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It’s Always Sunny season 13, episode 9 recap: The Gang Wins the Big Game

In episode 9 from season 13 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the gang makes it to the Super Bowl and get humanized a little. Eagles, get ready to soar!

This It’s Always Sunny episode begins with different theme music than most others. Yes, it’s
“Eye of the Tiger” time, as the hit song by Survivor roars in place of the standard theme. In fact, this episode feels a little different than many other ones. It seems there’s a lot at stake, especially for Mac (Rob McElhenney). He takes a potential Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl victory quite seriously, and he’s very nervous about who attends the event.

As he puts it: “The eyes of the world are gonna’ be on Philadelphia.  And I want to show them that we are not just degenerates, okay?” Cricket (David Hornsby) just barely manages to make it, as he cons his way in dressed in Charlie’s (Charlie Day) “green man” uniform — ultimately leaving Charlie behind at the bar.

Fortunately, Frank (Danny DeVito) manages to convince Mac to let everyone attend, calling them the “salt of the earth.” As a bit of compromise, Mac does get his ideal representative: The muscular Rex (TJ Hoban). However, in a bit of distracted driving, The Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) crashes Frank’s vehicle. While it seems all hope is lost, Frank bails them out with his usual connections, and they make it to their box seats (though Frank complains of intestinal cramping along the way). Though it’s another Dennis/Glenn Howerton-free episode, it still delivers the goods.

Read: It’s Always Sunny season 13, episode 8 recap: Charlie’s Home Alone

A box full of miscreants

In the box, things threaten to get out of hand. They all boo Mac for wanting to stay in the box, Uncle Jack (Andrew Friedman) is still obsessed with his hand size, and sweet Dee Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson) has a bad case of pinkeye. While Uncle Jack’s hand concerns are addressed by some over-sized foam ones (available at many sporting events), Dee’s problem goes unaddressed.

However, oddly enough, her pinkeye may be instrumental to the Eagle’s prospects for victory. In a classic Dee-meets-Magoo moment, she enters the Patriots’ locker room, wiping her eye on a towel destined for Pat’s quarterback Tom Brady.

Also, and quite incredibly, The Waiter (Michael Naughton) makes yet another appearance, getting his shoelaces mischievously tied together. On top of that, we see that Rex put on weight after ingesting too many sugary berries (a victim of the Invigaron pyramid scheme from season 9 episode, “Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare”).

Passing the stone and winning the game

Humanizing moments are rare yet appreciated for It’s Always Sunny, and if any character needs to be humanized, it’s Frank Reynolds. Here we learn he needs to pass a kidney stone, which makes him more of a sympathetic character than he often is. As Mac joins him in the stadium bathroom as a sort of coach, it’s actually kind of heartwarming, and definitely ties in with the episode’s theme of standing by the people you love — even if they’re not always winners. Mac even spells this out at one point: “You know who we are? We’re losers. All of Philadelphia — we’re angry, and we’re mean, and we’re cruel, and we act like jerks.”

Most people on It’s Always Sunny are losers in some way, if not worse. However, when Dee and Ben the Soldier (Travis Schuldt) leave the box to salute to troops, it shows they’re also capable of caring about others. Sure, the Eagles score every time Frank heads to the bathroom, but that’s probably not the only reason Mac is there. When he says, “Do it for the birds, Frank,” there’s a sense of urgent victory. Then, as the Eagles win because of Brady’s eye contagion, one wonders if a new gang tradition will be born.

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In real life, Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson attended the actual game, and their reaction to the victory is included in the end credits (along with reactions of other Phillies fans). Even for people who don’t follow sports, you can really get a feel for how important these games are for people, and “It’s Always Sunny” seems to respect that. The gang may be a bunch of jerks, but they at least stand for something, and that’s what counts.

That’s it for this It’s Always Sunny recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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