It took five episodes, but it feels like the Gang has finally hit their stride again. It’s not that the fifth season’s previous episodes have necessarily come up short, but they’ve lacked that certain kinetic frenzy that made the show so addictive.
Dee runs into an ex-boyfriend from high school, only now he’s lost the acne that she worried would make him “look like Edward James Olmos.” He’s really good looking – and he’s getting married to the Waitress. Comedy, naturally, ensues.
Every major recurring character had a chunk of screen time, minus, alas, the inimitable McPoyle brothers (then again, Glenn Howerton did tell us they won’t be coming back this season). Charlie’s mom continued her descent into a sinister alcoholism, Artemis made raunchy sex talk with Frank, Mac’s mom coughed and hacked through a carton of cigarettes, and the Waitress approached Grecian levels of tragedy.
There were some fantastic character moments in this episode. Charlie’s illiteracy takes on a new dimension when Mac and Dennis try to get him to start dating to distract him from the Waitress. He’s so nervous his shirt becomes swampy with sweat and starts to stink of cheese: “I get nervous and I eat a lot of cheese!”
And Dee throws the Waitress a bachelorette party so she can (what else?) sabotage her marriage. Of course, her plan backfires when Charlie’s mom, drunk as a lord, misses her cue and soaks Dee with liquor before begging for a ride home.
“The Waitress is Getting Married” followed the traditional Sunny formula, and well: play up the personalities of individual characters and put them in situations where they can riff on improv-style absurdity. They’re a great ensemble, and any writing team that can come up with a sex act called the “cobb salad” (hint: it involves bacon) deserves some kind of award.