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'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' Recap: Mac's Mom Burns Her House Down

Becky Broderick Becky Broderick
October 22nd, 2010 9:19am EDT

Rob McElhennyPerhaps with the latest episode, the Sunny writers wanted to pay homage to Betty White's newfound superstardom and/or the deaths of the other Golden Girls over the last few years. I don't know. All I know is that when Season 6 of Sunny comes to DVD, I'll feel the same way about this ep as I do about Golden Girls overall—while it's amusing and has some really funny bits, it's not something I'll feel compelled to watch over and over.

Of course, I'm always happy to see Mac's mom, who, as the episode title suggests, is central to the plot. After Mrs. Mac falls asleep with a cigarette in her mouth and burns her house down, Mac brings her back to his place to live, an arrangement that roommate Dennis doesn't approve of. Dennis is especially put off when Mac also brings along Poppins, the older-than-dirt (but unbelievably cute) family dog with a popped-out eye. (As Mac casually explains, it's easily popped back in with a knuckle.) To get his apartment back, Dennis ("The Fixer") comes up with a great idea: have Mac's mom move in with Charlie's mom.

Charlie is down with the idea because his mom has been driving him crazy, calling him for help with every little thing ("Are there spiders here? Are there spiders there?") ever since his Uncle Jack moved out of her house. However, Mrs. Kelly takes some convincing, mainly because Mrs. Mac has "a unique and earthy fragrance." Or, as Mrs. Mac herself puts it, she "smells like shit."

After some persuasion, Charlie's mom agrees to let Mac's mom move in on one condition—she gets rid of Poppins. It seems that one of Mrs. Kelly's many eccentricities is a fear of having her face eaten off by a dog. Mac seals the new roommate deal by agreeing to take the dog. 

Not happy about his shaggy new roommate, Dennis takes Poppins to Dee's house, ostensibly to "cheer her up." See, while all the house-burning and roommate-swapping was going on, Dee hadn't been feeling well. (Morning sickness, maybe? Thank God the belly comes out next week.) Realizing that he's been a bad father and will have no one to take care of him when he gets old, Frank decides to take care of Dee so she'll feel obligated to return the favor someday. All Dee really cares about though is getting to a Josh Groban concert. A self-proclaimed "Grobanite," Dee wants to get better so she can hook up with Groban backstage after the show. Seeing that Frank isn't ingratiating himself to Dee, The Fixer comes along with one of his typically sociopathic ideas. He convinces Frank to take Dee back to his place and drug her so she needs to be taken care of. After Frank loads Dee's juice up with a bunch of cough medicine, she hazily sleepwalks through the apartment hallway and falls down the stairs. Being the great dad he is, Frank protects Dee from injuring herself again by tying her to the bed.

Meanwhile, Mac and Charlie are having absolutely no luck trying to turn their moms into Blanche and Sophia. When Mrs. Kelly wakes up Mrs. Mac by coming into her room and flipping the lightswitch off and on three times (part of her OCD), Mac's mom is ready to move out. But the next day, Mac and Charlie find the two ladies getting along famously, having finally found something to bond over: their hatred of Muslims. Although their moms aren't really having "a Golden Girls conversation, it's more of a racist conversation," the guys will take it.

Back at Frank's, Dee wakes up to find herself tied down with Poppins on top of her. Frank checks out the dog and discovers that it's dead, a victim of the juice. Having had quite a bit of juice herself, Dee demands to know what was in it, as Frank and Dennis leave to give Poppins a proper Reynolds-style burial...by throwing him in an alley trash can.

Mac comes along just in time to discover that his friends have literally thrown away his dog. (Frank: "What are you gonna do, send him to the moon?") He digs Poppins out of the garbage and, to Frank's surprise, the mutt is very much alive. Mac watches as Poppins wanders off into the sunset, heading off for some eye-popping adventures. I'm sure that dog will be back.

As for Dee, she gets to lie helplessly and listen as Artemis leaves a message on Frank's answering machine from backstage at the Josh Groban concert. *insert sad trombone here*

Grade: C+

Random Thoughts:

- What's in the Philly water supply that makes animals indestructible? First it was the junkyard cat, Agent Jack Bauer, and now Poppins?

- The look on Charlie's face when his mom explained her OCD was priceless. Mac: "Why are you doing everything in threes?" Mrs. Kelly: "So Charlie doesn't die." And it was even funnier when Charlie and, eventually, Mac started doing it too. Hey, whatever keeps Charlie alive.

- Mac is never more lovable than when he's with his mom. His beaming pride that she was "the manager of Jiffy Lube for many years" and ability to translate her grunts were hilariously sweet.

Sunny gang- It's hard to believe, but Dee apparently has worse musical taste than Dennis. Her explanation for self-tanning and wearing bright white shorts may have been the best line of the night: "Josh Groban likes his ladies to pop."

- Dee and Frank's storyline was pretty weak compared to the main plot. By the end, I just didn't care if Dee ever got to that Groban concert or if any daddy/daughter bonding actually happened. I really hope that there are more episodes written by some combination of Charlie Day, Rob McElhenny and Glenn Howerton. Although this episode's writers, Scott Marder and Rob Rosell, have come up with some real gems in the past, including "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation" and "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off," this installment was kind of average. The only episode this season written by any of the principals was Charlie and Rob's "The Gang Buys a Boat," easily the funniest ep so far. I know those guys are tired from writing, acting and producing, but no one does Sunny better.

Photo Credits: © Fox Broadcasting


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