Kevin Can F**k Himself Episode 8 Review: Fixed

Euripedes was once quoted as saying that friends show their love “in times of trouble, not happiness.” On the season finale of Kevin Can F**k Himself (AMC) titled “Fixed”, I do believe that the optics of Sturm und Drang are murky but more solid than the fucking Atlantic on the harbor.

INT. – POLICE STATION – NIGHT

Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden) nervously taps her foot and chews her nails. Allison (Annie Murphy) emerges from the interrogation room. Patty is relieved. Tammy (Candice Coke) notices Patty, though she is compelled to address Tammy as “Detective Ridgeway.” She suggests Allison not leave town for a bit because they don’t take shootings lightly.

Enter Kevin (Eric Petersen), stage right. The one scene immediately transitions to a bright multicamera at the moment he steps into frame. He’s clearly dazed and doesn’t understand why this could happen to their house, as they don’t live in a great one. Bram (Kevin Chapman) informs him that usually, it’s drug-related, so people will break into anywhere for anything to hock for stock.

The detectives can’t be sure just yet it’s completely drug-related until they check Nick’s place tomorrow afternoon, not that Nick will be able to let him in: they are informed that just minutes ago the plug was pulled on him. Kevin’s clearly distraught, but Bram considers Kevin and Allison one of the lucky few. Something tells me Kevin doesn’t seem to think so or isn’t feeling so lucky at the moment.

TITLE: KEVIN CAN FUCK HIMSELF

INT. – LIVING ROOM – LATER

Allison, Kevin, and Patty enter. Neil (Alex Bonifer) accosts Kevin, giving him a big ole bear hug. Kevin’s still in a haze. Pete (Brian Howe) tells him to tamp down emotions with baked goods. No amount of cheering up from Kevin’s male flanks can staunch the flow of sorrow, including a hackneyed joke about marriage.

Pete suggests his son sleep it off with Neil offering to make him a fort to sleep in. Their King of Kings just wants to be alone, which upsets Neil, so Pete takes him outside and presumably to the local watering hole.

With the girls alone, we snap back into single-camera mode. They gather on the couch with Allison revealing Nick caught the other end of a trigger. He wasn’t supposed to deliver for a week, but it was their fault Kevin had a gun in the first place on account of them not burying it further than their own literal backyard. Patty goes into the kitchen, emerging with a bottle of booze, instructing Allison to take a swig each time she feels like yelling.

Ever the realist, Patty isn’t surprised the incident didn’t bore fruit because Tammy’s still sniffing out a dealer. In her words, this is why you don’t make plans because when you do “God laughs in your face and kicks you in the balls.” Patty seems fine with calling Allison’s wish a wash, but is incredulous when Allison still has a plan. Her endomorphic conviction shows, and not even god could stop her intent to carry out any Mission. Hey, Kevin reached for their revolver. She can pull the trigger in other ways.

Her plan? Take the pill bottle and cash they were going to plant them around Kevin, place them at Nick’s, then connect him around Furies Pharmacy. A corpse becomes the perfect candidate as the local dealer fall guy. Patty, reticently agrees it could work, but Allison is nearly out the door before her friend could exhale the sentence since the long hand is ticking before Tammy gets a warrant. Patty wants to know how this helps Allison’s plight with Kevin, to which Allison confesses that she gets to know her bestie is in the clear. That true conviction and dedication to friendship is what the selfish need to take notes on…

INT. – FURIES PHARMACY – DAY

Patty buys a box of Nicotine gum, requesting a bag. She stops by Kurt (Sean Clements) momentarily, not saying anything before moving on.

INT. – NICK’S PLACE – LATER

Patty and Allison sneak through the transom window. Allison puts the money and the pill bottle in the Furies bag, about to stash it in Nick’s sock drawer when Patty contests the feasibility of him actually doing that. In searching for a spot, Patty inquires into how Allison’s doing herself. She knows Kevin’s affected but is worried that Allison sees a guy get shot and immediately wants to frame him. Allison insists it’s better than being drunk, crying in the bathtub.

Allison sees that Nick has a bag packed, and immediately gets to work on unpacking his shit and putting it back. Her mind does work fast, seeing as though, if it was a random drug break-in, questions would surely abound about why he’d be leaving town. Just then, a door from upstairs is heard closing.

Allison is freaking. It’s Nick’s Aunt Cindy (Deidre Madigan). Allison audibly tracks her footsteps, noticing Patty slipping out. The door to the basement opens up and just as the footsteps are about to reach halfway down the stairs, the doorbell rings. Patty for the win!

Cindy answers the door to find Patty out of breath. She comes under the artifice of wanting to know how her client is holding up, buying Allison more time. Cindy explains that she has no idea what he was up to, and with the cops sniffing around, she’s even less interested.

