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‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Season Premiere Review: “Pop-Pop: The Final Solution”

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' "Pop Pop The Final Solution"
FX

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘ has been playful about their eighth season. From the promo teaser – which featured the cast as anime characters – to a trailer which featured a fake cast, this one’s been kept close to vest. It’s unlikely that there will be big changes for this new season, but perhaps there are surprises in store with “Pop-Pop: The Final Solution.” Read on for our in depth recap of ‘It’s Always Sunny’s Season Premiere.

The episode starts at 10:45 A.M. on a Tuesday with Charlie calling everyone to attention. Mac notes that the bar is in trouble, so he suggests things will be better if he wears dark sunglasses to asses threats. Just then The Lawyer comes in, who complains he’s mostly ignored by the gang when he’s got something important to deal with. He tells them that Dennis and Dee’s grandfather Pop-Pop is in a coma and they need to decide whether or not to pull the plug.

The gang go to the hospital, where Frank leads the way because he goes there all the time. Pop Pop’s room is an absolute mess, which is Frank’s fault because he doesn’t throw away the half-finished soup he’s been feeding Pop Pop. Frank’s been hanging out with him in the hopes of getting Nazi treasures. Dee immediately wants to pull the plug, but Dennis thinks it’s too big a decision to make right away, while Charlie eats some of the old soup and grosses everyone out.  Charlie pulls Mac aside to talk about the box they got, and how they burned most of Pop Pop’s stuff except for a painting of a dog. Charlie thinks the painting might be the treasure, while both eat old, rancid soup. They decide to run out and go home. Back at their place Charlie can’t find the painting, while Mac notes that Adolph Hitler has a German Shepherd fetish, and Mac thinks the painting might have been done by the Fuhrer himself and that the painting will make them famous treasure hunters. This also leads to a good Indiana Jones joke. They call Frank to help find the box, and find Frank stuck in a window at Pop Pop’s house as he is also looking for the treasure. Frank says he threw the painting out, and a cricket ran away with it.

Actually it is Rickety Cricket who may have took it, and the boys go down to the pound to talk to him. He was recently mauled, but he now works as a dog janitor. Rickety tells them he sold the painting for three dollars to a guy who had to put down a German Shepherd. The search is on.

Frank is at Pop Pop’s place (finally in) looking for treasure when Dennis and Dee find him. They find a bunch of old film reels, and decide to watch the film and tell Frank they’re not going to pull the plug. Then they start the film, which brings waves of nostalgia until they realizes their summer camp was a Neo-Nazi training ground which makes them realize, yes they want to pull the plug. But knowing they’ll have to kill him, they decide they should kill something smaller first. So they go to the pound (and Rickety) and  then go browsing for a dog to put down, which is really hard on them. They then decide to let the dogs in the pound free, and to let Pop Pop die naturally: slowly and painfully.

Charlie and Mac go to a Dentist’s office to find the painting, and find a wall filled with German Shepherd paintings and pictures. Mac then theorizes that Hitler went insane because of the death of his dog, and thinks their story is the next ‘Da Vinci Code,’ and the two theorize about how the movie will go (Charlie thinks it should involve time travel). Frank calls Mac hoping to get him to convince Dennis and Dee not to pull the plug because he hasn’t found the treasure, but Mac – growing impatient with Charlie – lets Frank in on the picture thing, and Frank then tells him  he’ll have to take Charlie out. With Charlie already wearing a gas mask, he’s an easy target.

Back at the hospital The Lawyer talks to Dennis and Dee, and The Lawyer wants Pop Pop dead so he won’t have to deal with the two again. With the two flinching at pulling the plug The Lawyer asks them to give him power of attorney so he can do it. They agree. Back at the bar, Mac and Frank come back with a painting, while Charlie is there huffing gas, and reveals that he now has braces and the original painting. Charlie says that the painting causes madness, that it must be destroyed. and that he was the one who did the painting. Once its revealed that it’s not a real Hitler, everyone stops caring. At the hospital, The Lawyer gives the final go-ahead to pull the plug. They do , and with the machines off Pop Pop begins breathing on his own again, and they’re told that his death could come at any point now. They’re also told that Pop Pop does have treasure. As Charlie and Mac burn the painting, Charlie tells Mac that he painted over Pop Pop’s original painting, and in the fire – ‘Citizen Kane’-style – we see that the original was actually a Hitler.

This was a clever episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ but more plot-y than funny. There are some nice small asides (at the end it’s revealed that there’s been a rash of dog attacks from the dogs Dennis and Dee set free), and the episode moves, but there’s no stand out jokes or moments. Perhaps they needed to get back into the rhythm of things. But what did you think? Leave your thoughts about “Pop Pop: The Final Solution” in the comments section below.

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