When the Gang attempts to spend a night apart, fate brings them right back together in The Gang Dines Out. The episode is a tale of Sunny’s relationships set in real time. Dennis and Mac are out on their monthly man-date to Philadelphia’s classiest restaurant. By coincidence, Frank and Charlie enter the restaurant to celebrate their “anniversary” or the day the started sleeping together as roommates. By another coincidence, Dee is already seated in the restaurant, sitting alone at a table for two.
Like Seinfeld did before them, the cast of Sunny is at its best when they are able to play off of each other. The episode challenges the strength of the show by making the cast play a lavish game of chicken from afar. Dennis gets the restaurant warfare going by sending over a single glass of red win to Frank and Charlie’s table. Frank is angered by their offering and retaliates by sending Dennis and Mac a fancy bottle of white wine.
Dee is the side-plot of the episode as the cross-restaurant battle is going on. She’s there taking advantage of a Groupon deal, reflecting on her loneliness. She badgers the waiter for company, an obvious sign that she’s the fifth wheel of the Gang.
The gags in The Gang Dines Out mostly fall flat until Frank and Charlie up the ante. They buy the entire restaurant (except for Dennis and Mac) a shot of Sambuca to toast a veteran. Dennis, never one to let anyone in the Gang upstage him, grabs the microphone and confesses his appreciation for Mac as a hero in his life.
What started out as a classy evening must end with chaos in Philadelphia. For a Gang that spends every waking moment together, an episode where they keep their distance might not be such a bad thing. Yet, together or apart, this Gang is by no means civilized and they prove it once again. Dennis and Mac brace themselves for a showdown in the middle of the restaurant with Frank and Charlie. But before the fireworks go off, two waiters crash into each other, sending plates of spaghetti flying. Dee comes over to take credit for tying the waiter’s shoes together and the boys embrace her. Dee may never get the respect she wants but the short and immature attention spans of the Gang are enough for her to feel the love, if only temporarily. Dee is toasted and restaurant on-lookers have to wonder just what kind of species this Gang is.
If this episode proves anything, it’s that the only people the Gang belongs with are each other. In a season filled with juicy plotlines, this episode was limited because it was set in real time and it showed in both dialogue and the gags that attempted to save a weak plot.
The “They hate the Troops” Toast.
Mac slapping the waiter’s ass with a tip.
Dennis telling the restaurant he licked Chrissy Orlando’s asshole.