Finally, we learn the true story about how Earl, Randy, Joy, Darnell, and Catalina all converged. When Joy brings a care package of cupcakes, magazines and socks to the prison for Earl, she spots an old friend named Frank, which sparks a flashback for Earl. I’m so glad we get an episode outside the prison walls. That was starting to get old.

So anyway, it all started when Earl and Randy’s dad brought in a guy to fumigate the house, thus booting the brothers onto the street sleeping on couches put out for the trash guy. At the same time, Joy finds herself pregnant and thrown out of her mom’s house. Don’t you love it when families are supportive like that? Gee, that’s swell.

Earl and Randy end up renting the kitchen from another thief named Frank and his roommate, a guy named Paco who’s singing “Delta Dawn” and mooning over a picture of his ex-girlfriend – Catalina. Joy’s on the prowl for a sugar daddy for her unborn baby.

Frank, Paco, Randy and Earl are supposed to pull off a big heist at a club where Howie Mandel is performing. But Earl ends up in Vegas, drunk and married to Joy, and man-child Randy gets involved in a Marty Croft Superstars Marathon on TV and misses the robbery entirely. Frank and Paco pull off the heist and end up on the highway in a van with lots of cash and Howie as a hostage. But things go horribly wrong when Paco sees Catalina on the highway, fresh from Mexico and talking to Darnell, who’s starting his life in the witness protection program. Got all that? I know it’s a lot, but keep up.

The incident put Frank in the slammer for 20 years, and the truth if finally revealed. If Joy hadn’t taken Earl to Vegas and forced him to marry her, he’d be doing 20 years, too. Ok then. They’re even.

This episode brings back everything I love about this show: the wacky relationships between the characters and the little touches that bring it all home: Earl’s Lynard Skynard t-shirt. A soundtrack of “Wheel in the Sky” by Journey. Randy shooting a giant hole in the fridge (and being excited that they don’t have to open the door anymore). Not to mention plenty of snappy comebacks from everyone.

Keep bringing it, Earl. And Randy and Joy and Darnell and Catalina, too.

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