'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' Recap: The Gang Gets A New Member
I've been hotly anticipating SNL's Jason Sudeikis' guest turn on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" for weeks now, and I'm happy to say that he didn't let me down. I get more jealous of January Jones by the day.
Sudeikis plays Schmitty, the long-forgotten fourth member of the Paddy's gang. (This was pre-Frank and, well, we all know that Dee doesn't count as far as the guys are concerned.) His memory is revived when the gang opens a time capsule that they buried ten years ago, which holds such valuables as a Korn CD, a DVD of The Cider House Rules and a picture of the gang with their old pal Schmitty. Frank wants to know more about this former member, and Mac and Dennis decide that they are going to look him up and see how he's doing. Charlie isn't too happy about this development, as it was his ultimatum to the gang that forced them to kick Schmitty out of their little boys' club. (Literally. They pushed him out of a moving car.)
Frank tags along with the guys as they go to visit Schmitty, whom they find living at home with his mom. That aside, Schmitty is about as awesome as you'd expect any Jason Sudeikis character to be, and he immediately charms the pants off everyone (minus Charlie) with his special brand of good-natured coolness.
While the boys are off rediscovering their past, Dee is lamenting her present. Her depressed state isn't a pregnant/hormonal issue, but a side effect of finding something rather disturbing in that time capsule—a letter to "future Dee," congratulating herself for becoming a huge star. She seeks out her former high school teacher, Dr. Meyers, a one-time source of inspiration, for advice. He tells her that while it's too late for her to become an actress, she can now be a source of inspiration...by teaching his class of unruly, text-happy teens.
Back at the bar, Charlie tries to make Schmitty look bad by bringing up the fact that he lives with his mom, a plan that backfires when it's revealed that Schmitty's mom has MS and he's taking care of her. When Schmitty not only makes fun of Charlie's favorite game, "Nightcrawlers," but also steals Charlie's "butt dance," Charlie calls Dennis and Mac into the back room. He once again offers an ultimatum—"It's either him or me"—and the guys immediately pick Schmitty, wondering why they ever picked Charlie over him in the first place. According to Dennis, Schmitty has something Charlie doesn't: an "it factor."
As Dee tries to teach her first class with absolutely no interest from the students, Charlie shows up and has a rather one-sided conversation that prompts him to apply for the school janitor position. Despite Dee's protests, Charlie promises that once they're working together, they will become best friends.
In a bizarre but hilarious scene, Charlie meets with the school principal (another big-time guest star, Dave Foley), armed with only a photo of Bruce Jenner—a depiction of excellence used as a substitute for a "formal résumé." When Charlie promises that he'll "make a genuine ass" of himself (and even offers, then almost begs, to eat an eraser) to get that school spotlessly clean, the principal is impressed by his passion for the custodial arts and hires Charlie on the spot.
Dennis, Mac and Frank take Schmitty out for a special lunch to welcome him back into the gang. Schmitty seems more than a little creeped out when they present him with a special silver clover leaf ring that, when put together with the other three, forms a four-leaf clover. (Kind of like a demented Wonder Twins x 2.) More cracks in the alliance start to show when Schmitty finds out that Dennis (who has the most refined palate) always orders for everyone. Unhappy with that arrangement, Schmitty orders linguine ("too heavy for lunch") for himself and insists that Mac and Frank get whatever they want, leaving Dennis fuming.
The guys get more annoyed when Schmitty shows up late for his official gang "initiation," not wearing his ring. As Schmitty surveys the initiation area, he asks, "This is weird as hell...you guys see that, right?" But he takes a seat when Mac insists that these kinds of "men's ceremonies" are "very cool." To prove his point, Mac queues up Enigma's "Sadeness (Pt.1)" and attempts to begin the ceremony with a roundhouse kick to the initiation bell. Schmitty finally rubs Mac the wrong way when he shows him how to kick the right way (after Mac misses about 10 times, of course). The guys take Schmitty for a ride and attempt, once again, to push him out of a moving car. When Frank can't get him to budge, Dennis pulls over and Schmitty calmly exits the car, happy to get away from these psychos.
Everyone eventually meets up back at the school, where Dee has forced her students into performing her high school star-making vehicle, the Frankenstein musical. Things end badly when Dr. Meyers breaks his hip after taking a nasty slip and fall on a super slippery floor. Cut to Charlie, buffing and waxing the school hallway to perfection. Mac, Dennis and Frank arrive to announce that they want Charlie back in the gang, but he rebuffs their request. He's a janitor now.
- Things I want more of on Sunny: Jason Sudeikis. Charlie's butt dance. "Nightcrawlers."
- From Schmitty's reaction to the clover ring, to Dennis' shock upon learning that Mac hates salads, to Mac's child-like excitement over being allowed to order some fries and a ginger ale...that lunch scene was pitch-perfect.
- Biggest laugh of the night: After Dee went on her tirade about how her life didn't turn out like she'd planned, the guys just laughed about it and Dennis explained in a half-whisper, "It's the failure." Glenn Howerton's delivery was priceless.
- Best line of the night: "Tell people we pushed youuuu!" (Frank, after unsuccessfully pushing Schmitty from the car.)
- Dee's big number during the Frankenstein musical was amazing. But who did the makeup? And, if they were just rehearsing...why?
- I was a little confused over Dennis' constant breakdowns when trying to give various speeches. Didn't he just admit recently that he had no feelings? Please, please, please, writers, do not make Dennis more likable. Keep him rushing headlong down his current socio-path.