It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 8, Episode 1 Review: “Pop-Pop: The Final Solution”
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is back for another season of horrible people doing horrible things. In this episode, Dee and Dennis must decide whether or not to pull the plug on their Nazi grandfather who has fallen in to a coma. Welcome back!
There are not many shows where an episode featuring two grandchildren deciding whether or not to end their Nazi grandfather’s life support could be considered standard, but after all the horrible things that have transpired over eight seasons, this felt oddly low-key. Sure the episode was dark, but after last season began with the Gang leaving a dead hooker in a hallway, this lacked some bite. That being said, this was still a very funny episode and a good start to the season.
The highlight of the season premiere of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia was Charlie and Mac’s subplot. Charlie assures Mac that a painting Charlie was given by Pop-Pop is an original Hitler and worth a large amount of money, so they go through Philly trying to find it. This leads them to Cricket, who is now a janitor at the pound, who tells them he sold it to a dentist. The search for the painting leads to a National Treasure-style caper with all the backstabbing and deceptions one would expect. This subplot reminded me of an episode from The Simpsons’ seventh season, “Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in ‘The Curse of The Flying Hellfish’”, in which Grandpa recalls when his fellow servicemen found a collection of famous German paintings. I doubt this was an inspiration on the episode, but the similarities are certainly there.
Most of the main problems of the episode arose with Dee and Dennis deciding what to do with Pop-Pop. The video footage of them as children going to a Nazi camp was funny, but we’re at a point in comedy were Nazis are a worn-out punch line, and the episode didn’t do anything original with it. Having Dee and Dennis go the pound to watch an animal die so they could see how they handle causing a death was a good turn, but then they released the animals into the streets of Philly and it fizzled out.
I’m not all negative on this episode, though. In fact, I’m mostly positive on it. The entire episode was full of laughs and the ending of both plots – Charlie revealing he just wanted his old painting and Pop-Pop surviving post-life support – were well done. The Citizen Kane homage when Mac and Charlie burned the painting, and the final reveal that it was, in fact, an original Hitler, ended the episode on a high note, tying the episode together nicely. This wasn’t an episode for the Sunny pantheon, but it continued It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s comeback from season 6. There’s still plenty of life left in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and thankfully no one has pulled the plug.
- It’s so good to see Rob McElhenney back in great shape after last season. Fat Mac was hilarious and made a very good season even better, but I worried about his well-being.
- Great to see both Cricket and The Lawyer in this episode. According to Glenn Howerton, we’re going to see the return of many fan-favorites this season on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
- I wasn’t wild about the reveal that Charlie had braces at first, but his subsequent talking and drooling sold it
- Speaking of “Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in ‘The Curse of The Flying Hellfish’”, check that episode out. One of the greatest episodes of the Simpsons ever and it’s severely underrated.
- Charlie eating things he shouldn’t will never get old.