'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Recap - Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense
December 21st, 2012 5:14pm EST
The "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” season finales tend to involve the gang in big productions, like putting on a bizarre musical, dancing their asses off (at both radio station-sponsored marathons and high school reunions), entering a flip cup competition or experiencing the miracle of childbirth. Season 8 followed this trend with something of a huge production, albeit one that the gang only put on for themselves...and one random bar patron.
After Frank plows into Dennis at a stop light, the two swing by Paddy's to argue over who was at fault and who is liable for the damages to Dennis's car. In this case, the "damages" were all internal and mostly caused by Dennis spilling the bowl of cereal he was eating at the time. (A perfectly normal thing to be doing while driving, according to our favorite sociopath.) When Dennis threatens to sue, Dee convinces him to keep their beef out of court and let the gang play judge and jury. Dennis is visibly and vocally annoyed by the proceedings (alternating between practicing great restraint and losing it with great lines like, "I will scratch everybody's eyes out of their sockets!"), meaning that Glenn Howerton is once again in top Emmy form. Not that he or anyone from Sunny will ever win an Emmy, because the Academy of Television Arts & Science is full of donkey-brained people.
Donkey-brained, for those of you not hip to technical language, is a term used to describe people with lower than normal intelligence or just plain crazy ideas rolling around in their heads. Charlie, in full "Law & Order" mode (but without his customary lawyer outfit), explains that Frank has an official certificate proving that he does not have donkey brains, and wonders aloud where Dennis's certificate is. Oh, he doesn't have one! Well, without such evidence, who's to say that Dennis isn't some kind of donkey brained fool who shouldn't be driving around on the streets?
When Dennis tries to defend himself with simple logic, Mac brings complicated logic (and some very poorly crafted visual aids) into the mix. After Dee tries to call Mac's character into question by getting him to admit that "evolution is bullshit," Mac actually paints Dennis into a corner by implying that since he's never studied the data on evolution that other scientists have provided, he's no different than someone who takes the writers of the Bible at their word. And once Mac has everyone convinced that Aristotle, Galileo, Isaac Newton and other scientists were all bitches, the gang has no choice but to "go to the fence" on the evolution issue.
As for Dee, we eventually learn why she has such a stake in the outcome of this argument: she wants to set a precedent for the destruction of property. Of course, none of the guys can seem to recall destroying every car she's ever owned, because -- and it's never been more apparent than this season -- rarely do any of the guys ever give Dee a passing thought.
But when the gang is looking for a scapegoat, Dee is always top of mind, and this case is no exception. When everyone decides to reconstruct the scene of the accident, Frank ends up plowing into Dennis again, which he blames on Dee simply because she was in the car (eating cereal with Charlie). And it takes about three seconds for the rest of the gang to concur: it's Dee's fault and she's responsible for all the damages. Sons of bitches.
• I love that there was one dude drinking at the bar the entire time the mock trial was going on.
• Usually you can point to one or two standout performances from an episode, but the whole cast was fantastic here and were in particularly good "ensemble mode." If I did have to pick a scene-stealer though, it would be a toss-up between Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney. Exasperated Dennis is always a treat (his reactions to the idiotic proceedings were gold) and Mac's total belief in his own bullshit is really quite endearing.
• The best quotes:
Dee: "Dennis, you don't want to go anywhere near a court. How many bench warrants for sexual misconduct do you have? Yeah, and Frank, how many unregistered guns do you have in your car right now?"
Dennis: "No one can prove that they're not donkey-brained except for him!"
Mac: "Rock, flag and eagle. Right, Charlie?"
Charlie: "He's got a point."
Dennis: "No he doesn't."
Mac: "I won't change my mind on anything regardless of the facts that are set out before me."
Mac: "Science is a liar sometimes."
Charlie: "I don't know, he created reasonable doubt! He makes me sound like a stupid science bitch."
Photo Credits: Patrick McElhenney/FX Networks