Season 10 Episode 10 Review: “Ass Kickers United: Mac and Charlie Join a Cult”
Cults are a powerful way of controlling idiots and the vulnerable. They claim to have knowledge superior to that of others, often from a supernatural or alien source, and will give you that knowledge if they deem you worthy. Often that worth is measured in how much money and labour they have extracted from you. When you are deemed worthy it is already too late, your mind belongs to them. You have become another cog in their machine designed to gain new members and revenue.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has tackled cults before, albeit to worship a god of money instead of some sort of alien overlord (‘Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare’) and it’s clear which one they are lampooning in this one. It’s the one founded by a science-fiction author, you all know what I’m talking about. What’s interesting though is that Dennis (Glenn Howerton), the founder of the cult, is a self-admitted atheist and his motive is a simple one: control.
He plays on Mac’s (Rob McElhenney) insecurities and religious inclinations to try and alter his behaviour to one he finds more amenable, and tolerable. Frank (Danny DeVito) displays another reason as to why cults start: to gain sexual gratification, often over the opposite sex. He uses his position of power, he claims to have direct contact with the master, to leer and letch over the young woman. Cults, when you strip them down past the dogma and secrecy, are cynicism defined.
I think the highlight of this episode, or at least the one most burned into our memories, is the scene at the very end. It’s a man riding a turtle in space to the soundtrack of, or one reminiscent of, The Master, a 2012 film starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. If you like the sound of that you’ll love this episode. I’m sad to see this season come to an end. I wanted more, and that’s the highest compliment one can give to something. Season 10 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is now available on Netflix.