News broke yesterday that "Eastbound and Down" will return for a fourth season, despite HBO billing the third season's finale as the series' last.
Word the show has been picked up for another year was undoubtedly surprising—as co-creator Jody Hill said in an interview with Indie Wire in April, "Eastbound" was originally intended to have a three-season arc, a "trilogy" that would be Hill and Danny McBride's "redneck 'Godfather.'" Plus, the sweeping final few minutes of the episode "Chapter 21" certainly gave the feeling that we had seen the last of Kenny Powers. I mean, the guy blew up his car and gave a final speech and everything.
Today, however, that Indie Wire interview is being re-examined. As Grantland's Amos Barshard points out, Hill does hint that they would possibly return to the show ("Never say never," Hill says). And while previously this seemed like the director was just being coy and playing with the show's fans, it looks now like Hill really was saying they were trying to figure out a way to bring "Eastbound" back.
So, armed with this great news, we need to figure out what direction Kenny Powers, Stevie and the rest of the crew will go in for a fourth season. It's our American duty, really, on the eve of such a patriotic day.
Here are four possibilities I came up with:
1. Powers continues the death ruse.
One of the funniest—and most frustrating—scenes in the show's history came in the final minutes of its third season, when Powers left Texas and faked his own death, explaining to April that "they would never leave us alone" if he hadn't pulled off his plan. At the time, this seemed like typical Powers' delusions of grandeur and, to me, it was a fitting way to end the series. Powers went out true to form, with an over-the-top and stupid decision.
But what if Kenny continued to live his delusional life, taking on a new identity and acting like the paparazzi wouldn't stop following him if he were to go back being himself? What if he lived the life that Elvis and Tupac are presumably living?
This could make for a funny season, with Kenny taking on disguises, possibly moving to a different country, and making his way as a new person with the same bad habits and same borderline personality disorders. As long as Stevie was along for the ride with him, I'm sold on the idea.
2. Kenny comes to his senses and rejoins the majors, with or without April.
The first season of "Eastbound" is probably its best, due largely to the funny back-and-forth between April and Kenny. This is missing for most of the second and third seasons, and when they were together—i.e. the scene at the Putt-Putt course in Season Three—the show really scores.
A season where Kenny is more or less domesticated, while also trying to make it as a big-league pitcher again, would probably make the most sense for the characters' development. If only for seeing how he continues to raise his poor son.
3. KP lives the life of a retired professional athlete.
In the Indie Wire interview, Hill mentions that the show's seasons are characterized mainly by differing locales—Season One takes place in Shelby, N.C., Season Two is Mexico and Season Three is Myrtle Beach. They're also characterized by taking place at very different times in Kenny's life.
What if, then, Season Four shows Kenny as a retired major leaguer, five or 10 years after the events of Season Three have taken place? He can be coaching a college team, and still trying to score with the girls at the school, or a minor league team, completely running it into the ground. McBride could easily pull off the role of Kenny as a creepy old man.
4. We just follow Stevie around.
I'll admit it: Kenny sometimes got grinding. But while his shtick could get on your nerves, Stevie never got old.
What if he were to go back to Mexico with Maria, and "Eastbound" became a show with dueling plots, one following Kenny in whatever he was doing, and one following Stevie as he tried to make his way in a foreign country? Imagine: A full season of Stevie in Mexico, possibly getting mixed up with a drug cartel, probably working on his own biography of his time with Kenny. It's almost poetic.