It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Season 7 Episode 6

The Storm of the Century

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 20, 2011 on FXX

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
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  • The gang goes into panic mode as the storm of the century approaches.


    Sometimes, you can figure out where an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is going before it even begins. All I need to know about the episode was the title and the synopsis and I could immediately figure out the overall outcome of the episode. It's sort of like Curb Your Enthusiasm, an equally great show that has become predictable over time. But as long as the writing and acting remains as funny as it has, I don't care. This was a great episode following last week's pretty disappointing one.

    Basically, the gang finds out that there's a massive storm coming into town and they all begin panicking in one way or the other. Mac, Charlie and Dennis all go to a local store to begin stocking up on storm supplies and also to see the incredibly big-breasted weather woman who Dennis is enamored with. Dennis is the all-star of the episode as he finds himself befuddled on how to deal with her. He tells Charlie that he's in love with her, and not for the right reasons. Dennis also had a hilarious moment where he was trying to get a couple of college girls back to the bar only to be screwed over by Charlie, who shows up looking like a serial killer.

    Back at the bar, Frank and Dee deal with a looter only to find out that it's Rickety Cricket. However, Frank shoots him in the hand before he realizes this and they begin taking him to the hospital. And Mac? He disappears at the beginning of the episode and returns for a pretty good ending.

    What really makes the episode work, regardless of anything else, is the way everything just meshes perfectly. The writing was spot-on and for the first five minutes, it was just the gang screwing around, arguing about the bunker and Y2K and the storm and that big-breasted weather woman (seriously, what is that actresses name?)

    Unlike last week, where the show put the gang on the backburner, this one shows everybody's strengths.

  • Best episode of the season, IMO.


    "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is one of the few shows on television that isn't completely predictable and formulaic, so I'm loathe to begin a review with, "At its best, 'Sunny' does [xyz]." However, we're seven seasons into the show, and it's only natural for viewers like me to see some commonalities between its strongest episodes. So, let's begin by saying that many (but not all) of "Sunny's" best episodes have featured: (1) Storylines that brilliantly come together in a hilarious final scene/act, (2) An escalating comic pace, (3) Good social satire that makes its point without dominating the humor, and (4) Lots of scenes that relish in characters being their horrible selves. This episode wonderfully illustrates how "Sunny" does all of these things so well. After last week's fiasco, I'm glad to say that "Sunny"- much like Frank Reynolds -came out guns blazing.

    Here's what happens (some spoilers): A stacked news reporter hypes a storm that's about to hit Philly as "the storm of the century." Mac, Dennis and Charlie naturally go to the shopping center from which she's reporting to stock up on supplies. There, Mac takes off on his own to places unknown and Dennis attempts to bring some ladies back to the bar's crude apocalypse bunker with some unhelpful help from Charlie. Meanwhile, the bar loses power and Frank shoots a looter who turns out to be Cricket. Dee and Frank rush Cricket to the hospital but first make a stop at the shopping center to pick up precious supplies. Left alone in the car, Cricket decides to make a scene, which leads to one of the funniest final (well, technically, penultimate) scenes in the show's history.

    It's hard to review really good "Sunny" episodes without spoiling the best scenes, because those scenes just make the show and they're just so damn funny that it's really tempting to give them away. I'll try not to do that, but just some highlights:

    Merging Storylines - This was a cleverly written episode from top to bottom, but it was a cleverly structured one as well. The way all the storylines came together in the brilliantly funny penultimate scene (again, I don't want to spoil it, but if I made a list of top ten moments from the show, Dee smashing the machines and Charlie with the hatchet would be right up there) was on par with the best episodes from seasons 2 and 3. The very final scene with Mac was the cherry on a perfectly constructed sundae.

    Pacing - This episode started slow, but exponentially increased as Dennis became progressively sociopathic, Dee became progressively hysterical, Cricket became progressively close to the brink of death, and the storylines came closer to their inevitable merger. I agree with jackkbauer2424 that you could see the ending coming, but there's a difference between endings that are predictable because the writers are lazy and endings that are predictable because the comic tension created by anticipating that ending can be even funnier than the ending itself. Whoever wrote this episode knows how to create comic tension. E.g. I laughed out loud at the well-calculated moment when it became clear how the episode was going to end, and the buildup remained consistent up until the climax, and the climax was even funnier than I anticipated, so - bottom line - the fact that I could see the ending coming made the episode even better. Also, I liked how little details that popped up throughout the episode (Dee's contempt for machines, Charlie and the hatchet, Frank looting during the LA race riots - which was funny in itself) built up to something much greater in that penultimate scene. Writing jokes and throwaway one-liners is easy, but comic storytelling is much harder. It requires buildup, acute timing…it's an art, dammit, and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is one of the few shows that seem to appreciate this.

