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Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 11’s Cruise Jail Scene Broken Down By Cruise Expert

Summary Cruise ship captain Wendy Williams critiques the boat jail scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 11 for its lack of realism, giving it a low rating for accuracy.
The boat jail in the episode differs significantly from what actually exists on cruise ships, with real ship jails being holding cells with camera surveillance and not shared with others.
Williams also points out that the characters in the scene would not be left alone, as cruise ship procedures involve escorting individuals to a muster area, making the jail scene even less believable.
A cruise ship captain breaks down the classic “boat jail” scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 11. Airing as a two-parter in 2016, “The Gang Goes To Hell” saw Mac, Dennis, Dee, Charlie and Frank embarking on a Christian cruise, and immediately getting themselves in all kinds of trouble, finally landing in the brig or, in Dee’s words, “boat jail.” The second half of the classic two-parter saw the ship taking on water, prompting the gang to face their own mortality and begin confessing their various sins, only to ultimately survive the ordeal, but without receiving compensation from the cruise ship company.
A hilarious episode that wrapped up It’s Always Sunny season 11, “The Gang Goes to Hell” was clearly not going for realism in its depiction of the cruise ship experience, and indeed it did not achieve realism according to an expert. In a video piece for Insider, real-life cruise ship captain Wendy Williams breaks down the episode’s boat jail scene, and finds it sorely lacking when it comes to accuracy, giving the sequence just 2-out-of-10 for realism. Check out what she had to say in the space below (beginning around 10:40 of the clip):
They’re in a ship’s jail, or a brig. Ours look a lot different than that. You wouldn’t be thrown in there with others. There are holding cells, and they are typically a cabin without furniture, with a mattress on the ground, and they’re under camera surveillance and they have a window, a non-break window, in a door. Typically, they’re not in there for very long. It could be just the night before we get to port. But there’s a lot of factors before we could actually put somebody in a kind of time-out. Whatever the situation is, it’s to mitigate anybody else getting hurt from their actions or from them harming themselves. You wouldn’t be left alone, so that was a little unrealistic. Kind of a common thread here, everything on a cruise ship is done with checklists so that we don’t forget people, we don’t forget to sweep areas. It would be part of the security team’s protocol to escort them to a muster area. That would not happen. Believability of the jail scene, not believable.
“The Gang Goes To Hell” Sets Up Mac’s Coming Out
Beyond its hilarious central incarceration incident, perhaps inspired by the infamous Seinfeld finale, “The Gang Goes To Hell” proved to be a pivotal It’s Always Sunny episode for moving the ball forward on Rob McElhenny’s Mac and his evolution as a gay character. Initially presented as entirely non-gay, Mac over the years slowly emerged as a closeted homosexual, the joke becoming that everyone else in the gang realized he was gay though he remained seemingly oblivious to the fact.
“The Gang Goes to Hell” took Mac’s evolution to the next level by having him, through his interactions with his fellow Christians on the cruise ship, finally realize he was gay and suddenly confess it to the others (who of course were completely unimpressed, having long since come to accept his homosexuality). This set up the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 12 episode “Hero or Hate Crime?” in which Mac fully came out, with prodding from a bigoted Frank. Though the gang’s encounter with “boat jail” failed to impress a real cruise ship captain, it did prove to be a hilariously memorable episode, with larger character implications that would bear fruit in the years to come.

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