Would that every It’s Always Sunny episode began in a confessional. “I’m super pissed because my friends made me fat,” a sweaty, enraged Mac fumes to a confused priest before launching into a diatribe against the Paddy’s gang. Just to be clear, Mac isn’t there to confess anything; he’s just hoping the priest will smite those who have wronged him and help him lose weight. As the great and angry God commands!
Last night’s ep was a little bit of a meta-rumination on the time line of the gang’s escapades. First of all, when the hell did Paddy’s get successful? Mac’s flashbacks take us six weeks into the past, so it wasn’t the work of Frank’s virus video pulling people in. Also, Mac has been fat for quite some time now, and we’re only just now addressing it. The whole episode felt disconnected from the rest of their universe, in a strangely satisfying way. Personally, this is what I want from a flashback ep, as opposed to, say, a “Frank’s Brother”; a way to see the repercussions of our character’s insane deeds.
The episode was also a commentary on the nature of fame. With Paddy’s experiencing inexplicable popularity, the gang becomes obsessed with “the tipping point.” They convince themselves that their continued success demands that they meticulously maintain all elements of their current state: Charlie’s cleanly bar, Dee’s winsome comedy stylings, Dennis’s physical perfection. Aside from this supposition being completely, idiotically wrong, everyone immediate cracks under the pressure to perform. Dennis dyes his hair black and burns his face with a chemical peel. “Do I look foolish?” he whimpers, wondering aloud, “Do you think a normal mask of me would look good, and if so, would you guys wear one?” Dee starts driving customers away by giving them her tight 20 minutes as opposed to their drinks. Charlie, the voice of reason in this ep, is finally driven to insanity by the demands of their huge patronage. What else is there to do but get high? Watching Charlie dance-mime eating Dennis’s eyeballs while stoned on Turpentine was the highlight of the episode. It’s the quiet moments, you know?
Overall, however, this really was Mac’s time to shine, which is refreshing after watching Dee and Dennis fucking tear it up this entire season. The second biggest laugh for me was watching Mac cross out each continent he wouldn’t visit on his world-wide yacht trip, i.e. the inevitable conclusion of Paddy’s financial success. Later Mac is forced to rage alone after Charlie proves exhausted from working to go out. “I drank 3 bottles of champagne and hung out with a stray dog all night under a bridge,” Mac explains. But it’s when Dee convinces Mac that they should hire “avatars” to replace them at the bar (Whaaa? Alright, sure) that Mac makes his fateful decision to get huge. After meeting the hulking stranger who would play him (again, what?), Mac decides that bulking up is a non-negotiable. “Get to work, beefcake” he murmurs, ogling his replacement’s arms.
I do, however, wish we had learned more about Frank’s proposed meat bomb. “We take the M-80s and stick them in some laaaaaaamb,” he whispers in the middle of the night, after buying a buttload of explosives. Unfortunately the idea of flash-cooking a sandwich struck Charlie as so absurd, he had no choice but to crawl into The Crevice to escape Frank’s nattering. The Crevice appears to be the space between the couch cushions and the couch, which is not even a THING, it’s not even an area or a location in any real sense of the world, which is just perfection.
In the end, Mac triumphantly waltzes into Paddy’s, now the hulking slab of man flesh he is today. Of course, the absurd part about Mac’s fitness regime is not that gaining 50 lbs in chimichanga weight isn’t the same thing as working out. It’s that no one else even remembers why he was doing it. “That was like a million plans ago!” Charlie exclaims when Mac brings up his avatar. So many schemes and highjinks have happened in the meantime; with the group’s high turnover rate on monkeyshines, six weeks might as well be an eternity to these people. The gang laughs manically at Mac’s stupidity/commitment to anything for longer than 12 hours. Luckily the priest’s spell will allegedly only take six more weeks for Mac to drop those pounds again. Thank you, Ghost Man in the sky who predetermines everything! You’re the greatest.