by: Douglas Grant
Our weekly recaps CONCLUDE recapping the adventures of five of Philadelphia’s most depraved underachievers in ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’. Pull up a stool at Paddy’s Pub as we let you in on “The Gang’s” adventures….
The Gang Dines Out
Mac and Dennis have a monthly dinner, usually at a five star restaurant. But this must be a fairly new routine, because Mac is excited at the prospect of seeing a waiter fall down and spill spaghetti sauce on himself, and this, to Dennis, is not classy. Frank and Charlie are at the same restaurant to celebrate their anniversary, sporting coats like cloaks to the tune of old country Italian music. Mac and Charlie, each in their respective pairings, want to combine the groups. But both Frank and Dennis are dead against it. Like father, like son; both will wait until the other approaches their table to “pay tribute”.
Sweet Dee is dining alone. She too is waiting to be paid tribute.
Now Dennis and Frank are in a battle of wits, with just dues and proper respect hanging in the balance. Dennis has the waiter send over a glass of the house red for Frank and Charlie to split. Charlie is relieved. “Well great, see, there’s your tribute, Frank. Now can we go over and say a quick hello?” Charlie interprets it as a very nice gesture. But Frank sees it for what it really is: disrespect.
Dee tricks another customer at another table into thinking that she’s being stalked just so he’ll join her for dinner.
Dennis is fed up with the whole experience, particularly his wobbly chair right next to the kitchen door, but also the boisterously loud table nearby. “Is that table having a meal consisting of only loud noises, screams, and hollers?” he asks Mac facetiously as his patience wears thin. He gets really flustered when Frank sends over the restaurant’s most expensive bottle of white, and has the server relay that very fact to them. Dennis is at a loss for what to do, until he thinks to send it back. “We’ll say, ‘I wouldn’t want that’. We’ll tell them that Chilean wine is out of season, and that their taste in wine in general is very poor.” But his plan B really gets Frank riled up: pour the wine back in the chiller. When Charlie wants to end all the nonsense, Frank tries to draws to draw Charlie in a little closer. And he puts it all out there. Mac and Dennis don’t give a shit about Charlie. The three of them bought a business together and made Charlie a janitor. Charlie slowly begins to see things Frank’s way.
Dee wants her server to tie Dennis’s shoes together. He’ll see it her way, right? She’s in “the business” too.
Dennis almost loses Mac to Frank and Charlie’s table, and panics. But his attempt to real Mac in is interrupted when Frank buys everyone in the restaurant, save Mac and Dennis, a shot of Sambuca for a toast. Calling attention to Mac and Dennis’s absent shots, Frank explains to the patrons that “they don’t know how to pay tribute.” And Charlie throws in a bit about Mac and Dennis hating the troops, damning them to hell.
Dennis’s retaliation is brutal in his preamble before serenading Mac. Looking Frank’s way he states, “This man knows who he is. He doesn’t hide underneath a toupee”. To Charlie: “He faces his challenges instead of just retreating to the sewers, nude, to forage for rings and coins . . . or to the toilets, or to a life filled with rats.”
In a last desperate counterstrike, Frank and Charlie have the AC above Mac and Dennis’s table cranked up to maximum. The four men finally lose it and approach each other with the intent of dishing out bodily harm. But they instantly lose their blood fevers when an unexpected thing happens.
Remember how hard Johnny laughs at Daniel Larusso when he trips and gets covered in spaghetti? Well the same thing happening to Sweet Dee’s server when she ties his shoelaces together is almost as funny. And what’s truly touching here is that even though we’re all delighted whenever the boys shit all over Sweet Dee, because it’s funny, there’s a poignant family moment here in that last scene in the restaurant. It’s not the boys picking on Dee. It’s The Gang against the world.
Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense
At 10:19 on a Friday morning Frank Reynolds smashed his Buick into Dennis’s car while Dennis was stopped at a red light eating his cereal. Dennis wants to take Frank to court, but his loving sister points out that he can’t go anywhere near a court because of his multiple bench warrants involving sexual misconduct. This leads to the matter being handled internally.
Dennis cannot seem to suffer one second of the rest of the gang treating their bar courtroom as a real trial. Three hours alone were splurged while Mac put together his trial meter, a system that instantly proves effective in tipping favor away from Dennis. Dennis seethes. “This is an open-and-shut case, anyone who cannot see that IS A SAVAGE, AND AN IDIOT!”
Witness for the Persecution: Frank Reynolds
Charlie claims that what is actually on trial here is “common sense”. In a brilliant swift stroke of defense, Charlie flusters Dennis into admitting that having “donkey brains” is a legitimate social disorder, then provides Frank’s sealed certificate exonerating him of all donkey brains, issued from the Reid Mental Institution. This shifts Dee’s vote to the fence and Mac’s to Frank’s side.
The other Persecution cross examines
Dennis uses common sense and a glass of wine to show the courtroom that when he crashes into Frank and spills the wine on his shirt, it is then his responsibility to get the shirt cleaned. But Mac counters that Frank accepted responsibility for the wine the moment he took the glass in his hands, much the way Dennis should have when he went driving with a bowl of cereal in his lap. This argument moves Charlie over into Frank’s camp.
Witness for the Defense: Judge/Bailiff Mac
Dee sticks by her brother, challenging Mac’s credibility as a character witness, because he believes that his seed could produce a true genetic mutation, a super-human race of strongmen. Mac claims he was only joking earlier and Dee’s whole defense goes to shit. But then Dennis tricks Mac into claiming that evolution doesn’t exist. We’ve know from past experience that Mac is the religious one of the group, but here his faith has truly been put to the test. Another three hours goes by as Mac constructs the evolution meter in an attempt to win back his credibility. And he shrugs it off that “these liberals” (Dennis and Dee) are trying to assassinate his character. His “Science is a Liar Sometimes” defense, where he personally attacks the scientific minds of the past, is airtight. And he makes Dennis flounder for it. There’s nothing funnier on this show than seeing Dennis lose his shit.
Furthermore, Dennis is suspicious of Dee’s motives in siding with him, and wants answers. She’s shocked that Dennis doesn’t recognize her endeavors to “set a precedent of responsibility when someone’s car gets destroyed. The boys have destroyed every single car Dee has ever owned, and never once did it result in a trial.
Dennis shows Mac just how safe it is to drive around with a bowl of cereal when Frank rams his car again. Long story short: the boys deem it Dee’s fault, and stick her with the bill. And as we leave this season behind with Dee panting with impotent rage, we’re reminded that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia really came through for us once again, with some intricate plotlines, reappearances from old favorites, and no shortage of screaming and yelling. The Gang is still in at the top of its game.