Roadtrips are considered by many a rite of passage. They can be fun and magical. They can be an air-conditioned Hell. The one thing they always are is revealing. You can learn a lot from others, whether your cooped up or Coupe’d up. It is in the fourth episode of Kevin Can F**k Himself (AMC) titled “Live Free or Die” that we see truly what people are made of when confined to a singular, solitary space.
INT. – LIVING ROOM – DAY
A deflated and defeated Neil (Alex Bonifer) and Kevin (Eric Petersen) enter stage right, brandishing a shovel and a metal detector. They tell Pete (Brian Howe) excursion to find riches have turned up fruitless. Neil wants to proceed onward, but Kevin thinks he has a better plan to amass easy wealth in the form of an escape room…. in their basement. Before they begin to hatch a scheme, Allison (Annie Murphy) comes down, asking if she can borrow his car for Patty’s beauty expo. She deceives him into giving it up on account of her buying handles of tequila from the duty-free store in “New Hampshire”. Her lies are already creeping into Kevin’s world. She reminds him of corned beef in the oven but sets an Alexa for 6 hours because none of the three guys pay her any mind. Allison jets after Kevin asks why she’s taking the keys. Upset, Kevin’s dimwit lightbulb moment occurs when he figures out what people want to escape the most- husbands. Thus the “Escape Groom” is born.
TITLE: KEVIN CAN FUCK HIMSELF
INT. – PATTY’S HOME – DAY
Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden) is quick to extract her money from the hollowed-out book. A knock is heard at the door. Thinking it’s Allison, she invites the guest in. Enter Detective Tammy Ridgeway (Candice Coke), catching Patty by surprise. Turns out Detective Abraham, ahem, sorry, Bob Bram took a statement from her. Det. Ridgeway merely doing a follow-up. She questions patty about the pharmacist. Patty admits to going to high school with him, but not knowing too much about him. This still raises curiosity in Det. Ridgeway, as he’s been filling her prescription. Patty retorts with knowing a guy who owns a local gas station and sees him a lot more but only knows that he knows how to handle her cigarettes well.
Det. Ridgeway then notices the copy of Memoirs of a Geisha before picking it up and asking if it’s any good. Patty claims to have not read it yet. Ridgeway says they made a movie out of it, so how bad could it be and with that, she puts the book down. I assume picking the book up was to feel its weight. Patty says she has something to get to, so the detective departs, but not before informing Patty to stay put, as she may have more questions for her.
Patty and Allison leave at the same time. Patty demands to drive because Allison’s a ‘tourist’ around there and they should never be allowed to drive… and they’re off, in Allison’s words “like a herd of turtles.”
EXT. – KEVIN’S CAR – LATER
After a big rig passes by, Allison notices it’s from North Dakota, which she calls exotic. She assumes everywhere’s better than Worcester. Patty relays her theory that no place is better than another- everywhere is bad. Allison posits that maybe being an on-the-road trucker would’ve been better for her life, which Patty also shoots down. Her dad used to be a trucker and it’s not exactly glamorous, being just a race down highways to deliver a payload, dealing with drugs for diabetes and slipped disks.
Patty never saw him that much and the times he would come home, she wished him back out. Patty never knew if her mom wanted daddy home, as Neil found her dead when they were kids. Allison jokes that she murdered her, as she wanted Patty’s daddy all to herself. Her attempt at gallows humor lands with Patty’s approval.
INT. – BASEMENT – LATER
Neil brings up the question of customers for this seemingly hair-brained, if not downright psychotic idea. Kevin reveals that it won’t be a problem because they will offer 10k to the winners. Since Kevin has dust in the account, his ‘foolproof’ workaround is to make the room inescapable by making clues so complicated, they are supposed to lead to nowhere, with the actual key being placed someplace random. They have to print up flyers though, but because Neil doesn’t know how to work a computer, much less a printer, Kevin calls Allison to explain it in toddler terms, much like she does her own hog of a husband.
