Kevin Can F**k Himself Episode 3 Review: We’re Selling Washing Machines

Toeing the line of right and wrong in order to tip the scales for right may be noble, but it’s got its drawbacks. Remaining stoic in the face of adversity is simply one of those. It’s both a strength and a weakness. Given the tertiary episode of Kevin Can F**k Himself (AMC) titled “We’re Selling Washing Machines”, we’ll see why for both Patty and Allison, things aren’t so, cut and dry.

Following where we left off the last episode…

INT. – HOUSE – NIGHT

The crew is chilling. Kevin (Eric Peterson) enters, stage right through the front door. He comes bearing a huge surprise. It turns out he “happened” upon a “Kevin Hart Live at the Worcester Centrum” banner. He thinks it’s divine providence simply because it bears his name and wants to hang it proudly from the top of the house. Allison (Annie Murphy) is none too amused. Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden) suggests getting her dad’s towing winches to hang it up, but they pay her no mind. Neil (Alex Bonifer) opts to climb the roof from the drain pipe. She quips for him to break a leg, and knows that will be literal.

Patty exits and the world turns to reality for her.

She lights up a smoke. The words FOUR YEARS AGO are superimposed.

Inside the pharmacy, she procures a legitimate prescription for oxy as Neil, the nimrod he is, did in fact break his fucking leg. It’s a small town, and the pharmacist, Terrance (Robert Najarian) teases her about missing prom due to a concussion. Something tells me there’s more to that story than her cool demeanor lets on.

Terrance emphatically says that for the future, he can hook her up with the generics of the pills. You know, with the wink of an eye-type shit. Confused at first, Patty gets it. She tells him not to be an idiot with the pills he’s pushing, as he has a college degree.

Exiting the store, she comes across the stock person, Kurt (Sean Clements), who gingerly waves, and she low-key acknowledges it.

TITLE CARD: KEVIN CAN FUCK HIMSELF

INT. – PATTY’S SALON – DAY

Patty tends to an older client, Judi the Librarian (Phyllis Kay) who suffers from sciatica. For her, the pain is terrible some days, but she can’t afford doctor’s visits or medication, but she does show her gratitude in gifting Patty a book from her job. Patty notices the prescription for Neil’s pills and has a light bulb moment. She can utilize her connect for good.

CUT TO:

INT. – PATTY’S SALON – PRESENT DAY

As Patty and Allison stand face to face. Allison claims she wants a ‘wash’ but Patty denies her at first as she slowly judges her. To be fair, Allison cannot get her the “quick fix” anyway, as Patty is clean out until the coming Monday… but there is hope, which overjoys Allison. She’s summarily dismissed by Patty.

Allison continues into Bev’s Diner to apologize to Sam (Raymond Lee). She confesses that when around him, she rescinds back into a teenager again… when she was a brat. Sam returns the apology. It turns out when seeing her, he feels a smidge guilty. When he was working his 12 step program, Allison was towards the top of his call list to make amends, but he never reached out. Seeing as though Sam is getting his chip for being 8 years sober tomorrow, he invites Allison to come with him as a token of amends. She accepts.

At the salon, Patty runs through a few clients, bored out her gourd with their palaver. Attending to one client, another enters, Cindy (Diedre Madigan), looking for one of Patty’s patented “washes”. Informing her she’s cleaned out, Cindy’s voice raises when her dealer suggests ibuprofen. In order to appease her, Patty says she’ll see if she can pull a few strings. Cindy thanks her, pays her for last time, for fronting her, and exits, swearing never to do it again. Patty hides the money in the hollowed-out book of Memoirs of a Geisha given to her.

INT. – KITCHEN – DAY

Neil and Kevin are making chili for the Renzulli brothers, who plow their street early and often. This year, they want to make it extra special by adding a deep-fried turkey into the mix. Allison’s confused that Neil’s cooking the turkey since Kevin usually cooks the meat since it is HIS chili. He claims it still is, as he’s the mastermind. What ensues is a tit-for-tat ending up in them making their own separate chili with Kevin volunteering Allison to help him.

Back, in reality, Patty smokes at a bus stop. The bus doesn’t come, so she walks all the way to her house until nightfall.

She is greeted, nay, surprised by Allison, chomping on a cheeseburger. Patty says the garbage food is a new look, though Allison claims it to be an old habit, as in high school, after swim practice, she used to eat one because it was hard-earned.

