Although it's not on the same level as the first few episodes of this season, the latest episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is definitely a step up from the meh-ness of last week's "Frank's Brother."
In "The Storm of the Century," we get to see how each member of the gang reacts to a potential crisis—in this case, the kind of media-hyped storm that drives people with perfectly normal digestive systems to run out and stock up on a year's supply of toilet paper.
It's revealed that Paddy's basement is equipped with a bunker, which Dee insisted upon prior to Y2K (the "robopocaylpse"). Once again convinced that they're all going to die, Dee leads everyone to the bunker, only to find that it's completely bare. Turns out, Charlie (and as we eventually learn, Cricket) has been eating all the food and Dennis has been using the room for secret sexual encounters. Only Mac knows for sure if those encounters were consensual (and I'm betting at least a handful weren't), as he pretty much watched them all.
Dee and Frank hang back at the bar while Mac, Charlie and Dennis go to buy supplies, opting to hit up the superstore from which a very breasty newswoman happens to be reporting. Shortly after splitting up, Charlie realizes that Mac took off with their cash—ostensibly following through on his earlier plan to evacuate to the Poconos—and that Dennis hasn't been shopping so much as he's been trolling for girls to bring back to the bang bunker. Charlie and Dennis eventually spot the boobtastic reporter, whom Charlie thinks could help Dennis repopulate the planet if need be, but whose giant breasts throw Dennis so off his game that he can barely speak in full sentences.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, the power has gone out, sending Dee into even more of a frenzy. In the basement, Frank shoots at an intruder, who turns out to be Cricket foraging for dried foods. With blood gushing out of Cricket's hand, Frank convinces Dee that they need to take him to the hospital. But when Charlie calls Dee with the news that Mac took off with the supply money, Dee skips the trip to the emergency room and instead speeds toward the store to stock up on necessities.
Eventually, the storm is downgraded to a "drizzle," but that announcement comes a little too late. When Cricket—left to sit in the car like a dog—tries to drive himself to the hospital, he instead crashes through the store window, prompting Frank to whip the crowd into a looting frenzy. As chaos ensues, Mac is safely holed up in the bunker, enjoying a different big-breasted reporter on the 3-D TV he bought with the supply cash.
While not a great episode, this one had some great moments, most of which came courtesy of Kaitlin Olson (Dee) and Glenn Howerton (Dennis). Dee's wide-eyed panic was pitch-perfect and Dennis was at his creepy best. And I'm not sure which was funnier: Dennis's livid reaction to his two prospects' reveal that they had boyfriends or his inability to make words in the presence of enormous breasts.
As usual, Frank was Frank—eating eggs, shooting and looting—and Charlie had a lot of good moments. I especially enjoyed his preoccupation with finding a Mayan (or a Mexican, whatever) to bring back to the bunker. You know, to help out with predictions. And, hey, Cricket showed up! He's always a welcome sight. Even when he's bleeding profusely. Or maybe especially when he's bleeding profusely.
I'm concerned about what's happening to Mac. I know that Rob McElhenney thought it would be funny to gain 50 pounds, but so far that unhealthy decision hasn't really paid off. It might be funny if Mac was still the same delusional wannabe hard-ass, like in the season opener when Mac insisted that he'd put on "mass," not fat. But since then, it's like he's embraced being a slob with the diabittis and is perfectly content to just sit around and eat a lot. It's so out of character...I just don't get it. Hopefully, this is resolved soon because I miss all the promises of backflips and Operation Badass tapes.
• Dennis drawing up a sexual agreement was one of the skeezier and more desperate things he's ever done. Does he not use the D.E.N.N.I.S. system anymore? Aside from the terrorizing phone calls, the system required some level of charm in order to work.
• I thought it was odd that Dee had changed into her yellow pant suit from "The Gang Gives Back," but then I realized she was wearing rain gear. Still, how did she get through that episode without anyone making a Big Bird joke?
• Best quotes:
I didn't get it word for word, but Cricket's speech about how hospitals are "death camps" because they "euthanize the homeless" had me cracking up. Then when Dee and Frank finally decided to take him he moaned, "You're marching me to the ovens."
Charlie: "The breasts make you care about the weather in a really good way."
Frank: “The Spaniards banged the Mayans and turned them into Mexicans.”
Charlie: "Storm coming! Hatchet coming!"
Dennis: "You get some batteries and I'll be the chicks and tits guy."
Dennis: "How did you not know that the only reason I invited you two to my bar was to bang you? Get out of here!"
Dee: "Don't make me do it, Cricket! I will slice you in half!"