going to Dunkin’, and because they have a weird connection, he invites Diane along. In this world, that’s practically formal courtship.
Allison and Patty are walking home. Allison is in a strange mood, observing, “It’s weird, wanting something so bad and finally getting it. It’s new.” But that moment is short-lived as Patty says she’s moving in with Tammy. Allison looks devastated. “You won’t live here anymore,” she says. “Neither will you,” Patty responds. “Goodnight, Gertrude.” Allison gets a call from Sam and heads back to the diner. He is apologizing for once. He offers to give her her job back. They start to kiss, and she pushes him away. She’s crying. Maybe it’s because she could potentially lose Patty. Maybe it’s because she is an abused woman, and, in this moment, Sam has given her unconditional kindness. Either way, she’s starving for real love.
Starbucks?! Over Dunkies??
• If you watch scenes with Sam (Raymond Lee) and are like, Where can I see more of this hot man? NBC has your answer: He’s starring in a Quantum Leap revival series premiering tonight.
• Rachel Dratch’s cameo came about because Kevin Can F**k Himself director Anna Dokoza thought of her after directing last year’s very fun A Clüsterfünke Christmas.
• Kevin’s hoodie is incredible. It says “Legends,” and the graphic is a Mount Rushmore of sorts featuring Patriots folks, I assume, as I can pick out Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but that’s as far as my “sports” knowledge goes.
• The last scenes of episode three and this episode really underline that Allison is a victim of abuse in her marriage. Sitcom laugh tracks barely hide that Kevin is abusive and toxic with everyone in his life and has particular venom for the women.
• Once, I asked my therapist if there is any solution for narcissism, like a pill someone could take. She said, “Why would a narcissist want to take anything? Narcissism is working out great for them!”