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'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Recap: 'The High School Reunion'

Becky Broderick Becky Broderick
December 9th, 2011 11:14am EST

In the first half of the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” Season 7 finale, the gang heads to their high school reunion. Although there were plenty of familiar names and faces and some good moments, the episode wasn’t up to the level that I expect from “Sunny” – especially for a season-ender. Hopefully, the second half will wrap up this season in the proper demented and darkly funny fashion.  

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It’s always been apparent that high school was a pivotal time for the gang, and none of them seem to have changed very much since those days. Dee may have physically changed – from the Aluminum Monster to some kind of beautiful bird beast – but she’s still that needy girl desperate for attention and acceptance. Dennis is still living under the delusion that he’s Big Man on Campus, while Charlie seems quite comfortable in his role as the huffing, spider-eating, atomic wedgie-getting weirdo who makes everyone laugh (in a bad way). Oddly, Mac’s defining characteristic in high school wasn’t his competitiveness or bravado. Instead, he was a narc who outed the school’s drug dealers so that he could become the top supplier (well, OK, that’s pretty competitive), earning him the nickname Ronnie the Rat. Why Ronnie? Well, thanks to the reunion nametags, we finally find out Mac’s real name: Ronald McDonald. The build-up and reveal of this was the funniest bit in the episode, and even more satisfying than the unveiling of Cosmo Kramer.    

Everyone quickly settles into their roles at the reunion: Dee clings to cool guy Adriano in a sad attempt to be in with the in crowd, Dennis sits at an empty table awaiting the “minions” he’s sure will come, Charlie degrades himself and eventually passes out while huffing a mixture of bleach and ammonia, and Mac tattles when he discovers that Adriano has counterfeit drink tickets. (And Kings of Leon will not serve you if your tickets are fake.) And let’s not forget Frank. Just because he graduated decades earlier doesn’t mean he won’t still find a way to party with his pals. Somehow, he manages to sneak by the security guard and steals a nametag belonging to no-show Nikki Potnick – a name we first heard way back in “Underage Drinking: A National Concern.” 

Although Nikki is nowhere to be found, some familiar characters return, including Brad Fisher (the guy Charlie gave a box of hornets to), Maureen Ponderosa (Dennis’ dead-tooth ex-wife), Tim Murphy (the guy who slept with Dennis’ prom date), the Waitress (the most forgettable girl in school) and, of course, Rickety Cricket. The latter two seem more pitiful every time they appear, and this night continues the trend. The Waitress belligerently lets everyone know she’s off the wagon (which makes me try to remember the last time she was actually on it), although getting tanked seems rather tame compared to all the Ecstasy she was doing near the beginning of the season. As for Cricket, he shows up in his priest garb, announces that he’s a man of the cloth again and offers everyone peaceful embraces. While it seems that his life has turned around, it’s eventually revealed that he’s actually been stealing everyone’s jewelry all night. Cricket’s bit was really well done, as it took me about 30 minutes after the episode was over to realize, “Ohhhhh….that’s why he was hugging everyone!” But was it just the pickpocketing? It was also discovered that Cricket was riddled with ringworm, so maybe he was carrying out some double-whammy revenge of theft and infection.

The episode leaves the gang in a bad place: Although Dee helps Adriano give Frank and Mac atomic wedgies, she is banished from the cool clique’s table when they learn that she was once “in love” with the diseased Cricket. No one cares about Dennis and Charlie may very well be in a coma. But the title of next week’s episode promises that the gang has a revenge plan, so here’s hoping that Season 7 ends on a high note.

Grade: C+ 

Random Thoughts:

• I hate to give out C grades, but aside from the Waitress and her brilliant drunkenness, and some scenes with Mac, Charlie and Cricket, I barely even chuckled throughout this episode. Come on, Part 2! Be A-worthy!

• Everyone thinks Charlie is dumb, but he was smart enough to wear disgusting, decayed underpants in anticipation of being wedgied, while carrying a few extra pairs of good skivvies in his coat pocket.

• Where were Fatty McGoo, Smitty and Stacy Corvelli? I hope they’re all just running late.  

• Best quotes:
Dennis: "Sir Mix-a-Lot was not talking about women whose backs have recovered from a horrific spinal disorder.”

The Waitress: “I know you, bitch…I know you, bitch.”

Charlie: “Don’t tell me how to mix my own inhalants. I know how to do inhalants!”

Adriano: “To think, I was gonna let you jack me off.”

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