It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 1, Episode 4: Charlie Has Cancer

This episode begins with Dennis stopping by Charlie’s apartment to get his basketball back so he play a game with Mac, Dea and a bunch of other people. Right off the bat, you can tell where Charlie stands in the friendship existing within the gang, because out of everyone, Charlie is the only person not invited to the basketball game. This can be traced back to the second episode when they only let Charlie ref the game rather than let him play physically. Charlie looks upset and it is revealed that he has been crying. Dennis gets a bit nosey and forces information out of Charlie. Charlie tells Dennis he might have cancer. I think it was a safe bet to say that Charlie definitely didn’t have cancer. I don’t know if anyone else noticed this, but Charlie said he “might have cancer” instead of “I have cancer”. Just like in episode two when Charlie ‘has a son’ which turns out not to be his. It seems to be a reoccurring theme for the writers to give Charlie’s character any excuse, or in this case a disease, for him to get closer to the waitress he admires endlessly. As the episode continues, it is proven that Charlie saw the waitress wearing a Lance Armstrong ‘Livestrong’ wristband, and Charlie himself concluded that the bracelet meant she was a caring and sympathetic person towards cancer patients. Charlie faked this disease so he can up his chances at finally sleeping with her. Sadly enough Mac and Dennis paid the waitress 250 dollars to sleep with Charlie and she agreed but never held up her part of the bargain. Meanwhile Mac meets an attractive girl named Carmen who turns out to have a penis. She told Mac not to worry because she is getting it removed and they begin to form a romantic relationship. Accidentally in the end Mac punches Carmen when she taps him from behind and startles him. It is also shown in a flashback that Mac did the same thing to Dea at a Christmas party.

To furthermore prove my claim about how Dea is mistreated and the gang is constantly taking advantage of her, this episode is a prime example to help me prove my point. I like to keep my eye on the characters in the distance at times when watching television shows because most of the time they are doing something funny or foreshadow something that will happen later on in the episode or even the season or series. Once again Dennis and Mac think up this ridiculous plan to get the waitress to sleep with Charlie even though Dea stated how she thinks it is a bad idea because she has learned a lot from her theater and psych classes. Mac responds by saying “Woah woah woah Dea. No one cares about your theater or psych classes”. While Dennis and Mac are discussing this bulletproof plan, you can see Dea hauling heavy boxes of beer back and forth to the bar without any help from anyone. All Dennis and Mac say is that she is being a “pain in the ass” even though she is single handedly keeping this bar a float. Dea finally asks for the guys to help her unpack the boxes and they respond, “That’s Charlie’s job” even though they currently know Charlie is home ‘sick with cancer’. Dea tells them she can’t do it all by herself. Mac replies to her by saying, “Ooh, I’m sorry. So Charlie’s wasting away and were going to talk about Sweet Dea’s problem all morning” and then says “We don’t need her”. This just shows how Dea is usually always right but the guys take advantage of her and ignore her because she is a girl and in same cases because she isn’t part owner of the bar.

I found it hysterical how no one seemed to really that Charlie might of had cancer. The moment Charlie told Dennis the room was filled with silence and Charlie asked if they could ever talk about it and Dennis agrees. Charlie begins to talk and Dennis stopped him because he only came to get the basketball from Charlie because his other friends were waiting. A basketball game is more important to Dennis than Charlie. Anyone else would take offense to this, except for these four main characters because they all seem to forget it by the next day. When Dennis tells Mac and Dea that Charlie ‘has’ cancer, even though Charlie told him not too, all Dea could think about was how bad Charlie is going to look with no hair. No one seemed to care at all that Charlie could possibly die with this disease, if he actually had it in the first place. The relationship and boundaries these four main characters have makes you wonder if they actually are friends or even care about each other. It is easy to pick a piece of the episode and scrutinize it, however if you continue to watch and disregard certain moments, you will actually see the strange and weird compassion and love between all four characters.

A few things I liked in this episode are how every time Mac was with Carmen, they always happened to have an encounter with her penis. They always showed the bump and even when Mac and Carmen kissed, he leaned out so that their pelvises wouldn’t touch. I also liked how we finally saw Dennis and Mac’s apartment and was able to compare it to the less clean Charlie’s apartment. One more thing I liked was the reference to the film ‘Coyote Ugly’ which the actress who plays Dea (Kaitlin Olson) actually had a small part in.

I watched this episode at 3 in the afternoon on a gloomy and rainy day, by myself in my bedroom.

I will give this episode a 4.5 out of 5 because even though it was pretty funny, it is still lacking something that I can’t quite put my finger on.

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