Though not swimming today, she claims to have earned it, even getting one for Patty. Patty accepts her offer. The offering leads to conversation. It turns out Allison is eating outside to stall from going inside her house. Kevin’s going to want Allison to fulfill Neil’s duty on account of their fight. Patty tells her not to do it, but Allison claims it’s fruitless, as Kevin will whine until she drives 90 miles to get pork belly. Patty is amused, saying that even when things aren’t about her, she makes it do with her. Irritated, Allison claims Patty should tend to Tweedle Dee and Dumber’s bruised egos.

Taking some joy in placing her finger on the situation, Allison takes some joy in saying Patty hates as well. Patty doesn’t ‘hate’ them though, and Allison claims she knew there was something going on, just not the drug peddling. Patty tells Allison to be chill, but Allison knows she’s right “and that’s way better.”

CUT TO:

INT. – KURT’S PLACE – NIGHT

With tray tables out and salad on their plates in front of the glow of a tv screen, Kurt confides in Patty that he can’t do anything alone. Patty says that she’s glad her company’s good for something. With a sickly smile, he tells her she’s good for more than that before firing up Ray Donovan. He queries her on how much the salad costs. It’s $2.49, asserting it would be triple that amount at a salad bar… so the guy’s money-conscious, almost on cheapskate territory. He’s skating on thin ice with Patty, who teases him that maybe by summer they’ll save up enough for their own place on the Cape. She’s with the financially OPPOSITE of Kevin, though she enjoys the doofus’s company more.

They come across a sex scene in the show and Kurt asks if tonight they could reenact it later, but Patty rebuffs him. He doesn’t pressure her and claims to be happy just sitting there with her. She lies through her teeth, returning the compliment.

INT. – BEDROOM – MORNING

Kevin shouts in wifey’s face, waking her up. It’s Sunday and you know what that means! Chili cookoff day! Kevin goes running an errand for her ‘surprise.’ As we’ve come to know already, the goon is self-serving in every way conceivable and sees nothing wrong with it, which is the sign of a narcissist. Kevin leaves Allison in her cold, dark bedroom, alone until a text from Sam lights up her day.

At the salon, Patty pleads with Terrance on the phone. He says it’s good she’s out, and before she could get another word in, he hangs up. She’s greeted by Allison at the door. This isn’t for a score, but rather for a ‘date’.

On the chair, Patty asks her default question- “You got a special occasion you wanna look nice for?” Allison regales her with the story about how Sam was never an ex, but they used to bus tables together during working hours and hook up in the back of the house after hours, even though he was dating a girl from Amherst named Jenn (with two N’s).

Patty thinks that she might be to relive her halcyon days, even though they are both married. Allison swears it isn’t like that. Allison turns the tables and asks if patty had fun with Kurt. She stammers and reluctantly says yes. Allison admits she’d taken eating salad with Kurt over being married to Kevin. patty also confesses that Kurt thinks they are eating healthy together, but she’s been sneaking cheeseburgers. This type of openness coupled with her new ‘do gives Allison the confidence to take action when passing the mechanic, who openly mocks her for the debacle under the bridge in the last episode. She calls the cops and reports that he’s been selling drugs near an elementary school.

INT. – LIVING ROOM – DAY

Allison descends the stairs to an empty living room and empty kitchen, though she does find the fucking burner on. What a dumbass. As she’s about to leave, who pops in, literally brightening her day but Kevin himself, brandishing a full pig. He plans on roasting it all night long… with Allison by his side! His big “surprise” to her is that she “gets to” help him cook the hog. Allison, all vibrant in her lovely blue wrap-around from the Gap is more than surprised. The unease on her face is palpable. She lies instead and claims she has to work late. Kevin happily grabs the pig, before dropping it on the spoon containing chili… all over her dress. He naturally blames the pig. Husband of the year contender, I say!

Inside the church, donning her regular green coat to cover the chili stains, Allison embraces Sam. He’s a little surprised she’s never been to a meeting before, but also says she’s one of the most self-controlled people he knows. Allison teases that maybe she’s changed. Maybe she’s “totally lost it.” sam isn’t buy it as they laugh and continue on in.

At Kurt’s, the tray tables are once again set out, as is a tasteless dinner. He asks Patty if she needs his Honda this week. She says maybe before breaking, asking for some “real food with carbs and animal fat” so she doesn’t need to speed eat in her car before getting to him. Shocked and defeated, he agrees to order something with a sense of disgust.

At the Sunday Trinity Big Book Discussion Meeting of Alcoholic Anonymous. As the speaker greets everyone, Sam and Allision share a brief moment as she gently caresses Sam’s leg with her foot before he’s called up.

