Kevin Can F**k Himself Episode 7 Review: Broken

Betrothed, bemused, begotten. This is the triumvirate of many a failed marriage. Welcome to the penultimate episode of Kevin Can F**k Himself (AMC) titled “Broken.” In this, you will find some things can’t be just glued the fuck together, but rather repurposed into something new.

INT. – NICK’S HOUSE – DAY

A nervous Allison (Annie Murphy) stands before the menacing Nick (Robin Lord Taylor) and vomits out the words “next Saturday.” Nick maintains he could do it at any time, but Allison has a plan. By visiting her mother in South Carolina, she’s out of the picture, and with her absence, Kevin will party it up, leaving him blacked out by 11 pm. She instructs him to make his death look like a robbery, telling him where the bedroom is. He agrees.

She queries him what he’ll do after in the grand scheme of things. He says he’s getting the hell out of dodge the second his parole is up.

INT. – THE GRAND VICTORIAN KITCHEN – LATER

In busboy mode, Nick brings his manager a plate a customer sent back, citing it not to be dairy-free. After being called a dumbass, another busboy knocks on him, causing Nick to go off, shoving the busboy and knocking him onto the hot griddle.

Nick doesn’t want to be fired, as they’ll send his ass back to Walpole Prison. He at least wants a day before his parole officer hears about the incident. After a small exhibition of intimidation from Nick, the manager relents and agrees to give him only the day, as tomorrow morning, he’ll be updating his employment status with the county.

INT. – NICK’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Nick packs some things, answers his cell, and tells the person on the other hand that they are leaving tonight. He also extracts a gun and informs them there’s just something he has to take care of first.

TITLE CARD: KEVIN CAN FUCK HIMSELF

INT. – INTERROGATION ROOM – DAY

Allison sits worried. Detective Ridgeway (Candice Coke) and Bram (Kevin Chapman) enter with a cup of coffee and creamer and proceed to hit record on the tape player. Tammy asks Allison about her relationship with Kevin. She proceeds to say she’s his wife.

CUT TO:

INT. – PATTY’S HOUSE – MOMENTS LATER

Allison continues to say she’s his miserable pathetic wife and she’s glad he’s dead.

WELCOME TO FOUR DAYS AGO

Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden) chides Allison. Allison’s using hyperbole, of course, finding the preparation useless. They’re in this Stygian situation together, so it’s boiled down to this. Allison swears to have a plan, seeing Nick in a few days, laying out the details, and then from there, everything should be smooth sailing.

Patty knows the reality of it though, and Kevin’s being six feet under only starts the process. She grills her more on what the cops may ask and Allison swears, though she didn’t work out the minutiae of it all doesn’t mean she’s not taking it seriously. She says she’s not some kind of idiot with Patty firing back that Allison screwing her boss is pretty idiotic, and she found out with little to no effort.

This means the cops can as well, and from Kevin’s death on, every interaction with Sam will be scrutinized under the most powerful of microscopes. Patty drags her into the reality she’ll have to look forward to in the coming days, weeks, months. Patty imperiously tells her to chin up and nut up, starting the interrogation again.

INT. – SAM’S OFFICE – NIGHT

Sam (Raymond Lee) and Allison are once again ‘engaged,’ but Allison now puts the serious kibosh on it, saying she needs to focus on her husband. Sam finds this a shock, knowing her intentions with him are clear romance and that she hates her husband, but she obdurately lies with a straight face that Sam and she were naught more than dolls of desperation. This pains me to watch because Allison has to cut true romantic ties in order to SNUFF an unloving one out. She exits, heartbroken.

INT. – FERTILITY CLINIC – DAY

In order to throw the scent off her trail more, Allison is being checked out, making sure the visit itself is on the record. Dr. Melanie Wick (Jennifer Lafleur) is asked how long she’s been with her partner. Allison corrects her by saying her husband. Her ‘wonderful’ husband. She relays the story of their wedding day, ultimately ending with Kevin pantsing a priest to make his wife-to-be feel better. She thought that he’d metaphorically be pantsing priests for the rest of their marriage, making her laugh and assuring her everything was going to be ok. She hadn’t thought about that in years.

Dr. Wick says it’s a good thing she didn’t wait until “15 years to start trying.” That nobody is getting any younger. With that, Allison breaks into a sob, but quickly clears out of it. She assures herself that she’ll be fine. Fifteen years. Why does that sound familiar?

In the lobby, Allison procures the necessary documents of her visit and confirms her visit is on the record. She tries to alert the receptionist to her presence by taking a pamphlet. She doesn’t, so Allison purposefully knocks them down to make her presence known. “Classic Allison!”

