“My Name Is Earl”: Early Release

I’m the cable repairman. I’m here to turn on your box.

Earl thinks he’s getting out of jail today, but he doesn’t know that the warden shredded Earl’s early release certificates so he’d have to stay in prison and help bail the warden out from his incompetence. When Earl’s about to walk out of the prison a free man, the guard tells Earl that he’s not on the day’s release list. Earl confronts the warden about reneging on their agreement, and the meeting ends with the warden punched in the gut and Earl in solitary confinement.

Earl passes the time in solitary twiddling his thumbs, playing charades by himself, believing he’s a turkey and pretending to conduct an orchestra. Believing he’s broken Earl’s spirit, the warden releases Earl from solitary confinement and gives him the task of decorating the prison (electric chair included) for Christmas. Earl decides that it’s time to bust out of there. He enlists Frank, Paco and Randy to help devise an escape plan, and he looks for possible escape routes while he’s going about his Christmas decorating. He spots a hole in a ceiling that might work, and he puts the plan into motion.

Catalina flags down a van driven by a priest and a nun on their way to the prison. So while the real clergy are busy distracted with Catalina’s moral dilemma, Joy and Darnell drive a VW Bus to the prison dressed as a nun and a priest, respectively, and gain entrance to the prison. And they do a little preaching, too. (When I say, “Holy,” you say, “Ghost!” When I say, “Springer,” you say, “host!”)

Earl, Frank, Paco, Randy and a crude pistol Frank made out of random stuff in the prison (the bullets are made from melted bed-spring coils) make their way through a ventilation duct in the ceiling. Earl falls through the ceiling, right into the warden’s office, followed by Randy and the pistol. Frank and Paco keep going. Earl’s got the warden at gunpoint, and decides he’s going to make his escape disguised as the warden … though he can’t bring himself to shave the ‘stache.

Outside, Darnell subdues a prison guard using something like the Vulcan nerve pinch. But when Frank and Paco come out of the ventilation shaft without Earl, Crab Man goes in to get him. Taking Joy’s nun outfit and the VW Bus, Frank and Paco make their getaway.

Crab Man falls through the ceiling into the warden’s office and lands on Randy. The warden seizes the moment of chaos and grabs the gun. But it seems Crab Man recognizes the warden as a porn star from the ’80s (and a short comeback in the ’90s), and with that deus ex machina, the warden agrees to free Earl and forget about the whole escape attempt if they keep the porn-star stuff between them.

Frank and Paco think they’re home free, but while Paco (dressed as a nun) drives the Bus, he spots his long-lost love Catalina walking down the road. Distracted, Paco crashes the VW into a police car, which you’ll remember is exactly how Frank and Paco got caught after their bank robbery.

Earl is finally released from prison, and the episode ends with a group hug. Awww.

What We Learned:

Playing Eye-Poke is fun until someone gets poked in the eye.

You scratch my back, and my back won’t itch.

Nobody eats Earl J. Turkey.

How Not To Escape From Prison:

If you decide to disguise yourself as an infirmary nurse, don’t make yourself too pretty. You’ll get … uh, violated.

Don’t sneak out when they throw away the old mattresses. You’ll get pitchforked.

If you do get over the fence, don’t take time to celebrate. You’ll get shot.

Wisdom From Randy: Two people kneeling next to each other is not a human pyramid.

Crab Man Chronicles: Crab Man’s really been getting into food metaphors lately. Nobody loves pudding more than Crab Man, but you’ve got to pick your battles.

About Ryan Berenz 2028 Articles
Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.