We get to see a typical day in Cricket's world and then a possible redemption when his family intervenes. Will Cricket finally move on from the gang, finding love in the process? Will Cricket go from filthy beast to his former self, Matthew Mara?
3:10 PM, On a Sunday, Philadelphia, PA
Cricket has just stolen a loaf of bread from a store and is being chased down by the irate proprietor. Through a series of acrobatic parkour moves, Cricket successfully escapes, but unfortunately ends up in a dumpster full of manure.
Having jumped up from the dumpster, Cricket is approached from behind by an elderly man. Cricket initially offers himself as a prostitute to the man, before the man reveals himself to be Cricket's father, Jack Mara. Jack pleads with Cricket to give up life on the streets and come back home to take over the family business, alongside his brother Davy. Cricket agrees, but first makes a quick stop at Paddy's, as the gang lets him use one of the urinals as a shower.
In the men's room, Cricket retrieves a PCP cigarette he had stashed under the sink and prepares to smoke it. Seeing his gruesome visage in the mirror, however, he decides against it, throwing the cigarette in the dustbin.
At work, Cricket immediately becomes the target of physical and verbal abuse from his brother Davy, who believes that Cricket is nothing more than a street rat and a bum, incapable of changing his ways. Jack insists that the brothers learn to get along in time for a meeting with the family's largest customer, who need to be ensured that the business will be in good hands following Jack's retirement.
A young female employee named Belle approaches Cricket, sympathizing with the abuse he suffers by Davy. Cricket asks her for a date and Belle enthusiastically agrees. Dennis and Charlie call Cricket at work (having implanted him with a pet tracking device) and offer him $5 to emcee a stripclub event at Paddy's. Despite initally claiming to be done with such low-life odd jobs for the gang, he is persuaded to take the offer when he realizes that he will need some money for his date, and his salary won't be paid until the end of the month.
Having completed the job, he is appalled when the gang attempts to pay him in lemon slices (again) instead of cash. He reminds the gang that he is a human being named Matthew Mara, but eventually takes the lemons and angrily leaves. As Cricket is eating his lemons in the street, Belle appears for their date, and again seems genuinely infatuated with him despite his horrifying exterior and grotesque manner of eating lemons. They spend the night dancing in a park, eating spaghetti in an alley and finally fall asleep in a cardboard box.
Cricket arrives at work the next day in good spirits, but is berated for missing the important meeting with Mr. Sanderson and thereby losing the family their biggest customer. Cricket once again displays incredible acrobatics, however, and intercepts Mr. Sanderson before he can drive off. Through threats of extreme violence, Cricket manages to persuade Mr. Sanderson to stay on board.
Jack is overjoyed and even Davy admits that he might have been wrong about Cricket. At that moment, Belle appears and tells Cricket that she is planning to run away. As Cricket will now likely stay with the company, he can't come with her. Belle gives Cricket her necklace, and in return, Cricket kisses Belle passionately.
Jack, Davy and Mr. Sanderson look on in disgust, and reveal to Cricket and the viewer that Belle is Jack's dog. A flashback shows that the PCP cigarette that Cricket flicked towards the dustbin at Paddy's actually landed outside, and so Cricket decided to smoke it, leading to him hallucinating to the point where he thought Belle was human. Jack gives Cricket an ultimatum. Forever give up "insane shit" like kissing dogs and keep working for Jack, or go back to the streets.
The next shot shows Cricket arriving at Paddy's to smoke PCP in the men's room, with the encouragement of Dee, Mac, Charlie and Frank.
- Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly
- Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds
- Rob McElhenney as Mac
- Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds
- Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds
- Wayne Federman as Mr. Sanderson
- Zack Ward (misspelled Zach Ward) as Davy Mara
- Ammar Daraiseh as Shopkeeper
- Darris Love as Worker
- This is the first episode in which a recurring character is the main character, and The Gang are supporting characters. Season 7's "Frank's Brother" also pushed The Gang into the role of supporting characters, but in order to make Frank and his brother Gino the main characters.
- The events of this episode are concurrent with events in the episodes "PTSDee" and "The Gang Tends Bar", seeing them from Cricket's point of view, and clips from both of those episodes are shown.
- There are a few notable Disney references in this episode. Not only is Belle named after the Beauty and the Beast character of the same name, Cricket's nickname "Street Rat" is also the nickname to the title character from Aladdin, who also steals loaves of bread. Cricket is also heard singing the song "Beauty and the Beast" in his flashback where he smokes his PCP. Additionally the Spaghetti eating kiss shared by the protagonists in Lady and the Tramp was recreated during the date montage.
- According to Charlie, the Gang has implanted a GPS tracking device into Cricket without his knowledge.
- Humorously enough, right after stealing a loaf of bread, Cricket takes the time to buy a handful of gumballs from a dispenser and throw them on the sidewalk to trip up the man running after him, rather than knock it over to garner the same results.
- In the same scene a girl in a tuxedo helps an elderly woman who slipped on the gumballs to get up, this is Aniya Wolf a girl who made the news when she was turned away at prom for turning up in a tuxedo following this event Rob tweeted "Aniya, I love your suit. Would u like to wear it on Sunny?" which then also made the news.
- This is the first time that Cricket has introduced himself as Matthew Mara since the Season 3 episode "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off" (when The Waitress calls him "Cricket", he corrects her, saying "It's Matthew"), and the first episode since Season 8's "Pop-Pop: The Final Solution" where his real name has been used (his boss at the dog pound calls him "Mara" when talking about a Mastiff's explosive diarrhea).
- Cricket similarly got lemons in lieu of something else he was promised in the Season 6 episode "Mac's Big Break". He made a similar noise eating lemons in that episode as well.
- We first saw Cricket's parkour skills in the Season 4 episode "Mac and Dennis: Manhunters".
- This is not the first time Cricket has been the object of a dog's desires, as we hear in "Mac's Big Break" that his neck wound looks similar to a dog's vagina, and in "Dee Made a Smut Film", he recounts (in an almost bragging tone) the time he was trapped in a dog orgy.
- Though the music playing during Cricket's chase at the beginning, "Grand Central" by Werner Tautz, has been played many times before on this show, this is the first time the real beginning of the piece has been played.
- There are various hints that lead up to the reveal that Belle is actually a dog. One of the biggest is when Belle says Davy calls her a bitch, which is not only a derogative term towards women, but is also the scientific term for a female dog.
|Season 12 Episodes|
|1. "The Gang Turns Black"
2. "The Gang Goes to a Water Park"
3. "Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy"
4. "Wolf Cola: A Public Relations Nightmare"
5. "Making Dennis Reynolds a Murderer"
|6. "Hero or Hate Crime?"|
8. "The Gang Tends Bar"
9. "A Cricket's Tale"
10. "Dennis' Double Life"