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IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, “Maureen Ponderosa’s Wedding Massacre” Episode Recap

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia pulled out all the stops for its incredibly ambitious Halloween episode. It may not have been one of the funniest installments the show has ever done, but you’d be hard-pressed to find better constructed episode in recent seasons.

Sunny has always been great with misdirection, and setting up this theme episode as  a McPoyle wedding was nothing short of genius. The McPoyles have been around since the show’s beginning, but the Gang is able to sprinkle them in ever so carefully about once or twice a year, making a joke that could have easily been played out by now a welcome sight every time they show up. Here, of course, we have about the closest thing to a wedding from hell, with Liam McPoyle to marry Dennis’s deadtooth ex-wife Maureen Ponderosa, told from the Gang’s point of view as they are held for questioning by the Philadelphia Police Department after a bloody and brutal aftermath, which includes a man with half a face and a missing bride.

The Gang are hardly a group of reliable narrators, but to their credit, they recount the events of the massacre to the best of their abilities (other than a few hilarious omissions by Mac and Charlie about stealing Dee’s car). For Sunny standards, the plan is pretty simple: Dennis is going to the wedding to make sure Maureen goes through with it so he no longer has to pay alimony. But to the chagrin of Dennis, Charlie and Mac tag a long, as do Frank and Dee (who are there on behalf of Ryan McPoyle, who wants to call the wedding off), making their presence highly suspicious. But the Gang’s insistence of being apart of the big day is the least of Dennis’s worries.

With Mac and Charlie forced to blend in to the McPoyle wedding, they begin to feel incredibly uneasy with the creepy McPoyle vibe being put out. It’s unsurprisingly the creepiest wedding of all time: dozens of inbred McPoyles with unibrows, terrible teeth and patchy hair, weird Appalachian music, and a standing stuffed brown bear. If it wasn’t strange enough, the guests start acting zombie-like shortly into the the outing, causing mass hysteria. They think the outbreak is from The Bat Rabies Dee contracted by sucking the bat bite off of Frank’s head earlier in the episode, and they believe their suspicions are confirmed once Dee attacked them and they quarantined her in a freezer.

Amidst the craziness, Dennis goes about his plan to get Liam and Maureen to sign his document freeing him of his alimony. Frank’s plan backfires on him, as Ryan and Liam make up (It’s not the McPoyle’s blood that’s being tainted, it’s them tainting the blood of others). But when he tries to get the signature from Maureen, he succumbs to her new pair of boobs and sleeps with her, which causes her to fall back in love with him, which is far worse than any fate he could encounter with the zombie outbreak going on outside.

Turns out, the outbreak wasn’t just crazy McPoyle-ness, but it was the work of Mr. Ponderosa, a drunk who spiked the milk with bath salts resulting in the erratic behavior (as well as Liam’s new Gus Fring-esque half-face, which I’m sure the Gang will have a lot of fun with in the future), and the way it was all revealed with Dee coming back after escaping the freezer was very well done. So the zombies have been explained, but what about the case of the missing bride? Well that one is solved just moments later when, much to Dennis’s dismay, Maureen has posted his bail, further sucking him back in to his living nightmare.

Leave it to the Sunny gang to make a fun Halloween whodunit-style episode where the awful outcome comes out of nowhere and is entirely deserved for Dennis, who proved once again how horrible a human being he is.

Other Thoughts

– Classic Sunny bit of the night: a bat flying on Frank’s head, Frank asking someone to suck the poison out for 200 bucks, Dee doing it, Charlie convincing Dee that she’s now infected, Dee trying to force herself to throw up.

– The McPoyle’s bloodlines have been ‘clean’ for 1000 years, although most of them died from chlamydia.

– Frank is Mr. Ponderosa’s sponsor, but he’s the worst sponsor in the history of the world, supporting his decision to get loaded: “you earned it!”

– Charlie tried to sneak the speech from Jaws into the questioning for seemingly no good reason, a classic wildcard move.

– Liam falling for Ryan’s mustache disguise was a great gag, and the performances from Jimmi Simpson and Nate Mooney were great as always. A couple of great lines from Liam especially: “See you bitches on the dance floor,” and “McPoyles will take over the world!”

– “That can’t possibly be what Batman is about. It’s about a grown man that dresses up like a bat? These are Academy Award winning movies!”

– “I’ll drive. I’ll remember how!”

Find Nick DeLorenzo directly on Twitter @nick_delorenzo and remember to follow @ScreenInvasion!

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Nicholas DeLorenzo

Nicholas DeLorenzo

television writer/social assassin