Season 3: Eastbound and Down Chapter 21
Episode Guide / Summary
The final chapter in the Kenny Powers saga. Or is it?
In a Texas bar, there’s a guy who looks just like Ronnie Barnhardt from Observe and Report hitting on some women, trying to score with his job title as the closer for Texas’ baseball team. After getting rejected, he chases the ladies outside where he’s hit by a van. His death should open up a roster spot for either Kenny Powers, or Ivan Dochenko?
Back at the Kenny Powers beach estate, it looks like Stevie and Maria have patched up their relationship. Stevie offers to redecorate (third time) Toby’s room with new hot babes on the wall, but Kenny prefers the room be converted back to the dojo. Kenny Powers is super sad that Toby is gone, but instead covers up those emotions by saying how glad he is to be a “single, thick-d*cked swingin’ bachelor” again.
After they discover Spurgeon has been living inside a glass pipe, Kenny Powers goes to the ballpark for a meeting with Coach Banks. He first teases a reaction out of Kenny by saying that he is no longer on the Mermen, but then explains Kenny Powers has been called up to Texas after their star closer was hit by a truck. The coach cannot wait to rid himself of his biggest nuisance, and after taking a minute or two to gloat, Kenny Powers leaves to interrupt one of Andrea’s college courses for the last time.
Storming into her classroom, he dumps her one more time, cause apparently their first public breakup on 4th of July didn’t count. Kenny Powers lets the whole class know that he’s “a full grown man, who has achieved his dreams” of going back to the majors, making him “about as real as it gets.” In Kenny Powers’ eyes, the youth of today doesn’t hold a candle to him when it comes to partying, drinking, or sex.
Stevie, Maria, and Kenny head to the beach for a celebration of sorts, throwing items from their stay in Myrtle Beach into the ocean, or setting them on fire. Kenny assumes they are coming with him to Texas, but soon learns that Maria is pregnant, and the couple has decided to stay in Myrtle Beach to start their own family.
Kenny is upset at first, trying to lure Stevie back with the fame of being his associate, and possible starring role in a reality series he is developing. After Stevie stands his ground and forgoes these offers, we witness the most selfless act ever made by Kenny Powers — he gives Stevie the keys to the Panty Dropper, and relieves him of his assistant duties.
Using the excuse of returning Spurgeon to Toby, Kenny stops at April’s house for a visit. April is pleasantly surprised to see Kenny, but disappointed to learn that he is moving to Texas. After handing over the crab and drug paraphenalia, Kenny Powers pours his heart out to Toby. He wants his son to be proud of him, by all of the women he will bed in Texas, and the wealth, fame, and fortunes he will acquire there.
April thanks Kenny for stopping by, and also explains that she didn’t just come back for Toby — she wants Kenny Powers back as well. Kenny is shocked by her proposition, but cites her poor timing with his move to Texas as his reason for blowing her off once more.
Sitting in the Texas clubhouse, Kenny is greeted by Roy McDaniel, who leads a motivational prayer filled with oral sex references. He acknowledges that Kenny Powers has successfully sucked his dream’s d*ck, but now it’s come time for Kenny to spit or swallow.
During the game, Kenny Powers gets called in for the save. After trotting out to the mound, Kenny takes a few seconds to admire the crowd, and soak it all in — he was back pitching in the major leagues again. Kenny Powers burns a fastball for strike one, followed by his new knuckleball for strike two, then much to everyone’s surprise, drops the ball on the mound, and runs off the field.
Kenny Powers just quit professional baseball, choosing to be with his family instead. Driving the car, Kenny is pounding beers, laughing to himself that he’s starring in his own Cameron Crowe movie. At a sharp curve, Kenny’s minivan veers off the road, over the embankment, and explodes.
The national news reports the death of baseball great Kenny Powers, a “pitching phenomenon and controversial figure”, as those close to him mourn their loss. During this montage, Kenny Powers reads the final chapter to his pre-written book, “I’m F*cking Back.” In the epilogue, Kenny reflects on his baseball comeback, offering inspirational words for people to “stop being a regular normal person, and start being a champion instead.”
As April gets ready to go to the funeral, her doorbell rings but nobody is there, until Kenny Powers emerges from the bushes. He’s still alive, dropping one last 80’s reference, with bleached blonde hair like Pony Boy Curtis from the Outsiders. Kenny Powers faked his own death, and April is blown away to witness this news first hand.
Kenny Powers explains to April that after returning from Mexico, he dropped the ball in their relationship, by letting his vast fame and immense power interfere. Essentially, Kenny Powers killed “Kenny Powers”, to prevent his ego from ever getting in their way again. Kenny also admits that winning isn’t everything, realizing its now cool to lose sometimes too.
After Kenny Powers asserts that he wants to be there for April and Toby, they share a deep kiss on the porch. Kenny further explains that killing himself off was the only way to do things, since the press would have never left them alone. With Kenny Powers’ successful comeback with April now complete, she invites him into the house — “come inside, you son of a bitch.”
The end. Of the series. At least for now, maybe...
Steven Bernard Janowski’s Best Moment(s)
This chapter featured Stevie’s best combination of wig and eyebrows yet. The wardrobe department definitely saved the best for last.
Stevie’s best moment of the episode was actually a collaboration with Kenny Powers. Kenny didn’t want to let go at first, but after Stevie stood up to him about not moving to Texas, Kenny Powers realized that Stevie Janowski had finally become a man, and treated him as his equal for once. Stevie’s reward, and right of passage into manhood, was the keys to the Panty Dropper.
We cannot end our “Stevie’s best moments” segment without a funny one-liner either. What he said about Spurgeon living in a pipe:
He lives in a f*ckin’ bowl? He must be getting high as f*ck...
Kenny Powers’ Parenting Skills
1. If you can’t afford to buy a mobile, you can make your own with the following items: Playboy card, old baseball card, pipe and lighter, bottle rocket, sex toy, and ninja star.
2. Let a pinching animal, like a hermit crab, loose in your child's room. It’s perfectly safe.
3. Allow your infant to play with the pipe you use to smoke DMT with. It’s highly unlikely they will end up ingesting any of the toxic hallucinogens.
What did we think of the Eastbound & Down finale?
Being huge baseball fans, we did not like the way that Kenny Powers walked off the mound and quit baseball, since no ballplayer would ever do that sh*t. This was a serious knock for us, since it did not follow the Kenny Powers “gunfighter” mentality he bragged about the season before. He walked away from the final showdown, but this was the only major flaw that we could find with the finale, a sticking point we are slowly getting over.
Obviously getting April back AND success on the field would be too much of a happy ending for this series. So getting one or the other was logical enough, and we were fine with that, even though we were expecting more of a self-destructive conclusion. You can root for Kenny Powers, but let’s admit it — its slightly more entertaining when things don’t go his way, right?
Stevie and Maria’s storyline ended well, along with Kenny Powers’ on-going ritual of saying his goodbyes to everyone before leaving town, and his strange habit of giving speeches in schools. Rewarding Stevie with the keys to the Panty Dropper was priceless, and the final chapter to the audiobook read during the montage was top-notch.
Kenny Powers pre-wrote his new book, so did that mean he knew he was going to fake his own death, and walk away from baseball all along? We are not sure, but with Kenny Powers’ ego anything is possible. On that subject, this was noted about Kenny Powers’ death by one of our contributors on Twitter:
Kenny Powers The Legend had to die so that Kenny Powers The Man could live.
If there is one lasting notion to take away from the Eastbound & Down finale, Kenny Powers did walk away from baseball on his own terms, like he always viewed himself — the quintessential rock star of America’s pastime.