Recap: "Inside Probe, Part I"

This week's episode is the first installment of a two-parter. Huddled together in the Crab Shack, all of our Camden regulars watch Inside Probe, an investigative show hosted by Geraldo Rivera, playing himself. The program had been filmed eight years earlier, but was held up due to Darnell's Witness Protection status (he had refused to sign a release). So finally, they all get to see the episode, which explores the whereabouts of Crab Shack owner Ernie Belcher, who had gone missing.

Basically, we watch as each character is profiled and their relationship with Belcher is explored, with each being a suspect in his disappearance. The result is an amusing send-up of these types of shows, complete with the requisite reenactment segments. We also get to learn new things about some characters and watch how they behaved in the past, and it's a breath of fresh air. With much less storytelling comes more straight-up jokes, which I can imagine the actors had a lot of fun with. However, this means there's much less plot to recap - it's definitely a you-just-have-to-see-it episode. With that in mind, let's launch right into discussing some of what made this one pretty entertaining.

First off, unless I'm mistaken, a lot of the young photographs of the characters shown during their back stories looked like they were actual photos of the real actors, doctored in some instances -- especially those that had Earl's (Jason Lee) eyes closed. This added an extra element of reality and hilarity. Most of the photos with Ethan Suplee (who plays Randy Hickey) make me wish I was there when they were taken. Pretty much every character's story involved myriad mugshots as well. One of my favorites featured Joy (Jaime Pressly) with a blue ring around her mouth after being arrested for huffing paint.

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