Kevin Can F**k Himself Episode 2 Review: New Tricks

Sometimes, ya think ya just know somebody. I’ve heard that phrase before. It’s not typically said in jest. Surprises are not always a guaranteed hoot given this second lovely episode of Kevin Can F**k Himself (AMC) titled “New Tricks”.

Following up where we left the last episode…

EXT. – BEACHSIDE – DAY

Allison (Annie Murphy) is reading Ulysses, enjoying a scone. It’s now seven days in a row she’s been doing this and she couldn’t look happier. She claims she’s not had anytime for herself and her waitress (Christine Everett), admits she does because she’s killed her husband. When asked how she’s done it, she doesn’t know. Suddenly the world shakes and she’s woken up by Kevin (Eric Peterson), jumping on the bed like a deranged child.

It’s Belichick hoodie day! Now, what does that mean? Not that she cares because the sitcom is back into play, but Kevin’s ‘genuine’ Belichick hoodie arrives. Gee, money well spent. According to him, the price he paid was far exceeding their wedding but way less than their car. How fucking romantic. He likens it to Xmas morning, but he claims she has no gift because he’s the gift that keeps on giving. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Once he exits she’s alone and the darkness creeps in. She goes to angrily pick up his laundry, put it in the basket, but then drops it on the floor… before picking it up again and imagining her dream about her telling the waitress she murdered him. She tosses it on the ground… before picking it up and putting back in the laundry.

TITLE CARD: KEVIN CAN FUCK HIMSELF

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EXT. – HOUSE – NIGHT

Allison takes the garbage out, as Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden) says she celebrates Belichick hoodie day “privately.”

Back in the living room, the sitcom continues, as all three guys are laughing it up. Allison enters from the kitchen with breakfast for Kevin. Neil (Alex Bonifer) laments, but Pete (Brian Howe) says breakfast is her family.

Kevin asks his wife to check if his parcel is there because he’s busy horking breakfast. He claims he really needed it on account of him seeing his ugly mug on a selfie. Oh, boo-fucking-hoo. Ya think your inflated ego didn’t just change the Mirror Mirror?

No packages have arrived and though Allison tries to make an honest joke about his douchebaggery, he dismisses it as a bad joke. The three ‘wise men’ see packages being delivered on the new neighbor’s doorstep. They get ‘bad vibes’ from them. Apparently, Kevin visited them, not as a welcoming gesture but rather to let them know ‘who’s the alpha on the street’ and when asked about their favorite football team, they say Manchester United. The entire crew is aghast.

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EXT. – ALLEYWAY – LATER

Allison opens the box, finds hubby’s hoodie under a glass case, and like Catwoman, smashes it, takes it, and dons it.

She proceeds into the library, wanting to find the research section. She claims to be writing a romance about a woman who is sad in her marriage but doesn’t have an affair with her neighbor. Rather, she kills her husband in the end. The librarian (Phyllis Kay) acutely asks why wouldn’t the woman just LEAVE. Allison counteracts with leaving would put her on the streets and through more trials and tribulations. She just wants him dead.

The librarian queries why that is romantic, but Allison counters it is because it’s aspirational. The librarian directs her to the computers.

As she begins to search to no avail the words ‘perfect murder’, the library’s algorithm has deemed it inappropriate. She is therefore blocked. She does notice a few computers away, porn is being watched, with someone at it (this does happen at libraries more than you think). When she approaches the man to see how he can circumvent the firewalls, he falls over dead.

According to an EMT (Omar Ghonim), the dude was an overdose. She notices his Patagonia vest. According to him, they’re not any particular ‘types’ these days. Intrigued since ‘anybody’ can do it through oxy, a smile purses Allison’s face.

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Flashback to the waitress asking how she does it, you know, kill her husband. She cites oxy to make it look like an OD. Brilliant!

Allison smiles in reality, as the EMT takes the body away before turning into ‘sad Allison’ just for decorum.

At the doctor’s office, Allison feigns back trouble, but Dr. Gaetz (Alexander Cook) doesn’t buy it. She cites Auntie D’s husband Chuck, who has some pills that help him. He is onto her grift and she is on her way. He asks her to talk to somebody about her ‘problem’ but she swears she hasn’t. He suggests a girlfriend or a book club if not Kevin. That visit costs her 75 buckaroos… Yeah, now they can afford that. However, the attending nurse recommends someone to talk to and writes something on the back of a card. Though refusing it first, Allison takes it.

At the liquor store, as Allison rummages through her auntie’s purse for pills, she rushes over to help her with the stock. She asks how her uncle’s been doing. No pills are dispensed as she learns, as they are waiting for experimental surgery, with her aunt asking if she’s giving up, due to the tattered hoodie with self-made stains on it.

Before Allison could break the good news about what cloth she is referencing, she’s interrupted by D (Jamie Denbo), telling her to show her good side for Kevin. D relays that she wanted orthopedic shoes but her hubby wanted something that didn’t look like a nurse, so she wears comfortable shoes on her own time. Allison says that’s crazy, but D reminds her, ‘that’s marriage.’

Allison then spots Sam outside (possibly ALSO wearing a Patagonia vest? Hmmm?) as he waves at her, but she averts her eyes. He keeps on walking.

Returning to her house, she packs up the hoodie rushes to her living room. Inside, surprise, house lights- you’re on!

