I’ve been especially critical of this season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for being rehashed and tired, but I’m willing to forget most of the show’s shortcomings for at least one week because “Charlie Rules the World” was the strongest episode the show has put out in some time.
Of course, it’s no surprise that at the center of “Charlie Rules the World” is Charlie, who started the series as the show’s most defined and hilarious character, and while the work that Charlie Day puts in still makes him the show’s best asset, Charlie has felt like a shell of himself this season, being sent to the background for cheap punchlines about him being dirty or illiterate (which, while cheap, are still worthwhile). But here, we have Charlie front and center, tired of all the shit The Gang has put him through, desperate to make something of himself and prove everyone wrong. And against the odds he finds his calling as a smart and resourceful player of an online RPG game called Techpocalypse.
Soon enough however, Charlie turns from a saavy online gamer (if there is such a thing) to an out of control dictator who will do anything in his real life to get ahead in the game, which of course leads to some classic Charlie moments. First Charlie earns the upper-hand on Dee by taking control of her game, and he revels in the moments when he gets to show power over her, like him ordering her to retrieve his energy balls (although didn’t it appear a bit out of character for Dee to cower so easily to Charlie’s requests?). Then Charlie has the opportunity to meet up with gamer the Queen of Thrones in real life, who appears to be no more than a cute, innocent woman trying to have lunch with someone she shares a common interest with, but Charlie (much like he did with the rich girl from a few weeks back that I’m forgetting the name of) sabotaged the potential romantic situation by using the meet up as a trap to acquire all her online shit while she was away from the computer (or something, I’ve never played World of Warcraft). All of this of course leads to a lot of Charlie faces and Charlie sayings and Charlie outbursts that are remarkably enjoyable in and of themselves, and in turn the show becomes much better as a result.
Opposite the virtual reality story was Dennis’ quest to go out and live actual life. He wants everyone to stop living in fake reality with video games and The Real Housewives shows and just go out and dance and be a human being. That is until one afternoon while he’s out living, Dennis steps into a sensory depravation chamber at the mall, where he has an existential epiphany, a ‘what does it all mean’ type moment. And he ultimately decides that life is all in your mind, and if playing computer games or watching crap TV shows makes that life better, then by all means go for it.
Of course, what Dennis’ comes to in his sensory deprived state and what he does in real life are two completely different things. He is the God of his own universe, which makes him the God of everyone else’s universe, meaning he deleted everyone’s game because he thought it was stupid.
Every time Charlie shows progress as a human, he reverts back to his old, more savage ways to end up ruining things. Dennis has more mental capacity to change, but is too narcissistic to ever learns from his mistakes (nor do we ever want him to). The uncertainty of what is and isn’t reality is something that The Gang (or me, for that matter) will never truly get a grasp of, and sometimes, as Dennis puts it, things just end, as the episode did, and as this review is about to.
– Dennis proclaimed at the beginning of the episode that if Charlie ever ruled the world, he’d blow himself. By the end of the episode, Dennis was in his dream state, blowing the British-accented version of himself.
– Frank and Mac have very distinct go-to dance moves, with Mac’s involving a lot of elbow work and Frank doing mostly hips swings without much foot movement.
– Charlie can feed himself for a month of five dollars.
– Frank’s avatar is a huge slut, and he is proud of it.
– “We don’t even know if this is real. We could be in a turtle’s dream in outer space.”
– Even Charlie is confused by Mac’s sexual preferences: “Ugly or sick or male or female, whatever you like.” Mac does not correct him on any.
– Charlie proudly proclaims himself as The Mighty Rat-slayer in the game.
– Everyone’s password, for everything, is Paddy’s Pub.