O Karma, Where Art Thou?

— 21 minutes

When Earl and Randy try to return a stolen wallet they find out taking the money had cost two newlyweds their honeymoon. In an attempt to make things right Earl takes over for the groom at his fast food restaurant. After time Earl finds out the boss is a jerk and Earl wonders how such a man with a luxurious house and beautiful wife could not be affected by the only thing he believes in, Karma.

Recap:

Earl and Randy wake up one cold morning at the hotel, Catalina alludes to the fact that they may be being carbon monoxide poisoned and leaves the room. Randy discovers that Earl was right when he said Randy “wasn’t ready for a pet” after discovering dead “Mr. Fishy” (the goldfish) in a sealed plastic bag in his pocket. Earl however discovers number 202 on his list, “stole a wallet from a guy at a gas station.”

We flash back to “a few years ago” when Earl was “hanging out in a gas station bathroom, waiting for some guy to drop his pants and provide me with an opportunity.” Earl screams a little too loud and a little too enthusiastically when he discovers just how much money is in the wallet and has to cover by announcing to the bathroom that “they have my favorite brand of toilet paper in here, soft stuff.”

Earl admits to having stolen a lot of wallets in his day, but also admits that this particular one was the mother load. And, it seems when you find yourself with a lot of money you go to Jasper’s. What is Jasper’s you may well ask? “Jasper”s is kind of like the mall, only it’s in a storage unit and everything there was stolen from the mall.” The gang spends the thousand dollars they had on many things that day and according to Earl, they were living like kings. But back to today, when faced with the reality of having to give up his helmet bought that day long ago, Randy asks Earl why he can’t just give the guy back his wallet with a thousand dollars of his lottery money stuffed in it. Earl explains to Randy that the items were bought with stolen money and, as such, have bad Karma all over them.

The slushee machine represents one small hurdle, since it now home to Darnel’s turtle. But typical “Crabman” accommodation, Darnel decides to allow the turtle to simply go “free range” on the carpet of the trailer. Joy barely looks up from her magazine when announcing “if that thing starts begging at the table, its going to become an outside turtle.”

Back at Jasper’s to return the items, Randy and Earl discover that Jasper has gone “high-tech” complete with taking orders online and a mail-order Russian wife. With the money in hand (and we never quite learn how they are able to get back all their money, even though the items have been well used), Randy and Earl track down the owner of the wallet. The intention of course, is to return the wallet and then Earl can simply cross the item off his list.

As with every item so far from Earl’s list, nothing is quite so simple. The scene where the wife of the man whose wallet was stolen opens her tanning bed calling the boys thief’s is hilarious as Randy recoils from her over-tanned stick like figure asking “what is that Earl, what is that?” When the wife wants to call the police, Randy cuts the phone cord, briefly making the wife feel that she and her husband will die. After some explaining, Earl finally manages to calm them down. It seems however that the money stolen was for the young couple’s honeymoon. And so simply returning the money will not be enough for Earl to cross them off the list.

Earl agrees to cover for Jeff at his job, while he and his wife go off on their “do-over” honeymoon. The fast food restaurant is run by a Mr. Patrick who we quickly come to find is a real tyrant to work for. Earl has never done well with authority and in the past when faced with this type of person, the answer was simple, Earl would just punch him in the face and feel much better. We even get to watch via a flash-back as Earl quits four past jobs using this very method. Alas, with Karma now dictating his actions, Earl is not able to vent the way he would like and even winds up eating a disgusting french-fry which was used to wipe the groove on a counter Earl had supposedly cleaned. What Earl won’t do for Karma! He isn’t made to feel much better by the co-worker who tries to console him by saying “that’s ok, I had to eat a hamburger patty he wiped on a toilet seat.”

