‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Season Finale Review: “Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense”
That was quick. ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘ is concluding its eight season with “Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense.” Perhaps the season is only ten episodes because Charlie Day was busy shooting ‘Pacific Rim.’ Though the last episode “The Gang Dines Out” was just okay, we’re hoping they’re going to go out strong.
The episode opens at 10:19 AM on a Friday, with Frank driving listening to instructions from Charlie on tape, but Frank gets lost anyway and complains to the tape. Dennis is also driving and eating cereal when he gets hit by Frank. Back at the bar, Mac suggests that he could have a son that bends steel through genetic mutation when Frank and Dennis come in complaining about the accident. Everyone agrees with Dennis until it’s revealed that he was eating a bowl of cereal, which turns the tide. Dee suggests they handle the case themselves, to which everyone agrees.
On one side of the bar courtroom is Charlie and Frank and on the other is Dennis and Dee. As the group argue over who is the defendant, Mac comes in with a trial meter to measure who is the winner. Dennis rejects it until everyone moves their meter over to Frank’s side. Frank then testifies while Charlie does a bad impression of a lawyer, getting Dennis to agree that anyone who does something stupid has “donkey brains.” Charlie brings up Frank’s history in a mental institution, and then reveals a certificate that shows Frank doesn’t have donkey brains, which almost ruins Dennis.
When Dennis gets his chance to question Frank, he uses a good example of what happened by giving Frank a glass of wine and then bumping him. This changes Charlie’s mind, but Mac argues that Frank knew the risks of taking the wine, which sways Charlie back. But then it’s Mac’s turn on the stand. Dee starts questioning Mac using the opening conversation about genetic mutations to divide Mac and Charlie. This doesn’t work until Dennis gets Mac to reveal that he thinks evolution is “bulls—” and destroys his credibility.
Frank pulls Mac aside to get him to sway Charlie. Mac says he needs fifteen minutes to figure it out, but returns three hours later with an evolution meter. Everyone votes that evolution is real when Mac then says that he’s a regular guy, but that as an American he doesn’t need facts. Dennis disagrees based on smarter people saying evolution’s real, which leads to another display that reads “Science is a LIAR Sometimes.” He then shows that Aristotle, Galileo, and Isaac Newton were all wrong about science in their time, and then gets Dennis to reveal that his acceptance of science is similar to religion because of the leap of faith it takes to believe something he doesn’t really understand. Which convinces everyone but Dennis.
Dennis then gets up to argue that the evolution thing is silly when Dee has a fit when she reveals that all the guys have destroyed every one of her cars and she wants this trial to give precedent to them accepting responsibility for the bad things they do. Dee votes for Dennis while Mac goes to the middle, leaving it a draw. Charlie says they need to take it to the streets. He figures out a test: Dennis must drive back to his apartment without spilling his cereal, and Frank must drive to his place and back without getting into an accident. Charlie and Dee also gets themselves a bowl of cereal to eat while they drive with Frank, who promptly hits Dennis again. The boys then blame Dee for the accident and leave while Dee stews.
There was enough stuff in the middle to make this a pretty good episode, from Charlie playing with his imaginary suspenders while defending Frank, to Mac’s argument against evolution. The pay off feels like they ran out of time though, and it’s the weakest part of the episode, but thankfully they weren’t building to a big payoff. Season Eight of ‘Philadelphia’ was minor, but in terms of comedy shows this was nowhere near painful, even if there was some water treading. We look forward to ‘Philly’s return next year, though we hope they’re a little more engaged. But that said, this was a fun season, with some nice high points.