Allison finishes up and takes a bottle of booze, but overhearing Cindy tell Patty that ole Nicky is still alive, causes Allison to send the bottle shattering to the ground. Buys her a few more seconds, Patty grabs her in, disingenuously saying she’ll pray for Nick. Allison cleans up the mess, stuffs the evidence under his mattress, and hightails it out of there.

INT. – BAR – DAY

Bert (Mike Mitchell) the bartender thinks Kevin’s arrival is about the cable being out. Kevin’s off duty, on hooky as going to work felt pointless, figuring a beer may help. His self-righteous trauma renders the beer tasteless, questioning what he’s done to deserve this. Bert asserts that the world isn’t fair.

Kevin counters by asserting that the world isn’t unfair but rather broken. It hits the ears of a few patrons. He expounds a bit further on his woes. A few more patrons perk up. Bert gives him a second beer on the house because the world is going to shit, but Kevin did something about it. (I mean, come on, Kevin ain’t fucking Bernie Goetz. He wasn’t seeking justice.) Another patron declares that they need more people like Kevin telling it like it is and he’s his third free beer. Finally, Kevin can taste again, and only in Kevin-Kvetching-World is the universal balance restored.

EXT. – STREETS OF WORCESTER – NIGHT

Elated that not only did they get out of the house in time, but also that the plan actually will work, Patty tosses a cigarette before lighting it. Allison looks worried. She senses that something is off, about Tammy latching on and telling her not to leave town. Also, Nick’s still alive, albeit in a critical coma, but Allison isn’t satisfied. She wants to be a step ahead, so she asks something of Patty and it’s a doozie.

She asks Patty to snoop through Tammy’s little notebook. A huge ask for Patty, as she’s no longer a friend of Tammy’s but something much more. Allison maintains it not being a big deal, that girlfriends do it all of the time, that if she catches her, just make up an excuse. Patty reminds Allison that she hasn’t had girlfriends, but she rebounds that she has Patty. Patty does agree.

INT. – LIVING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Neil and Pete are hanging up a banner. Kevin explodes in, explaining how he’s not back to his old self, but rather better. He relays how the people at the bar love his no-holds-barred take on things, which leads him to believe that the break-in was a lead-in to a higher calling: Kevvy’s running for office!

INT. – KITCHEN – DAY

Converting his kitchen into a campaign headquarters, Kevin’s cold calling. With Pete on the button making and Neil on the sign work, Allison enters, stage right. He informs her that Tammy called and confirmed that Nick was a drug dealer. Kevin also reveals that his higher purpose is not to become an actual father, but a metaphorical one of the community. In fact, he was planning to hold his first campaign event at the Moose Lodge before they pulled out. Neil tells Kevin to throw in the towel and play “ultimate hide and seek” instead, but Kevin refuses to cave in to ‘adversity.’ The doorbell rings.

EXT. / INT. – HOUSE – MOMENTS LATER

Allison finds Sam (Raymond Lee), closing the door behind. He wants to go in, but she hesitates with husband inside. He doesn’t mind so she invites him in. His compliments on the coffee table only prolong the inevitable. He apologizes, not wanting to end things on a bad note, not being able to fathom what if he’d do if something were to happen to her with the break-in. Before he could wear his heart on his sleeve more than a wet, red, stain, Allison goes in for the kill… I mean kiss. She knows they can’t do that there, but she wanted to and he admits he wanted her to as well. He then drops the bombshell-

He left Jenn because he couldn’t stand to live with her anymore. His hope is if Allison feels the same way, this might be their one chance to change everything.. before Kevin comes barging in. He takes hold of the conversation immediately, trying to get his vote. It’s already awkward, so Sam goes to leave, making an excuse for stopping by, which is that since business is slow, Allison is allowed to take a few days off.

Kevin has his patented stroke “of genius”. He wants to hold his campaign rally at Bev’s Diner, but before Allison can diffuse the situation, Sam with some reticence agrees.

INT. – PATTY’S SALON – DAY

Tammy is chilling as Patty cleans the place. She does notice that Patty’s clientele has been light, not getting why she didn’t close up shop early possibly to go bowling. Patty’s been hoping for some walk-ins but does suggest they both go to Kevin’s campaign party. She declines, citing they aren’t her kind of people, specifically Allison. She simply doesn’t get a good feeling out of her. Patty does agree to go out closing up shop to do something, such as bowling.

Tammy asks for the bathroom, and with the door closed, Patty eyes in on her girlfriend’s notebook staring right at her, in spite of Tammy informing her that Nick was the local dealer. Did Allison take precedence?

INT. – BEV’S DINER – LATER

Kevin’s hobnobbing and pressing the flesh with his supporters, including his boss Mr. Harrison (Harlin C. Kearsley), and the two cops from the Grand Victorian. Neil runs in, spotting an ice cream truck four blocks away. He wants Kevin to join him, however, Kevin is done doing that in favor of his political aspirations. He outsmarts Neil by telling him to go play ultimate hide and seek, as he’ll catch up, to which Neil happily obliges.

