This season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has had its share of ups-and-downs, both for the show in general and for the characters. In the last episode of the seventh season, we get the end of the high school reunion. In Part 1 last week, we left The Gang dejected, wedgied in the bathroom and seeking revenge on the cool kids. In this final episode, we see that revenge, which ends in classic It’s Always Sunny fashion.
The gang individually tries to get revenge in their own ways. Dennis tries to sleep with his enemy Tim Murphy’s wife. Dee ends up screaming fat jokes at a girl she knew nicknamed Fatty Magoo, who is now played by a skinny Judy Greer. Charlie and Mac try to get their high school gang back together, The Freight Train (“our conductor’s insane, our cargo is pain, FREIGHT TRAIN!”). When they find out their leader Psycho Pete really is a psycho—like “cut up his family and eat them” psycho—they form together to create the 2011 version of Freight Train.
The last addition to the gang is Dennis, who after being shot down, goes into a fit of rage in the middle of the gymnasium, claiming to be a golden god. We’ve seen the increasing insanity of Dennis this season, as he gets more terrifying around women with his sexual exploits. This reaches its climax this episode as a furious Dennis runs out to his car to get his tools. His raving is closer to serial killer Dexter Morgan at this point and in showing how creepy he is, maintains that Glenn Howerton as Dennis has been incredible this season. Even in the worst episodes this season (I’m looking at you “Frank’s Brother”), Howerton has really knocked it out of the park.
At the end, we get the long-anticipated Plan B, which turns out to be a dance routine. Before the choreographed dance, we get Charlie’s history of dance throughout the years, as he points out that problems were solved in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s with dancing, in the ‘90s kids came into schools with trench coats and shot each other (and that’s bad) and now kids are dancing to solve their problems. Also, throwing rainbow parties.
We get the dance, and it’s epic. The group is choreographed wonderfully, set to George Michael’s “Freedom,” and everything goes great, even if Dee is once again trapped in her aluminum monster back brace. Everyone is genuinely enjoying this epic perormance, even the gang’s enemies. As Mac rips his shirt off and screams in the finale, we see the real truth, that the performance we are seeing is all in their heads, as Mac is sadly screaming without a shirt and sweating like a maniac, and Frank is puking in an ice bucket.
The gang leaves the reunion proud of their performance even if everyone else didn’t get it and it left them uninvited to the afterparty. As they get outside, the waitress pops up once again, saying she’ll sleep with the next person that talks to her. This is it. Charlie goes to make his move, when out of nowhere, Jason Sudeikis as his character Schmiddy jumps out of the bushes to surprise the gang and goes off with the waitress, leaving Charlie to once again watch his love go off with someone else as they all go back to the bar.
I think this episode really features one of the best examples of what Paddy’s means to the gang. Before the gang decides to seek revenge, Charlie states that the bar is a place where they can go to hide, where they fit in and where they can be themselves. I think that’s an interesting idea that the show has dealt with for seven seasons. Whenever anyone else interacts with the gang, it never ends up good for anyone involved. What’s great about these five people is that no one else thinks like them or is like them, and from what we see at their high school reunion, no one else has ever been like them either. Even friends that they once had have fallen by the wayside, leaving the core five to stick it out with each other.
The brilliance of It’s Always Sunny and this episode in particular is that these are genuinely screwed up people. They probably shouldn’t be interacting with other people, and they are happiest when they aren’t. “The Gang’s Revenge” shows the unity of The Gang in a season that has constantly split them apart, but they always work best together as one team. While this has been the most uneven of It’s Always Sunny’s seasons, The Gang’s unification in taking on their past while everyone else has moved on, grown and become better than they once were, shows that no matter how deep or dark their stories get, as long as they have each other, they will always make it out, regardless of what damage they leave in their wake.