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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has done it again. Charlie Work is an instant hit as Charlie turns a more than disastrous situation into a masterfully orchestrated performance. The episode opens with a frantic Charlie calling the gang at the pub to warn them that Paddy’s will be subject to a random health inspection that very day. Charlie arrives at the pub and walks into the gangs latest scheme, which involves a lot of chickens. In addition to the inexplicably large amount of foul throughout the pub, Frank is barefoot, Dee has planted her idea of a joke stool (which is just a single nail pointing upwards out of the seat of said stool), and Dennis is painting “Carmine’s: A Place for Steaks” across a new sign for the bar. It quickly becomes apparent that Charlie is the only one who cares about or even grasps the importance of a health inspection. The rest of the crew just belittles Charlies intelligence, refusing to tell him what their new scheme is while he tries to get them to help clean.

Charlie eventually gives up on receiving any help. This is where the magic and genius (Charlie Day‘s talent) begins. Quickly listing off jobs for everyone to do Charlie gets the gang’s help by simultaneously helping them with their scheme. For the rest of the episode he moves from one co-worker to another guiding them through menial tasks. First up is Frank with his missing shoes. Charlie learns that Frank lost his shoes. Then learns that by “lost”, Frank meant flushed them down the toilet! Apparently it’s a control thing, therapeutic for the aging man. While attempting to get Frank’s shoes out of the toilet (using his bare hands) Charlie sees that Mac has removed the restrooms glory hole cover. Mac then makes an appearance, asking Charlie for help with proving that the scheme everyone is working on was in fact his idea! Apparently Mac thought Charlie covered the hole by accident and really doesn’t care about anything Charlie has to say continuing to whine about the arbitration process the gang has. Yes, the group apparently has a arbitration process for determining who came up with successfully implemented ideas. This is no doubt a seed planted for a later episode.

Apparently the gang now has a vacuum sealer, procured for the scheme, which will likely also make a return appearance. Unfortunately the sealer pulls to much energy, so throughout the episode the bar’s electricity goes in and out–another thing for Charlie to cover up. While having some of the guys moving the chickens into the back room Charlie takes Dee to the basement as she is the only one who is tall enough to reach the carbon monoxide tester. Of course the basement is saturated with CO. Charlie apparently always closes all the vents leading downstairs before a health inspection to cause all the rodents to vacate! He monoxide bombs the pub’s basement! Eventually a semi truck full of steaks arrives out front (remember the sign having said “A Place for Steaks”). To compound Charlie’s problems Dee, with her “fat fingers,” ordered 4,000 steaks instead of the planned 400. Frank, due to stress heads to the bathroom to flush his shirt. When the rest of the gang starts freaking out, Charlie proves that he may be the best schemer as he tells them exactly what their plan had been, though, everyone had been refusing to fill him in. He promises that he will make sure all their schemes are completed as long as they all calm down and listen to him.

The gang has never worked as well as they do under Charlie’s guidance. A sequence of events involving every gang member being directed by Charlie, sometimes down to the second minutes ahead of time, sees the scheme completed and the health inspection passed. The way Charlie controls everything is very similar to how a perfect director may control a large cast while improv actors also move around the set. His thoughts and actions are not only fast but calculated. This is by far the most intense episode this season and it works great! Charlie Day proves that he is a great actor, reinforcing the common belief that this show is frequently overlooked by critics and awards. The great acting seems even more impressive as through some camera tricks and set creativity the entire last segment appears to be one shot.

It is known that the outside, inside and basement of the pub are filmed at different locations, so there is no way that everything is done in a single shot but the director Matt Shakman works some magic to give viewers the impression that they are. Long shot scenes seem to have become more prevalent over the last few years in both television and film. This particular long shot with the drum soundtrack will undoubtedly remind people of Birdman, though, that was just an accident according to Shakman in an interview with The scene is an homage to last year’s long “single shot” scene from True Detective. Dennis even quotes Matthew McConaughey‘s now infamous saying “alright alright alright” throughout the episode. As the episode comes to an end, long-running jokes come to a head and Charlie even gets the last (literal) laugh in at Dee’s expense. Overall this episode highlighted the cast’s great acting, writing, use of established characters and uncanny ability to sow seeds for future humor in every episode. Both the directing and soundtrack were top notch as well. It is doubtful that any fan of the series could, or would ask for anything more.

Do you think Mac will ever be able to look Dennis in the eyes?

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The Author

Graydon Sinclair

Graydon Sinclair

A Canada born Seattle grown man guided by a love of art, comics, television and movies.