It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Pop-Pop: The Final Solution Season 8 Premiere Review

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returned tonight with a great opener for its 8th season, and constant reminders of why we keep watching.

The premise of this episode was perfect because it brought back so many classic Sunny moments. One of the greatest things about this show is its use of recurring characters, and in this episode we got two of the best ones: the lawyer and Cricket. (There was also an appearance made by Mac’s duster, and an argument can be made that the duster has taken on enough of a life of its own to be considered a recurring character at this point.) We even got a reminder of Charlie’s illiteracy, which has been funny since day one. The episode centered around another throwback from season one, Dennis and Dee’s Nazi grandfather.

This week, the lawyer arrived to tell Dennis and Dee that their Pop-Pop was on life support, and it was their decision whether or not to turn off the machines keeping him alive. We learn that Frank had been visiting the old man and attempting to take care of him, but his true goal was to get to his alleged Nazi treasures. There is a flashback to season one when Charlie and Mac burnt a box of Nazi paraphernalia that Pop-Pop had given Charlie. They burnt everything except a painting of a German Shepard, which they now think was an original Hitler painting.

The gang splits up on two separate missions. While Dennis and Dee struggle with the decision of whether or not to end a man’s life, Charlie and Mac go on a hunt for the painting, convinced that it is the treasure Frank was referring to.

Dennis and Dee on screen together have some of the best chemistry on the show. They had some especially darkly hilarious scenes this week. At Pop-Pop’s house, they find old home videos of him taking them as children to a Nazi summer camp. This sways them towards wanting to pull the plug on his life support, but they’re not sure they can do it. So they pay Cricket a visit at his new community service job at the animal shelter, where they attempt to pick a dog to put down to see if they’ve got it in them to end a life. They end up adopting several dogs and releasing them, and realize that they’re not up for the responsibility that has been bestowed upon them.

Mac and Charlie on the other hand go on what Mac is sure is a Da Vinci Code style treasure hunt. After some research, they end up tracking down the painting at a dentist’s office. When Charlie is confused about the direction Mac wants to take the movie that will be based on their adventure, he becomes frustrated and drugs Charlie so he can ditch him at the dentist. Mac, Frank, and a drooling braces wearing Charlie meet up at the bar, where Charlie tells them that he himself had painted the German Shepard over another painting that was in the box Pop-Pop, so their “adventure” had been essentially pointless. They decide to just burn it.

The two stories come together at the end. Dennis and Dee sign over power of attorney to the lawyer, who pulls the plug on Pop-Pop, but he continues to breathe on his own anyway. He reveals that there truly was something of value being left to them: an original Hitler painting that we see burning in a trash can outside the bar.

The great thing about It’s Always Sunny is that so many episodes have the potential to go down as classics. The season 8 premiere was no exception. It wasn’t one of my absolute favorite episodes, but it brought back so many classic elements that it will definitely be memorable. Consistency is the true strength of the show over the past 7 seasons. The core characters are always hilarious, the story lines they concoct for themselves are always ridiculous, and the combination of laugh out loud funny moments with uncomfortably dark comedy is always near perfect. I think we can expect yet another great season from this show. Grade: B

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