Allison arrives with Kevin simply wanting her to stand by his side to look good. They take a publicity picture and the whole bar cheers Kevin’s dream on. Allison storms off.

EXT. – BEV’S DINER – MOMENTS LATER

Allison frantically calls Patty. She doesn’t answer. Sam chases after her. She’s madder than a wet hornet at him for letting Kevin get his way. He thought it was easier than saying no. She lets her frustration fly because Kevin always gets his way. The fucking dude shot a guy and the cops inside are toasting him. She believes the world was built for guys like Kevin or Neil or Pete.

She simply wants to give up and run away with Sam, possibly to someplace off the grid where they can be different people. He takes her ‘giving up’ as being with him the wrong thing to say, as he’s attempting to offer something real, not a palliative solution to a bigger problem, not a band-aid to a gash. Romantic as Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” sounds, it’s not realistic… but Sam is.

Sam doesn’t want to be another Kevin, a cartoon character saving her. He sees the potential in her, knowing she can be more than what she currently is, but she doesn’t take that as a compliment. She accepts her cracks and flaws. She accepts this lot in life, storming off back into the party.

INT. – BEV’S DINER – MOMENTS LATER

Kevin and Pete are downing shots. Allison walks in and starts downing them herself with reckless abandon. Kevin tells her to cool it, that she has a public image to upkeep, but when she tells him he does as well. He asserts that he’s living it to the cheers of the entire crowd toasting him. Allison tells him that he think’s he’s some “everyday hero” but he’s “just a DICK.” Following a deafening silence, the cops say they like the term everyday hero, and thus, ‘Kevin McRoberts – Everyday Hero” is born to the cheers of the joint.

INT. – PATTY’S SALON – LATER

Tammy is keeping what over the store when Bram calls. She maintains that she’s off for the night and denies him. Kurt walks in and Tammy tells him that the owner went out for some cigarettes. Kurt says that sounds familiar (lies) and that he stopped by to see how she’s been holding up. Tammy says she’s been fine, possibly the happiest she’s been. Kurt tells her that he’s not surprised and that since they’ve broken up, he’s thought about the questions he should have been asking but she’d never answer. He thinks Tammy would have more luck, being a cop and all. Tammy finds this odd and takes another stroll around the salon.

INT. – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Allison enters, surprised to see Patty sitting with the lights off. She’s been trying to call, and Patty did see but wanted to yell at her in person. Laying into her that it sucked what she made her do with Tammy, Allison apologizes to cloth ears. Patty goes further into accusing Allison knowing Tammy wasn’t just “some friend” and that she took advantage of her romantic stance with her. She plunges the knife even further, with that her framing Nick wasn’t out the kindness of Allison’s heart but rather as a ploy into getting Patty to owe her a favor by snooping through her girlfriend’s stuff, thus betraying Tammy.

Patty did look at Tammy’s notebook and she hates herself for it. All Allison could muster is to ask what it said, and guess what? It said nothing. She did the deed for nothing, sending her into histrionics. Tammy, Patty claims is the only person she had and she ruined it.

Allison takes great offense to this, reminding her friend that they’ve both terrible things for each other. Patty remains that she wasn’t the one to try to murder her husband. Allison reminds Patty that she helped. Patty fires back because it was a bust, Allison ought to find a different partner in crime.

She doesn’t want Patty because she’s a good enabler. She says that Patty raised her from the dead and without her, she’s, well, leaving her bereft of words. Before she can admit to anything more, Allison says fuck it and go back to how it was, with Patty being a dick to her. Allison storms off and Patty tearfully storms off.

INT. – KITCHEN – MOMENTS LATER

Allison finds the kitchen empty, but bright. Before she could fix herself water, she hears Neil. The guy stumbles out of the closet. Towering over her, he claims to have heard everything and is about to call Kevin divulging all, but Allison tries to wrestle it from him. This causes Neil to choke out Allison for the phone.

POW! Patty for the win again as she smashes a bottle on her brother’s head, causing the scene to go single-camera one last time. Patty asserts that her little (mentally) brother isn’t going to tell a fucking soul. She asks Allison if she’s okay, causing Allison to notice her bloodied right hand that the cell phone cut into, harkening back to the pilot.

Allison proceeds to lock her cut palm with Patty’s.
It’s the bomb that brought them together.
N
ope. Louder than bombs.

The season as a whole is fragmented. I think it’s supposed to be this way, but it’s also raw, like an undercooked steak. You can send it back to be cooked properly, but you can also find a new taste in what you didn’t think you’d like. It’s set up for another season, possibly more refined, but the concept is innovative and shows great potential. For those of you that are like me, I happen to love this TV tar-tar, much how Allison finds herself right now… and Patty does.
Also, I do like as a screenwriter, the dichotomy of 30 jokes a page of a multi-cam outside of the realism of a single camera, which may have a few, if any. The back and forth is right up my alley.
There are real rules to both, but it pays respect to both juggling them and for that, I am a fan.

Here’s to looking to next season!

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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