When Glenn Howerton announced he might be leaving the show, and then returned but only as an actor rather than contributing to the scripts as well, there was concern that the series might suffer as a result. But thankfully this doesn’t seem to be the case at all, whilst there’s been one patchy episode – The Gang Beats Boggs: Ladies Reboot – it wasn’t in any way bad, it just didn’t particularly do anything new with the idea, yet was still filled with many funny moments.
The rest of the season has been packed with highlights, from last week’s fake clip show which had a somewhat beautiful recreation of a Seinfeld episode to Time’s Up For The Gang which saw Mac lift Dee up by the crotch in a scene which had me howling with laughter. And the segment in The Gang Gets New Wheels where Charlie and Mac beat the living crap out of a bunch of kids might be the most I’ve ever laughed at the show. And jesus, this is a show that has made me laugh a ridiculous amount.
This episode, entitled Charlie’s Home Alone, sees Charlie stuck in the bar alone, and as you might have guessed from the title he goes full on crazy whilst there. It begins a year prior to recent events in the series with Charlie searching for his green man suit as he believes it brings the Eagle’s good luck in the Super Bowl, but when he fails to do so he leaves the bar only to find that everyone’s left – mainly as someone wearing the suit boarded the bus and so they think Charlie’s with them. Due to an argument with Mac he believes he’s made his friends disappear, and is typically overjoyed by this. Cue a fantastic montage of him fucking about in their apartments, jumping up and down on the bed whilst eating popcorn, going through their stuff and riding Mac’s disturbing sex bike, and there’s even a fun homage to Home Alone when he slaps on after shave.
Back in the bar he’s got cardboard cut outs of two of the Super Bowl players to keep him company, but then hears a strange and disturbing noise coming from the basement. And because it’s Charlie, from this point onwards everything gets out of hand. Soon two guys who look vaguely like Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern want to drink at Paddy’s, so Charlie naturally believes they’re burglars and the Home Alone parody element kicks up another notch. A second montage of Charlie’s antics follow, including him setting a bear trap and drawing a plan which is amongst the very best pieces of bizarre art work Charlie’s yet created.
Whilst it’s not the most quotable of episodes it’s crammed full of fantastic bits of physical comedy, there’s so many beautifully funny parts I don’t know where to start but Charlie stepping in to the bear trap is painfully hilarious, as are his attempts to escape from it, and when it came to his interactions with the rat, and the fallout to doing such a thing, well, surely that’s going to be a scene that It’s Always Sunny fans will reference for years to come.
It’s a tour de force from Charlie Day, It’s Always Sunny isn’t the kind of show which is going to win Emmy’s but he truly deserves one for this, and the highest praise I can give his performance is that I didn’t find myself missing the rest of the cast at all during the running time. It’s a stunning piece of farce and slapstick, which just gets more insane by the second in a deliriously joyous way. And sure, I guessed how the “Gotta drink some yellow” element would end, but Charlie’s hallucinations caught me off guard and the final sequences were just astonishingly good, and made me laugh out loud to such an extent I think I woke the neighbours. And people several houses down the street too. It’s to be continued as well, which means I’ll be counting down the seconds to the next episode as if it’s as superb as this one was we’re in for an absolute treat and then some.
Written by Adam Weinstock & Andy Jones, it’s their first credited episode but I hope they’re back next season, and every season til the show ends. Which will hopefully be never, but I might be being ever so slightly optimistic there. I’ve tried to think of even one small negative thing to comment upon but can’t think of a single thing, and it really is one of the best episodes of the last few years.
Our review of Season 13 Episode 1 of the show.