Last week's episode of Sunny, with its dick towels and "frame bangs" (a euphemistic Dennis-ism for late night rapes performed for blackmailing purposes, his casual use of which still makes me cringe), started to make me worry that the show might be headed down the wrong path - being raunchy just for raunchiness' sake. While I enjoy a good teabag joke as much as anyone else, crude does not automatically equal funny. (Are you listening, Sarah Silverman?) So, I was relieved to find that this week's episode managed to be one of the funniest this season, while keeping things as close to PG-13 as these guys are ever going to (or should) get. And Dennis didn't threaten to rape anyone, so that's a plus.

Although on the surface, the plot might seem simple and trite, leave it to Sunny to resuscitate the stale "bromantic comedy" theme (which peaked and went out in a blaze of glory with the brilliant "I Love You, Man") with a breath of fresh absurdity. Left up to the writers of any other sitcom, the "man breakup" would have probably fallen flat, but here it really works because of the actors' chemistry and because these "men" are like no others on TV…or in the world, for that matter.

As the episode title suggests, Mac and Dennis decide to take a break from each other, after Dee notes that they're becoming like "an old married couple." And she's right. Mac is clearly the man in the relationship, as we discover that he requires Dennis to check in with him constantly throughout the day. When Dennis goes to the video store to pick up "Predator" for movie night and ignores Mac's constant calls and texts, Mac not only seems both worried and jealous (turns out that 'bitch' Dennis was talking to another man - the video store clerk), but he also went as far as to file a missing persons report with the police.

After Dennis brings home "Transporter 2" (which Mac is worried he won't be able to follow, since he hasn't seen the original "Transporter") instead of "Predator," the bros get into a fight, prompting Mac to move in with Charlie and Frank.

Mac tries to assert himself as the man of his new house, much to Charlie's chagrin. However, Frank seems to like having Mac around because he cleans the trash off the floor and gives him good advice on how to stop his foot from bleeding after he slices it open with his toenail-cutting knife. Mac's brilliant suggestion? Wrap his toe in a sock instead of packing it with trash. Of course, a very irritated Charlie doesn't think it's so brilliant, maintaining that it's just a waste of a good sock.

Unable to be alone, Dennis heads over to Dee's with movie and popcorn in hand. However, Dee isn't interested in watching a movie because she has a small problem - her cat is stuck somewhere in her wall. (Yes, Dee finally got a cat, which Mac and Dennis earlier noted was the beginning of her "transition into crazy cat lady.") So, Dennis calls up Charlie and invites him over for movie night. Charlie is more than happy to get away from Mac, and heads over to Dee's right away. When he arrives, all thoughts of "Transporter 2" go out the window when he hears of Dee's trapped cat situation. ("Cat in the wall, eh? Now you're talking my language!)

Season 5 Episode "Mac and Dennis Break Up." © Patrick McElhenney / FX

Dennis, meanwhile, becomes more agitated by the second, and not just because no one will watch the movie with him. Apparently, he can't function at all unless someone (Mac) is constantly telling him what to do. Case in point: He begs Dee to peel an apple for him because Mac has convinced him that there are toxins in apple skins. Mac always peels the apples for Dennis, so when Dee refuses to do it for him, he turns into a scared and confused child. Dee asks why he can't just eat the apple, peel and all, which prompts a hilarious Dennis freak-out: frozen apple-less on the couch and seemingly on the verge of tears, he shouts, "I'M NOT ALLOWED! I'M NOT ALLOWED!!" Dennis wins. Dee peels the apple.

And the apple misinformation doesn't stop there. When Dennis accidentally swallows apple seeds and asks Dee and Charlie if they're poisonous, Charlie responds, "Apple seeds? They're EXTREMELY poisonous! I would throw up now!"

As Dennis repeatedly and unsuccessfully tries to barf, Charlie continues on his mission to get Dee's cat out of the wall. Since cats just follow him around now (no explanation necessary), he decides to put a hole in the wall, tie a string around another cat, and throw it in as bait. He tries first with a calico cat (which, he informs Dee, are ALL female) but the string breaks, leaving two cats in Dee's wall.

Mac's bossiness finally wears down Frank, who is tired of "putting on airs" just because he has a new houseguest. (Mac: "So, you think NOT eating cat food is putting on airs?") He heads over to Dee's to help his "partner" Charlie with the cat situation. Dee gets fed up with everyone and leaves to run some errands: 1) get a bird (more cat bait) and 2) trick Dennis and Mac into meeting for a dinner date, so they'll get back together and stop annoying everyone.

After getting over the requisite initial awkwardness (and some thrown water), Mac and Dennis realize that they're perfect for each other because Mac is a "man of action," and Dennis is "a guy who comes up with words." (This includes the word "words," which Mac couldn't think of.)

In the end, the two bromantic couples, Mac/Dennis and Charlie/Frank, walk off into the sunset together, leaving Dee on her own. After her bird got lost in the wall (along with probably a dozen or so cats, thanks to Charlie), she bashes out a huge hole and goes inside herself. Somehow, she gets stuck in the wall too and, since she doesn't have a "partner to get her out of jams," she might still be there next week.

Grade: A-

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It's Always Sunny stars: Kaitlin Olson / Danny DeVito / Charlie Day / Glenn Howerton / Rob McElhenney

"The Pop Eye @ Starpulse" is a column written by native Pittsburgher and current New Yorker, Becky Broderick. You may contact Becky directly at, or check out her other ramblings on The Pop Eye.

Story © 2009