by: Douglas Grant
Our weekly recaps continue discussing 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….
Frank’s Back In Business
Have we ever seen an opening with a bunch of no-name characters, not featuring the gang, set to the tune of a score that we’d expect from an episode of 24? I don’t recall. But it was an efficient set up for the introduction to Frank’s alter ego: The Warthog.
More and more lately we’ve found that not only will Charlie not hesitate to eat wild urban animals such as pigeon or street rats, but he’s willing to do so wholeheartedly, and with enthusiasm. When Frank discovers a crow’s nest on his and Charlie’s windowsill, full of crow’s eggs, Charlie is utterly in awe of this latest development. “There’s a whole untapped world of bird eggs that we’re not even taking advantage of.” Soon thereafter he stashes the eggs in Paddy’s beer fridge, and some of us might think that the bit might have run its course. Not so.
Dennis, Mac, and Sweet Dee claim a lost wallet at Paddy’s, with three Philly’s tickets, and decide to use the tickets for their own enjoyment. But when they realize that the owner of the wallet has luxury skybox seats, they realize that the stakes have just gotten a little higher, and therefore they must impersonate this man, Brian LeFevre. Here Dennis, after encountering LeFevre’s potential business partners, shows us that he has the subtle knack it takes to be a bullshit artist and steel another man’s identity. But he’s not in just for the potential fringe benefits of a business alliance. He confides in Mac and Dee that he actually gets off on “the thrill of wearing another man’s skin.” Asking Mac how promoting him from body guard to vice president after a two minute business meeting would reflect on him, Mac answers that it won’t reflect on Dennis at all since he is not, in fact, Brian LeFevre. Dennis stops dead in his tracks, an inexplicable gong sounding from somewhere off in the distance, and a look of consternation grows on his face. “I’m not what?” he asks Mac is disbelief, as if Mac is too naïve to see the big picture here. He’s good at this, unlike Mac who assumes the alias Vic Vinegar, the driver and part-time bodyguard, or Dee, who dives back into her nonexistent acting skills as a Canadian hoser, Brian LeFevre’s wife.
At the beginning of the episode Dennis is incredulous that Charlie should assume the role of the Warthog’s assistant, since Charlie can’t read. But later we found out that he is actually an apt pupil and astute observer, and takes on his new job with clarity and efficiency. A bit of a stretch for us, the viewers, who know that the Charlie we’re all familiar with would be in way over his head at this job.
I knew from the second the Warthog started assisting the Atwater corporate employee with the simple paper jam, lightly conversing with him in a genteel yet condescending manner, that the poor kid would be fired by the end of the dialogue. And the Warthog proves himself to be a ruthless taskmaster here, showing us that he will trim the fat off of this company at any cost.
When on a golf outing Mac and Dennis mistakenly assume that the business partners, the Wheelers, have presented Brian LeFevre and Vic Vinegar with a small Asian boy for their pleasure, Mac freaks out and starts to leave. Dennis tries to stop him.
Dennis: If we’re going to do this thing, we need to see things through.
Mac: Dennis, are you going to have sex with a little Asian boy?
Dennis: I’m going to see how far I can go.
Dennis: Are you with me?
Mac: No, I’m going to leave right now.
Dennis: That’s your goddamned problem, pal. You don’t know your limits, because you’re not willing to push yourself.
Mac: I know my limits. This is my limit. I quit.
Dennis: See, you’ve got no commitment, Vinegar. You’re finished! You’re never going to get anywhere in life!
Turns out the small Asian boy was merely their caddy. Realizing what he was about to do, Dennis nearly vomits in his mouth.
Mac quits his gig and the Warthog fires Charlie. Realizing that the product is what it’s all about, the two decide to go into business together. This is where we see the crow’s eggs come full circle. At the Atwater shareholders convention they present the entire audience with an infomercial for their new product, Fight Milk. Not since Wolf Cola have we seen such a ridiculous product conceived of by the gang. For bodyguards by bodyguards, Charlie drinks one “every morning so [he] can fight like the Crow.” One part crow’s egg to one part milk to one part vodka, this alcoholic protein drink will, inexplicably, boost a customer’s profits to Nicholas Cage’s status of wealth. And if you can believe it, the editing on this shoddy advertisement was actually worse than the job done on the gang’s final cut of Lethal Weapon 5.
We learn that the real Brian LeFevre was stabbed to death in the alley behind Paddy’s by a crackhead. This all could have been avoided if Mac hadn’t taken his role of bodyguard so seriously and let the man come back into Paddy’s to get his wallet and his id.
By the way, it’s worth noting that even though Mac is skinny again, and has resumed wearing his tight-fitting slogan t-shirts, he interchanges them with the oversize and extremely loud patterned button-downs. Like I’ve pointed out before, the writers take continuity on this show very seriously.