!!SPOILER ALERT!! Do not read if you haven’t watched yet.
I love Eastbound and Down. It was only supposed to run three seasons, but here we are at the start of season four, and I couldn’t be happier. In the beginning of the premier, we are introduced to a much different Kenny Powers than we are used to. Years after faking his own death, Kenny is now a family man. He is married to April, has two children, Toby and Shana, no doubt named after his late friend Shane, and works at a car rental agency.
In the introductory scene, Kenny pulls up to a red light next to a tatted up guy in a convertible who challenges him to a race. However, the new Kenny Powers doesn’t seem fazed by the man’s taunts and insults. Instead he is very polite in declining the race.
After introducing us to Kenny’s boss and new career, we are caught up on the events that bridge the gap between Seasons three and four: Kenny stealing Shane’s pickup truck, appearing at his own funeral, getting arrested and released for fraudulent life insurance charges, marrying April, the birth of his second child, and the symbolic AND semi-literal castration of the great Kenny Powers.
Throughout the episode you begin to realize that this new Kenny Powers is not happy. He thought that giving up baseball in favor of a life filled with a loving family would make him happy, but instead, it only repressed and amplified his need to break free from this mundane life he feels he has fallen victim to.
Somewhere between running into an old teammate from Atlanta, April being honored for a real estate award, and being denied a bank loan for a swimming pool, Kenny loses it.
In one of the last scenes of the episode, Kenny winds up at another traffic light being challenged yet again to a race by the same asshole from the introduction. This time, Kenny isn’t taking his shit. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, he accepts the challenge, wins the race, and runs the guy off the road. Finally, Kenny arrives at work and declares to everyone present that he is quitting his job and once again, making a comeback.
Tune in to HBO every Sunday at 10PM and witness Kenny Powers’ transformation from wonderful husband to arrogant superstar.