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'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' Recap: Mac And Charlie Write A Movie

December 4th, 2009 5:26pm EST | Becky Broderick By: Becky Broderick
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia TV Recap FXAs if I wasn't already bummed out enough about the "Sunny" season coming to a close next week, they had to go and blast me with the best episode of the year last night, making the impending Sunny-less winter that much harder to take.

Things start with Mac and Charlie relaying a story to Dennis (who is too preoccupied with his new touch-screen phone to really care) about how they got trapped in a parking garage stairwell and thought they were being stalked by killer, who turned out to be a security guard instead. The guys decide to use what they think is a knack for storytelling to write a movie after Dee shows up and announces that she's going to be a "featured actress" in an M. Night Shyamalan film. When Frank asks, "What's an M. Night?" Charlie describes the filmmaker's signature twists, like how in "The Sixth Sense," "that dude with the hairpiece was Bruce Willis the whole time."

Sensing an opportunity, Frank tries to convince Dee to take him on as her agent, but she rebuffs him with, "You are abusive and smell like warm meat." And that's not just an off-the-wall insult - Frank has actually taken to toting around greasy sausage links in his front shirt pocket. Coming from anyone else, that would be fairly repulsive, but we're talking about Frank here. This is one of the least disgusting things he's ever done.

Mac and Charlie start brainstorming ideas for their movie, and decide that they should follow the Hollywood trend of staging a comeback for a slumping, underrated actor. And who is the most underrated actor of all-time? Why, Dolph Lundgren, of course. The guys cast Dolph as a muscular scientist who fights crime, but realize that their story needs a twist. Charlie's proposal that Dolph's character "run around on all fours" quickly devolves into an idea for "a totally different movie about a talking dog scientist," but the dog angle leads to their brilliant story hook - this scientist can smell crime before it happens. And maybe he'll just be one big nose on Dolph Lundgren's body. Or maybe not.

The entire gang shows up at the filming location for different reasons. Dee, being the loser that she is, finds out that she is not a "featured actress," but a "featured extra." Her part? A face-down, bloody corpse. Frank convinces the cell phone-obsessed Dennis to let him be his agent, and Dee is pissed when Frank easily gets Dennis an extra role, too. Mac and Charlie arrive to pitch their movie to Night, but when Frank sees how disorganized they are, he suggests that they sign Dennis on as a producer to help them flesh out the story.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia TV Recap FX

Season 5 Episode "Mac And Charlie Write A Movie." © Patrick McElhenney / FX




Somehow, Frank gets access to a trailer to hold the pitch meeting for the movie, which is horribly, tentatively titled, "The Fifth Sense: The Sense of Smell." Dennis thinks the idea is brilliant but wants to add a girl, as the story is lacking a "sexual punch-up." Mac protests, "I kinda hate women," but Dennis insists that Dolph needs a female lab partner on whom Dolph can perform sexual experiments. Then he reveals the twist: "We show it. We show ALL of it. Because what's the one thing missing from all action movies these days, guys? Full penetration." Dennis then sums up the movie's plot: "Crime, penetration, crime, full penetration, crime, penetration…and this goes on and on and back and forth for 90 or so minutes, until the movie just sort of…ends."

Unsurprisingly, Frank loves the idea. Oddly enough, it's Charlie who thinks the full penetration angle might make audiences "uncomfortable," so he and Mac head to the library to try to clean up the script. Of course, neither of them can type, so they recruit a Pakistani student (the next best thing to an "Injun") to help out. But after giving them some good ideas (and convincing them to keep the full penetration), the kid reveals that he's a "big picture kinda guy," not a writer. Tired of dealing with words, the guys decide to just make a poster to sell their movie, now titled "Crime Stinks: The Smell of Penetration."

While all of this was going on, Dee was getting completely doused with blood to play a corpse, alongside Dennis who was just made up to look like he had a trickle of blood coming from his ear. While Dennis continued to play with and talk on his phone, Dee tried to roll over into a few glamour poses and then crawled towards the camera groaning, "BRAAAAAINS" after "figuring out the twist" that it was a zombie movie. After the assistant director reveals that it's actually a film about Serbian genocide and that these are just minor shots that M. Night won't be directing, Dee pitches a fit. Frank, already tired of the life of an agent, convinces the director to fire both Dennis and Dee and give him their spot.

Mac and Charlie return only to be told that M. Night "twisted them all" by not coming. But Dennis reveals a twist of his own: He was actually using the cell phone that everyone thought he was just mindlessly playing with to write a script of his own. The story? It's about two guys who get trapped in a parking garage stairwell and think they are being stalked by killer, who turns out to be a security guard instead. He signs Mac and Charlie on as producers and tells Dee that she gets to be the lead. Wait, no she doesn't! "Twisted again!" There are so many twists that Mac can't keep up! But poor Dennis soon finds himself on the wrong end of the final twist - all of his hard work is gone because Frank ruined the cell phone's touch screen with his greasy sausage fingers.

Grade: A+
I'm telling you, if this episode isn't nominated for an Emmy for outstanding writing, it will be a travesty. The script was tight, everyone was on, and everything worked (which can't be said for most of M. Night's post-"Sixth Sense" films). I was kind of disappointed that there were no cameos by Night and Dolph Lundgren (the only thing that could've made this episode better would have been a well-placed "I must break you"), but that's a minor complaint. I'm not sure which scene I liked better - Mac and Charlie's brainstorming session or their meeting with Dennis - but they are two of the funniest, best-written bits I've seen on this or any show in a while.

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

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





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