Our favorite five sociopaths return for season ten right where they left off – drinking, cooking up depraved schemes, and having no regard for any human life other than their own. The premiere has plenty to laugh about including an appearance from Frank’s alter-ego (Dr. Mantis Toboggan); Dennis’ analysis of every woman suitable to be his sex partner from the comfort of his own seat; Dee blacked out for the entire episode; Charlie eating a whole chicken in the middle of a drinking competition; and Mac frantically running around to tend to everyone’s needs.
It starts with the gang on an airplane chugging beers and wearing white T-shirts (with the exception of Mac). Why, you ask? Legend has it that baseball great Wade Boggs once consumed a copious amount of beer during a plane ride before going three for five at the plate the next day. It is their intention to pay homage to Boggs (even though he is still alive) by tallying each beer consumed and breaking the record.
Like any great story, the amount of beer Boggs actually consumed is debated. Some say it’s 50 while others say 60. Most people are smart enough to understand when a story is exaggerated but not the owners of Paddy’s Pub, who set their sights on beating 70 beers. Nobody takes the competition more seriously than Mac, who is acting as the Bud Selig/commissioner of the group.
Dee is the clear frontrunner at the start of the competition, initially on pace to drink 130 beers. She is drunk to the point where she is convinced they are trying to outdrink Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard despite been corrected several times.
Dennis and Frank are sitting near a frat boy who is ordering beers on the flight. This causes concern within the competition as a generous amount of beer is needed. As a stroke of genius, Frank buys the frat boy a beer laced with 12 sleeping pills, which knocks him out cold. In an attempt to rectify this mistake and avoid an emergency landing, Frank informs the flight attendant that he is a doctor – Mantis Toboggan, M.D. Frank is also interested in joining the “Air Sex Society” so he asks the flight attendant for condoms. When he learns that the aircraft does not sell condoms he smilingly replies, “We’ll have to figure something else out!”
Dee passes out at 29 beers but resurges moments later after she confesses to taking upper pills. Mac responds by sweeping it under the rug before anyone else finds out, just as the commissioner is supposed to do.
We first see Charlie in his seat, eating a whole chicken and ordering a rum & Coke. Mac asks him why he is filling up on chicken and not drinking beer, to which Charlie replies, “Do you know anything about Wade Boggs? The man ate a chicken before every game. That’s why they called him the Chicken Man.” I cannot speak for the accuracy of this statement.
Dennis is the least interested in winning the beer competition. He makes a bet with Frank that he can bang somebody on the flight. Frank accuses him of not making any progress because he has remained in his seat, to which Dennis replies, “Of the 206 passengers on this flight, 98 of them are women. Only one of them is a suitable candidate. She wears a J Crew spring 2012 selection outfit with a fresh tan line on her ring finger so the wound is still fresh.” It turns out that this woman is happily married and declines Dennis’ offer so he goes with a plan B, a trashy blonde with multiple gecko tattoos. Dennis drops out of the competition during the plane’s stop in North Dakota by telling Mac, “I’d rather stay in this barren wasteland of a state than spend another minute with that filth. I’ll see you back in Philly.”
As it becomes clear that only Charlie and Dee are in contention to break 70 beers, Mac tries igniting a McGwire/Sosa style rivalry. Charlie doesn’t share his enthusiasm at first, claiming, “Boggs only did this because he was thirsty.” Shortly after, the ghost of Wade Boggs sits next to Charlie and says, “I didn’t win 5 batting titles ‘cuz it was fun. I did it because I wanted to be the best.” With the inspiration of ghost Boggs (remember Wade Boggs is still alive), Charlie starts sprinting towards the record. Dee also hallucinates by seeing the ghost of Boss Hogg who also gives her inspiration to keep drinking.
At the airport baggage claim, Charlie and Dee each finish a 71st beer, breaking the record. However, Mac declares that the winner also has to go three for five at the plate. Dee passes out on the baggage claim belt so she is out, leaving Mac and Charlie to the baseball diamond. Charlie makes contact with the ball and Mac crowns him the winner as he is too lazy to fetch it to see if he can get 2 more hits in 4 more at bats.
Charlie is so inebriated by the end the writers felt it necessary to add subtitles to his lines. The following three are my favorite, and I’ll provide context for each quote:
“She took a ride on the carousel.” Charlie explaining to Mac where Dee went as she is face-down, ass-up on the baggage claim belt in the airport.
“Give me the hot dog, baby.” Charlie standing at the plate, baseball bat in hand, waiting for Mac to throw a pitch.
“Do they have chicken in Philly?” Who knows what his thought process is at this point? There is no context.
This episode had everything I wanted. I expected to see a delusional scenario where the characters stay true to themselves. This episode has it in spades.