Jeesum crepes! It’s Always Sunny changed things up last night with their very own “bottle episode,” confining themselves to Paddy’s for a round of Chardee MacDennis, the gang’s very own made-up past time. “It’s not just a game; it’s a war,” Charlie whimpers. The rules number in the hundreds, but the basic structure of the competition involves passage through Level 1: Mind: Trivia, Puzzles and Artistry (Wine Round), Level 2: Physical Challenge, Pain and Endurance (Beer Round) and Level 3: Emotional Battery and Public Humiliation (Hard Alcohol Round). It’s the Golden Geese vs. Frank, Charlie and Mac. The game is fifteen minutes long. There are no questions, or else there will be…consequences. So let us begin! Gentlemen…suck my dick.
It should go without saying that the possibility of winning immediately brings out the ruthless competitiveness in almost everyone (except for Frank, who is simply delighted to be there). “I’m going to slit throats,” Dee menaces. “If only the answer was ribs,” snarls Dennis as he attempts to draw a picture on Dee’s back. In addition to his attempt to cheat Frank out of $500, Mac’s drunken rage necessitates that the game board be preemptively nailed to the bar before he inevitably tries to flip it over. Luckily, Mac admits, “I will forget that the board is nailed down later.” The fact that he does exactly that and it’s still funny is a testament to the value of knowing these characters as well as we do; foreshadowing their bizarre behavior only furthers the comedic possibilities. We’re also reminded again of Charlie’s illiteracy during the question round, which is comprised of queries the gang wrote themselves (“Q: What is the best band in the world? A: Chumbawumba.” “Q: Dennis is asshole. Why Charlie hate? A: Dennis is a bastard man”).
The best part of the episode, of course, was the demonic energy that crackled between Dennis and Dee on their way to the winner’s circle. I personally didn’t think this was the best episode of the season or any such thing (I’m still stuck on the child pageant, as well as the Jersey Shore ep), mainly because the show’s most exceptional moments come from the gang inflicting themselves on the outside world. That being said, Kaitlin Olson and Glenn Howerton really made last night something special nonetheless. Their emaciated blond masochism had rocketed them to the top of every previous game, and this round is no different. Between Dennis’s stifled Blue Steel reaction to a dart sinking into his palm and Dee’s tolerance of emotional battery, nothing short of obliteration could stop them from dominating Charlie and Mac. “You guys always emotional batter me, and I’m fine. I don’t care about it. I’m getting good at it now,” Dee slurs by way of a challenge. Sure, withstanding two hours of personal attacks may have precipitated a month of crying and a possible suicide attempt on her part (“She did, I saw it. I just didn’t tell you about it,” Mac admits), but the important part was that they won, bitches.
After not passing go, not collecting $200 and having to go to jail (i.e. a dog kennel), Frank happens to bone up on the bulging official rules binder. It was through his studies that he deduced that Dee and Dennis had, in fact, been cheating this entire time by drinking water instead of booze. After Frank is released from the kennel (I don’t want to spoil what he has to do to get it, but needless to it involved eat an entire bag of flour, among other things), the fate of the entire game eventually hinges on a coin toss. The fact that Dennis and Dee still win, because there is no fairness in life, elevates this episode to the next level. Their bony knee caps slicing the air, Dennis and Dee erupt in a fit of goblin giggles as they stomp Charlie and Mac’s game pieces into the floor while the downtrodden losers look on. Whatever is wrong with these siblings, it’s definitely genetic, at least in part.