After a few groan-worthy MA accent jokes, Kevin decides to declare war on the neighbors, after he thinks it was pilfered. Patty asks whose side is Allison on. Kevin wants a new Revolutionary War. All of the guys, including Patty, are gung ho about it. Oh wait, cannot say gung ho about it in front of them. Does that mean the Chinese are coming next, you crazy white bread idiots? They would certainly think so.

Outside, when it’s just Ally and Patty, Patty reveals that they were never friends. Allison is all alone on this one, though she wanted to show the hoodie to her. It turns out the only reason Patty told Allison the truth is because she felt sorry for her. It turns out now, with Patty fine with helping them, Allison feels sorry for her.

We open up on Allison with her head in reality… and the oven! She’s not going full-Plath though, as she’s baking cookies and the laugh track ensues, as Kevin and his cronies literally brighten up the room, heading for the baked goods until she senses them, asserting they are oatmeal raisin. The joke I don’t know lands there because I don’t know of one masculine trait that doesn’t like “fruit in a cookie.”

In any event, Kevin is now donning an off-brand Man United shirt, not a jersey because none of them knows how Hammurabi’s law truly is in play. The friendly neighbors left a pigskin with a knife in it on the front porch. The sheer level of stupidity in this scene is wonderful.

Allison goes back to Marcus (Justin Grace) with her baked cookies, wanting to make amends, but he knows there’s a catch, which there is. She wants oxy but he’s a taker, not a dealer. He claims he can hook her up with someone though at midnight.

She attempts to pay for it with the hoodie, but Marcus could give a fuck about her life story and shoos her away.

At the homestead, the comedy ensues, as Kevin nearly clocks her with a baseball bat. That is one part of his home security as the troubled trio set the neighbor’s lawn on fire by means of a soccer ball. Then the McRobert’s garbage cans were lit on fire in retaliation. Kevin also, despite her protestations against violence begetting violence, uses the term ‘irregardless’… gross.

This scene has all the zany trappings of a sitcom, but an added level of security by means of a guard dog gives it the ‘aww’ moment because Neil couldn’t get firearms. Kevin refuses pets because Kevin ‘refuses to be not the cutest thing in the house.’ The audience eats it out of his hand… like a dog.

If step one is the bat, step three is the dog, step two is his full house surveillance system. This is bad news for Allison.

It’s now 11.30… half an hour until midnight. She tries to ply the dog with food, but she just confides in him before sneaking out through a window.

Waiting on an overpass, as directed, she finally comes across her ‘dealer’ (Tim Misuradze). It turns out that Marcus wanted to fuck with her and sent a guy out that thought she was a prostitute. Through a miscommunication, she wants to get out, but as he reaches for the child lock door, she cracks him in the nose, thus breaking it. Her trying to staunch the blood only makes it hurt more. He’s asking for a handjob as recompense and that has her jet.

EXT. – STORMY STREETS – MOMENTS LATER

Allison’s served a hard dose of reality before heading to Bev’s Diner. It’s closing hours, but Sam (Raymond Lee) lets her in. She just wants to talk… and an Irish Coffee. He used to love mixing drinks for her, which means they were something of an item before.

Opening up, she relays that she’s had the worst decade. After years of boredom and ennui, now that she has something to say, she can only talk to a dog about it… and him.

Sam remembers her from high school. He remembers a lot about their time spent together. She doesn’t know how she’s been so isolated and wishes he was there for the last 10 years, but Sam thinks it wouldn’t have mattered.

He believes that she created walls between them and others… but it’s really him. She takes to umbrage and offense to this, but he calls her out on her bullshit and says she claims she wanted to talk, but really wants someone to nod and agree with her as if she’s in the right. We’ve all been there with friends, right?

In the living room.. wait, what living room? Sitcom mode is back, but Kevin is merely sitting on their broken table with nothing around. It turns out he ‘planned’ a robbery to peg on the neighbors because he saw someone wearing ‘the Hoodie’. With the ‘stolen goods’ and the ‘magic’ of insurance fraud, Kevin has his patented ‘strokes of genius.’ This includes the dog that was Allison’s only tether to sanity taken away.

Kevin believes with that money from insurance, he can cop another, even pricier Belichik hoodie before the asshole retreats into the kitchen.

This leaves Allison in her own, laughless reality, all alone, holding but a leash alongside a broken table. She does have something more valuable though: the card that the doctor’s assistant left her.

This pocket full of sunshine leads her to a Salon. She’s to ask for a “wash like Barb gets” and she’ll be hooked up… with Patty. Shit.

Overall, I think this episode was slightly stronger. It gave more agency to Allison and we’re now on her path for, well, whatever she is on the path for. This is drama and comedy crossing the streams, which I think is brilliant. I supposed we’ll see the next episode.

This also has a nice tribute to Lynn Shelton in the post-credits. Rest In Power.

Robert Kijowski
Robert J. Kijowski is a screenwriter who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He enjoys the company of strangers in a theatre but adores the camaraderie of friends watching Netflix. He also loves to talk- a lot. This can be read through his recaps and reviews on the Workprint or heard through his weekly movie podcast, After the Credits. His presence can be felt through Facebook, Spotify or Ouija. Don’t use the latter though- he almost always ghosts people.

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