IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, “Pop-Pop: The Final Solution” Episode Recap
Before we get started with Season 8 coverage of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, we need to address something very important and mourn the loss of Fat Mac. After Rob McElhenney gained more than 50 pounds for the season-long punchline last year, he’s back to his normal weight. (Poll question: What’s more impressive, gaining it or losing it?) It also appears as though Mac’s ultimate plan of building mass worked, as he seems a little more jacked now that he’s slimmed down.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand: the welcome return of the most dysfunctional gang in television. It’s incredible that Sunny has been on for eight seasons, and although the despicable acts these terrible people do on a weekly basis could have grown old very early in the process, Mac, Charlie, Dennis, Dee, and Frank still bring an incredible amount of silliness and charm to the roles that allow the jokes to not go stale.
Most of the time, recycling a plot line from a previous season just comes off as lazy, and to be honest I wished that the crew selected a different episode to be the season opener. But even though the initial shock of Dennis’ and Dee’s Pop Pop being a Nazi has worn off, the Gang is still able to spin some fresh and fun stories out of him being on the verge of death.
The conceit pins Charlie and Mac as read-and-react decision makers against Dennis and Dee who are wavering over whether to let their Pop Pop live or die, and something like this will always be fun to watch. Charlie and Mac are decisive, but in an impulsive, delusional way, and it’s no secret they can be downright stupid most of the time. On the other hand, Dennis and Dee are very smart, but smug and pompous as hell, making them arguably the most evil of the gang because they have the ability to control themselves, but choose not to.
With the classic teams formed (and Frank acting as the wildcard in this episode, simply wanting his hands on the Nazi Treasure at any cost), they split off with different objectives. Mac believes that Charlie’s old dog painting is an Original Hitler, and he becomes obsessed with the idea of going on a crazy treasure hunting journey that will eventually turn into a big budget action film starring Ryan Gosling (because Mark Wahlberg can’t match Mac’s intensity). Charlie is never on the same page as Mac. He just simply wants his painting back to hang on his wall because he loves it so much.
Meanwhile, Dennis and Dee do their best to think through the process of pulling the plug on Pop Pop, changing their minds several times before just signing over the right to the lawyer. They decide that they don’t want anything to do with it until the doctor commends that there was a lot of mercy in the decision to let him go, which of course leads Dennis and Dee to wanting some of the compliments thrown their way. In the end, even after the plug is pulled, Pop Pop keeps on breathing, and could keep on for who knows how long, so Dennis and Dee are still without their Nazi Treasure. Not that it matters anyway, because after going through all the trouble to retrieve it, Charlie and Mac deem the painting worthless and burn it. (turns out it’s not an Original Hitler, but Charlie painted it. Except Charlie had copied over the original that he found in the Nazi box way back when. Mac is too confused to follow, so they just burn it all.)
All in all, it’s not Sunny’s greatest accomplishment. The laugh out loud moments were sparse, but seeing Charlie spew his evil plan through a mouthful of braces made it worthwhile.
– Mac views his sudden and unfortunate weight loss as a threat to bar security, so he introduces a pair of ridiculous sunglasses for ocular pat downs in a gag that didn’t work that well for me.
– The fact that Pop Pop was living in filth because Frank hasn’t gotten around to tidying up, however, was hilarious, all the way down to Charlie making a decision to eat the rancid soup. Also, Frank and Dennis continuing to refer to the soups (with an S) cracked me up.
– Rickety Cricket returns as a dog janitor at the pound, rocking a fresh and gruesome scare following a skirmish with a stray chocolate lab. In Cricket terms, it’s moving up in the world.
– Dennis and Dee went to a youth Nazi camp unbeknownst to them, which was a predictable turn following them popping on ab old home movie but nonetheless awesome. Plus we got a classic Dee zinger out of it: Let’s fry this turkey.
– I will never get tired of Charlie the Illiterate jokes. Charlie: OK. Brett De Lawyer. A denial correlation. What does that mean? Mac: Pretty good. That’s close. It’s Brett DeLawter, a dental corporation.