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Sunny days are here again, as everyone's favorite gang of miscreants is back. Starting off the seventh season with an episode as big as Mac himself is now, our pals from Paddy's Pub were moving into their “second acts” and showing us that no one really changes, you just get older; or in some cases, you die of a crack overdose, but such is life. “Frank's Pretty Woman” may not have been the hooker with a heart of gold, but beyond one painfully unfunny moment, the episode itself was a riot, and a solid return for It's Always Sunny.
You've been waiting with baited breath for months. Well Fat Mac is here, folks, and if McDonald’s ever decides to stop pretending like they can promote good health, they have a killer spokesperson standing by. The image of the self-declared Sheriff of Paddy's; now full bearded, fifty pounds overweight, and toting a garbage bag full of chimichangas, was one of the greatest things this series has ever given its fans. Mac's added “mass” pretty much drowned out anything else going on for the first few minutes of the episode, but there were still a few moments worth noting from before chubs made his entrance.
Kicking off the episode was a quick and humorous callback to Dennis' fondness for his junkyard cat, Agent Jack Bauer. And while Charlie getting a guard dog could have been a nice way to spend the episode, it was worth derailing for the introduction of Frank's new girl. Though as Frank puts it, Roxy won't be his girlfriend for long; “I'm gonna make that whore my wife.” Roxy doesn't make it through to the nuptials, but she made quite the impact in her short time with us. Alanna Ubach took the rough-edged, hard-ass character she's been known to play and turned it up a few notches to pull off her role as the very experienced street walker. Her foulmouthed remarks and perpetual intoxication got some laughs early on, but it was when her and Dee paired off that the best moments came. Taking the less-than-sophisticated Roxy out to update her wardrobe led to them scoring their own honest-to-goodness Pretty Woman moment. Elivin, from The Cosby Show, making a reappearance was also gold, this time claiming to be Tiger Woods. After seven seasons, Sunny has built up a rich history of characters and incidents, and its always nice to be reminded of those moments.
Concerned that with Frank marrying a hooker and Mac trying to eat his weight in Mexican food the gang is going to become known as the “gross crew,” Dennis decides some changes have to be made. Leaving Dee to deal with the billows of smoke rising from Roxy's pipe(the siblings immediately recognizing the smell was another of many great self-referential bits), Dennis takes Mac to get some blood work done. Their results may not have been good news for them, but they made for an absolutely hysterical scene. Though it's simplicity can't be argued, having Mac repeatedly mispronounce “diabetes” created such an uproarious moment, as did Dennis blowing up over it; “Dude, stop saying 'diabitus!!'” The topper was the equally malnourished moron nearly passing out after doing a few too many of his “Hummingbirds.” But it wouldn't be long after this highpoint that the episode ran into its one sour spot, and it effectively killed off any comedic momentum.
There was tremendous potential to Frank and Charlie's own little adventure, as there always is when the two of them are teaming up. Charlie was was already earning laughs recalling his Foghorn Leghorn inspired Texas tycoon character and the setup of him on another date(which was the best part of “The Waitress is Getting Married”) could have topped Mac and Dennis' visit to the doc. With Frank as their uniformed chauffeur, it didn't seem like anything could go wrong with the storyline. Unfortunately, Charlie and his lovely lady weren't long into their limo ride before the Gang forever cemented themselves as the “gross crew.” At it's core, there is some humor to watching the appropriately terrified reaction of an unsuspecting woman having blood vomited on her. But looking on as Charlie fire-hosed about a gallon of his own viscera on to the show's latest innocent bystander turned out about as funny as that circumstance would be in real life. Thankfully that one moment, even if it did feel like it took awhile to get through, wasn't enough to ruin what was a brilliantly funny episode both before and after.
Since Dee is now enamored with Roxy, Charlie is too busy hacking up his small intestine, and Mac and Dennis are concentrating on their “no restrictions” diet(which includes more chimichangas, steady injections of insulin, and crack, if they could ever get hold of some), Frank is finally free to propose to his fair lass. But love is a cruel mistress; one moment your getting handed an engagement ring and the next your being dumped into a hallway so the Gang can avoid those pesky questions from the police that come when you're found with a dead hooker. The image alone was priceless, and the Roy Orbison classic playing over their sloppy disposal job saw to it that the episode went out with a laugh.
Despite a big miss with Frank and Charlie's misadventure, Sunny turned in an episode with some unbelievably funny moments. “Frank's Pretty Woman” began the new season off right, and Fat Mac alone is worth sticking around for. But if the coming episodes can also produce as many highs as this one, than the new season should match the brilliance they reached last year.