DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Kevin Can F Himself episode “Live Free or Die” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, jaded, underestimated sitcom wives! Kevin Can F Himself‘s “Live Free or Die” continues to cultivate the bond between Allison and Patty. In addition, it catalyzes Allison’s objective by allowing her to confide in Patty. She may actually try to kill Kevin now!
Once again, this episode is bolstered by fantastic performances from both Annie Murphy and Mary Hollis Inboden. It’s interesting watching the dynamics shift between these two characters. How Patty puts on this tough façade in her day-to-day life, but when sh*t hits the fan, Allison is the one to remain levelheaded and calm. I’m always fascinated by character studies, and this episode is the pinnacle of that.
Ready to delve into “Live Free or Die”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Kevin (Eric Petersen), Neil (Alex Bonifer) and Pete (Brian Howe) plotting their next moneymaking endeavor. Allison (Murphy) asks to borrow Kevin’s car. She’s driving Patty to a “beauty expo” in New Hampshire. Well, that’s the lie, anyway.
After having to repeat herself several times and begging her husband to keep an eye on her corned beef, Allison leaves. Kevin decides to ditch Neil’s get-rich-quick scheme in favor of something more substantial — a marital-themed escape room. An “escape groom,” if you will. It’ll be held at his house.
Meanwhile, Patty (Hollis Inboden) is visited by the cop who was present at the pharmacy drug bust. The said cop inquires as to whether Patty knew about the pharmacist’s illegal dealings. She notes that Patty has a lot of books. Earlier, Patty procured cash from a hollowed-out novel. Chances are those books are chock full of money.
Next, the cop urges Patty to stay in town for a while in case more questions arise. Something tells me this won’t be the last time we see this policewoman. Allison and Patty are now hitting the road, with the latter in the driver’s seat. This is her contact, after all.
While en route, the women trade stories about life. We learn courtesy of Patty that everywhere sucks, which is a response to Allison’s desire to travel. Additionally, Neil found their dead mother when they were kids. Talk about trauma.
Then, Kevin and co. are setting up their escape room. Kevin has queries regarding just about everything, so he calls Allison. Patty prevents Allison from answering his call. He can wait. They’re about to buy drugs from someone they went to high school with. Kevin can f himself!
Later, they’re at the drug dealer’s home. Unfortunately, he’s not available, but someone else is there to deliver the goods in his stead. It looks like a high school party with a bunch of youngsters playing video games. Patty asks for a “newspaper,” which is code for oxycodone.
However, our duo is given cocaine. The dealer switches up his code names for security purposes. Patty should’ve asked for a “magazine,” which is now the new term for oxy. Oh, and the said dealer sold the last of his oxy supply. One of the teens present tells Allison and Patty that he can take them to the oxy buyer. That way they can make an exchange: the unwanted coke for the oxy. Both ladies agree to this.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Kevin discloses his grand plan for raking in the big bucks. They’ll have the escape room attendees search for clues to unlock a puzzle. The winner is supposed to receive $10,000 if they solve it all within one hour. Of course, Kevin has ensured that nobody can successfully piece this puzzle together but him. A foolproof plan!
Next, our pair has stopped at a fast food joint so their teen passenger can pick up some grub. And his girlfriend. Naturally, Patty is irritated. But the buyer of the oxy resides in Vermont, so Patty will have to resort to being a taxi service for the time being.
Then, the eager escape room customers start trailing in. Neil locks them in the basement with Kevin and Pete. Kevin attempts to conceal his identity and his connection to Pete. He hopes that one of the attendees will call upon him to lead them. Thus, he can find all of the clues and nobody wins.
Later, Patty kicks the teens out of the car in the middle of nowhere, but not before they cough up the location of this buyer. His name is “Red Rooster,” and he camps out in a parking lot. Allison and Patty are to stay in their vehicle for the deal. He’ll come to them. Doesn’t sound shady at all.
Meanwhile, Kevin is alarmed to see that everyone is solving his escape room puzzles with ease. Drastic times call for drastic measures, so Kevin swallows the key that’s for the basement door. So … there’s that. Sitcom shenanigans!
Now, Patty and Allison meet with Red Rooster in the latter’s parking lot. Patty leaves the car to exchange the cocaine, but instead of giving her the oxy, Red Rooster gifts her with a gun. Allison freaks out. While the gun isn’t loaded, the oxy would have been preferable. Allison needs it to kill Kevin! She reminds Patty about her fake stalker, Jason, and how he won’t rest until she “pays him back” for the stolen oxy. Patty reveals that she has one more contact.
Next, Kevin and the escape room attendees are locked in his basement. The hour is up. Oh, and the timer for Allison’s corned beef goes off, and it’s still in the oven. Of course, he forgets that the said corned beef needs to be removed until he starts smelling it. Everyone is waiting on Neil to get them out. That is until Kevin unveils a small window. His intention was to air out the room, but the escape room customers, well, escape through it.
Then, Allison and Patty stop at the gas station while on their way to the next contact. Patty heads inside to purchase cigarettes, so Allison lures a truck driver behind the station and attempts to buy oxys from him. Unfortunately, Patty sneaks up behind him and knocks him unconscious. She was under the impression that he was Allison’s drug dealer stalker, Jason.
Patty’s in shock when she discovers that she thwacked an innocent man on the head. Allison surreptitiously grabs the man’s oxys prior to leaving. She ushers a shellshocked Patty to their vehicle and hops in the driver’s seat. Suddenly, the women are pulled over by Vermont police. Allison calmly commandeers the conversation while Patty sits in silent shock. Oh, how the tables have turned.
The policemen reveal that the car has been reported stolen by Allison’s husband. Since she didn’t answer his incessant barrage of phone calls, he reported his vehicle as stolen. Even though Allison told him multiple times that she was taking his car for the day. The cops note that everything Allison is saying/showing checks out, and they send our pair on their merry way.
Next, Allison calls Kevin back. We see he’s currently stuck in the small window through which everyone else escaped. He thought something terrible happened to her. Somebody needs to improve their listening skills.
After hanging up, Allison vents to Patty about Kevin taking everything from her, from spending their savings to ruining a paralegal job she once had because he thought Allison was cheating on him. All while Patty joined in on the “fun” and laughed.
Finally, Allison confesses that there isn’t a drug dealer named Jason stalking her. She needs those oxys because she’s going to kill Kevin. She drives off before we can fully gauge Patty’s reaction.
Overall, “Live Free or Die” lays the groundwork for a hopefully action-packed, narratively-fulfilling second half of the season. So far, Kevin Can F Himself has been a slow burn, but I’m optimistic that the last four episodes will really catapult this story to the next level. The potential is there. Let’s hope that the Powers That Be tap into that.
I love the juxtaposition between the dismal, bleak reality of the real world versus the oversaturated, embellished antics of the sitcom world. Additionally, Kevin Can F Himself does an excellent job of putting sitcoms from the aughts on blast, particularly their predominantly white, middle-aged male leads. Kevin is utterly unlikeable.
New episodes of Kevin Can F Himself will stream on AMC Plus and debut for a broader audience on AMC every Sunday at 9 pm.
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