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'Eastbound & Down': 'Chapter 8' or when Stevie finds Kenny

Despite the machismo indicating otherwise, Kenny Powers' ultimate motivation isn't fame, hookers or drugs.

It's the one that got away, aka April, the buxom teacher/old flame Kenny left at a gas station in Season 1's finale. When Kenny's ultra creep-show hanger-on Stevie — who makes his first appearance in Mexico this chapter — tells Kenny April got back together with her ex, he's devastated. Like many men before him, and plenty after, but possibly without the mullet, Kenny wants to return to the top to impress a woman. This isn't a realistic option (for now?) so it's time for Kenny to ask himself: Is this Mexican baseball comeback worth it?

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The jury is still out. At the end of the episode, Kenny's return to the mound is a confusing one. With an American flag around his neck like a cape, Kenny gave the "suck it" sign while Hulk Hogan's iconic theme music ("Real American," fitting) blared. Kenny made his return about his return, and not for any love of the game. (Shocker, we know.) The fans stare at his entrance, perplexed. And even when he strikes out the final batter (three straight swings-and-misses!), the small crowd slowly leaves, still looking puzzled. This isn't America, where Kenny at least had fans cheering ironically. Mexico isn't buying into the Kenny Powers comeback just yet, but knowing his inexplicable charm, they'll be on his side soon enough.

So how was the episode? A step in the right direction.

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Stevie, who redefines "pathetic" each time he's on camera, was a welcomed returning character. It was a glimpse of Kenny's previous life in North Carolina, which was — thus far — a funnier setting for the show. With Stevie back in the picture, Kenny has the punching bag he craves, which make his one-liners sting a bit more, make you laugh a bit harder.

Both episodes of Season 2 have been fun and easy to watch, but both have lacked the hurts-to-breathe hilarity from last season (the Ashley Schafer showdowns, the drug benders, Kenny's premature love with April, etc.). We still get the ready-for-Facebook-statuses quotes ("There's no 'I' in team, but there is a 'U' in ..."), but they feel like variations on Power-isms we already know.

Yet there are still bright spots for Season 2, namely its new characters, including Michael Pena as Sebastian Cisneros, the baseball team's rich "orphan" owner and the sure-to-be love interest, Ana de la Reguera as Vida. Danny McBride's chemistry with these two is obvious yet unforced, making the possibilties for the upcoming episodes endless. This season is off to a slow start but the new faces offer hope for a Kenny Powers return worth touting.

What'd you think of the episode? What was your favorite Kenny Powers quote? Reply in the comments.

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