‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Review: “Gun Fever Too: Still Hot”
After last week's very strong start, we're hoping that Season 9 of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' can keep up the energy. Tonight's episode "Gun Fever Too: Still Hot" deals with gun control, albeit in a very 'Sunny' way.
The episode opens at "9:35 AM On A Tuesday" with Frank on television telling the story of being mugged by three men, who he warded off by shooting at them, though he couldn't make out his assailants because "I don't see so good." He then plugs Gunther's Guns, and suggests -- because the crime rate in Philly is so high -- everyone should get their own guns. The others think this is a problem and it gets them hot, though Dennis and Dee believe in gun control, while Charlie and Mac think there should be more guns on the street.
Charlie and Mac head to a middle school dressed as bikers to talk to Principal MacIntyre (Dave Foley), about offering security. Charlie wants to use a gun, Mac wants to use a sword, while MacIntyre is horrified and kicks them both out. Dennis and Dee head to a crowded Gunther's Guns and try to buy guns from Gunther. Of course, they act suspiciously, and give Gunther their IDs for a security check when Frank shows up on TV again saying there needs to be more guns manufactured, and blames gun control on Al Gore and global warming. Back at Gunther's, Dennis is rejected for having an extensive history of felonious behavior, while Dee is rejected for having been institutionalized. Dee then freaks out, and the two announce they'll find another way to get weapons.
Near school, Mac pretends a watermelon is a school shooter and slices it, but Charlie invokes 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' to prove Mac wrong in the sword versus gun debate. The two then see a kid who they think might be a shooter and steal his phone because he's playing violent video games, only for Charlie and Mac to realize they too play violent video games and watch violent movies. MacIntyre asks them to get further away from the school, so Charlie and Mac plot to train people to stop shooters. Dennis and Dee go to a gun show to get weapons, and there they can buy their weapon of choice (the AR-15), but are told it's three grand -- twice the price of the same gun at Gunther's. When they get obnoxious about it, it makes the guy raise the price to four grand, and when Dennis grabs the gun and points it at the seller, everyone at the show point their weapons at Dennis and Dee, who then decide to leave.
Back at Paddy's, Charlie and Mac offer to train a bunch of kids, but one just wants beer. They then provide weapons to the kids, but five minutes later, it's an offscreen bloodbath. Dennis and Dee hang out in their car while Frank is on the radio telling everyone to bring their guns to city hall. It turns out Dennis and Dee are waiting to buy a gun from a man on the street. Dennis gives the guy fifteen hundred for his assault rifle, but the man just takes the money and leaves. When Dennis and Dee go back to the bar, it's obvious everyone's viewpoint has flipped, but just then Frank is loading water filters into the bar. When asked why he's not at the rally he was promoting, Frank decries it as too dangerous, and reveals he bought a stake in Gunther's Guns and made a fortune. He only did it to dupe people like his friends, and then heads off to another television appearance where he talks about how terrible tap water is to sell his water filters.
Though it was fun to see Dave Foley back, this seemed a little off because the schematic nature revealed itself pretty quickly. In this case it was more fun to watch Charlie and Mac goof off than Dennis and Dee, perhaps because they were more interested in guns versus swords than buying a weapon to prove a point -- something that had only one note to hit.
Perhaps the problem was that it was interesting to see the show bring up a topical issue, and it would have been interesting if they had a take on the matter, but their point seems to be that fear sells things -- not even just guns -- so they didn't actually say anything about gun control, for or against. That's fine, it's a comedy, and the Charlie and mac scenes made it mostly fun, but it was just a little off.