Sam relays his harrowing story, having entered AA when he hit rock bottom. He got so drunk one night, he stole a bundle of heroin from a guy at a bar. He was too drunk to even remember his name, “Jason” maybe. If he caught him, he would’ve probably killed him and it’s that guilt and fear that keeps him stable for 8 years. He’s not going back. Not looking back is a lesson Allison may need to start heeding more.

At refreshments, Allison finally meets Jenn (Meghan Leathers), who missed the ceremony on account of losing track of time remodeling their house. Jenn notices something in Allison’s hair. It’s a pinto been from hubby’s dumb ass. She pretends to eat it and tosses it behind her, similar to the way Kevin did her garnish in the first episode.

Allison continues to her house, opting for the backyard, as she knows Kevin is roasting his shit. The laugh track cuts in as do the vibrant colors, with Kevin passed out, beer in hand in front of the pig on a spit. Allison sits at the table and waits.

EXT. – BACKYARD – MORNING

Allison is awakened by Kevin’s reluctance to take a butcher knife to the charred porcine. His sentimentality is laughable (and not in a good way), which goes to show a man’s “softer side” in sitcoms is so full of air and nothing more. Poke it with a pin and it deflates.

Kevin has no meat for his chili and would rather stay a shut-in forever instead of serving vegetarian chili. He’s counting on Allison to be right by his side. He goes in to take a soothing bad, reminding her that she’ll need to give him a beer and a sandwich in the tub in 45 minutes.

Shutting the door, Allison is left with the horrible ringing.

INT. – SQUAD CAR – LATER

Detective Tammy Ridgeway (Candice Coke) and Bob Brand (Kevin Chapman) tell the mechanic Marcus (Justin Grace) to think twice before pinning blame on the man inside the pharmacy they are about to bust. Marcus claims he’s just a small fry compared to the pharmacist in there. The detectives proceed in.

Inside, Terrance sees Patty, whom he is none too pleased to see. She wasn’t supposed to call, but with a simple “please,” he sighs and goes to fetch her shit. She says hi to Kurt. He thinks she’s getting Lipitor and jokingly blames it on the “carbs and animal fats” before the cops raid the joint. Kurt immediately puts his hands on Patty’s shoulders, as if to either shield her. They both look stunned, for different reasons as Terrance is handcuffed and led out.

Outside, Kurt is shaken, yet Patty is unphased, smoking. Kurt relays a boring story about how it reminded him of the first time of seeing fireworks as a kid. This prompts him to get down on one knee, “being that close to death.” I think you know what’s coming next.

Inside her salon, Patty is shaken, smoking inside. Allison comes in, reminding her of the day. Patty tells Allison that Kurt proposed (without a ring, of course.) That means, no pills. Patty tells Allison to channel the blame to who ratted out the area’s only supplier, Marcus.

Allison can’t go back home though. Not to Kevin. She asks patty out to lunch, but patty has to tend to her brother, Neil, who burned both his arms deep-frying the turkey. He didn’t even make the fucking chili and with that, Allison solves the problem: make the boys think it was their idea.

CUT TO:

INT. – KITCHEN – LATER

Kevin and Neil decide to combine their ingredients (as originally intended) to make the world’s best “friendship chili” and with that, they take the chili to the Renzulli bros. Ugh, fucking troglodytes.

That night, in the backyard, Allison and Patty just stare at the blackened remains of “Piggy Stardust.” Allison really needs the pills and patty really needs some answers. Allison admits to being in a bad place after hearing the account news, taking cocaine. She went on a bender, got blackout drunk, stole some oxy’s off of some guy, doesn’t even remember his name… “Jason” maybe, but he won’t take money, just what he’s owed. Sound familiar?

“I screwed up and I’m scared.” Patty takes pity and says she may have a client in Vermont. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s a one-time lifeline, so if it works, Allison gets her pills, Patty scores enough to ween her clients off.

Oh, and the other thing? Patty wants Allison to come with her. Patty needs a car, so they can borrow Kevin’s. I smell road trip, babeh!

I thought this episode was pretty solid, though it doesn’t vacillate as much as the previous between two worlds, opting to stay grounded more in reality. I do like the subtle hint that though Kurt would let Patty use his Honda, she opts for Kevin’s ride instead. Patty’s not bad, nor is her intent to sell. Plus, milquetoast as the guy is, deep down, I think she knows Kurt is a nice guy and she doesn’t want to fuck him over unless she has to.

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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