The long, illustrious saga of Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) comes to an end in the series finale of Eastbound & Down.
Kenny Powers has seen success and fame come and go (and then come and go again), he's abandoned the love of his life and his family to follow his dreams and he's been ruthless, arrogant and monumentally selfish in his pursuit of greatness. So while it's expected, even inevitable, to see him throw it all away in the final stretch, it's also incredibly satisfying. The events that lead to this epic sacrifice are as follows: A Texan pitcher (Seth Rogen, in a small but welcome cameo role) gets hit by a bus right before the playoffs. It's a hoary cliché, but one that allows Kenny to finally be called back up the majors, fulfilling his long dream of staging a successful late-career comeback.
Following this achievement, Kenny seeks to tie up some loose ends, namely by officially breaking up with Andrea (Alex ter Avest) via bursting into her college lecture one last time. He also learns that Stevie (Steve Little) and Maria (Elizabeth De Razzo) are expecting a child, and will stay in Myrtle Beach to start a family rather than following Kenny to his major league career in Texas. It's a much-needed maturation for Stevie, who's finally ready to attempt living his own life outside the shadow of Kenny's, and it allows Kenny to see his friend and protégé in a new, more admirable light.
When the moment of truth arrives, however, and Kenny is about to strike-out the opposing batter for Texas in the playoff game, he realizes he's achieved his goals and fulfilled his dreams, and all he really wants is to be with April (Katy Mixon) and his young son, Toby. Dropping the ball on the mound and walking off the field, Kenny gets in a car and hightails it back to Myrtle... only to drive it off the road in an apparently fatal accident.
Death Cannot Stop True Love
Luckily for Kenny (and us viewers), after a montage showing reactions from all the people Kenny has affected over the years, from his brother, Dustin (John Hawkes), to romantic rival Principal Cutler (Andrew Daly), arch-nemesis Ashley Schaeffer (Will Ferrell) to best friend Stevie Janowski, it's revealed Kenny merely faked his own death to get away from what he believes would have been the relentless pursuit of the paparazzi in order to devote his time solely to being a father to Toby with his long lost (and then recovered) love, April. It's a sweet gesture, albeit one that, as April herself points out, wasn't very well thought-out. Still, over the course of three seasons, nearly every character has grown in some way, none more so than Kenny himself, who after all this time has discovered the real meaning of success: not fame or fortune, but love, in all its forms.
What did you think of the final episode of Eastbound & Down? Are you satisfied with where the characters ended up? Are you happy with Kenny's ultimate destination? And perhaps most pressing of all, what are you going to watch now?
"Everybody be cool; this isn't a school shooting. It's something far more fantastic."
--Kenny, interrupting a class to break up with Andrea.
"Steven Bernard Janowski, you are hereby relieved of your duties as my assistant. You have served me well, hombre. I give you the right to name your child after me, regardless of gender."
--Kenny, letting Stevie start his own life in Myrtle with Maria.
"I hope that you know that while I'm gone, all the wealth that I will acquire, all the fame, fortunes, and all the women that I will bed, I'll be doing all that stuff so that you'll be proud of me. So that you can be proud of your dad."
--Kenny, having a man-to-man talk with his infant son, Toby.
"It's up to you now, Kenny. Spit or swallow? You know the answer."
--Roy McDaniel (Matthew McConaughey), following a prayer to Jesus for Kenny.
"I'm in a... Cameron Crowe movie!"
--Kenny, after leaving a game mid-pitch to go back home to April and Toby.