My Name is Earl
“The Gangs of Camden County”
Original Air Date: October 4, 2007
Breanna P. - TwoCents Staff Writer
The episode begins with Earl clipping his toenails. Normally, a routine activity of personal hygiene, but in prison, Earl’s nail-clippers are attached to the guard’s belt. When the guard remembers that Earl is suppose to go see the Warden, he gets Earl to agree to say he “resisted a bit” meaning Earl gets pepper sprayed in the eyes to make it more believable. Earl arrives at the Warden’s office to discover than he wants to give Earl a certificate for a month off of his prison sentence in exchange for Earl solving the prison gang war between the Hispanic men and the African American men. Warden Henry has never been successful in any of the occupations he has had and feels as though Earl can help him more than he can help himself in this Warden-duty.
On the outside, Randy sits in the car he stole for three days waiting to be arrested. His desperation to be with Earl in jail at any cost makes his slap a police officer. An angry Joy bails Randy out and takes him to visit Earl. When Earl sees that Joy and Randy are slowly adjusting to living together, he gets an idea how to solve the gang problem and leaves the meeting. Randy sees Earl and the guard who pepper-sprayed him sharing a Snoball, making him even more jealous. Earl then meets with Jamal and Hector, the leaders of the gang who had spent a month together in solitary confinement. It is revealed to all that Hector and Jamal have fallen in love with one another and keep making their gangs fight to spend time together. When Hector makes Jamal feel scorned at the meeting, a real all-out war erupts between the gangs.
Earl promises to fix the gang problem and does so by solving the romance problem. He steals Jamal’s shirt and rubs it on Hector’s pillow. Other scenarios including popsicle-eating and accidental wet t-shirt-wearing follow, but Jamal refuses to go back to Hector. A life without Jamal is unbearable for Hector, so Hector runs to the electric fence and Jamal rushes to his aid. They secretly get back together and end the gang war. Hector and Jamal get to spend every other month together in solitary confinement, and Earl gets another month knocked off of his sentence as everyone in the yard gets along. At the end, Earl is surprised to see Randy as the new prison guard (he got a 55 percent on his guard test, which was “the highest they had seen all year”). Now Randy and Earl, too, can be together again.
I give the episode an A- for it’s hilariously awkward moments and cleverness. Craig T. Nelson as Henry the Warden was also a big bonus.