In the car, Allison’s phone rings. Patty tells her not to answer it. She sends it to voicemail. He immediately calls again. She doesn’t answer. As Patty puts it, the world didn’t end, and asks her to keep an eye out for the street her hookup is on. Apparently, he’s a guy from high school they both knew: Rick Dinunzio and that clan was bad news. The only thing is this is Allison’s first time hearing her and patty went to the same high school… and that’s because up until 20 minutes ago, Patty thought she didn’t like Allison. They are bonding, after all. What changed her mind? When Allison said she killed her mom.
EXT. /INT. – DINGY SHACK – DAY
Patty tells Allison to stay put, being a tourist and all but once Patty starts to approach the place with some hesitation, she turns around and invites Allison. Turns out her calm and collected demeanor may all be a front after all.
Approaching the squalid-looking shack together, they hear a loud gunshot. The door opens. Jif (Troy D. Wallace), Rick’s step-son invites them in. Proceeding deeper into the lair, it’s more of a clubhouse than a trap house. Patty said she was there to buy some “newspapers” for $250 and she’s given two small bags of cocaine. It turns out Oxy’s are “magazines”, with the names being switched up for security reasons. Where is the Oxy’s then? They traded them for the “newspapers” Patty asked for.
Since they have a no-exchange policy, the girls can’t even get their money back. They could try to trade it back from the guy the oxy’s were given to, but he’ll end up marking up the price. The only person that went with rick at that exchange is some teen named Trevor (Cole Tristan Murphy). He agrees to show them for a 6-pack, which was downgraded from a 12-pack. A word of advice from Jif is to leave Allison home next time, as she looks very “custy”.
Allison’s phone rings with hubby’s ringtone.
“I’m Shipping Up to Boston” might not be the best look for her, seeing the movie it comes from. She immediately ignores it.
INT. – BASEMENT – LATER
With everything being set up in the basement, Kevin frets and whines about his wife not picking up his calls. He can’t find his lucky Bruins hat. His father asserts they don’t need luck, as the clues seem really hard anyway. A gallimaufry of 56 clues is what the customers have to work through, with the final one being searching through a bowl of rice to find the word ‘pipe’ on the individual grains, on which Kevin hides the key on top. This is just piss poor planning.
Allison and Patty wait outside of a burger joint for Trevor and his connection. It turns out Trevor just went to pick up some burgers and his girlfriend. Turns out Patty has zero patience being their personal chauffeur, stealing a handful of fries to their dismay and with that, they are on their way.
Back in the basement, Pete is dressed up as a priest, and Neil as I don’t know the fuck what to play the emcee. Kevin is ‘dressed’ up as the customer, who will lead the actual players in the wrong directions. With so many big brains in the room, how could they possibly lose?
MATCH CUT TO:
The customers enter, with Neil confiscating their phones and locking the door behind them. One of the players notices that Kevin and Pete look like they could be related, so Kevin’s already starting on a brilliant footing. Someone is about to elect Kevin as the leader, but before he can say much, another player takes point and everyone splits up with a pair of the players solving a clue toot suite. Kevin can’t lose.
INT. – KEVIN’S CAR – LATER
At a stoplight on a lonely stretch of road, Patty’s had enough as Trevor and his girlfriend lock lips in the backseat. She starts and brakes hard. Trevor tells her to drive normally with coke in the car. Patty doesn’t care as they are in Vermont. Allison pipes up with “Live Free or Die”, which is the logo for New Hampshire.
Trevor spills the beans, gives all the instructions they need to meet this connection and with that, Patty tells them to get the fuck out.
INT. – BASEMENT – LATER
The players are nailing it. Kevin is sweating something fierce. The tall one ends up banging his head on the pipe, knocking the key from its spot, forcing Kevin to take hold of it. Kevin tries to convince them it’s fake by snapping it in half, causing him to bleed. Blood never shows up in sitcoms, so he’s doing himself in. He ultimately swallows it to prove it’s made of ‘candy’. Way to go, big boy with a big brain.
