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‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Review: “Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer”

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ "Charlie's Mom Has Cancer"
FX

We’re coming off of a great episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘ as last week’s “The Gang Gets Analyzed” was the best of the season. So how does this week’s episode stack up? We’re hoping for good things from “Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer,” and it looks like it’s got a guest star in Sean Combs.

The episode starts at 11:20 AM on a Saturday with Charlie showing up to do laundry at his parents house, and Mac also brings his, Dee and Dennis’s laundry. Charlie plans on bailing but his mom drops the titular bomb: she’s got lung cancer.

Back at the bar Dee talks to Frank about her psychic and tries to borrow money when Charlie shows up talking about how Mac’s mom probably gave Charlie’s mother the cancer. No one at the bar seems to care about the cancer but Charlie, while Mac says he has a doctor who can cure his mom for $4,200. Charlie, Dennis and Mac go to check on Dr. Jinx, the man who Mac thinks can cure Charlie’s mom. Inside Dr. Jinx (Sean Combs) is playing New Kids on the Block’s “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and watering his plants, and is not what they expected. Jinx uses homeopathic recipes. At first he helps Mac with a rash (or at least sprays the rash with a green liquid), then he says he can help Dennis with his emotional apathy by playing the Bass line of “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” which sends them out and to church. Charlie asks if the church can help, but Mac says “the church doesn’t give money, it takes it.” Charlie says the church is a scam, so Dennis and Mac hug him, which they do just to annoy him.

Dee sees her psychic, who comes across as a real phony. Frank busts in realizing he got hustled by Dee for the money for her visit, which leads Frank to get sucked in by the psychic, especially when the psychic says he can talk to Frank’s dead “whore” wife. The psychic tells them that Frank’s wife is still alive and living with a small Mexican dog. Outside of the church the boys argue about how the wafers are Jesus’ body when Charlie gets pulled away by his mom, who wants to go to Dr. Jinx. Mac reveals that his rash has cleared up, so they’re all tentatively on board. Dennis suggests that the church is a scam, and they should follow their model by doing a beef and beer event as a charity thing for Charlier’s mom. Dee and Frank dig up his ex-wife’s dog’s grave and find a wig and five grand, leading to a discussion of how property tax – paying taxes on something you already own – is also a huge scam.

Back at the bar, the fundraiser is going with Dr. Jinx playing bass, and turning the lyrics of “We Want the Funk” from “turn this mother out” to “turn this cancer out.” Charlie and Mac get Charlie’s mom to a make-up artist who puts a skullcap on her and covers her in fake sores. Dennis gets up on stage to introduce Charlie’s Mom, and starts talking about faith, and how faith is about being dumb enough to believe in something even if it makes no sense, and if we believe in something we can do anything. But after he gets off stage he says he wasn’t feeling any of it – it was just an act. Charlie’s mom gets on stage to give her speech (written by Charlie and Mac) which suggests how painful and close to death she is, and that she needs money. But the big speech breaks her, and she reveals the truth: she doesn’t have cancer. Charlie and Mac’s moms broke a church statue and came up with the cancer thing to raise money to fix it. When questioned why she would lie like that Charlie’s mom whips out the old anti-drug add line “I learned it from watching you” to blame Charlie. It also turns that Dr. Jinx is just a gardener, and Mac shows that his rash is back. Frank then rushes in saying they have to dig up his ex-wife because she’s not really dead and is probably hiding money in her fake grave. But when Charlie opens the coffin, it’s revealed that instead of money it’s his dead wife. Frank grifted them the whole time, which makes Dennis finally feel emotions again.

Sean Combs showed a great gift for comedy in ‘Get Him to the Greek’ and he’s funny here, and it’s good to see he can at least have something of a sense of humor about himself by jamming to NKOTB. It’s also nice to see how nasty this show can get, and it seems that the model for this episode was partly ‘South Park‘s “Scott Tenerman Must Die.” That’s one of the greatest comedy episodes in television history, and it’s a good thing to rip off. But what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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