Spoilers below for the Season 13 finale of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

More so than just about every other TV comedy out there, FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has maintained and evolved every one of its core strengths, while suffering extremely few consequences. But dammit, even with its largely im-Mac-ulate track record, the Season 13 finale was a golden god of an episode, crafting a genuinely humane and emotionally satisfying arc that remained fully grounded in this contemptible universe.

"Mac Finds His Pride" successfully honed in its focus on one of It's Always Sunny's only semi-serialized elements: Mac's sexuality. Bummed out by his emotional imbalance, Mac (wisely) wasn't invested in helping the gang put together a float for the Gay Pride Parade. Frank, in the midst of being an extremely cringe-worthy enforcer of negative LGBTQ stereotypes, actually manages to get to the heart of the issue by figuring out that Mac needs to come out to his father, the convicted felon Luther McDonald.

It wasn't too surprising when Mac didn't actually make the admission during that visit, what with Luther being a sadistic nutcase. What was immensely surprising, meanwhile, was the surreal and visually gorgeous water-enhanced dance that Mac performed inside the prison opposite guest star Kylie Shea.

Mac had to have known that his attempts to connect with his father were doomed from the start, so perhaps that's why he chose to come out not in a one-on-one scenario, but with an entire room of prisoners present. Maybe he concocted this big and elaborate dance sequence in order to gain acceptance and/or approval from someone else in a situation similar to his father, but without all the homicidal tendencies. He got it, too, earning a standing ovation from the awestruck crowd.

Amazingly enough, the spectator whose feelings were most on display was Frank. After spending the rest of the episode being pained by infected wounds inside his nose -- a hot glue gun was involved -- Frank had tears in his eyes for a completely different reason. He was moved by Mac's passion. As were we all, Frank, as were we all.

The sight of Cricket as a pock-marked leather-daddy is obviously one that audiences will be unable to forget. I dare say, however, that the final shot of Frank's beaming pride is perhaps the most powerful image in the entirety of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's run. It's also perhaps the most unpredictable.

For a series that often concerns itself with shining a light on the darkest sides of humanity, this already excellent 13th season ended with a much-needed reminder that no darkness is completely impenetrable. I feel like Frank would make a joke about Mac not being impenetrable.

Co-creator and Ronald McDonald portrayer Rob McElhenney spoke with Deadline about what inspired the episode and its magnificent dancing.

I wanted to do onething with my character in regards to his sexuality, onething that wasn't just played for jokes but that would resonate emotionally, and I wasn't 100 percent sure what that would be. We didn't want it to seem pandering or off-tone or off-brand or just un-Sunny. So, how do we find a way in which it feels like you're still watching the same show and yet we're addressing onething that is so important to our culture right now? Now, couple that with the fact that I've always found myself to be a terrible dancer, and everybody says that I'm a terrible dancer including my wife and all of my friends. So thinking about wanting to do different things -- and things that scare me and things that I'm terrible at -- I thought wouldn't it be fun to learn onething new, use the show as an opportunity to grow and to learn onething new? And that's what we came up with.

There are definitely some moments during the dance when you can tell that Rob McElhenney isn't meant to be the next big winner on Dancing with the Stars, but the sternness and confidence on his face would have fooled us into believing otherwise. Not to mention those ripped abs. He deserves some abundant credit for taking a lack of a skill and turning it into eye-catching TV like that.

Rob McElhenney admitted that it wouldn't be in line with It's Always Sunny's pathos if Mac would have a big bonding moment with his father over coming out. The actor says that neither Luther's relenting nor Mac's potential catharsis would have been authentic to everything that's come before it.

So without a big father-son moment that so many other projects would have landed on, McElhenney and the writers allowed Frank to make the leap into emotional maturity. Here's how the actor put it:

We also wanted to make sure the episode didn't end on a down beat, that it wasn't sad. So what we realized in breaking the story down was that Frank really is the gang's surrogate father, for better or worse. He is a terrible, terrible parent and he is a terrible father and he is a terrible, terrible role model, and ultimately a terrible person. And we have him throughout the episode not understanding Mac being gay, and having him reiterate over and over again 'I don't get it. I don't judge you but I don't get it. I don't get it. I don't get it.' All we wanted him to do in the end was to just wrap his mind around it and say to his ostensibly surrogate son, 'I get it.' That's it. We didn't need him to say I love you or everything's going to be okay. It's just 'Oh, my God, I finally understand.'

Rob McElhenney spent part of his life raised by two women, and also has two gay brothers. So even though the show didn't start off with Mac's sexuality in the spot where it is now, it was interesting and important to the co-creator to bring the character into that life. I, for one, welcome it (but not a bleeding Frank) with open arms.

Though I will admit that part of the joy I'm feeling is because I know Dennis would be drowning a pool of his own envy if he'd watched Mac's performance. Unfortunately, Dennis went away again.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is currently finished with Season 13, but FXX already has Season 14 ordered up and ready to go when the Gang is. In the meantime, our fall TV premiere schedule will be a big help for anyone needing good TV in their lives.

Though I will admit that part of the joy I'm feeling is because I know Dennis would be drowning a pool of his own envy if he'd watched Mac's performance. Unfortunately, Dennis went away again.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is currently finished with Season 13, but FXX already has Season 14 ordered up and ready to go when the Gang is. In the meantime, our fall TV premiere schedule will be a big help for anyone needing good TV in their lives.

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