We’re winding down the seventh season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but before this chapter of the irreverent FX comedy comes to a close, the gang is pulling out all of the stops to remind you just why you love these weirdos so much. On any other show, revisiting characters’ youths is a device used to help the audience sympathize with them and helping understand where they are coming from, but on Always Sunny, it’s really just another chance for the gang to be awful in the name of misguided justice. We’ve seen blips of this before, but now it will reach its culmination, seeing a return of so many familiar funny faces from the gang’s past, as well as references and callbacks to the gang’s past adventures. That’s right, Always Sunny is taking on “The High School Reunion.”
When the gang gets invited to they’re (we’re assuming ten-year) high school reunion, they relish the thought of seeing old friends again. For Dennis (Glenn Howerton), it becomes about reliving his so-called glory days, “holding court” in a table in the back of the gymnasium and waiting for his buds to come to him because he’s the coolest one in the room; the Golden God. Oh yeah, and it’s also about finally getting back at the punk who slept with his prom date. But things are not quite so simple in this soon-to-be-epic two-part special episode.
Dee (Kaitlin Olson) is thrilled to finally get to show off her hot, back brace-less bod and infiltrate the cool kids for once. She claims she’s doing this so she can take them down from within, but, well, we all saw how Mean Girls turned out, right? Naturally she gets sucked a bit too far into the fun, and it backfires, and poor Charlie (Charlie Day) is left alone, huffing in the bathroom just like the old days. Meanwhile, Mac (Rob McElhenney) is trying to get people to stop calling him by his real (completely hilarious and embarrassing) name, and Frank (Danny DeVito) slaps on any old nametag, which just happens to be one a girl.
The fun doesn’t stop there, though. Great guest stars of the past pop back up, including Nick Wechsler as Brad, who we last saw getting a hornet’s nest delivery when Charlie learned of his real motives behind getting engaged to the Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis). Speaking of, the Waitress is back once again, even further off the wagon than we saw in the Jersey Shore episode. There is “Fatty McGoo” (Judy Greer), who we were so happy and surprised to see pop up, even though we can’t help but wonder why she wasted even mere moments at this reunion chatting with these guys. Dennis’ ex-wife Maureen (Catherine Reitman) has gussied up her dead tooth for the occasion; Sasha Roiz makes his first appearance as the actual coolest guy in school; and even Jason Sudekis turns up in true Schmitty form, swooping in right at the end to steal some glory.
The episode may talk around a plan of revenge a whole lot more than it actually acts on it, but the sense of nostalgia for the show is unmistakable, and leaves you wanting to go back from the beginning and marathon the entire series again, from pilot to today.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia airs on FX on Thursday nights at 10pm. “The High School Reunion Part 1” airs on December 8th 2011, with the season finale conclusion airing the following week.
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