Allison and Patty finally arrive at their destination at a parking lot next to a red rooster van. She honks twice before two haggard individuals come out of the van. Allison freaks out, but patty talks for them. She gives them the coke for a trade-off. They go into the woods, telling her to follow. Patty doesn’t really have a choice, so follows, telling Allison to lock the doors.
Back in the basement, the crew is fucked and though the hour is up and nobody’s won, the other key is with Allison now. Neil then has to screw the door off the hinges but needs to travel a half-hour away to retrieve the drill from his cousin Terry. Their Alexa goes off and Kevin has no idea why.
INT. – KEVIN’S CAR – MOMENTS LATER
Allison sees the two sketchy people emerge from the woods with patty following. She didn’t get the pills, but she believes traded for something more useful: a gun. Allison freaks out, but patty asserts that all she has to do is point the gun at “Jason” and he’ll leave her alone. Allison is adamant about needing the pills and pleads with every fiber to Patty. Patty takes pity once more, saying there’s ONE more place they can try, but it’s 2 hours away. The game is back on!
INT. – BASEMENT – LATER
Everyone is upset, knowing it was all a setup. It also turns out that Allison’s roast is burning. There’s smoke entering and immediately trying to ventilate the place, a transom window is found, prompting the whole crew to haul tail.
EXT. – GAS STATION – NIGHT
Patty goes to fetch some Red Bulls and Menthols, a big rig pulls up as Allison cleans the windows. Patty comes out to find Allison gone. In a back alleyway, Allison is about to make the transaction for his pills. Suddenly, Patty pistol whips the dude from behind, thinking it was Jason. She freaks the fuck out and they book it the fuck out of Dodge, but not before Allison thinks fast, snatches the pills, takes the wheel, and peels the hell out.
Continuing down the road, Allison comforts Patty… but that doesn’t last long when the flashing of the fuzz looms behind them.
INT. EXT – KEVIN’S CAR – MOMENTS LATER
Patty is visibly shaken, but Allison keeps calm. Her father was a cop, so she thinks she has this under control. Allison takes the gun, stashing it in her jeans. The cop approaches Allison. She tries to shoehorn in that her father Les Devine was on the Worcester PD but gets no leeway. The problem is that the car was reported stolen by Kevin. Allison feigns her blonde charm and claims to have forgotten to tell her husband how long they’d be gone. She volunteers for them to go to the station so they can sort it out, but she probably knows that what a cop doesn’t need is more paperwork.
Once the cops leave, Allison checks her phone. Thirty-two missed calls and messages. She calls him. Poor, poor Kevin was worried Allison had been taken, or worse, dead inside the trunk of his car. He’s relieved she’s alive because he’s stuck in the transom window and doesn’t know where the Crisco is to shimmy his fat ass out as Neil and Pete try to pull him with a rope. Ahh, repugnant fat sight gags, where would networks be without you?
Allison informs him it’s in the pantry. Her voice is breaking and she’s incensed, livid with Patty because she wanted to pick up the phone earlier. Patty is shocked Kevin would stoop to this.
Patty also learns that when Allison worked long hours as a paralegal, Kevin convinced everyone that she was having an affair with her boss, despite being a married sexagenarian. Ridiculous as that sounds, Kevin still managed to put sugar in his gas tank, thusly getting his wife fired, while all Patty could do is laugh with the boys. This asshole took his “beloved’s” life away from her, basically wresting anything from her that made her feel worthwhile.
Patty thought it was harmless but with the quick slice, Allison asks if she thought it not divulging their non-existent bank account was.
However, the true coup de grace is Allison revealing the truth behind it all: she’s going to kill Kevin. With a surprised look upon Patty’s visage and a determined look on Allison’s, that famous Dropkick Murphy’s tune cues up as they head back home.