Kevin Can F**K Himself is back for more subversive sitcom art.

In the season 2 premiere of AMC’s Kevin Can F**k Himself, Annie Murphy’s Allison McRoberts has a new goal.

Kevin Can F**k Himself wisely ends on its own terms after two seasons. I say wisely because, as much as I enjoy this perfectly odd little drama, I don’t want it to fizzle out without adding anything worthwhile to its thematic and storytelling subversions. This short story does not need to be drawn out any further. Thankfully, based on the second season premiere, AMC’s genre-bending drama continues to be a mostly effective character study of Allison McRoberts (Annie Murphy) and, inevitably, of the audience that has been programmed to laugh at her for decades. “Mrs. McRoberts Is Dead” also offers an intriguing path to the show’s conclusion.

Valerie Armstrong’s KCFH deconstructs the age-old trope of the redundant sitcom wife. You’ve heard the one: She’s hot, patient, and dutiful, putting up with her oafish husband’s tantrums and the sexist remark meant to make her feel small. From Mary Kay And Johnny to The King Of Queens to Kevin Can Wait (whose unceremonious firing of Erinn Hayes inspired KCFH), sitcom wives have grown accustomed to and quickly moved on from jokes aimed at them, stepping into the next 20-minute episode for a repeat telecast. This move gives the husbands the feeling that they own the world. So Allison decides to overthrow the game. She spends the first season attempting to murder her husband, Kevin (Eric Petersen). It’s a violent, flawed, and ludicrous plan. KCFH, on the other hand, has always been about her re-emergence, not his death.

Allison is tired of pretending to smile in Kevin’s brightly lit, multi-camera world where the laugh track never stops. KCFH makes a compelling case for why, despite their best efforts, women find it difficult to simply pack up and leave toxic relationships. It only gets worse now that the titular dudebro is popular after his bid for Worcester, MA., city council gets off to a rousing start thanks to a loud TV ad Allison created. (It’s a parody of The Troggs’ “Wild Things,” with Kevin playing the Wild Dude.) It’s revolting.) She is hoping it will bring him down. Instead, it is well-liked. Isn’t she aware that people can rally behind a loud politician with bad hair and no redeeming qualities?

So her world, which shifts to a gritty, single-camera style when Kevin isn’t present, becomes darker and possibly lonely. Allison finally found a teammate and partner-in-crime in Patty O’Connor (Mary Hollis Inboden) after ten years of withering away alone, but their friendship is shaky. To make matters worse, they can’t agree on what to do about Neil (Alex Bonifer), Patty’s brother and Kevin’s idiot BFF who overheard their murderous plot. He attempted to choke Allison, but Patty saved her by hitting him in the head. To prevent him from leaking information to Kevin, the two women have tied him up in Patty’s basement.

Neil is a jerk and a bully, but Patty feels bad about kidnapping him because his head wound needs to be treated. Allison begs for more time to come up with a solution, but we all know that her plans rarely go as planned. Patty eventually takes him to the hospital, where he is sedated and quiet for the time being. However, how long will it last? Neil will reenter their orbit at some point. Will he confess the truth to his best friend, or will Allison’s parting words about Kevin constantly mocking him stick with him: “Perhaps he doesn’t mind when I complain, but he laughs when you bleed.”

Allison and Patty’s relationship remains the show’s anchor, owing to Murphy and Inboden’s excellent chemistry. Neil manages to spew some venom and get under Patty’s skin, putting their bond to the test in a variety of ways. Allison’s one-track goal of becoming free remains the most difficult challenge. She needs a new plan now that she knows she can’t kill Kevin. Patty, who had just defended Allison to her girlfriend Tammy (Candice Coke) over soup, makes it clear that she has no interest in what happens next.

Their friendship arose from a shared desire to exact vengeance on the men who take advantage of them, but it grew into something far more meaningful than either expected. “She has my back, and I have hers,” Patty tells Tammy. However, their actions have only caused them and those they have affected pain and suffering. With her drug dealing days behind her, a brother in the hospital, and a cop girlfriend who shows up unannounced, it’s no surprise that Patty wants out.

Allison goes on a drinking binge with her aunt, Diane (Jamie Denbo), who has recently discovered that her own husband of several years has been cheating on her. [Isn’t it true that there aren’t many decent men on KCFH? Allison’s ex, Sam (Raymond Lee), may be a nice guy, but he cheated on his wife last season and split up with her at the end in order to get back together with Allison. She makes the poor decision to drive after downing shots and causes an accident. It leads to a confrontation with Patty, who advises her to stop victimising herself. It’s a complicated statement.

Is Allison a victim, or is she just good at playing one? That is what KCFH is trying to figure out, but there is only one correct answer. Sure, she put up with Kevin’s nonsense for years before deciding she’d had enough. Even so, instead of divorce or couples therapy, she has resorted to the worst-case scenario: murder. But, as the bits and pieces of background KCFH has provided (and we need more, stat), it’s important to remember that her distorted worldview is the result of previous trauma. She’s a tortured woman clawing her way out of a humiliating reality that her husband can’t see because he lives in his own world. The alternating multi-camera/single-camera device is an ingenious way to demonstrate the distinction.

Despite this, “Mrs. McRoberts Is Dead” ends with Allison’s perspective shifting. She is more interested in killing herself than in killing her husband. In a way. She gets the idea from something Patty said, and realises that disappearing while everyone thinks she died is a possible non-incriminating way to leave Worcester forever. And then she’s back at square one, a.k.a. a library, Googling the most bizarre things. Will she be successful this time? Let’s break it down over the next seven episodes.

Random thoughts:

Hello, I’m excited to recap and dissect Kevin Can F**K Himself one last time.
These recaps, like season one, will air after KCFH’s broadcast airings on AMC, but the show also streams episodes early on AMC+. (If you’ve seen ahead, please don’t share spoilers!)
“He’s not a complete idiot, he just wants you to think he is because then you pay his rent and bail him out for 30 years,” Patty says to Allison about men like Neil (and Kevin).
It was interesting to see Kevin choose Allison’s advice over his father’s for the first time, primarily because she was acting more like Neil.

Kevin remains an intolerable meathead. What’s the worst joke he’s ever told? “Let’s get our imaginations going. That’s what I mean when I say “pounding beer and ripping shots.” Or is it asking Allison a question, then saying, “I need the opinion of the uninformed public?”

If you want to watch more content with a similar theme, I recommend Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan’s Bad Sisters on Apple TV+. Darlings, an Indian dark comedy about a mother-daughter duo who band together to exact revenge on an abusive husband, is also available on Netflix.

Finally, we love a tangential Keri Russell reference, so kudos to Diane for referring to her husband’s girlfriend as “having curly hair like Felicity.”