My Name is Earl
“Guess Who’s Coming Out of Joy”
Original Air Date: February 22, 2007
While Earl sits alone in the Crab Shack, a very pregnant Joy sits near him and complains to Darnell. This reminds Earl of another item on his List he needs to cross off.
In his mind, Earl travels back in time to when he first married a then-very pregnant Joy (that baby was conceived at a concert by an unknown man). Although Earl thinks he and Joy are happy, Joy meets up with Darnell and has a short but very eventful affair. Nights of passion at the Crab Shack and in Earl’s car ensue, but soon come to an end when Joy and Darnell begin to bicker (like she and Earl does). Surprising both Joy and Earl, she becomes pregnant again, and only after Earl sees that Earl Jr. is black and is told by the doctor that his wife had an affair does Earl realize what Joy had been up to.
The item on Earl’s List was finishing a lamp for his parents that he had started in middle school. Like most other things in his life, Earl had never finished the lamp much to the disappointment of his parents. How does this relate to Earl and the often-pregnant Joy? Well the elder Hickeys did not look upon Joy fondly because Earl introduced all of them when she was pregnant with her first illegitimate child. After Earl thinks Joy is having a child that’s his, the Hickeys embrace the idea of being legitimate grandparents for the first time. They are once again dismayed by Earl when they see their new “grandson”.
Earl decides to move out of the trailer he shares with Joy and moves in with his parents (Randy lived with Earl, too and goes with him). Earl’s dad tells him to go back to Joy since he has to do the right thing. Mr. Hickey doesn’t want Earl to continue to walk away from everything in his life, and reminds him of the lamp that he should have made Earl finish but didn’t. Earl declines and Mr. Hickey takes Earl’s pet gerbils and throws them out the window. Earl catches all the gerbils as his father throws them and relents since he doesn’t want to catch anymore peeing gerbils. Earl goes back and stays with Joy until she leaves him for Darnell who then raises the kids with her. Present-day Earl finishes the lamp and gives it to his parents, much to the literal shock of his father.
I give the episode a B+ since it has its fair share of humorous moments and completes another backstory in the life of Earl Hickey and his Karma List.