Eastbound & Down Season 4 — is Kenny Powers really dead?
During the course of Eastbound & Down’s four year run, we have come up with many predictions about the show, most of which end up not happening. Our theory about season 4 is either the most laughable yet, or just might be proven correct. Update: We were wrong once again.
Kenny Powers really died last season in the car crash.
Season 4 chronicles Kenny’s attempt to get into heaven / his journey through the afterlife / whatever religious or spiritual belief you want to call it. Recent seasons of the show have revolved around the ongoing theme of Kenny Powers’ redemption. What better way for Kenny to redeem himself than successfully passing through to the other side? Something similar to LOST, only with a mullet and alot less episodes...
Around the time season 3 was coming to a close, season 4 already had the green light. After the finale aired, a big deal was made about how you could hear Kenny’s door opening to jump out, before the car goes flying off the cliff. That sound effect could have easily been added in post, after the creative team knew season 4 was a go.
What a genius way to get one more season out of a dark comedy, than by playing both sides of the same shocking death? The show creators love the Kenny Powers material, but it’s no secret they’re ready to move on to other projects. If Kenny Powers is dead, it might make it easier for everyone to allow them to move on. At least for a little while...
The Car Crash
When Kenny Powers faked his death, he thought it was the ultimate rock star move. What better way to immortalize yourself? Although we didn't like the way he walked away from baseball, the fact that ego-maniac Kenny had to kill his persona for a chance at normal life was clever. A fitting ending at the time, but now let’s examine the car crash from another perspective.
Last we saw Kenny, he was behind the wheel pounding beers late at night on a long drive from Texas to North Carolina. In actuality, his track record for drinking and driving is not that good — remember when he passed out at the wheel and hit the boat? Kenny Powers is just as capable to go out like a death faking icon, as he is to pass out and plummet off a cliff.
Do you see the irony? If the crash was real, Kenny Powers died alone tragically, on a road in the middle of nowhere after walking away from baseball. Yet to his heightened ego and self perception, the season 3 hoaxed version looks “real” to Kenny since he went out on top. Nonetheless, what we could very well be witnessing this season is a seriously flawed soul’s journey to redemption.
Some evidence to ponder from season 4:
- Casket: In chapter 22 Kenny crashed his own funeral. It looked like there was a casket in front of Stevie and Maria, but no remains were ever recovered from the car wreckage?
- Kenny Powers the Husband: The first chapter in this season was all about Kenny Powers as a boring, regular, 9 to 5, job having family man. This was his own personal purgatory, being an average joe stuck in suburbia. Even though he was a better person, his soul could not rest in that boring environment.
- What Dreams May Come: Kenny made reference to this movie in Chapter 23 while digging his pool. This could be a big clue, since the film is about a man's journey through the afterlife, to reconnect with his wife after dying in a car crash. Does that sound familiar?
- Bright Lights: During his first Sports Sesh taping, bright stage lights were a huge distraction to his performance, and Stevie even begged him “don’t go into the light, Kenny.” At the time, this seemed like a joke that wrote itself, but there might be a deeper meaning. Maybe Kenny is not all the way dead, and he really needed to stay away from the lights (at the end of the tunnel?) to complete his spiritual journey.
- Scarface: Lots of references to Scarface in this season — the suits, the chains, lavish lifestyle, and the ominous scene of Kenny standing by his pool. Scarface was a badass, just like Kenny views himself. Tony Montana also had a big ego, lived in excess, and died tragically.
- The Darkest Chapter: Chapter 24 was probably the darkest episode of the entire series. The cocaine party and hot girl were temptations to challenge Kenny along the way on his quest. He almost passed those tests.
- Dakota: Dakota is Kenny’s spirit animal. Kenny wore a wolf necklace in season 1 (pretty sure he wore a wolf shirt in earlier season?), and he referred to Dakota as Toby’s “spiritual guide” as well.
- Charity: Kenny Powers would never do anything for charity, yet he built a state of the art little league facility in a run down park. Even though the gesture served his ego, Kenny Powers does not perform any deeds (this was a good deed) without getting paid.
- Guy Young: Guy falls into the worst human being ever category, just like Kenny. They are essentially the same person, so Kenny defeating Guy could symbolize defeating the bad side of himself on his journey to redemption. With only two episodes left, he might be getting close.
- Randall Tex Cobb: Not sure of the title, but Kenny was watching a Randall Tex Cobb movie where the actor goes plummeting off a very tall cliff to his death. Are they alluding to Kenny going off the cliff as well?
- His Marriage / April: Kenny Powers of seasons past would not give a second thought about his marriage being in the tank. Yet when faced with the challenge of possibly losing both April and his TV show job, he chose to fight for both. The "old" Kenny Powers would have only worried about himself, more TV time, and dolla dolla bills. His concern to make their relationship work is something new for him, even though he was supposedly unhappy before he got his fame back.
- Over his Dead Body: During his meltdown at April’s party, Kenny screamed “If anyone wants to take my television job they’ll have to do it over my dead f*cking body.” Are they foreshadowing that he’s already dead, and will lose his career on Sports Sesh?
- Just a Closer Walk With Thee: The song at end of Chapter 27 is “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” by Patsy Cline. The song is about walking with Jesus, and seeking guidance into his kingdom.
- Change Narration: “They say that who ever you are, you’re stuck bein’ that person ’til you’re dead.” Kenny changed for the better in this episode, so is he suggesting something?
- Michael Jackson: This was more likely prop humor than anything, but Kenny Powers was dressed like Michael Jackson (complete with germ mask and wheelchair) during lawyer meeting. Michael Jackson was a huge celebrity and rock star, like Kenny views himself. He is no longer alive.
- Caroling: “You'd f*ckin' catch me dead before I goddamn go caroling, alright?” And Kenny Powers ended up going caroling. This was the second time Kenny has made an “over my dead body” type of comment in as many episodes.
- Dakota: Kenny got his spirit animal back at the end of the episode. Kenny set Dakota free in the first place, but Dakota willingly came back after he changed his selfish ways on Christmas.
After watching Chapter 28 it seemed like Kenny started to redeem himself through his kind actions during Christmas, but after working on the episode guide we found a few more clues that suggest Kenny Powers still might be dead: