The High School Reunion Part 2: The Gang’s Revenge
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” wrapped up its seventh season in style tonight, with the gang trying desperately to show up their tormentors at their high school reunion. The switch in perspective in the final scene was one of the biggest laughs the show gave me all year, and that’s saying something, considering how strong this seventh season was. There was only one outright bad episode, “Frank’s Brother,” and even there I can respect that they were at least trying something different that didn’t work. (That, or I can again note that Frank tends to be much more useful for generating stories than generating laughs.)
It’s always been apparent that high school was a pivotal time for the gang, and none of them seem to have changed very much since those days. Dee may have physically changed – from the Aluminum Monster to some kind of beautiful bird beast – but she’s still that needy girl desperate for attention and acceptance. Dennis is still living under the delusion that he’s Big Man on Campus, while Charlie seems quite comfortable in his role as the huffing, spider-eating, atomic wedgie-getting weirdo who makes everyone laugh (in a bad way). Oddly, Mac’s defining characteristic in high school wasn’t his competitiveness or bravado. Instead, he was a narc who outed the school’s drug dealers so that he could become the top supplier (well, OK, that’s pretty competitive), earning him the nickname Ronnie the Rat. Why Ronnie? Well, thanks to the reunion nametags, we finally find out Mac’s real name: Ronald McDonald. The build-up and reveal of this was the funniest bit in the episode, and even more satisfying than the unveiling of Cosmo Kramer.
Watch Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia – The Gang’s Revenge Online
IASIP S07E13: The High School Reunion Part 2: The Gang's Revenge
Dee heads into the men’s room, hoping to get back with Charlie, Mac and Frank who have been hung on the stall doors. They are upset at her for being with the jerks. But she says she’s always been with them and they should work on revenge together.
Mac and Charlie say they should bring back the Freight Train. Dee doesn’t think that’s a good idea since it was a lame gang made up of Charlie, Mac, and Dooley (who’s apparently dead) who basically hung out with Psycho Pete, who was genuinely mentally unstable.
I also wasn’t necessarily expecting some logical peak to the Dennis Serial Killer thread, but if I was, those expectations were exceeded tenfold. In a season that, even in its weaker moments, has been a killer one for Glenn Howerton, the outburst in the gym was a grand finale with fireworks. Starting with his breakdown with Tim Murphy’s Black Wife (“I was manipulating your feeble little brain into doing what I want – what I want!”) to his freakout in front of the whole class (“I am the golden god of this place, I reign supreme, I… I… I!”) and culminating with his crazed supply run in the parking lot (“TOOLS! TOOLS! I have to have my TOOLS!”) it was a bravura performance that, in a far more interesting, just world, would get Howerton an Emmy nod. This whole season I had figured that keeping the more explicit details of Dennis’ psychopathy in the background would always be far more funny than just laying them out in the open, but tonight I was definitely proven wrong.
But nothing could top Charlie’s reaction upon Dennis’s tool reveal. Hiding “weird” tools in a hidden compartment in his Range Rover? Dennis’s fetish tendencies explained a lot about why he’s so totally wound up all the time. Judy Greer playing Fatty Magoo was brilliant casting as was Jason Sudeikis making a surprise appearance as Schmitty. His surprise thievery of the Waitress in the final scene came out of left field and reinforced how fun and abnormal Sunny has always been. Poor Charlie. Just when he thinks he can finally get his girl, BOOM! tragedy strikes again.
In fact, this may have been the best “Sunny” season since the second, which is a very tough accomplishment. You don’t often see comedies get better this late into the run, particularly ones that are built around youthful stupidity and/or characters who behave horribly. But “Sunny” managed to incorporate the gang’s advancing age very deftly this year, with various references to them being too old for this s–t, or to their moronic lifestyles taking a much heavier toll than it used to. (Dennis’ diet and exercise regimen, for instance.) The reunion seemed the culmination of that: it was bad enough that they were freaks and weirdos as teenagers, but to be essentially unchanged in their mid-30s? That’s sad, and yet somehow the show keeps mining comedy rather than pathos out of that.
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