As the holiday season comes under way a few secrets are exposed when Earl attempts to cross number seventy-four off of his list: “always ruined Joy’s Christmas.” Earl, Randy, and Catalina enter a radio contest to win a brand new car for Joy to make up for all of the thoughtless Christmas presents Earl gave her while they were married. While Randy and Catalina vie over the car, Earl finds out that Joy’s parents believe that he’s still their son-in-law and that he’s just returned from the war in Iraq. Joy is afraid to tell her father, an alleged racist, that she is now married to Darnell, so Earl plays the part, afraid of ruining another one of her Christmases.
Of course this episode is again about doing things right, but with a little difference: This time there are other people too who, well didn’t do all bad things BUT they all have secrets.
This episode begins with a contest. The contest consists of the following. You have to keep at least one hand on the Car which you can win at all times. (I think it’s a Dodge Neon.. but I am not sure), Why does Earl want to win the contest when he got a perfectly fine ’73 Al Camino with nice ’77 Door and a 1987 Camero Transmission.? Of course! It’s for the List! Number 74: ‘Always ruined Joys Christmas’. You see a few examples. 2002: He gives her something that looks like empty shell casings and gets asked: What shall I use them for? And he says: Whatever you like.
2003: She gets flavored condoms
2004: She gets Keys and says: “Wait, these are my keys?” and he says: “Yes, I found them” (Very funny moment in this episode).
Well, we are back at the contest. His brothers asks: “What does she need a new car for, she already has one” After that you see a extremely funny scene (and a little sad) where she and Darnell get out of the car .. and you see the two children in the back in the middle of the rain. And that kinda makes the point for earl. Back at the contest. Just when it began Earl shakes Randy’s hand, and as this was his only hand on the car, Earl is out. But just moments before Catalina showed up, so there are supposedly two people working for Earl. Earl remarks that he has to do something anyway. Once again (as you so often do) you see a flashback. You see Earl and Randy in front of the TV with a LOT and I mean A LOT of Beer Cans. They talk about that they have no more. Then Joy comes out and asks if the Kids Bikes are already assembled. Well since they both (Earl and Randy) decide, that they are too wasted to drive they decide to drive. So they take the kids bikes. Earl monologues:”I learned a valuable lesson this night: If you try to fly a big you better make sure that E.T. is on the back and not a 12-pack of Beer”. On the next day of the flashback you see the kids with their broken bikes and Earl remarks “You must have been bad this year”” and receives a, well let’s call it, not very nice look of Joy. Back at present time. Earl went over to Joy wanting to ask what color the kids might like for the bikes and when he opened the doors he gets greeted by Joys Parents: Buzz and Connie Darville and as Earl remarks: Business owners. Then you see a cheap commercial about them selling their water beds, but I am not gonna go into that now. (That would take too much time). Well then something strange happens: First Buzz says: “Welcome back Soldier” and then as Joy appears and sees Earl she jumps him and says: “Coming back from Iraq, just in time for the Holidays”. She lets herself be carried in the Bedroom. There she explains that her father is a racist (he wouldn’t even let her go to some school show with a black boy) and that, if he knew she would be disinherited. And she explains that her mother is in a wheelchair because she has advanced arthritis and kidney failure, so she has to get dialysis. Well since Earl doesn’t want to ruin her Christmas again. While this was going on Randy and Catalina were the only two people left in the competition. But Catalina makes it clear that, if she wins this car.. She’s gonna keep it. On this day Earl goes to Joy’s asking what color the kids bike should be like and he catches Joy’s mother walking.. That’s the second lie he’s uncovered so far. She explains: First, that she has a gambling problem. She is faking her Kidney failure to get money for her gambling. And as for the wheelchair: She had a little accident and got used to being pushed in the wheelchair, then she remarks:”Don’t you judge me” And don’t ruin Christmas. And that gets him every time. So he is keeping her Secret. Back to the contest: Catalina and Randy are the last two contestants. Finally Catalina wins and her secret is revealed: She is not a U.S. citizen, so Randy wins by default. But folks, the episode is far from over but it seems that all the pieces are falling into place. Well almost, next you see Earl decorating the tree and then you see Connie (Joys Mother) , getting into the newly won car (Which is supposed to be Earls gift for Joy and to make this possible Randy’s gift for Earl). Earl catches up with her and she says: “I am going to the Indian Casino, don’t you judge me”. Earl takes one of the bikes again and just catches up to her on her way back where she tells him that she bet on the whole car on no. seven (in Roulette). And she tells him once again not to judge her. When they arrive at hom Joy and her father are catching them. So she tells everything. Like that she used the dialysis money for gambling or the whole money of the business and then the whole card house begins to crumble. Darnell appears and Earl tells the father to call Darnell Son (which the father takes literally and believes he is one of his sons until told otherwise)… It unfolds that Joys father LOVES African-American people. Which was the reason he didn’t want Joy to go out with an African-American back in her schooldays.. He was her half-brother. They argued the rest of the night, everyone thinking everyone others secret is worse than their own. But in the morning when the children came and saw their presents and were happy the family went back to be happy too.
It seems that they all only kept their secrets because they didn’t want to lose everyone else. No there were no more secrets and Joy had her first happy Christmas in years. So Earl can cross another thing of his list and move on.
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