Outside of her house, she chucks the documents and pamphlet into the trash before sobbing and storming off.

INT. – INTERROGATION ROOM – DAY

Opening the creamer and putting it in her coffee, Allison explains what happened after she heard the gunshot. She said there was some screaming and her neighbor called, Patty. Allison comments that Tammy knows Patty, but is asked by Tammy to give the full name: Patricia Deirdre O’Connor.

CUT TO:

INT. – ART STUDIO  – NIGHT

At one of those wine and paint nights, Tammy notices Patty not having a good time. It turns that Tammy isn’t either, so they just decide to get drunk of an attending wedding couple’s wine.

EXT. – PATTY’S HOUSE – LATER

Tammy claims to like Patty’s brush strokes on the painting. She says she can feel patty’s anger at the sunset. Patty quips it being a “commentary on the passage of time” and proceeds to put it someplace special: the trash.

Tammy’s phone rings. It’s work. Patty wants Tammy to indulge her in what it’s about. Tammy says it’s about an old woman who got her drugs illegally telling her and Bram to fuck off. She’s all Patty’s again, proceeding to kiss her on the lips, only Patty doesn’t fully reciprocate. Her situation is getting hairier as well, mirroring Allison, and when Tammy proceeds to the door, Patty stalls, saying that this is a little fast and new for her.

Tammy questions if Patty’s never had feelings for another girl before to which a subtle pause and squeak alludes there to being someone else… but denies it. Tammy then asks if it’s about her “nosy ass neighbor” to which Patty summarily gets defensive. You can tell that Patty is very conflicted and wants it to be hard for both of them for a while. Tammy maintains that if it’s the right person, it shouldn’t be, and with that, walks away, leaving Patty alone in the cold. She looks over to Kevin’s house.

INT. – LIVING ROOM – LATER

Kevin (Eric Petersen), dressed like a dimestore Psycho-Billy rock star holding an acoustic guitar, Neil (Alex Bonifer), dressed like a bargain-basement reject from any 80s New Romantic band ever on the keyboards are barely churning out notes with dad Pete (Brian Howe) cheering them on. Enter Patty, unamused that Kevin and Neil are starting a band and even more unimpressed knowing that this all stems from singing karaoke at a bar.

They choose “Jenny McCarthy Tank Top” as the band name, which, by some idiot savant move, was chosen due to its google-ability. Hey, it was either that or “Fassbender’s Hog.” The three also agree a “chick” or even a “half-chick” like Patty shouldn’t be allowed in the band unless it’s Jenny herself.

Fed up, Patty goes to see Allison.

INT. – BATHROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Patty finds Allison sobbing in the bathtub with a bottle of wine. She says it’s has been happening all week, akin to a sneeze. She’s lamenting the person she’s become. She considers herself a monster breaking Sam’s heart, lying to the police, and as the cherry on top, being basically barren, so she can’t even have kids to guilt into loving her. Maybe she wants kids…just not Kevin’s.

Allison goes to take another swig but her girl grabs it from her, taking one herself. Allison claims that she’s broken, but Patty asserts there’s a reason she came upstairs to talk. It wasn’t because things were going bad in her own life, but rather because she wanted to talk, so if Allison is truly broken, Patty would have it no other way.

Smiling through the run makeup, Allison invites her friend to join her in the empty tub. She does and Patty salutes to them being their lonely subsistence until death. Allison looks at her with plaintive eyes and Patty’s very subtle surprised expression says it all. She has a thing for Allison! Allison puts her head on Patty’s shoulder and with a reluctant chagrin, Patty slowly eases in and closes her eyes. If that isn’t love- it’s the bomb that will bring them together.

EXT. – TAMMY’S HOUSE – LATER

The door opens and Patty plants one on Tammy. She asserts that Tammy is the right person. Possible displaced feelings are only drawn more pointed and poignant by The Fleetwoods’ cover of “Unchained Melody“ resounding in the background that started in the bathtub before.

INT. – INTERROGATION ROOM – DAY

Bram asks Allison if there was anybody who’d have beef with Kevin. Allison admits that ‘everybody loves Kevin’ (a nod, no doubt.) Neil’s name comes up, with Tammy revealing that he and the intruder were on the same hockey team at Burncoat High. Allison maintains that Neil’s not capable of something like that, not out of sheer emotional intelligence, but rather a lack of general intelligence.

