Considering the Gang’s intense narcissism, selfishness and appreciation for debauchery, it was never a surprise that there wasn’t a group of people jumping in line to be their friends. If the episode “The Gang Gets a New Member” accomplished anything this week, it was to further solidify an underlying reason for the constant 5 person membership they’ve maintained for so long. Sadly, the episode failed to match the great storytelling and humor in “Who Got Dee Pregnant?”.
The story centers around the Gan’sg rediscovering their old friend Schmitty (Jason Sudeikis) after finding a picture of him inside a time capsule. The opening of the time capsule was hilariously celebrated by Charlie doing what he calls the “butt dance.” Despite Charlie’s incessant complaints to leave Schmitty out, the Gang seek him out to apologize for both kicking him out of the Gang and subsequently kicking him out of a moving car. Meanwhile, Dee finds a letter she wrote to herself from the past, detailing her rise to stardom as an actress and thanking her acting teacher for believing in her. Stricken with the failure of her dreams and the disappointment she’s been, she returns to her high school and becomes a drama teacher.
Looking at Schmitty’s character, one must wonder how such a likeable, funny person could ever be friends with people like Dennis, Mac and Charlie. The writers, and especially Jason Sudeikis, did a great job making Shmitty such a cool, funny character. Even Frank realizes how cool he is because he saw him “jump down a whole set of stairs,” but that might just be Frank being an easily impressed person. Charlie’s disapproval of him soon becomes apparent in the way that Schmitty soon overshadows him. A distraught Charlie gives Mac and Dennis an ultimatum as to whether they want Schmitty or himself to be in the Gang. With no hesitation, Charlie is kicked out and Schmitty takes his spot. Thanks to Schmitty, we now know that their initiation involves a fancy dinner, a secret friendship ring, and a candle lit ceremony started by Mac roundhouse kicking a bell. Because Schmitty fails to see the importance of their rituals, they once again try to kick him out of a moving car. Things go awry as Frank wedges himself between the car door and Schmitty but finds himself too weak to move him at all. With their plan failed, they are left drive away disappointed with Frank screaming: Tell people we pushed yoooouuuuu!
Like Charlie, Dee also has trouble getting people to pay attention to her as the classroom shows no enthusiasm for theater. Seeking friendship after his betrayal, Charlie misinterprets Dee’s pleas for him to leave as a plea to get a job as a janitor and become friends. The scene of Charlie’s interview with the principal for the “substitute janitor” position was hilarious as he brought a picture of US track athlete, Bruce Jenners, as his résumé and opts to eat an eraser in order to show his dedication. The Gang catches up with Charlie while he’s waxing the school and ask for him to join them again, but Charlie declines saying that Dee appreciates his friendship and that she said: “You’re an awesome janitor [Charlie], you came and made this whole school slippery.” At the end we are left seeing Charlie turns down their offer to come back and Dee’s teacher slipping and breaking his hip on the over waxed floors.
Original Author: Andrew Ebanks