In last week’s episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, entitled “Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties”, the gang was put in charge of a group of children. I stated in the review of the episode that one of the worst things that could happen to the gang is that they are put in charge of children. But with the newest episode “Sweet Dee Gets Audited,” it turns out the lack of a baby can be just as bad for the gang.
The episode starts off with the bar falling apart, even more so than usual. With the ceilings leaking, rocks in the urinals and a dead dog in the alley outside for a week, Charlie, Dennis and Mac decide they need to have as much input as to what happens in their bar as Frank does. The gang finally understands the concept of democracy, rather than whoever shouts loudest wins. Meanwhile, Dee receives her $30,000 for being a surrogate mother last season. She almost instantly buys a scooter and just as quickly finds out she is getting audited, since she is still claiming the baby as her own for benefits.
After a vote over thin or thick limes, the gang splits, with Charlie and Mac for thick and Frank and Dennis for thin. Charlie and Mac go to Dee for the tie-breaking vote, where Dee agrees to help them…if they can get her a baby by that afternoon to show the auditor she does have a baby. Charlie and Mac return to the bar, classifying themselves as the “Pickle Party.” Dennis turns Charlie and Mac against each other again as they argue over putting a cross in the bar. Charlie wants none, while Mac wants a big ‘ol bloody one. While the Pickle Party grows further apart, Frank attempts to get further under Dennis’ wing as he wants in on all of his moneymaking schemes, such as a non-existent soda called “Wolf Cola.”
Charlie and Mac return to Dee’s place, as she tries to stall the auditor. When they return with no baby, the three return to the pub, where Dennis says that what they should be doing is pretending like the baby is gone. This leads the five of them to gather together to have a baby funeral at the pub for little Barnabas Reynolds, little baby casket and all. Dee needs to put on a show for the auditor, but she can’t cry on command. Dennis decides to blow some chili powder into her eyes. As she comes out with puffy red eyes and screaming, Charlie and Mac figure out Dennis and Frank’s scheming against each other. With Dee on the sidelines due to her now bleeding eyes, Charlie and Mac decide to retaliate by showing the true contents of the coffin, which they believe to be the rocks in the urinal. When they dump out the coffin, they dump out the badly decomposed carcass of the week-dead dog. With the auditor leaving, her suspicions confirmed, the gang realize that democracy isn’t for them and proceed into one of their usual screaming bouts.
Maybe it is just the constant arguments in this episode, but this feels like an episode from one of the earlier seasons, where every episode contained at least one screaming match that would become a turning point for the episode. All three of the separate storylines don’t feel as complete as they should and have in prior episodes this season. The baby funeral feels like a tacked-on way to combine the three story lines and the de-evolution into their past habits doesn’t seem as entertaining as it should be. The gang’s blatant attempt to go back to the way things were, even for an episode, makes for the weakest episode so far this season. Hopefully future episodes will allow for the characters to evolve in the way they had been previously this season.