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'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' Recap: Dennis Gets Divorced

Becky Broderick Becky Broderick
September 24th, 2010 10:00am EDT

Glenn HowertonHeyy-o! Sunny's back, bitches! As I knew it would, the show recovered nicely from the lackluster season opener with a very solid second episode. When we last saw the gang, everyone (except Mac) was extolling the virtues of marriage. But a lot of things can change in a week—especially since a week in married time is like eight dog years.

Almost immediately after marrying his high school sweetheart, Maureen Ponderosa, Dennis knew he'd made a huge mistake. Amazingly enough, he hasn't ditched her yet, but still keeps leaving cab fare on the nightstand, hoping she'll eventually just leave. When Dennis learns that his bride doesn't have a job, making her "all mine all the time," he can barely hide his desire to strangle her with his bare hands. But Maureen remains blissfully ignorant about how much her husband hates her, and doesn't seem to care when Dennis admits to having drawers full of sex tapes. 

Dennis can't even escape marital strife at Paddy's, where he finds Charlie and Frank having a domestic partnership dispute. Apparently, Charlie's head didn't explode when faced with all the paperwork and he went through with his "marriage" to Frank, who's probably his dad. Frank married his sort-of daughter Dee once, too, which makes me wonder if Frank plans on marrying Dennis at some point. They did almost bang through the glory hole that one time...

Mac's life has also been destroyed by marriage, as he's now forced to bathe in the bar's sink since newlywed Dennis kicked him out of their apartment. Meanwhile, another marriage is being destroyed by Dee, who reveals that she's still having an affair with Bill Ponderosa, and brags that he's so smitten with her that he bought her a new car. (Is it just me, or has Dee been through, like, 90 cars?) All the talk "about marriage and Dee being such a whore" reminds Dennis that he never had a bachelor party. He asks Mac to throw him one and, even though Mac is still pissed about getting evicted, he plans their trip to the strip club, taking along Charlie and Frank.

While the guys are at the club wondering how much money they'll need to "make it rain," Dee returns home to find Bill Ponderosa and his bags in her hallway. She's not too sympathetic to the fact that his wife kicked him out after finding out about her, but Bill uses his four wheeled gift to guilt her into letting him stay.

After getting properly hammered at the strip club, Dennis and Mac loudly return home at 2 am, waking up a very angry Maureen. Dennis drunkenly goes off on his wife, screaming that he wants a divorce because she's annoying and has a dead tooth. You know, if this had been any other show, this scene might have been really sad. I have to give a lot of credit to Maureen's portrayer, Catherine Reitman, because I honestly felt a little uncomfortable watching Dennis so nonchalantly break that poor girl's heart. But just when I wondered if this part was actually funny, Maureen threatened to call the cops and say that Dennis beat her...AND THEN SHE DID THE MARKY MARK CHEST-PUNCHING THING FROM FEAR. Good God, what a brilliant reference. I couldn't help imagining Maureen getting a blast of William Petersen-esque superhuman strength, grabbing Dennis by the back of his jeans and hurling him some ridiculous distance out the apartment window. (Seriously, if you haven't seen Fear, it is so worth renting for Marky Mark's hilarious death scene alone.) Instead, she just tells him to leave. And with no place to live, Dennis gets to have bathtime with Mac at Paddy's.

Back at Dee's place, she's trying to lose Bill while keeping the car he gave her. Ever the delicate flower, Dee tells Bill, "This is gonna be kind of hard to hear, but GET OUT!" Since he doesn't have a car, and Dee's not giving up hers, she offers to drive him back home to his wife and kids. But instead of getting rid of him, Dee gets sucked into a kidnapping plot, as Bill comes running out with his kids under his arms and tosses them into Dee's backseat.

Charlie and Frank have finally had enough of married life, and decide that they and Dennis all need a lawyer to help them with their respective divorces. Because the one lawyer they all know (played by the hilarious Brian Unger) has a restraining order against them, Charlie asks his pervy Uncle Jack (who is most likely the real Nightman) to represent them. Uncle Jack comes to Paddy's, helps Charlie and Frank split up their assets (Charlie gets the hot plate; Frank gets Charlie's beautiful elephant drawings) and grants them a quickie annulment.

Danny DeVitoDee arrives outside the bar with Bill and his kids, who soon come face to face with Bill's other mistress, who shows up to stake claim to the car Bill "gave" Dee. And it isn't long before they're joined Bill's wife, who tells Dee that she's the only woman Bill hasn't paid to sleep with. Wifey takes the kids and Mistress #2 takes the car, leaving Bill and Dee with nothing.

Dennis, Mac and Uncle Jack go to see Maureen and find her at home with her attorney—none other than Brian Unger. Turns out that Mac made a drunken phone call to the lawyer to tell him about Dennis's situation, which prompted the lawyer to take on Maureen's case on a pro bono basis. (Clearly, he revels in sticking it to the gang and he needs to be in many more episodes.) After Uncle Jack and the unnamed lawyer talk, they announce that Dennis gets his apartment back, but he also gets to pay alimony and be responsible for Maureen's $90K debt.

Grade: B

While "Dennis Gets Divorced" isn't nearly as funny as this show can be when it's really on (e.g., "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation," "Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare"), I thought the ep was tightly written and did a good job of making up for the last week's lame premiere.

Random Thoughts:

- The Fear reference was brilliant.  I know I already said it, but it bears repeating.

- As so often happens, I laughed hardest at one of the throwaway bits—that Charlie thought he needed to sign his phone bill.

- Speaking of Charlie, here's a question for the ladies: Did he look exceptionally gorgeous in this episode? I mean, yowza. I would enter into a marriage of convenience with him any day, Waitress be damned.

- There were a lot of good quotes in this ep, but my favorite has to be from Frank: "No one washes the dishes. We eat the food directly off the coffee table and you know that!"

- Mac hasn't cut the sleeves off all of his tee shirts yet.

- I'm dying to see Uncle Jack's website.

Photo Credits: © Fox Broadcasting Company


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