We continue our journey into season three with one of my favorite episodes of all time (OF ALL TIME!):
Mac is a Serial Killer
A serial killer is on the loose looking for young, attractive, blondes (Dee, you do not fit the profile), and Mac is acting suspicious. Frank thinks it must be because of all the serial killin’, but we discover it’s actually because he’s trying to hide the fact that he’s dating transwoman, Carmen. She has not yet undergone any sort of reassignment surgery, and the fact that she still has a penis is making Mac feel weird feelings (sometimes, just sometimes, he bumps up against it).
Dennis and Dee team up to find the real serial killer, while Frank and Charlie investigate Mac. In the end, the whole gang teams up to lure Mac to Dee’s neighbor Gary’s house (in a “To Catch A Predator”-like scenario) in order to confront him with their suspicions, and he is forced to confess his forbidden love. Then they find a bunch severed heads in Gary’s fridge and realize they are in the real killer’s apartment. NEIGHBOR GARY, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Why I Like It:
Another classic Dennis and Dee team up! First they use Dee as serial killer bait, but that ends poorly when Pepper Jack makes her his best ho, and Dennis has to buy her back with a Fraggle Rock thermos (Pepper Jack loves Fraggle Rock).
Then they decide to really get into the mind of the killer by stalking the Waitress…which also ends poorly when she maces them. There’s always something delightfully psychotic when the Reynolds twins team up. Dennis is truly disappointed when he remembers that they’re not actually going to kill the Waitress (I find it fascinating how Dennis’ internal darkness develops through the whole series, and how his friendship with Mac helps to curb that darkness – both because Mac often acts as a kind of conscience for Dennis, and because Mac is also an object that provides Dennis an outlet for his more controlling tendencies…so more on this later).
Then we’ve got Mac’s confusion over his sexuality. There are so many layers of shame, self-loathing, and Catholic guilt that it’s amazing Mac is even able to function. Although in the current season of the show, Mac has finally come out as gay, I’d say he’s pretty clearly bisexual. He has a thing for hot older ladies at least (Dennis’ mom). But really all he wants from a sexual partner of either gender is a replacement for the love that he was so desperate for as a child and never got. And that sounds really sad actually, but because he’s in so much denial about it, it’s just really funny. Poor Mac.
Then there’s Charlie’s obsession with being a lawyer. He’s got the language down (Objection, hearsay! That’s lawyer talk!). Now if only he could actually read. Or maybe he doesn’t need to be able to read to be a lawyer. I mean, he’s clearly watched the movie “Primal Fear” and a ton of episodes of “Law & Order.” That’s just as good as a law school degree, right? Also his team-up with Frank here is a lot of fun, as is Frank’s obsession with torturing someone with a chainsaw.
And finally there’s the fact that Dee is clearly the inspiration for all the serial killin’! SHE DOES FIT THE PROFILE! SHE CREATED THE PROFILE! I’m counting that as a win for Dee. I wonder what happens to neighbor Gary…Frank was quick to crank up that chainsaw.
Dennis: “Let’s carve our best friend to pieces with a chainsaw based on a hunch! Jesus Christ, Frank.”
Mac: “Are you wearing my Drakkar?” Charlie: “Oooooh, accusations. Those are no good. *hums theme to Law & Order*”
Dee: “Yep, I like to dress like a clown when I slaughter. Now help me grab some killin’ tools.”
Dee: *picks up an ax “Hellooo!” Dennis: “Messy.” Dee: “Too messy.” Dennis: “Very messy.”
Dennis: “We’re gonna follow our victim, ok, then we’re gonna jump her. And then I’m gonna strangle her and you’re gonna chop her into pieces.” Dee: “Ok, but what are we really gonna do?”
Frank: “Because drawing a confession out of someone is like doing a beautiful dance…a beautiful dance with a chainsaw.” Dennis: “He makes less and less sense as the days go by.”
Charlie: “Did you or did you not snap into an alternate and distinct personality causing you to go on a serial killing rampage?!” Mac: “What? No.” Charlie: “What? Yes, you did.”
Charlie: “Uh, nope, there’s a bunch of severed heads in there. There’s about 15 severed heads in there I’d say.”
Dennis Looks Like A Registered Sex Offender
The local prison is overflowing so they’re releasing a number of inmates, including Wendell, a registered sex offender who looks just like Dennis, and Mac’s Dad. The gang offers Mac’s Dad a job at the bar but Dee objects because Mac’s Dad touches her hair creepily, and also he might be a cannibal.
Dennis promises to side with her on that issue if she helps him prove to people that he’s not the sex offender. That goes about as poorly as you might expect when Dee convinces him to pop his shirt off in front of a group of kids to teach them about fitness.
Meanwhile, Charlie is angry that Frank has taken up with his mother, Bonnie (look, Frank needs a bang maid – you know, a lady who cleans, but who you can also have sex with), so he arranges a dinner party where he schemes to hook his mother up with Mac’s dad. Mac has different aspirations, as he hopes to get his parents back together at this little soiree. Which, again, goes very poorly when Mac’s Dad and Bonnie really hit it off, and Mac vows never to forgive Charlie for his manipulations.
Dennis and Dee eventually take care of the sex offender problem by hiring a kid to say that Wendell molested him unless Wendell agrees to move away. Charlie and Mac conclude that Mac’s Dad is killing people and that they are next. They call the police only to learn that Mac’s Dad was planning on taking them to Cooperstown…which would violate his parole, and so he’s arrested again. He wasn’t going to kill Mac at all! But he is now. Snitches get stitches.
Why I Like It:
Again, anything that shakes Dennis’ confidence in his looks is hilarious to me. He really has such a fragile ego. And the fact that it’s a sex offender that he shares a similarity with is of course very appropriate as Dennis is one frame bang (see: the Kitten Mittens episode) away from being a registered sex offender himself. In fact, we learn in season 8’s “Reynolds vs. Reynolds” that Dennis has several outstanding bench warrants for sexual misconduct.
Mac is reunited with his Dad and basically becomes a little boy desperate for love (even more than usual). This leads to his ill-conceived scheme to reunite his parents, which in turn leads to the glorious trainwreck of a dinner party which ends with him yelling about “happy boys! This is about happy boys!” And while we’re at the dinner party we have Charlie scheming to win back Frank from his mother (THAT’S a weird sentence).
The concept of the bang maid is introduced (which sounds great on the surface, but as Seinfeld learned in season 9’s “The Maid,” it’s very hard to keep that kind of situation classy and sophisticated – although what’s more sophisticated than diddlin’ the maid and chewin’ some gum?) Anyway, this dinner party scene is outstanding and one of my favorite things that the show has ever done.
I also love the randomness of Charlie, Mac and Frank trying to break the world record for holding your breath at the beginning of the episode, and Charlie’s impatience with the woman telling them about the inmates being released. THEY HAVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO BE DOING, LADY. WHY ARE YOU TAKING FOREVER?
Dee: “Why do you guys think that eating people is awesome?”
Charlie: “My mother happens to be one hell of a whore of a man-stealing woman!”
Mac: “You have ruined this and I will never forgive you!”
Charlie: “You don’t eat someone because they don’t have heroin in their ass!”
Line reading of the episode goes to Danny Devito:
Charlie: “I’ll tell you what else, you’re not gonna find a bang maid cuz there’s no such thing.” Frank: “I already did. Your mom. Goodbye.”
Next up: more episodes from season 3! I really love season three, you guys.