EXT. / INT. – PATTY’S HOUSE – MORNING

Neil takes out the trash when he suddenly finds Patty’s trashed art. He’s nearly offended at the gall of someone who would throw something like that out that can serve as Jenny McCarthy Tank Top’s cover art. He also finds Allison’s discarded fertility pamphlet and forms.

Patty and Tammy are enjoying some morning joe when Neil enters. He wants to ask Tammy some advice on the evidence he’s dug up and Tammy, being a good sport indulges him by offering a few interrogation tips. She basically teaches him to cold read, making the person think they have more evidence than they actually do. Patty’s protestations don’t help him from stoking the situation.

INT. – LIVING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Neil daftly attempts to interrogate Kevin, but Kevin spills his beans first, however, revealing that he’s booked the band their first gig. However, Neil’s evidence usurps the ‘good news’, figuring Kevin wants a family to break the band up. Neil thinks Kevin knows, but on the contrary, Kevin’s taken aback as he doesn’t want kids (as it’ll take away the attention from him.)

Neil apologizes for the mistake, but Kevin thanks him. I guess the case is afoot for the two Tweedle Dumb and Dumber.

INT. – INTERROGATION ROOM – DAY

Looking haggard, Allison just wants to go home, but Tammy needs her to walk through her day before the shooting occurred. She cites working at Bev’s that morning with nothing being out of the ordinary. Yeah, ok.

INT. – BEV’S DINER – MORNING

Allison isn’t on her game. She goes to retrieve two coffees from Sam and he notices, reassuring her, despite the week they’ve been having, he’s there to talk. He doesn’t want her drinking alone. She assures that she wasn’t, but merely was having wine with a friend and swears she’s great, happy even. The hurt painted on Sam’s face is fucking painful to watch as she walks away with her two coffees.

INT. – SAM & JENN’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Sam enters the house mid-renovation and to a coldly lit table with Jenn (Meghan Leathers) and her parents Greg (Bates Wilder) and Margaret (Elizabeth Bishop). Her mother says that they understand, mocking that he was busy with his “little cafe.”

Cleaning up, Jenn sees that Sam’s forlorn. He’s sorry for his tardiness, but Jenn assures him that her parents just wanted something to needle at that wasn’t at their own crumbling marriage. She opines, why get divorced when you can throw money at projects, like the renovation…or his cafe.

Feeling a sense of relief from Jenn’s admitting to it, Sam has a bit of diarrhea of the mouth by letting fly his thoughts, likening Margaret to a loan shark on the cafe not making enough money to recoup the investment, with her father trying to deescalate things. He thinks that at least a true loan shark would be less stressful.

This hits Jenn the wrong way, asserting that they’ve both been very generous with them, as opposed to Sam’s parents (who assumedly aren’t in the helping business.)

He asserts to have never asked for some of what they have done, including his “little cafe” to which Jenn fires back that maybe he’s their “latest project,” catapulting Sam out the door and into his car, saying that maybe he doesn’t want “to waste the next 15 years trying to distract himself.”

INT. – INTERROGATION ROOM – NIGHT

Tired and frazzled, Allison wants to go home. Tammy asks her what Kevin was doing up to the shooting.

INT. – FERTILITY CLINIC LOBBY – DAY

Grossed out by the pamphlet, Kevin explains to Neil why they are there, taking the birds and the bees to a stupid level. In essence, he believes that because Allison’s eggs are bunk, she might pin it on his sperm, so he’s there to essentially provide his DNA, proving that he’s not the problem.

INT. – LIVING ROOM – LATER

Kevin and Neil enter, calling everyone to the living room for a big announcement: Kevin’s going to be a father! Allison sees this as a joke at first, but hubby explains that though he initially never wanted kids, he’s 99% motility in his boys. This causes Allison to weep. Kevin wants to start trying tonight so that Allison can inform her mother when she leaves for South Carolina, which is cause for weeping, period.

INT. – BEDROOM – NIGHT

Hyped from the concert, Kevin wakes Allison up from her slumber. She just wants to get back to sleep so as not to fuck, but Kevvie’s ready to get busy, and what daddy wants daddy-

What’s that?

Just then a sound a heard from downstairs. Kevin pulls out Patty’s snub nose which we can Chekov the list. Allison doesn’t want this happening now, she had a plan. She had a date and a very good one… but so did Patty.

Kevin exits the room, leaving Allison to frantically shake her head until a singular gunshot stops it cold.

This episode was the tensest by far and naturally, served as the setup for the season finale. The throughline of Allison’s interrogation was a nice touch, as well as the maturation of Patty. We get to feel a bit more for Nick, as we realize fears of recidivism but that’s wiped away when pay comes to play. See you on the other side.

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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