The Gang never has been much for maintaining their health. Except for an episode where everyone fought to get health insurance, it’s mostly been crummy food, lots of beer, and the occasional crack rock. With all that going on, it’s surprising there haven’t been many major health scares on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for us, that all changes in The Gang Gets Quarantined.
A flu outbreak is sweeping Philadelphia, and it’s become fairly severe. Frank, being old and feeble, is scared that he won’t be able to escape the impending doom that this flu is likely going to bring. He wants to be sure the rest of the Gang isn’t sick, and then demands that they quarantine themselves in the bar. The others don’t really grasp the concept of a quarantine too well, and they keep ordering out for pizza and sneaking beer, which ultimately causes Frank to lock them in the bathroom one by one.
The twist in this episode is definitely what it’ll be remembered for, so I might as well discuss that first. There is a hilarious switch at the end of the episode, and I absolutely loved it. It’s the second quality twist of this season, but where the first one failed is where this episode is strong. In episode one, what we saw prior to the twist wasn’t all that funny. It was simply setting the stage for the payoff at the end. In this quarantine episode, however, the entire thing is filled with laughs, making the payoff even better.
One of my favorite little jokes in last week’s episode was how Charlie wanted to buy beer from a convenience store even though they were about to head back to a bar which they own. That joke is pushed even further this episode, as constantly there are instances that show their alcoholism and lack of financial insight. Charlie and Mac buy beer at a grocery store this time, and at the end we find out that the entire Gang hides booze throughout the bar. Dee stashes warm beer in the ceiling, Charlie filled bleach bottles with whiskey, and Dennis sticks a flask behind the jukebox, all of this inside their own bar. I think that’s just about as alcoholic as it gets, other than the fact that they haven’t gone two days without a drink, ever.
While it’s fun to watch everyone react to the violent “flu” that they’re afflicted with, Danny DeVito really steals the show in this one. We’ve gotten to see him play various levels of depravity as Frank, but he pushes the envelope even further in this episode. There’s something extremely vulnerable about an older actor in his tighty whities. We’ve seen it many times with Bryan Cranston, and now multiple times in the last few weeks with Danny DeVito. It takes guts to crawl around the floor, covered in sanitizer, wearing nothing but briefs, and to watch DeVito do it is truly a treat. His rants about the purification of Philadelphia and the evolution of man to a cleaner being are chilling, but that’s probably helped along by the fact he’s holding a straight razor while speaking.