Remember last season? When Earl took the fall for pregnant Joy so she wouldn't have to go to prison? Well, now Earl has been sentenced to two years in the lockup. And instead of "Earl," he now goes by "Prisoner 28301-016." The graphics people even mock up a show logo with that number in place of the word Earl. Nice.
Earl VOs that he was terrified of prison, but grateful that he had his friend Ralph to watch his back. We see Earl waking up in the bottom bunk in a jail cell with a poster of, I think, Dolly Parton on the wall. You see, my TV broke the other night and so I'm watching this on my old 19-inch TV, and I feel like I can barely see anything. At least now I have an excuse to get a cool flat-screen HDTV like a grownup. Anyway, Earl goes to wake Ralph up and discovers a fake body with a watermelon for a head, along with a note explaining that Ralph escaped from prison. Earl looks around the cell and discovers a giant Shawshank Redemption-style hole in the wall behind the Dolly Parton poster. As he peers inside, the guards think he's trying to escape, and an alarm sounds. Oops.
Earl is shoved into gen pop (a giant barracks-type room filled with single beds) and muses that instead of "sharing a cell with [his] childhood friend, [he's] joining a two-year slumber party with murderers and rapists." Earl VO gives us an overview of the prison daily routine. First, wake up and make sure "your two most important things" are still there (Earl checks his junk and his 'stache). Then it's time for breakfast (gross). Then you try to keep from getting bored. Earl comes upon two inmates (one of whom is Vinnie "Big Pussy" Pastore) playing "Guess what number I'm thinking of." Then it's time for bed, when you're alone with your thoughts. As soon as the lights go out, many of the inmates start sobbing.
Earl explains that the only excitement comes when one prisoner tries to kill another. One dude whacks another dude in the head, and an alarm sounds for lockdown. The beds get stripped, and the prisoners get strip-searched. Which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, because the attacker was still holding the block of wood weapon in his hand, but maybe the guards are bored, too.