Last week’s episode of It’s Always Sunny seemed to divide fans enormously, I thought it was one of the best in years some thought it was one of the weakest ever, and didn’t like the more horrific elements like Charlie getting caught in the bear trap or eating a rat as part of his attempt to help his team win the Superbowl. I wouldn’t want the show to be quite so dark every episode but once every few years I’m glad it does something a bit different, and as I’m fond of blood soaked comedy it really worked for me.
The episode ended with the fact that it was to be continued, and I presumed this would be about the gang going to watch the Superbowl along with the Charlie impostor as it had been set up the week before. Which was indeed the case, though the Charlie plot line was resolved disappointingly quickly with it turning out it was Cricket in the green suit. I can’t help but feel that they could have had a lot of fun playing around with the idea of Cricket pretending to be Charlie, so it feels like a real missed opportunity. Like last week’s episode as it was set a year prior to current events Dennis was missing once again, and instead along for the ride are The Waitress, Rex, Cricket, Pondy, Ben the Soldier and Uncle Jack.
For the first nine minutes there aren’t really any real laugh out loud moments, and rather just a few which made me smile, so I was concerned it might not be that good an episode. But a lot had been set up for the second half and thankfully the various pay offs are pretty funny. The real highlight is Dee suffering from pink eye, there’s some enjoyable physical comedy and slapstick when she’s wondering around almost blind, including the fact that she’s the real reason the Eagles won the Superbowl and Kaitlin Olsen is on top form throughout. Frank desperately trying to pass his kidney stone was also amusing stuff, with Danny DeVito selling his misery and then elation perfectly, though oddly I found it even grosser than the events of last week’s episode which many didn’t enjoy so I’ll be interested to see how people react to such a thing.
Mac’s been one of the best things this season, his pride concerning his new muscular body has led to some sublimely funny moments, but in this episode Rob McElhenney’s a bit too manic, giving speeches left right and centre about the importance of the game and that everyone behave themselves but it’s not particularly mirthful material and it’s a shame some of it isn’t a bit funnier. The supporting cast seem a bit wasted too, Cricket episodes are normally some of the best the show’s ever done but he’s mostly in the background here, the waitress has the odd amusing moment but they’re few and far between, and Pondy, Ben and Uncle Jack don’t get much to do at all. The waiter from previous episodes is also lurking around but he too doesn’t really create any laughs, and only Rex has his own subplot which is pretty amusing as it turns out much to Mac’s horror he’s put on weight thanks to the Invigiron Berries he’s selling.
It’s a shame that the first half of the episode is so plot heavy and lacking in humour, and that there are other obvious issues with elements of the episode, as the second half is mostly great, and the celebratory footage of real Eagles fans after the game is truly heartwarming. As it is we get a fine episode of It’s Always Sunny, which admittedly is far better than most comedy shows around, but it’s just not quite as good as I feel it could have been.