It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Review “The Gang Recycles Their Trash” (Season 8, Episode 2)

The episode begins with Dee, Dennis, and Mac walking through the alley which, as the result of a trash collectors’ strike, is completely filled with trash. They begin to talk about how the price of getting their trash removed is too high, and someone should do something about it. At this point Dee makes the first acknowledgement that this seems very familiar.

Dennis begins to complain about how we live in a sad, throw-away culture. The same complaint that Charlie had in The Gang Finds A Dead Guy. Mac then tosses his big soda in a very similar manner to the start of The Gang Finds A Dumpster Baby. Mac then calls Dee a bird, and Dennis laughs almost exactly like Mac usually does.

The trio walks into the bar to find Charlie totally surround by trash, à la Gas Crisis, though at this point the similarities could still be passed off as mere coincidence. But then the Gang begins to concoct a plan of how they could use the city’s problems to get rich, and all coincidence is thrown out the window as Mac delves into one of his best passionate planning speeches, nearly verbatim from what we’ve heard before in The Gang Runs For Office and The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis, ending with the ever classic “It involves us pulling up our bootstraps, oiling up a couple of asses, and doing a little plowing of our own… Not gay sex.”

It isn’t the same episode though, the Gang has made some improvements and they’ve learned from their mistakes. Well not really, but they at least admit that their plans never work out. This time they decide instead of a van, they’ll be better off with a limo, Dennis catches Charlie’s accent before it begins, and Dee realizes that whoring up for a politician isn’t the way to go.

Mac, Charlie, and Dennis do get sent off on their own again, but this time they’re fully dressed in tuxes instead of Charlie’s disguises, and they head door to door with a new approach: Instead of talking to the customers, they sing to them. The form a wonderful barbershop trio, signing surprisingly well, and in turn gaining all the business they can handle, without even a hint of Johnny Law a-comin’.

While they’re busy drumming up business, Frank and Dee are recycling a plot from The Gang Runs For Office. That time, Frank dressed Dee up as a prostitute in order to try to bribe the comptroller. This time, Dee instead dresses up in yellow pant suit to show what a powerful woman dresses like, but instead of the usual politician, it’s the the same gay man who tried to buy their bar in The Gang Sells Out. 

Frank has now learned that you don’t take a gay man to a strip club to win him over, so instead they head to a gay strip club, where Frank and Dee delve into another intense, in depth conversation about varying forms of gay men, including otters who are a less strong, more cunning, version of bears. Throughout this scene Kaitlin Olsen does an spot-on impression of Dennis’ smug explanations of various phenomenon.

At this point, one of the highlights of the episode comes, as everyone expects that the gay councilman has snuck away by now, but when Frank and Dee turn back, he’s still there. The characters are as surprised by this as the audience is, with Frank even saying “I thought you’d be gone by now.”

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