Season 4: Eastbound & Down Chapter 29 (Series Finale)
Episode Guide / Summary
They definitely saved the most off-the-wall opening title sequence in the show’s history for the series finale. On an airplane, Sasha Baron Cohen sexually harasses a flight attendant with the old dick hidden under a blanket trick, and coaxes her into the mile high club. It turns out he’s Ronnie Thelman, owner of the television network, and for added strangeness a creepy looking teenage boy accompanies him at all times.
Meanwhile at the law office, Kenny Powers calls a meeting with his lawyers and April to object to their divorce, and fire his legal team. Kenny explains to April that after many sleepless nights, a great change has occurred — “I love my family now.” Since he has grown as a man since the holidays, Kenny pleads for a one week extension on their divorce filing for April to reconsider her decision.
At the Sports Sesh studio Kenny tries to motivate the staff in effort to get the show back on track, and meets the head of the network. Thelman was so impressed with Kenny Powers’ selfish behavior on the XXX-Mas special, he offers him a contract for his own new show, provided he can book Guy Young on the first episode. Kenny’s new show will be in the same vein as Ellen DeGeneres, where Guy Young will be given a forum to discuss his fall from grace, and offer an apology to the world.
Kenny makes a house call to the Janowski residence, where Stevie is recovering, and partaking a bit too much on the pain meds. While his family waits on him hand and foot, Stevie reflects that “trying to kill himself was the best thing I ever did”, since they love and respect him now. Then Stevie offers Kenny some notes on his screenplay, which don’t seem too complementary — he only cared for the stage direction, there was too much voice-over, and “the ending could have been so much stronger.” Kenny does not agree with the critique, and chalks it up to Stevie being loopy on pain killers.
Kenny drives up to Guy Young’s house rocking the theme song to Lost Boys (Eastbound & Down’s final 80’s reference), the joke being he would soon discover Guy Young living like a vampire inside. Wearing a sh*t stained Atlanta uniform, Guy Young has been living in his home theatre watching old footage of Sports Sesh, and pissing in Gatorade bottles. Guy Young has lost his mind, food chains, and AIDs charity, but Kenny finally persuades him to guest star as a way to re-build his brand.
After Toby’s school play, Kenny invites April and the kids out for dinner, but she declines the invitation, and then lowers the boom on Kenny Powers. After much thought, she has decided they cannot be together, and will be moving the kids with her to Santa Fe, NM to start a new job. Later that night Kenny deletes the last few lines of his screenplay, most notably “In the end, Kenny Powers didn’t get what he wanted, but he got what he needed.” Kenny Powers was about to re-write the end of his own life’s story, foreshadowing the events that would soon unfold.
We learn Kenny’s new show is called Powers Hour, and before its debut, Ronnie Thelman holds a pre-show meeting, where he throws Kenny a curveball of his own. Kenny thought Powers Hour was supposed to be a “feel good show”, but Ronnie instructs Kenny to ruin Guy Young on national TV. Kenny begins his interview with Guy after the boos die down, and soon drops the bombshell that there will be no chance for an apology — because Guy Young just walked into an ambush.
The crowd goes wild as Kenny explains to Guy how the audience doesn’t give a sh*t about second chances, and only wants to see him humiliated on national television. After a dramatic pause to weigh his options, Kenny Powers decides against giving the people what they want, instead delivering one of his best speeches to date.
Kenny apologizes to family, friends, and co-workers for his horrendous behavior — all driven by his hunger to be happy, which he thought was attained through fame, fortune, and success. Kenny admits his way of thinking cost him the only woman he's ever loved, so from this moment forward, “the vicious dragon that was Kenny Powers will retreat back to his cave.” Kenny turns the mic over to Guy Young, then punches out his boss who confronts him for being a Nancy boy, instead of an American badass. It looks like Kenny Powers’ television career has come to a conclusion...
Since April had already arrived at her decision, Kenny needed to hand deliver the divorce papers to the house. First he says goodbye to the kids, advising them how to adjust in New Mexico, and promising to visit often on Southwest Airlines. Inside, he finds April with the house all packed up, where they make small talk before giving her the documents. On his way out, Kenny makes one more admission to April — he was never unhappy with her and the kids, only himself. As it turns out, he actually was a success the entire time, as both a father and husband.
They start making out, which leads into a flash forward montage narrated by Kenny Powers. We see the family drive off in a moving van, Kenny and April attend counseling, a B-rate version of Kenny’s movie is made, goofball Toby graduates high school, Shayna marries some nerd, and then tragedy strikes when April is gunned down in an alleyway robbery gone awry.
Kenny and his greying mullet head into a dark place, mourning April’s death with whiskey and heroin use. Eventually Kenny lands in rehab, which he of course conquers, then goes on safari in Africa, traveling by space-aged hover motorcycle. In Africa he eventually dies, but not before he weds a villager, and has five more children. Kenny’s remains are burned on a giant funeral pyre, then collected in a futuristic urn for Stevie, Toby, and Shayna to spread.
Kenny’s ashes are released, forming a blue starburst as they rise to the heavens — then the screen goes black. After the fade out, Kenny Powers is putting the finishing touches on his screenplay, which he describes as perfect. After April comes in the office to ask if he was done yet, Kenny Powers tells her he’s finished, takes a moment to reflect, puts his baseball down on the desk next to his Macbook, and leaves the room.
The end. Cut to black. Audience goes f*cking apesh*t. (but no bloopers in a small box)
Stevie's Best Moment(s)
Stevie was back to his old goofy self this chapter, and looped out of his mind. Instead of designer threads, he was sporting a giant chin bandage, and a growing addiction to pain medications.
