If you missed the episode, and I can't imagine why, you can see it here.
If you would like to read Ethan Suplee's blog...lots of insight and behind the scenes stuff, plus what Ethan likes to do when he's not being Randy.
And if you would like to check out the music used in MNIE, go here.
My head is still spinning.
Geraldo Rivera, Michael Waltrip and Tim Stack guest star, and show-runner Greg Garcia wrote and directed this episode. And, if I'm not mistaken, Senor Garcia (or Mr. Garsha as we like to call him) took a turn as an uncredited scam-inclined lawyer-slash-agent.
Now, let's get to recappin'!
There's a long-time mystery going on at the Crabshack, and it has nothing to do with the menu or the sign on the wall that says, "Do not lean on this wall or it will fall again." No no, the mystery has to do the disappearance of the Crabshack's owner, Ernie Belcher. And much like Al Capone's vault, the only ones qualified to get to the bottom of this are Geraldo Rivera and Inside Probe, a TV show dedicated to getting to the bottom of the bottom of things.
Geraldo and crew were in Camden County eight years ago, but the footage never aired because a certain hemp-ophile in the Witness Protection Program was unable to sign the release. But that situation has since been rectified, and the episode ("Claws of Death...Unknown") can now sully the airwaves. Loved the "Welcome to Camden: Home of Pigsquatch" sign.
Geraldo emerges from Yummy Donuts doing the walk-and-talk. Behind him, we see the One-legged Girl (from whom Earl stole a car way back when) and a meandering parent-less toddler. Joy's Suburu Brat rolls past. Earl and Randy are drinking beer in the back and shout out an enthusiastic, "Bleep you, Gerardo!"
We get a quick rundown of the Camden Eight, all accompanied by what looked to me like actual photos from each of their actual childhoods. Jason Lee's childhood photos looked to be PhotoShopped so his eyes were closed in every picture. Very nice touch.
Earl Jehosophat Hickey: Jehosophat? Really? I mean, sure, the middle initial has to be J as in Rocket J. Squirrel and Homer (and Bartholomew) J. Simpson, but Jehosophat? Found crime to be his only outlet, committed 77 misdemeanors, had several good Ernie Belcher stories ("He liked to drop peanuts in people's drinks...").
Randall Dew Hickey: Great middle name, committed 77 misdemeanors, liked to smash things with a shovel (who doesn't?), balance things on his head (who doesn't?), and has a tendency towards Dummy See Dummy Do, also had several good Ernie Belcher stories ("He taught me to tie my shoes.").
Joy Farrah Hickey: Low-rent Bonnie to Hickey's half-wit Clyde, also had good Ernie stories ("He prevented me from getting a parking lot dry-humping by spraying the perp with a hose.").
Tim Stack: Camden County celebrity and banana hammock-afficianado, fond of Ernie's reluctance to interrupt Tim's bathroom coke snort fests, also had fond memories of Ernie (He was always spraying me with a hose.").
Wilfred Dierkes: Lawyer and Tim Stack's agent, wearer of bad toupees and quite possibly the owner of the last Member's Only jacket on the planet.
Darnell Turner: Very evasive about his past, recalled that Ernie and 2-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip were great pals. Also recalled that Ernie had many lady friends including...
Catalina Ronna Aruca: Illlegal immigrant cum hotel housekeeper slash jumping stripper from Guadalatucky (NOTE - That's the first time we've officially been given her middle and last names and her city of origin.), and...
Patricia Michelle Weezmer: Half Cherokee, mother Griselda (played by Betty White), father Chasing Squirrel, splits her time between selling her body and performing Community Theater.
Geraldo interviews Officer Stuart Daniels. According to 911 calls received on April 9, 2001 from Joy, Darnell, and Randy ("Bababooey bababooey"), that's the fateful day that Ernie went missing. Perhaps he signed on for a three hour tour of the islands?
Geraldo wraps up the segment by listing the suspects like in a game of Clue. Was it the petty thief, the simpleton brother, the stay-at-trailer mom, the black co-worker, the immigrant stripper, the so-called celebrity, the small-time agent, the black co-worker, or the day-time hooker?
Darnell: Did they just show me twice?
Joy: I don't think so.
Darnell: I think they just showed me twice!
After a commercial break, Geraldo explains that eight years ago after Ernie's disappearance, the police caught a break. Searching for salable items in Ernie's office they chanced upon hundreds of threatening letters from Randy to Ernie ("No free toothpix?!" "Serve fish wings every day not just Wensdays!!"). In the blink of a camera shutter Randy became Suspect # 1.
In the interrogation room, Randy becomes increasingly angry recalling the no toothpicks and lack of fish wings. Knowing full well that Randy is incapable of pulling off something of this magnitude by himself, the police haul in Earl as accomplice/ringleader. With Officer Daniels pulling the old You're Partner Confessed schtick, Randy soon confesses to the crime.
With Wilfred Dierkes the only lawyer the boys can afford at their side, Geraldo interviews the Gang That Couldn't See Straight and asks what their defense might be. Dierkes explains that he'll go with temporary insanity for the mustache (Earl) and Retardity for the big fellow (Randy).
Earl panics and rants that "..I had a dream where I was in prison then got out and was hit by a car and was in a coma. C'mon man, nobody wants to see that." Yes Earl, that would have been a bad dream. One that I'm sure would have seemed to last way too long. Positively nightmarish.
Geraldo finally gets around to interviewing Ernie's great pal, Michael Waltrip. And with the help of Inside Probe's re-enactors, we see what happened to Earl and Randy that night. Mr. Waltrip was in the Crabshack when a liquored-up hardbody trailer park blond flashed her 32C's and demanded a beer. And then a couple of knuckleheads (one with a cheesy mustache and wearing flannel and one sweet-but-meaty man-child) threaten to flash man-parts and inflict bodily damage if Waltrip doesn't pony up some beers and burgers.
Waltrip is a bit of a shutterbug and took a great many pictures of that night, completely clearing Earl and Randy of all charges, much to Joy's chagrin, who is perched on Darnell's lap when Earl and Randy proclaim their joyous news to a stunned Crabshack.
So the mystery remains unsolved until next week when Inside Probe continues. According to Geraldo, "You will bleep your pants."
Randy: We have to wait a week?
Earl: Why didn't they just show the whole thing in a special one hour episode?
Darnell: Network executives probably didn't order enough episodes for a whole season so they had to stretch it out over two weeks. That way they don't hafta air a repeat during sweeps.
Randy: (Disgustedly) Network executives...
Joy: Plus you can't curse 'til a certain time of night...(pause...pause...looks at watch) ...douchebags.
Amen bruthuh. Amen.