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Review: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Gang Reignites the Rivalry (season finale)

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 11th 2009 12:32PM
mac and charlie
Well, that's it for season five of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It would have been foolish to expect something mind-blowing this week, because, as usual, the show didn't go out with a bang or any nail-biting cliffhanger. Instead, there were people vomiting, naked chicks in blacklight paint, beer, and lots of screaming. Just another day for the owners of Paddy's Pub.

So in this episode, the gang wanted to reclaim their former glory in a flip cup competition ("Flip, flip, Flipadelphia!"), after getting banned many years ago for poisoning an opponent. Also, keeping poison in a decoy jar in the fridge? Classic Charlie (not-so-classic Charlie was hearing him use the word "clout"). It also gave us one of the best exchanges of the episode:

Charlie, regarding the poison: No, I don't have any on me, but I do keep some in my fridge at home in the relish jar.
Frank: There's poison in that jar? I thought I was allergic to pickles! What's in the jar with the skull and crossbones?
Charlie: That's mayonnaise. That's a decoy.
Frank: And the mayo?
Charlie: That's shampoo.
Frank: You're telling me that I've been putting shampoo on my sandwiches?
Charlie: If you're using the mayonnaise, then yeah, probably.

Dennis and Frank's whole situation with the frat boys was also pretty interesting, if only to see Dennis treated like some sort of evil genius again. They've gotten into playing epic classical music while Dennis hatches plots, haven't they? Anyway, their shenanigans were fun to watch but weren't nearly as sexy or silicone-filled as Mac and Charlie's attempt to infiltrate the frat house. Taking both this episode and "Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens" into consideration, I think Always Sunny wins the prize for trashiest looking lady extras.

As for Danny Devito in hipster-tastic skinny jeans, well, that in itself is worthy of mentioning. "Humpty Dumpty" was definitely the perfect description.

The episode itself was pretty funny, though not the best of the season. It was good to close with a story that equally involved everyone in the gang and once again reminded us what a hazard they are to everyone else around them. That scene in the restaurant alone was a great example of that (joking about poisoning the water, harassing customers, casually pissing in the corner), not to mention gleefully singing the Flipadelphia song while a bunch of college kids (and poor, poor Sweet Dee) throw up from poisoned beer. By the way, I totally cracked up when Mac started pulling aside a bikini babe while still singing.

Going more big picture, I've got to say that this whole season has been strange. We got some real gems with the Kitten Mittons video and episodes like "The Gang Hits The Road" and "The Waitress Is Getting Married," both of which really celebrated the ridiculousness of the show and the chemistry between all the actors. However, the rest of the season didn't quite meet the same level as previous ones.

I don't want to say that the show has lost its charm, because I'm not sure what the characters have could even be called "charm" but the tone has definitely changed to be a little more abrasive (man, they really fell in love with yelling over each other). Now, obviously, changes in any show are completely natural and to be expected, but I'm not sure that this development has benefited Always Sunny. Sometimes it felt like they were almost parodying themselves.

That said, I'm probably nitpicking, and, honestly, I only nit-pick the things that I love. It's still an endlessly quotable show and fearless in terms of pushing aside clean comedy, and I'll be tuning in again next season.

[Watch clips and episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia at SlashControl.]

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Jason Brees

Catch all episodes of this incredibly hilarious tv show online. I also like this show and I never miss any episode.


September 23 2011 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode had me laughing until my eyes watered. I was just watching a few reruns I have on my DVR and surfing the internet at the same time, browsing information on the cast using Google TV. I learned that Kaitlin Olsen was also in a show called The Riches that stars Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard. It looks promising and I think I have a new show to watch while I’m waiting for the next season of It’s Always Sunny. As an employee of DISH Network I had heard that Google, Logitech and DISH were working closely together to provide enhanced DVR features for The Logitech Revue and DISH’s receivers so I picked one up as soon as it was released. This is a good example of why I love it.

March 31 2011 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This season had some really, really good episodes, aside from "The Gang Hits The Road." The Gail the Snail episodes was very funny, as was "World Series Defense", the ep where they tried getting into the Phillies game: Mac's letter to Utley and everyone's reaction to it alone was great. "Mac and Dennis Break Up" was a good one, with Charlie and the cats (who are now following him around." And, what about Frank's intervention? Sure, some eps weren/t homeruns the way Mac and Utley's friendship would be, but it's still consistently the funniest show on TV.

December 12 2009 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved it ! Just bought my Flipadelphia shirt on amazon.com

December 12 2009 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode GREAT season, hopefully they can keep up the good work next year, i have never seen an episode i didnt like.

December 11 2009 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

not a bad season at all...but i want more waitress, more mcpoyle, more cricket...maybe i'm just selfish. i have seen one of the mcpoyles on letterman occasionally as a creepy intern (and i don't think he's sleeping with dave).

December 11 2009 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George McBain

I get what you are saying about the inconsistency of the season and agree on the best episodes as well, but I will definitely keep watching since this really is one of the best comedies right now.

I have said it to my friends before that probably the only reason I will stop watching the show is if Mac or Charlie sleeps with Dee (either accident or on purpose) ... that will be jumping the shark for me. It is refreshing to see a show with a "strong" female lead and not have the other guys on the show getting into her pants (at least on set, since she is married to Mac IRL, heh)

December 11 2009 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought some aspects of this episode were a return to former glories. Frank and the ritterall situation were hilarious - took me back to the days of Dennis and Sweet Dee trying crack (still one of my favorite episodes) and Dennis ranting about disrespect while trashing the house of their former rival was priceless. I agree that something was a little off about this season, but I thought they finished strong with this episode.

December 11 2009 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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