Earl has to endure more humiliation from Mr. Patrick and he bears up well, fully firm in his belief that Karma will make sure this terrible manager will get what’s coming to him. Just when you think Earl has put up with enough, Joy and Darnel pull up to the drive-thru window. Joy decides this situation is far too much fun to enjoy from the car and decides to park and come on in.

It starts the minute Joy walks up to the counter and says to Earl “well look at you all dressed up in that cute uniform and they even had your extra dorkey.” Earl may no longer punch abusive managers in the face, but he will fire back at Joy, and does “welcome to Stars, may I take your order? And your clothes look stupid too.” Joy convinces the manager to give her the food she ordered for free, claiming Earl’s hair had fallen into it. Earl allows himself to be compelled to wear a hair net on his head and one for his moustache that crosses his face. While totally not enjoying the experience, he reminds himself that Karma will look after the bad people in this world.

While loading Star’s paid for toilet paper to drive over to Mr. Patrick’s house for his own personal use, Earl meets again with a female co-worker (Zeena). While trying to explain the “uncontrollable, driving force” behind Karma, Zeena misunderstands where he is going with this, and in a very awkward moment blurts out, “I love you too Earl!” and while taking out her retainer adds, “you’ll be my first.”

Earl first begins to question what Karma is doing when observes that Mr. Patrick has a beautiful house in a beautiful neighbourhood and a beautiful wife, all of which he clearly didn’t deserve. Once inside the house, the situation is only made more frustrating for poor Earl. Mr. Patrick seems to have it all. O Karma, where art thou?

Back at the hotel with Randy, Earl tries to make sense of it all. When Catalina suggests that maybe Mr. Patrick is nice outside of work, Earl announces “even if he pulled his face off and underneath was that guy from U2 who does all that charity, he still wouldn’t deserve a wife that hot!” Earl spends the next day at work looking for some sign that Karma is on the job, but all he finds are more and more incidents where Mr. Patrick clearly violates all Karma’s principles with apparently no repercussions. In one totally hilarious moment, Earl decides that Mr. Patrick must be being punished by Karma in a way that requires “up close” observation. Earl recounts, while standing beside Mr. Patrick at the urinal “I didn’t want to check there, but I had to.” From Earl’s reaction we can quickly ascertain that Karma has not punished Mr. Patrick “there” either. You will have to watch the episode to see the scene where Earl says he’s “having a little trouble working up a stream” and how Mr. Patrick “helps” him. Too funny to try and write about.

Back on the job, dressed as a hamburger for child’s birthday party, Earl complains “I could see that Karma wasn’t punishing Mr. Patrick, what I didn’t get was why it was punishing me.” The children and Mr. Patrick plague Earl, but Mr. Patrick really berates Earl and through it all, Earl tries to simply “power through it” and not respond as he dearly wants to. Just when you think that Earl might actually stay calm, he unleashes the fury of his punch and drops Mr. Patrick to the floor with a punch to his eye. I, for one, jumped up and yelled in appreciation. When Zeena gets in the action and starts to kick Mr. Patrick on the floor, Earl intervenes and tells her to take it easy. One of the best lines of the show is Zeena’s “oh god, your hands on my body, feel so right.”

Earl says he “felt bad for sending Mr. Patrick to the emergency room, but when I found what I started, I felt even worse.” One by one, all the things in Mr. Patrick’s world unravel and a man who once had pride in his collection of “world’s best …” mugs, is found in a prison cell with a tin mug labelled “world’s best bottom.” It is a bad turn for a bad man, but Earl feels guilty since it was his fists that brought the punishment, not Karma’s. Randy accurately points out that “Karma doesn’t have fists” and goes on “Karma doesn’t have hands at all, or feet” he pauses, then asks tentatively to Earl “does Karma have feet?” Earl decides that maybe Karma did use him to do the dirty work, especially since a bad man (Mr. Patrick) got what he deserved and a good man (Jeff) got promoted to manager.

“In the end, everyone got what they deserved and I was able to cross number 202 off my list.”

Image source: themoviedb.org

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