It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 8 Review “Charlie Rules the World”

Things got a bit meta on the latest episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” mysteriously entitled “Charlie Rules the World.” As it turned out, the “world” in question was a virtual one, courtesy of an online game Dee was playing which she enlisted Charlie’s help with. Dennis laughed mercilessly at the thought.

Charlie: “I can go places, I can do things. I might even rule the world one day.”
Dennis: “If that happens, I’ll blow myself.”

Be careful what you ask for, Dennis. As it turned out, Charlie had quite the affinity for online gaming, and in no time had joined forces with Dee, aka “Zinging Cutie 23.” Redubbing himself the King and drafting Dee as his Queen, Charlie took to the game like a fish to water. (Dee had amusingly assigned less-than-flattering screen roles to her gang: Charlie was a Court Jester; Mac was a handmaiden; Dennis was a midget blacksmith; and Frank was a “mutant half-donkey.”)

Of course, first the unholy alliance had to consummate their relationship, which Charlie clearly enjoyed a little more than he should have: “So, push enter hard, or like, slooooow push and you do your thing- or maybe a little circular action…?”

In no time, they were laying waste to the kingdom’s realm, in particular the gang, or as Mac lamented: “She’s humiliating us virtually!” No amount of “Mac Attack” was helping, and the poor guy was inevitably left a “soiled fool,” no matter how strong and tall he made his avatar.

Dee was in no time lording it over her kingdom, dressing in furs (Frank, poking fun at said furs: “Where are your 101 Dalmatians tonight?”) and having her nails done up ridiculously: “I had these done like Flo-Jo!”

In turn, Charlie became a victim of his own skills: “I’m doing good in the game,” he declared, “so I’m doing good in life!” He blows a golden opportunity with an unexpectedly pretty girl (Cheryl Lynn Bowers) he met online, using the meeting to defeat her character while they talk, resulting in him getting slush-ied, a la the kids on “Glee.”

Dennis, who could care less about these virtual high-jinks, just wanted to dance, even if he ended up dancing alone. Or doing one too many shots and projectile vomiting. (If that was CGI, and it all but had to be…well-done!) Later, he took the guys back to the house for some recreational viewing of his past conquests, via sex tape. (Um, eew.)

Dennis: “I drew her in, I styled her hair. I entered her with almost no resistance.”
(How hilarious was the look on the girl in the video’s face as she reacted to Dennis? Best non-verbal work on the entire series, quite possibly ever. Kudos to you, dear lady, whoever you may be.)

Leave it to Frank to get all meta on Dennis: “We don’t even know if we’re in this room. We could be a turtle’s dream from outer space.”

This led Dennis to an ad-hoc existential crisis. He took himself to a mall, pleading for some sort of contact: “Anyone want to experience this? Anyone want to experience me?”

Finally, Dennis ended up, of all places, in a sensory deprivation chamber, a la “Fringe” or “Altered States.” As Charlie was ruling the virtual world, Dennis got in touch with his inner me, and then some. Turns out Dennis’ inner self was a British hairdresser that was his virtual twin, as it were. True to his word, he ended up doing what he promised to do in the teaser if Charlie did, in fact, rule the world. Can I get another “eew”?

Understandably, the gang wasn’t sure where to go from there, leading to this final exchange.
Frank: “You unplugged reality?”
Dennis: “That’s life. That’s just sort of how shit goes. Sometimes things just sort of end.”

With that, the episode itself ended, but not before we got a glimpse over the credits of the aforementioned “space turtle,” as well as a link to a website tie-in that I’ll leave for you to explore. Ah, “Sunny,” truly the gift that keeps on giving.

To be honest, “Charlie Rules the World” was definitely a lesser episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” but it was still pretty fun, if it wasn’t necessarily hilarious on the whole. Some of the meta-imagery, particularly in the videogame and in Dennis’ mind’s eye (or whatever) was amusing, if not LOL funny. That extra in Dennis’ sex tape was nearly worth the price of admission, though, I’ll give them that much!

What did you think? Should they lay off the “concept” episodes like this one and the Halloween one? I mean I adored “The Nightman Cometh” as much as any “IASIP” fan, but that was actually funny- something those episodes this season weren’t, really. Let me know what you think in the comments!