The season finale of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia brings the Gang into an intense trial, maybe not as intense as the days of The World Series Defense, but much more involved considering it was all handled in house. The result, Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense, is another great episode of the show.
The premise of a full trial episode had me excited for one simple reason: Charlie’s obsession with law. The majority of the funniest Charlie lines have something to do with law. From the early seasons where he proclaimed “Objection! Hearsay! See that’s lawyer talk,” all the way to “Mind you that heretofore document had dry ink on it for many fork-night,” there are few things better than Charlie doing his best Law And Order impression. So for this week’s episode to involve a trial, it was safely assumed that the episode would be chocked full of great Charlie moments, and that did not disappoint.
At the start of the episode, Dennis is sitting in his car, enjoying a nice bowl of cereal, when he’s rear-ended by Frank who was listening to Charlie giving him directions on a cassette. Dennis thinks Frank is totally at fault for all the interior damage of the car, but Frank insists that it’s Dennis’ fault for eating cereal in the car.
They argue about this back at the bar, and Dennis threatens to go to court and sue Frank, but Dee points out this isn’t a good idea because Dennis has a ton of sexual misconduct charges and Frank has a lot of unregistered guns in his car. The solution? Handle the matter internally.
The trial begins with Charlie presenting the opening statement for the “persecution.” He addresses his “distinguished collies” and brings up the fact that common sense would dictate that eating cereal while driving makes one “donkey-brained.” Dennis tries to throw the donkey-brained accusation back at Frank, but it turns out Frank has an official certificate from his youth, where a mental institution gave him a certificate saying he does not have “donkey-brains.”
It turns out all the kids in the neighborhood had made fun of Frank calling him Frankie Donkey-Brains. So Frank has the certificate, but Dennis has no certificate clearing him from having donkey-brains, so therefore Dennis must have donkey-brains. Innocent until proven guilty eh?
Dennis attempts to regain some footing by giving Frank a glass of wine. Dennis then slaps him on the back, causing Frank to spill the wine. Dennis admits fault and says he’ll pay for the damages to Frank’s shirt. This wins over Charlie and he switches sides, but Mac brings up another point. He says that Frank was assuming responsibility when he took the wine, and thus Dennis had assumed responsibility when he took the cereal into the car, an argument that wins Charlie over again.
Dee brings into question Mac’s belief in creating a super strong race of humans through genetic mutation and evolution. Mac says that he doesn’t believe that at all, and it’s simply something that would happen in comic books, which puts everyone’s worries about his character to rest until Mac says the reason he doesn’t believe is because evolution doesn’t exist, again making everyone question his credibility.
Mac then decides to make another chart showing where everyone stands on evolution vs. the almighty God. Everyone immediately discounts his arguments, but then when Dennis says the reason is all the smartest scientists agree, Mac pulls out another chart, and in one of his most brilliant moments, proves how all of them eventually ended up seeming like bitches. He also says that Dennis trusts all these facts that he’s never seen for himself, written down by men he doesn’t know, meaning he has faith in what they’re reporting, just like faith in the bible.
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The trial goes on a bit longer, before it’s finally revealed that the reason Dee is so passionate about defending Dennis is she wants to set a precedent for this sort of thing, since her car is always getting ruined and no one even discusses paying for it. No one has any idea what she’s talking about, and thinks she’s just making up the car getting ruined.
The Gang then decides the only way to see once and for all who is at fault is to have Dennis drive around while eating cereal and Frank drive home with Charlie giving him directions. Dennis’ cereal technique is flawless, but Frank gets overwhelmed by both Charlie and Dee giving him directions and ends up crashing his car into Dennis’ again. The Gang decides that the reason Frank crashed was because of Dee, so Dee can pay for the damages, case closed.
While I thought the highlight of the episode would have been Charlie delving too deep into his lawyer persona, it ended up being how easily Charlie was swayed by the minute things that everyone else said, and the brilliant argument Mac put forth in regard to evolution. Both of those bits of the episode were absolutely hilarious, and will be often quoted by fans of the show for a long time to come.
This was another truly great episode to cap off a phenomenal season 8 for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. The show took creative liberties on the traditional sitcom format time and time again and it always paid off. The episodes where they stuck to what they had always done were as funny as ever, making this season a thoroughly enjoyable one.
Other Random Notes
- “Do you understand genetic mutations at all?”
- I’d just like to point out again how Frank was listening to prerecorded directions from Charlie.
- “I got glasses! I just need new lenses.”
- It is somewhat true that when anyone is accused of anything people assume that person is automatically guilty.
- “One might even call it donkey-brained…”
- Mac’s just a regular dude, he drinks beer, rock flag and eagle right Charlie? It’s true that Americans don’t have to change their minds, regardless of the facts set out before them.
- Cereal in the car has a very high spill factor.
- Science is a liar sometimes.
It’s been a true treat to review this season of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. In my opinion this season is the best in show history, and we can only hope that this quality continues for many years to come.Previous