It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Dennis and Dee's Mom is Dead
In this episode, Rob, Glenn, and Charlie have decided to kill off Barbara Reynolds, who is Dennis and Dee's mother and the "whore" ex-wife of Frank. Not such a bad idea; Archer didn't really fit well into the mix last year, so having her kick the bucket is probably the best for the show's chemistry.
Stephen Collins comes back as Bruce Mathis, Dennis and Dee's real dad and a peach of a guy. Unlike Archer, Collins did do a good job last year, and he does a good job here. The rest of the episode? It's OK... a little sitcommy, but OK.
"She had a botched neck lift! She's as dead as disco!" Ah, the unfettered evil glee that comes from Danny DeVito. That line made me think of his last TV role, when he played Louie DePalma on Taxi almost 30(!) years ago (look it up... the show started in 1978). Anyway, the reading of Barbara's will was a bit of a clunker of a scene, even though it had funny moments -- Barbara calls Dee a "mistake," even though she and Dennis are twins. But I just couldn't believe that even the Reynolds clan is stupid enough, even if they're enraged that Barbara gave all of Frank's money away to Bruce, to yell at the executor as if he's the one who's giving their money away.
Oh, and she took all her jewelry with her to the grave. "Frank, that woman is buried down there like Mr. T," says Dee. "I've gotta get to that body while the earth's still loose." I remember watching this the first time and saying, "Buried down there like who?" I'm guessing the reference is to all the jewelry she's wearing and not the fact that Mr. T is buried somewhere. Is that a good example of a dangling participle? You grammarians out there can let me know what that is; either way, it made the line less funny.
Anyway, the only person who got anything was Dennis, who got the house. That's where Mac and Charlie come in. There really isn't much Mac and Charlie-related plot in this one, though. But the boys' attempts to get some new male friends (all their old ones were either dead or hate their guts) to come to the party house was inspired in one respect: the bicep-shaped invitations. For guys who took pains to say "Nothing sexual" twice times in the otherwise suggestive invitation -- must be in shape, must use observational humor -- they never noticed that the invitations look like penises, did they? Charlie got it, calling it their "dick flyer." "I thought we changed it," he said. "If you wanted it to be a bicep, it needed more veins." God, what they can get away with on FX.
The party seemed more like a demented kidnapping, didn't it? Anyway, the best part of that whole segment was Ernesto making Charlie feel sorry for Dee as he hears the contents of her middle school diary (I love how the guys keep coming back to the fact that Charlie is illiterate without making a big deal out of it).
The more developed story was Frank and Dee's attempt to convince Bruce that they're getting married; this way, they can adopt some of Bruce's orphans and get some of their money back. As you'd expect, the gang at Paddy's is usually at its dumbest when they're thinking they're outsmarting someone. Is Frank that ignorant that he thinks he can get AIDS from hugging? What is he, stuck in 1986? Anyway, as Bruce tried to push Frank and Dee to crack by getting them to hook up, then get them married -- he's a philanthropist, marriage therapist, and a minister! Who does he think he is, Eric Camden? -- all I could think of was that this was something that could have been written into an episode of Three's Company. And, as silly as this show can get sometimes, it's still a little disappointing to see such a tired plot on this show. If it were funnier, maybe. It had its moments, but not enough to make it worthwhile.
Though you have to like the boys' support of the fake marriage between Frank / Seamus and Dee. And hearing the word "asswipe" come out of Stephen Collins' mouth is something that should be cherished. But the kicker of the whole episode is the line that Bruce utters after he marries Dee and Frank: "You're the most horrible people alive!" That should be the motto for the entire series, shouldn't it?