Gospel is the 24th episode of Season 4 of My Name Is Earl, and the 93rd episode overall. Earl wants to make up for stealing a reverend's organ, but he finds out he owes him much more than just an organ. Meanwhile, Joy is involved in a lawnmower accident with Catalina.
The people Earl hangs out with usually don't spend much time at churches, but when he hears about a church bazaar, he happily makes an exception. Having spent all her time at the wine tasting booth, Joy's soused and surly, since she hasn't been winning any prizes. When Catalina walks up, flush with victory at the win of AM/FM headphones, Darnell knows it's time to go. Joy demands the car keys, but Darnell refuses, so she decides to walk as far as her one shoe will take her.
Joy steals the first thing she sees with wheels: a riding lawn mower. When she spies Catalina, Joy plows into her, and Catalina passes out on the hood. Fearing that she killed Catalina, Joy drives into a shed, pinning Catalina's legs between the mower and a wall. Luckily, Catalina wakes up on impact, but unluckily for Joy, Catalina insists on calling police when she gets free. Joy's got two kids and two strikes -- she can't go to jail! Joy closes the shed door and walks away, leaving Catalina to muse that her psychic was right, she is going to die in shed pinned to the wall by a lawn mower.
Back at the church bazaar, Randy notices Reverend Green, who looks familiar. Earl realizes that the Reverend is indeed #35 on his list. A few years back when he and Randy heard they could make a fortune selling organs on the black market, they stole Reverend Green's church organ. Despite Randy's fear of God's retribution, Earl tells Reverend Green all about karma and his list. Reverend Green is very understanding, because he's made a big life change also. Back in the day when he was known as "Hash Brown," Reverend Green used to roam the streets of Camden waiting for someone to look at him the wrong way so he could grind their face up like hash browns.
As penance, Earl offers to retrieve the organ, which survived the Camden circus fire. Meanwhile, Joy returns to the shed to bring Catalina some snacks, since she hasn't eaten in a day or so. Nevertheless, Catalina still hasn't changed her mind about calling the cops. When she figures out Joy won't release her, Catalina changes her story, claiming she won't call the cops, but Joy leaves, knowing Catalina is full of beans.
Earl re-installs Reverend Green's organ, and is happy to cross him off his list and leave; he just has to grab his tool belt. The Reverend recognizes Earl's tool belt as his own. Not wanting to get caught in a lie in the house of God, Earl explains that the Reverend is on his list not once, but twice. Back when Earl was a petty thief he used to steal things that were, well, petty. One day, he spied a guy (Hash Brown) hang up his tool belt before entering a porta-john. Not only did Earl steal the tool belt, he backed the Ranchero into the porta-john, tipping it over with Hash Brown inside.
The Reverend struggles for control -- the porta-john fell door down, and he had to kick out the poop hatch to escape. That day, he swore to kill whoever did that to him. But now, the Reverend chooses to pray for strength, while squeezing the hell out of Earl's hand. When Earl offers to make up for his sins, the Reverend allows that he needs some volunteers for Sunday service.
Darnell is shocked when Joy brings him to the shed where she trapped Catalina. Catalina is relieved to see Darnell, and asks him to free her so she can call the cops. Knowing that Joy has two strikes against her and could go to jail for the rest of her life, leaving him to raise the kids alone, Darnell tries to think of a plan. Catalina threatens that if the mower doesn't move soon, they'll both go to jail, and she'll sell her story to Hollywood for a film starring J. Lo as her, and Sally Struthers as Joy. Steam blows out of Joy's ears as Darnell scolds her. He told her not to drive drunk. Now he's going to have to kill Catalina!
Both Catalina and Joy are shocked by Darnell's plan, but he's all business, explaining that he's killed people he liked far more than Catalina. She has to shut her hole and start digging one. Back at the church, Reverend Green preaches a sermon, using his relationship with Earl as an example of how to forgive. The Reverend encourages everyone to confess what needs to be forgiven, and pretty soon, the congregants are standing up to announce their dark secrets, for a response of "We forgive you!" That's when the Reverend's wife Jackie decides to bare her soul: she slept with Earl.
When the Reverend thinks his prayers to God for strength are going unanswered, he decides his only alternative is to turn back into Hash Brown and punch Earl in the face. Claiming that the Lord made him stop selling crack, Hash Brown figures the Lord owes him ten years of lost income, so he starts looting precious items from the altar. Earl tries to stop him, but Hash Brown runs out of the church and climbs in his truck. Sadly, Earl still has something important to confess: Hash Brown is on his list again -- #172!
A few years back when Randy was trying to catch a bullet, Earl shot out the tail light on Hash Brown's truck. This was what caused Hash Brown to be pulled over by the cops while hauling a load of assault weapons. Interestingly enough, it turns out that if Earl hadn't shot out the tail light, Hash Brown would have been killed in a gang war. The Reverend Green comes to his senses and thanks Earl for saving his life, then returns to his church to finish the service.
When Darnell prepares to slit Catalina's throat, Joy clocks him over the head with a shovel and moves the mower. She couldn't let it happen; she wants Lifetime to make the movie of her life for something good. Catalina thanks Joy for saving her life. When Joy asks if she'll tell the cops that she's headed to Mexico, since she'll actually be going to Canada, Catalina relents. Anyone who gives their husband a concussion to save her from throat slitting is okay -- now, Catalina and Joy are BFFs.
- Faizon Love (Rev. Green) also worked with both Jaime Pressly (Joy) and Eddie Steeples (Darnell) in the 2004 movie Torque.
- Faizon Love (Rev. Green) also worked with Nadine Velazquez (Catalina) in the 2007 movie A Day In The Life.
- JoNell Kennedy (Rev. Green's wife) also worked with Jaime Pressly (Joy) in the season 2 episode "... And Nothing But The Truth" of Jack & Jill.
- Introduced and crossed off in this episode:
- "Soul Power" by James Brown
- Rev. Green compared Earl to Jeff Foxworthy, a stand-up comedian who, just like Earl, has a mustache and was born in the south
- Reverend Greene: (praying) ...Lord, you know what the old me would've done. First I woul've cut open the big one, then I would've knocked out the little one, then put the little one inside of the big one, then sewed up the big one, then I would've waited and listened for the little one to scream as he woke up inside of his own brother. But not now Lord, I've changed!
- Darnell Turner: Damn it Joy, I've tried every trick I have to keep you from getting that third strike. Framed Dodge's teacher, free crabs for the Asian meter maid, replace the panda at the zoo.
- Earl Hickey: (Stands up in front of the church) Hi, my name is white... I mean Earl.
- Reverend Greene: (as he's leaving the Church after his wife's confession) "Hash Brown is back!"
- Jason Lee as Earl Hickey
- Ethan Suplee as Randy Hickey
- Jaime Pressly as Joy Turner
- Nadine Velazquez as Catalina
- Eddie Steeples as Darnell Turner
- Nicole J. Butler as Woman
- JoNell Kennedy as Reverend Greene's Wife
- Faizon Love as Reverend Greene
- Jimmy Walker Jr. as Satan