Charlie wants an Abortion
Episode 2 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia decides to hit a controversial topic that was ignored in the first episode: Abortion. Of course, instead of taking a firm stand one way or the other, though the anti-abortion people come off worse, the show uses the subject to mock the characters not the debate.
It starts with the three guys ostensibly playing basketball, but being the Always Sunny gang they are doing more arguing and mocking than basketball playing. Their good time is ruined by a woman they new in high school showing up claiming that she had a child by Charlie. This is only the second episode, so this bit of bickering is what really lets the viewer know how petty and cruel our protagonists can be. Dennis and Mac go straight from arguing about each other’s fashion choices — Mac’s sleeveless shirts and tats make him seem especially douchey– to mocking Charlie for actually wanting to play. These “friends” constantly and hilariously insult each other. In later episodes, they will together turn their venom to outsiders, but the gang is just as cruel to each other.
After the theme, and one of the more disappointing title cuts, the gang discusses the revelation of Charlie’s child in the bar. Between Dee’s picking apart Charlie’s logic with simple, logical questions –not by being a word genius like Charlie suspects — and the gangs baffled and amused reaction to the very mention of God this is a near perfect scene. After Mac displays a tenuous at best grasp of the Bible, he goes to get some spiritual guidance and Dennis and Charlie go to meet the kid.
Charlie’s supposed kid is the most horrible little shit ever. He is all of the terrible children you’ve ever encountered rolled into on tiny spiteful boy. Since Charlie (and the rest of the gang for that matter) is just an overgrown child himself the clash spectacularly. Mac meanwhile, displays a complete disregard for the pro-life organization he goes to for help, but does discover something he likes: an attractive girl. So he pretends to care about abortion. Charlie trades in Dennis, who refuses to spend more time around the kid, for Dee and takes the kid to the mall. There he meets The Waitress, who is there as part of the Big Sister Little Sister Program.
Both Mac and Charlie decide to use the present situation to get girls. When Mac recruits Dennis to come with him to pick up chicks at an abortion rally, Dennis perfectly sums up the stance of the gang on any issue. “I don’t really have any convictions.” Everything is just a tool for their personal gratification. There are two revelations that really hammer this home. The first is that Charlie is not the kid’s father. This should have been immediately obvious. He is furious about the lie until he realizes that it doesn’t hamper his plan. The other is the false revelation that Mac’s pro-life girl is pregnant. His immediate reply, at a pro-life rally no less, is “You need to have an abortion,” which quickly ends their relationship.
Of course, it ends with all of their plans coming undone. Because the other three went to the abortion rally, Charlie had to watch the bar. So he was unable to keep an eye on the devil child, who sneaks drinks and gets himself drunk. Charlie takes him outside for a thoroughly necessary berating (really, that kid deserves all the hate and venom Charlie could spew) which is witnessed by the Waitress, ruining Charlie’s nonexistent chances once again.
This episode, as most of them do, perfectly illustrates how despicable the gang is. Always Sunny has the uncanny ability to get you to like the horrible protagonists while you root against them. You do not want to see Charlie succeed, at least not at this point, but you certainly want to see more of Charlie. It is that balance that makes Always Sunny so great.