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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Review: “Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer” (Season 8, Episode 6)

This week's episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia featured the return of both Charlie and Mac's moms, a guest appearance by P. Diddy, and Frank and Dee on a scarring treasure hunt.

This week’s episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia featured the return of both Charlie and Mac’s moms, a guest appearance by P. Diddy, and Frank and Dee on a scarring treasure hunt.

Right from the first glimpse at the title, Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer, it was obvious the plot would somehow be related to the season 1 episode, Charlie Has Cancer. For those who need a refresher, that episode features Charlie faking cancer in order to gain sympathy from the waitress. Naturally, this week’s episode would have similar scheming, but the specific scheme came as quite a shock.

The episode begins with Charlie and Mac dropping their laundry (and the rest of the Gang’s) off at Charlie’s mom’s house. She says she has something important to tell Charlie, but him and Mac attempt to leave saying they have important things to do back at the bar (such as polish off a few beers).

Charlie’s mom blurts out that she has lung cancer, and Charlie and Mac are stunned. When they ask how this could have happened, Mac’s mom, cigarette in hand, replies “Well ya know, it’s just one of those freak things.” Charlie and Mac head back to the bar to break the news to the rest of the Gang, but Dennis’ sympathy seems less than genuine. When Charlie asks what the deal is, Dennis reveals that cancer just isn’t grabbing him right now.

Charlie, Mac, and Dennis head to Dr. Jinx (Sean Combs), a mysterious doctor who supposedly has kept Mac’s mom cancer-free for years. Their goal is to see if he’s worth the few thousand dollars he’s going to cost, since curing cancer for that cheap is such a blatant scam that even the Gang can’t believe it. Dr. Jinx’s office is in a garage, and more surprising for the Gang, he’s black.

Since they’re so weirded out by Dr. Jinx, they decide to try a different method. They head to church to ask for the lord’s help. Charlie is extremely suspicious of this plan, and Mac explaining why the church works was the best part of the episode.

Mac throws out lines such as “Just do what the priest says, don’t ask why, just do,” and “Dude, the church doesn’t give money; it takes it, all right? That’s the way it works. And then you go to heaven. Now kneel.” We’ve known since the start of the show that Mac has an interesting take on religion, but tonight took it to another level.

None of his convincing makes Charlie feel any better, as he insists that all the kneeling and standing is a scam. He smacks away the offering basket and is very uncomfortable when Dennis and Mac offer him a sign of peace. Charlie clearly won’t be returning to the church.

Dennis comes up with the idea of using the church’s business model to raise the money for Charlie’s mom. They decide to have a beef and beer and Jesus (the holy trinity) at the bar, and they invite the members of the church.

At the bar they bring in Artemis to do some make-up work on Charlie’s mom in an attempt to make her look much sicker than she is, because although the cancer is “devouring her insides,” her appearance isn’t all that sickly.

After Dr. Jinx’s funk band gets done playing, Dennis steps on stage and gives a passionate speech about be inspired by the imaginary things we feel around us. Despite getting the crowd worked up, to his dismay, he still doesn’t feel anything.

With much hesitation, Charlie’s mom steps on stage to give the speech Charlie and Mac have prepared for her.

Thank you for coming to our beef and beer and Jesus. As you know, I’m as sick as a three-legged dog on the streets of India, any minute my lungs are going to sizzle, pop, and disintegrate into a liquid, lung and organ gumbo soup… Give me money, money me. Money now. Me a money needing a lot now.

She then interrupts her speech to make a startling confession. She doesn’t have cancer. It turns out her and Mac’s mom backed over the church’s statue of the Virgin Mary, and they were attempting to raise the money to pay to have it fixed. And Dr. Jinx? Turns out he’s just the church’s gardener, which explains all the house plants in his office.

Charlie is appalled at his mother’s lie, and questions how she could do such a thing. She says that she learned it all from him, giving us yet another example of this season paying tribute to the show’s roots.

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Alexander Lowe