It’s Always Sunny season 13, episode 1 recap: ‘The Gang Makes Paddy’s Great Again’


In episode 131 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the gang’s new member tries hatching a successful scheme, but they’re more interested in a doll that looks like Dennis.

Available now on FXX Network (and the next day on Amazon with a season pass), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia recalls the old adage, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Let’s look at what happens, shall we?

As the episode begins, it doesn’t appear to be business as usual at Paddy’s pub. With Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton) seemingly gone, the gang has a new member named Cindy (Mindy Kaling).

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With her as their apparent leader, they’re going after liberals and conservatives by politicizing the bar to get more profits. Cindy wants to shut down a competitor bar, known as Murphy’s, which sounds exactly like something the gang would want.

Though Cindy begins expertly laying out her plan, several distractions come into play – which was all but inevitable.

First, Mac (Rob McElhenney) begins desperately calling attention to how he’s now in really good shape. Unfortunately, no one in the gang is impressed. They dismiss it as a childish cry for help. On top of that, Mac brings in a sex doll looking eerily like Dennis.

Though he tries to deny he’ll put it to use in an expected way, everyone in the gang heavily assumes the opposite. Still, that’s not the weirdest thing about this doll. The gang begins to imagine it as the real Dennis. It starts out innocently enough, as they just imagine it saying things that Dennis would normally say. However, it gradually builds in intensity.

The Plan

Cindy outlines her plan on a dry erase board, with sections like “spread fake news” and “incite liberal outrage.” Dee Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson) is supposed to distract a security guard with her feminine charms, and Frank (Danny DeVito) is slated to play the tuba (though it’s not made clear how that figures into things).

However, even though Frank exhibits some tuba playing skill, that dang Dennis doll keeps distracting him, and it seems like it would interfere in any scheme whatsoever.

If that’s not enough, The Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) was caught in bed with the doll by Charlie (Charlie Day). She says she felt the doll talked her into getting drunk and having a fling.

Charlie vents his furious anger at it and the two essentially break up (in a previous episode, The Waitress slept with the real Dennis). It’s a major change for the two characters, as it appeared the two were on the brink of becoming a real couple (or more real than a sex doll, at least).

The Big Return and What it Means

Toward the episode’s end, while the gang reminisces about Dennis, a great moment: Dennis returns! In fact, he flat out tells Cindy that she can go now.

No doubt, the chemistry just isn’t the same without Dennis in the group. He is, after all, one of the biggest reasons for the show’s success.

His showing up is a way of saying the show won’t completely change (as some have feared, given this age of ultra-sensitivity in pop culture, which It’s Always Sunny has miraculously avoided).

This may not be the best It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode, but it has points that had to be made. It’s ultimately up to the viewer to determine what they are. What’s also interesting is what the episode didn’t do: It didn’t get into Cindy’s scheme.

It dealt with the elephant in the room, in form of a question: Can the show go on without any Dennis episodes? Apparently, the main cast (who are mostly the creators) don’t want that.

That was the fear after season 12 when it was announced that Glenn Howerton might not return.

Next. It's Always Sunny season 13, episode 2 recap. dark

So, ultimately, it seems there’s been a compromise where Dennis will appear in most (or at least half) of the episodes, which is something fans ought to be able to live with.

That’s it for this It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!