It’s strange to think how little time we’ve actually spent in Paddy’s Pub this year, considering for the first few years It’s Always Sunny’s pub was the hub for most of the show’s adventures. But this year, The Gang has ventured to hospitals, weddings, therapist offices and fine dining establishments, with little time to have their usual squabbles in the bar they “work” at. But for the season finale, “Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense,” The Gang has one of their more substantial debates of the year, without looking quite as dumb as they usually do.
In “Reynolds vs. Reynolds,” The Gang has their own version of court to solve an argument between Frank and Dennis. While driving in his car, confused by his GPS-on-tape and blind as a bat, Frank runs his car into Dennis’. There’s no damage to Dennis’ car, except on the interior, where Dennis was eating a bowl of cereal, which spilled all over the inside. Who’s at fault here, the driver who can’t see, or the man daring enough to eat cereal while driving?
Dee defends Dennis in their fake court, while Charlie, always wanting to be a lawyer, defends Frank, with Mac being the judge/bailiff. The five continuously try to break each other’s characters throughout the case, so there’s rarely any discussion of the actual accident. Charlie tries to break Dennis by saying that Dennis could be “donkey-brained” but Frank cannot be since he has a certificate from his childhood claiming he doesn’t have a case of the donkey brains. This is the greatest argument of the episode, maybe the season, due to Charlie’s dedication to the fact that donkey brains surely are a real thing.
But the star of “Reynolds vs. Reynolds” is Mac, who has kind of taken a backseat the majority of the season. Mac tries to prove that evolution is a lie and that sometimes science can be a liar. Mac does this with horrible poster-board creations he makes that each take three hours to create. Mac’s speeches are hilarious, and his points are quite good, considering how dumb this group can be. He argues that having faith in God based on reading a book is no more foolish than believing in evolution because scientists in a book told you to.
It’s great to see Mac and Charlie in full court mode, while Dennis sits and steams about how ridiculous the whole charade is. After Dee explains her interest in the case is so they can set a precedent since The Gang has destroyed every car she’s ever had, the rest of The Gang can’t remember ever doing this to her. When a recreation of the crash occurs, this time with Dee in the car as well, everyone throws the blame on Dee, who is screaming at them as the season ends.
So as season eight comes to a close, has it been donkey-brained? This season has switched off between weird self-parody and going back to the basics of what makes It’s Always Sunny work. It’s been a fascinating season to watch, albeit a slightly uneven one. It’s Always Sunny tried all sorts of new ideas; some worked, many didn’t. But at the very least, It’s Always Sunny still has the potential to surprise in the most exciting ways when everything goes right.