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'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Recap: Mac Day

Becky Broderick Becky Broderick
October 3rd, 2013 3:14pm EDT

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Yesterday was no ordinary day in Philadelphia — it was Mac Day. Mac Day, as we discovered, was just one of the five days that the gang created for each member to make everyone else do whatever the days' honoree wants. At first blush, it seems like a strangely generous setup for such a selfish group of people. But as Mac Day rolls along, it becomes apparent that each member of the gang is simply going through the motions until it's their day, all while filing away the events of their friends' days to use as fuel for future mockery.   

Being the religious one of the group, Mac patterns the structure of his day after the Bible's creation story, so that it "feels like a week." Skipping over "bullshit" days that focused on dumb creations like trees, nature and fish, Mac takes the gang on a multi-stop field trip to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge (water), a planetarium (stars), a bodybuilding competition (beasts/man) and a karate competition (sitting back in jugdment). Accompanying the gang throughout the day is Mac's cousin from the country, who appears to be just a bumpkin version of Mac at first (as Dennis laments, "Holy shit, there's two of them"), but the gang soon discovers that he's much more badass. (Guest star Seann William Scott creates Country Mac in his own image: a cool, casual, smirky-yet-charming dude.)

Country Mac is essentially who Mac could be, if stripped of his crippling need for acceptance and approval. When Mac plans to fake a bridge jump for the latest installment of "Project Badass," Country Mac just jumps. When Mac tries to force the gang to accept God by telling them what they'll lose if they don't, Country Mac shares that his faith comes from all the good things God has given him and lets them make up their own minds. When Mac tries to rope everyone into greasing up some bodybuilders (so that it seems like a completely hetero thing to do, I imagine), Country Mac casually reveals that he's gay and and totally content to grease up the guys all by himself. Mac is high-strung and always looking for validation from the gang. Country Mac is laid-back and is comfortable in his own skin. Of course, much of the laid-back attitude is a side effect of always having a beer in his hand and a joint in his pocket, but still.

Little by little, the gang starts to wish that they could swap out City Mac for Country Mac. Dennis puts it all into perspective: "All these years, I thought I hated karate, and Project Badass, and God. But what I really hate is Mac. He made all those cool things suck. Not only is Mac ruining my life, he may also be ruining my afterlife."

And while I got a lot of laughs out of it, once Dennis had his epiphany, this episode started to bring me down a little. I just couldn't help but feel bad for Mac. Sure, the guy's far from perfect. I mean, he dug up the old "AIDS is a gay plague" rhetoric as part of his efforts to give the gang religion (and "prove" that he's not gay). But think about it: this is a guy whose parents named him Ronald McDonald, who grew up with a dad in prison and a mother who's barely human, and whose best friend manipulates and controls him on a regular basis. Of course he's messed up. But when some of the worst people on earth decide that they don't want to be friends with him anymore, you have to wonder...is Mac really that bad? Or is he just a few therapy sessions and a new roommate away from being somewhat well-adjusted?

The gang actually does do something good for Mac, even if their intentions are probably more harmful than helpful. Whether an act of sabotage or tough love, they sign him up to compete in the karate competition, so that he can get trounced and finally face the fact that he is not a karate master. And even though he does get knocked out almost immediately, the blocking point he earns at the beginning of the match becomes such a source of pride for Mac, that he disregards the loss completely and becomes even more convinced of his own badassery.

Just when the gang has made up their mind to replace Mac (literally pooping his pants may have been the final straw), Country Mac takes a spill on his motorcycle and dies from a blow to his non-helmeted head. At the memorial service, the gang realizes that sometimes people who seem badass are actually just reckless and drunk all the time. But before they have time to reflect on the meaning of life or how poorly they've treated Mac, Frank Day starts. And thankfully, for our sanity's sake, we don't get to witness any of it.

Grade: B+

Random Thoughts:

• I'm thinking that Dee and Charlie's days would look very similar to what they did on "Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life," with Dee dry heaving at the comedy club and Charlie huffing glue and eating cat food. Although, Mac mentioned that on Charlie Day (heyy-o!), they spent most of the day looking for ghouls. Hopefully, everyone kept their knees covered during the search.

• I'm thinking that Dennis Day would look very similar to "American Psycho."

• Mac's Cobra Kai costume is fantastic. I wish they could've worked Joe Esposito's "You're the Best" into the episode somehow.

• Speaking of fashion choices, I loved the idea of making everyone cut the sleeves off their shirts.   

• This show always has some great call-backs, and I think my favorite so far is Country Mac correctly performing an "ocular pat-down," saving everyone from a potential knife attack.

• Charlie: "I know we've never said this as a group, but...Mac's gay." (Yeah, it's about time.)

Photo Credits: Patrick McElhenney/FX


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