I had an idea for a Sunny script: Charlie and Frank take to sea on a boat Charlie’s been secretly building in the basement of the bar (I love the episodes that explore the various never-seen rooms, why not peak at the cellar?). The two become pirates and eventually wind up running a child-prostitution ring.
Well, tonight’s episode, “The Gang Buys a Boat,” shares only one similarity: the boat.
Anyway, brimming with cash ($2500) from the success of Dick Towels, Mac, Dennis, and Charlie decide to buy a boat. After a brief bit of haggling with the salesman (“I didn’t figure you for the ‘hearing’ type”), they land themselves a dilapidated Cape Fear-esque houseboat and promptly set Dee and Frank to task fixing up the non-Diddy-esque cabin while Mac and Dennis seek to integrate themselves among the local boat culture.
Frank’s not so interested in work as he is in starting a shrimping business with Charlie (who, in his Charlie-like mind, thinks barnacles are edible), with a special emphasis on catching some delicious, toxic, “endangered” catfish—that is until he tosses the guys to Charlie, and they promptly go in the drink (“That’s how I toss; I toss: overhand”).
Dee’d rather dance than work on sprucing up the cabin, and she sports a series of moves that Mac very correctly recognizes as identical to a whacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man. The boys leave Dee and head to the nearest hardware store to scrounge up some expensive paint and a mattress—because the whole point of getting a boat, according to Dennis, is to pick up girls, take them out into the ocean and the “implication” of their being stranded forces them to have sex—but not before a brief, patronizing scuffle with Frank and Charlie.
Back at the boat, Charlie’s diving for the keys (because Frank would bob like a cauliflower), but so far he’s only recovered the pieces of a “horse” skeleton, which Charlie takes to be the aftermath of some Revolutionary-era underwater horse massacre. Frank gets bored and joins Dee in the cabin, eager for destruction, and he promptly begins gutting it—before getting bored with that and taking up Dee’s dance moves.
Mac and Dennis return to find all the dregs Charlie’s scooped up, which Dee notes is all the debris she’s been throwing overboard. But there’s still no keys, and, after another brief, patronizing (“You can’t patronize your captain! It’s a Sea Law!”) struggle, sends Mac and Dennis back to the store to pick up some scuba equipment…and the whacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man.
While there, the two spy a flyer for a sea party and leave the rest to attend, decked out in the pansiest sea-threads imagineable…which turns out to be a decidedly awkward choice of attire for the party, being put on by the kind of seamen who look intimately familiar with the apple barrel. But Mac reasons that their gruffiness marks them as real men of the sea and engages in conversation with the one with a hook—the sad result of diabetes. Just as the boys getting ready to leave, one of the particularly creepier salts tells them to stay and makes a vague and unsettling implication of “being alone with some tasty treats”—which fortunately turn out to be girls ready to make some rash decisions with Mac and Dennis.
And back at the boat, Charlie, Frank, and Dee are having their own whacky-waving-inflatible-arm-flailing-tube-man praty/catfish (“It has that sort of ‘endangered tang!’”) fryup…until Charlie decides to scrap the scuba equipment and starts a fire, which, well, you can guess where it goes from there.
The three make it back to shore (“Catfish nippin’ at my heels! Endangered my ass!”) right as Mac and Dennis straddle up with their tasty treats, and the Gang watches mournfully as the boat goes up in flames.
There’s not a slow moment in the episode, which holds up among Sunny’s best. Dennis’ borderline-rape “implication” conversation with Mac ranks as one the best/creepiest turns in his increasingly disturbed character, and Charlie’s “horse massacre” is a defining moment in Charlie-logic.
Dee doesn’t have much to do in the episode, but Caitlin Olson’s physical comedy is a highlight that I can’t wait to see explored more. And, as always, Danny DeVito gets all the best lines as Frank continues to be a goldmine of strange and terrible tics and quirks.