    Social satire - This episode made some subtly clever statements about the way that the media manipulates people's emotions to the point of hysteria (which, not incidentally, usually leads to people buying things in a frenzy) and actually causing a great deal of harm along the way (e.g. had the reporter accurately reported what she was told, a fiasco wouldn't have ensued). And, of course, The Gang did a dependably great job of illustrating the worst possible way to react to the media, the weather, and just about everything they faced. The social satire didn't dominate the episode, and characterization wasn't compromised for the purpose of serving it. Bottom line, this episode did social satire the right way.

    Characterization - All the characters were in good form tonight, but Dee and Dennis stole the show:

    Dee being horrible - Of all the characters, Dee was probably the most hysterical in the storm's impending wake. Her justifications for leaving Cricket to die and/or be raped by looters had me laughing out loud. Also, her rage against machines was an outstanding extension of her character and produced some of the funniest moments of an especially funny night. Kaitlin Olson deserves a lot of credit for another outstanding performance. She's easily the best and easily the most underappreciated comic actress in the country. The fact that she wasn't even nominated for an Emmy for her performance in "Hundred Dollar Baby" led me to the conclusion that all awards shows are decided on the basis of who gives Lorne Michaels a BJ, and while I wouldn't say her performance tonight *quite* reached "Hundred Dollar Baby's" level of comic insanity, it came close enough for me to think that FX should do some serious lobbying on her behalf next fall and/or send an intern to give Lorne Michaels a BJ.

    Dennis being Dennis - Dennis' vanity and misogyny have grown steadily over the past seven seasons, resulting in the show's best character arc and some of its funniest moments. Tonight featured one of those moments, in which Dennis reacted to his prospective dates' announcements that they had boyfriends in a way that was both outright sociopathic and totally understandable. I mean, most straight guys have been in this position before and probably would've handled the situation as Dennis did but for our respect for others and social decorum. Dennis, of course, is vain to the point of being oblivious to having respect for others and social decorum. Equally hilarious was Dennis' awkwardness around a girl for whom he believed he felt love (read: whose tits he *really, really* admired), to the point of speaking like Charlie writes.

    Speaking of Charlie, he had some great moments as Dennis' awkward and deranged sidekick, and his pigging-out on cheese was a nice callback to "The Waitress is Getting Married." Frank was in the episode a lot, and while he didn't do very much, his characterization was good. Likewise, Mac did very little, but - again - the final scene featuring him brought the whole episode together.

    Finally, it must be said that it was nice to see Cricket again, and his presence in "The Storm of the Century" hereby absolves David Hornsby of the transgressions that were "How to Be a Gentleman" and his writing credit for last week's episode. Welcome back, our beloved prodigal recurring character, assuming you're not dead. (I like how they left that ambiguous. I also like the fact that, assuming Cricket didn't die, there's a chance that he's going to be deformed).

    Overall, this was a very strong episode that did just about everything you could want a "Sunny" episode to do. There were several moments that made me laugh out loud, and - unlike many episodes I've seen, especially lately - the whole was equal to the sum of its parts. In my opinion, "The Storm of the Century" replaces "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties" as the best episode of the season, and I'd even go so far as to put the episode right up there with the classics from seasons 2 and 3.

  • 706


    I know that I have been complaining about most episodes of the show this season, but I just think back to how edgy and groundbreaking it once was and now see how amateurish the writing and acting is. What was Dee doing in this episode? Seriously, Kaitlin Olsen has regressed as an actress if anything, because nonstop nonsensical yelling is not exactly what the Emmy voters are looking for. And the chaos, and Dennis' rant about the girls deceiving him, it just came off as childish, not something for a mature audience.

    Over the top crazy episode, but not in a good way.

  • Much better than the last piece of crap episode, but not as good as the first few this season


    This episode feels pretty weird for Sunny, whether you liked the episode or not, it just seemed unnatural. Not in the way the last episode did, where pretty much the gang wasn't in the episode etc., but for one thing, in this episode Dee is annoying as shit! She is completely out of character, like that's not how Dee reacts to things in any other episode. Charlie has some funny parts for sure but for the most part the episode was no "Gang Goes to Jersey Shore". Plus, hate to say it but, just please don't put Cricket in an episode again. It's over. I was happy with thinking he died in that one wrestling episode.

  • "The Storm of the Century"


    Real Score: 8.2

    After a pretty disappointing last episode we get a pretty solid half hour of sunny that could of been a little better. In comparison to franks brother this is a classic but to the rest of the season, not so much. I'm just gonna come out any say it the Dee storyline has its moments but was overall just flat, which is pretty disappointing because Dee has been alot better this season that last, not by a high margin but still better so far. Anyway this episode opens with the gang worried over the possibility of a storm, or so we think. They actually are looking at the news lady who happens to have giant breasts which "make you care about the weather". Mac wasn't in this episode that much and the parts he did have were less than great, halfway into the season (7 episodes left one is a two parter) im starting to think fat mac isn't doing any more than just making being the butt of fat jokes. Dennis was great in this episode, and charlie was pretty good but overall none of the storylines really tied together and the episode just kind of ended. But i still got a good amount of laughs from this episode, much more than last week.

    Favorite part of the episode:

    When Dennis found out the two girls had boyfriends.