He popped and snorted vicodin, and drank codeine from a large prescription bottle on several occasions, even passing out during the Powers Hour taping. “I feel like Little Wayne with this sizzurp.”
Besides the above, his best lines were either yelling at Guy Young to "eat a dick" when he came on stage, or mocking Ronnie is an English accent, while taking a cell phone pic of him knocked out on the floor.
What did we think of the Eastbound & Down finale?
This was Eastbound & Down’s second chance at a series finale, and it was masterful. Twice in as many years, they were able to keep a huge comedic guest star appearance under wraps for the finale’s cold open title sequence (last season was Seth Rogen). Luckily for everyone, Sasha Baron Cohen had additional screen time during the episode, contributing to that brand of humor Eastbound is known for.
Although the finale placed Kenny back into his boring/regular guy husband life, it was a fair trade-off, since we got to see him live a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous existence for most of the season. The dilemma the creators faced in the series conclusion was deciding for the last time, if Kenny Powers would dump all over everything he touches, which he does so well by the way, or finally manage to act like a grown person, and take some responsibility for his constant juvenile and/or selfish actions.
The decision for Kenny and April to get back together was fairly predictable, but also the correct choice, so the ending fit. How many more times can we really watch Kenny make piss-poor, selfish choices that ruin everything? In the end, Kenny Powers realized it was more important to be there for his family — not trying to buy them off with fame and fortune. This uncharacteristically “happy” Eastbound & Down ending was also helped along with a top notch Kenny Powers monologue during Powers Hour, and one last dose of Kenny Powers’ grandiose self image, in all its splendor, during his visualization of the revised screenplay.
What was that ending all about?
Judging by the southwestern motif in Kenny’s office, part of the closing narration to his screenplay was true — the Powers family did in fact move to New Mexico.
At first viewing of the finale, we thought the whole season was Kenny’s imagination running wild as he typed away on his laptop. This season was so out of control, it was like a dream, and on Kenny’s desk there’s a wolf statue — which he could have worked into the story as Dakota. The two scenes of Kenny finishing his screenplay (Chapter 22 and Chapter 29) were also very similar, so one of them could have existed in his head, telling the story we saw, helping him to ultimately arrive at the revised ending to “The Kenny Powers Saga.” It was only implied they moved to New Mexico, so they could have been living there the whole time.
But no, we were wrong once again. After watching several more times, the craziness in all the chapters did actually happen, right up to the point where Kenny and Stevie are sitting in directors chairs, watching his movie being made. Everything after, was Kenny’s glorious, yet nonsensical ending being re-written into the revised screenplay as we know it. In the middle of the episode Kenny deleted the original ending to the screenplay, since he literally wanted to give his life a new ending, then used Stevie’s notes (“Show, don’t tell, that’s the golden rule.”) to write his over the top futuristic conclusion.
Will there be more Kenny Powers?
Like we wrote at the end of season 3: “The end. Of the series. At least for now, maybe...”
The creators of Eastbound & Down love working on the show, but they don’t want to be branded the “Kenny Powers Guys.” They all have other projects to work on, and will be even more busy now running their production company Rough House Pictures. This is just speculation, but don’t rule out another season or movie after the mullet goes on a lengthy hiatus.
When Kenny Powers stared straight into the camera at the end of his Powers Hour apology, they left a gaping hole for the return of Kenny Powers somewhere down line:
So from this moment forward, the vicious dragon that was Kenny Powers will retreat back to his cave. Back to hibernation. Until the next foolish night awakens his wrath...
An obvious plot for more Eastbound & Down would be Kenny and his right hand man Stevie heading to Hollywood to get “The Kenny Powers Saga” made. Maybe Kenny could start a sports psychology business? Get into coaching? What ever it may be, you know he will need to call on Stevie for help at some point.
Some more notes:
Here’s some events from earlier in this season’s timeline that tied back into the finale, especially the flash forward montage:
- Chapter 23 - Red Hot Chili Peppers: Kenny referenced Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic, whose most famous song is “Under the Bridge” about getting clean from heroin use. “Under the bridge downtown, is where I drew some blood.” Kenny was shooting up under a bridge, before entering rehab.
- Chapter 25, 28 - Racist: Both Stevie (Ch 25) and Kenny (Ch 28) spoke out against racism this season, then Kenny Powers married an African woman.
- Chapter 26 - Sizzurp: Kenny and Stevie cleaned up the sizzurp that was thrown up everywhere on the kids’ baseball field, then Stevie joked about the “orange drank”, which he later became addicted to.
- Chapter 26 - Shooting: When Kenny gave Dustin Jr the assault rifle, he commented how good it feels to shoot a man in his heart. It looked like April was the one who got shot through the heart, then Kenny blew away both robbers, just like the target in Dustin’s side yard.
- Chapter 26 - White Jesus: Kenny bragged to the charity kids that he was their “handsome white Jesus.” When living in Africa, Kenny looked like Jesus, with greying hair, long white beard, and biblical walking stick / cane.
- Chapter 29 - Down Syndrome: Kenny joked Stevie had Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder the actor who played Stevie in the movie actually had.
- Chapter 29 - Lohan: The joke was that Lindsay Lohan, of all people, picked Kenny Powers up when he got out of rehab. The joke is even better, if that was the whole reason she was asked on the show. A Twitter follower also pointed out that “Promises” was the same rehab facility Lohan was actually in. (Thanks TheKHolland13)