There were a lot of hits on last night's episode of Sunny -the gang hit the road, Mac hit a cyclist with a beer bottle, and Dee hit Mac with a jar full of urine.

It all started with Frank's seemingly simple idea to take a road trip to the Grand Canyon, but like every plan these characters come up with, that idea quickly went to hell. It wasn't too difficult to predict that the gang would never make it out of Philly, but that didn't make the ride any less hilarious.

The gang was probably less than a mile from the bar before things started unraveling. Annoyed by a slow cyclist in front of them, Mac decided to whiz a beer bottle by him to shake him up a bit. His aim was a little too good though, resulting in broken glass, a man down, and "a good deal of mountain bike" in Dennis's axle. When the pissed cyclist came after the gang with a pipe, they sped back to Paddy's as fast as their two flat front tires could take them.

While Dee took one of her many pee breaks (a running gag that is not representative of ALL women on long road trips, I promise), the guys decided to hitch up their trailer to Dee's new car. Since they never invited her on the trip in the first place, they thought it was perfectly reasonable to take off without her, but were foiled by a long traffic light that gave her a chance to catch up with them and kick Dennis out of the driver's seat.

Charlie (whom I can never get through an episode without referring to as "poor Charlie") revealed that he had never been outside of Philly before - just one more sad, pathetic piece of the puzzle that is Charlie's life. His admission that he'd never tried pears or blueberries was the next step in unraveling the road trip, as Mac insisted that the gang make a pit stop at the Italian Market so he could get Charlie a pear.

Everyone but Frank was excited about going to the market: Mac and Charlie hit the fruit stand (where Charlie finally ate a pear - stem, stickers, and all); Dee hoped to pick up some cassette tapes for her car's outdated music system; and Dennis wanted some furniture so that he and Frank could spend the trip in the U-Haul trailer. (You might wonder why they needed such a large trailer when there looked to be about 5 backpacks and a box inside, but don't dwell on that detail.) Eventually, Frank found something that he needed at the market - a pee jar for Dee.

Image © Season 5 Episode "The Gang Hits The Road" © Patrick McElhenney / FX

Since Frank found the U-Haul too stuffy, he switched places with Charlie, who joined Dennis in the trailer, now equipped with wicker chairs (duct-taped to the floor, of course), a French press, and a small grill. Just as they were about to grill up some hot dogs, the truck hit a pothole, causing the grill's legs to break and sending it sailing out through the small door opening that Dennis rigged. Dennis then came up with one of the dumber ideas he's ever had - smashing the wicker chairs for firewood. That's right, a campfire inside a U-Haul. And everyone thinks Charlie is the stupid one.

Back in the car, the other three decided to pick up a hitchhiker so that they could play the "50 States" drinking game. Due to their geographical idiocy, Dee and Mac got hammered pretty quickly. While Mac and Frank passed out in the back seat, Dee did her best to make the teenage hitchhiker uncomfortable by drunkenly hitting on him and then - in one of the episode's funniest moments - popping in a Soul Asylum tape she bought earlier to serenade him with "Runaway Train." Turns out that Dee is quite the accomplished multi-tasker, as she was filling up her pee jar the whole time she was singing. Not wanting to hold a jar of urine until the next stop (and who would?), she casually dumped it out the window, where it blew right back in the rear window, all over Mac.

On the list of things that will sober you up immediately, getting doused with a pint of piss has to be in the Top 5.

It was lucky for Charlie and Dennis that Mac got rained on because, otherwise, the gang might have never stopped the car to discover the clouds of smoke billowing out of the trailer. Frank opened the door to find the two campers passed out, and everyone headed to the nearest gas station to hose everything down.

Instead of just scrapping the disastrous plans, the gang plowed ahead. To avoid the stench of urine, everyone piled in the trailer except for Charlie, who offered to ride up front with the hitchhiker-turned-designated driver. The gang woke up the next day to find they were no longer moving and opened the trailer door to find the trailer parked outside Paddy's Irish Pub and Dee's car missing. They found Charlie inside, who explained that he freaked out about leaving Philly so the hitchhiker dropped him off back at the bar. Of course, no one could blame Charlie for being so trusting, especially since Mac, Paddy's self-appointed "sheriff" gave the kid an "ocular pat-down" and "cleared him for passage."

A lot of sitcoms unsuccessfully try to shake things up by taking the action to a different place. (George Costanza once foolishly suggested to George Wendt that "Cheers" should do an episode away from the bar.) Can you imagine if the gang had actually gotten to the Grand Canyon? It probably would have felt a little like a very special "Brady Bunch." What was great about this episode was that it wasn't about getting somewhere new, but rather the same old shit that happens on the way.

Like Charlie, this show should never leave Philadelphia. That's where the sun - and the gang - shines brightest.

Grade: B+

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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.

Image © Season 5 Episode "The Gang Hits The Road" © Patrick McElhenney / FX

Story © 2009