My Name Is Earl

Season 2 Episode 23

The Trial

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 10, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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  • Earl pays a big sacrifice

    In order to complete item #273 on the list, "Kept myself from being an adult," Earl and Randy move out of the hotel and into an apartment. Despite this step, Earl still feels that something is missing in his life.

    Joy has been apprehended in Mexico and returned to Camden, where she is being kept in jail until her trial. On the advice of her lawyer, Joy asks Earl to track down some character witnesses for her. Earl stops off at Joy's trailer, finding Darnell in pitiful shape. Joy's absence has left him depressed, helpless, and unable to control the children.

    Seeing Crabman in this state causes Earl to realize that his own life is incomplete without a woman. Earl calls his former girlfriend Alex (from the season 1 episode "The Professor"), but discovers that she is now married.

    On his quest for character witnesses, Earl is unable to locate anyone who has anything good to say about Joy, and goes to visit Joy's lawyer to deliver the bad news. The moment Earl sets eyes on Joy's lawyer, Ruby, he falls in love with her. Ruby is smitten with Earl as well, and after learning of the list and how Earl has changed his life, Ruby decides that Earl would be an ideal character witness for Joy.

    Earl and Ruby go out on a date and end up sleeping together. As they lie together in bed, Ruby reads through Earl's list, and discovers that she is on it. Earl realizes to his horror that she is the deaf girl whose apartment he and Randy had previously robbed. Ruby ignores his apologies and storms out.

    At the trial, the case is going badly for Joy, but Ruby manages to discredit all the evidence. With the trial resting on Joy's character, Earl testifies earnestly and seems to have won over the jury. However, the prosecutor responds by playing tapes of Earl's own distress calls to the emergency services, fearing for his life from Joy's alarmingly violent behavior.

    The testimony is damning, and Earl realizes that Joy will be convicted based on his own words. Realizing also how Darnell and the children will suffer if Joy is sent away, Earl decides to do something truly adult and confesses to stealing the truck, taking the rap for Joy. Ruby is greatly impressed at Earl's selfless action. The judge is impressed as well, but because Earl waited so long to "confess," he sentences Earl to two years in prison. After receiving a sincere expression of thanks from Joy, Earl is escorted from the courtroom.

    As Earl is being processed as a new inmate, he reflects on how he has now become an adult, but has sacrificed everything in the process. Wearing prison blues, he is led to his cell, where he discovers that his cell mate is his friend, Ralph.
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