After a week at the shore and the charming little cluster that was Frank’s beauty pageant, it seems that Sunny has decided to step off the gas a little in its fourth episode with a pace that felt more relaxed than the previous three episodes this season. You know, the relaxing casual nature of a baby funeral? While the prior were mostly outstanding (with the premier being a rung or two below), I cherish the opportunity to take a deep breath, watch the gang be idiots in their own bar, and not have to write-up a 30-minute sitcom episode that has more going on than the Iliad.
Two stories share equal time in “Sweet Dee Gets Audited”: Dee needs to prove she has a baby to the IRS, and the balance of the crew pursues a more orderly manner of conducting the bar business. Even when they reach their fever pitch, both stories come no closer than tangential to one another, offering some hilarious throwaway gags in the absence of any real plot in this episode besides the whole “Dee better produce a baby for the IRS” affair.
The cold open begins with Charlie revealing that he is putting rocks in the urinals because the ice machine is broken. (An aside: I understand Paddy’s is a crappy bar, but come on, there has to be an ice machine.) Then the ceiling leaks on to Dennis’ face, causing everyone to wonder what Frank is doing with the money earmarked for repairs.
Without spending too much time rehashing what is essentially a great excuse for the boys to do some batshit crazy things for no particular reason, here’s a breakdown of what these dueling plotlines boil down to:
The gang lobbies for a democracy among the bar owners, which Frank shoots down because they get too emotional and angry about everything. Unsurprisingly, Mac and Charlie spend the rest of the episode getting really emotional about stupid things like the dead dog in the alley and whether or not there should be a crucifix in the bar (Mac says yes, Charlie says no), how large the crucifix should be (Charlie says small, Mac says enormous), and how much blood should be on the crucifix (Charlie says not much, Mac says tons). Sure the whole arc is a gag to get them to argue, but I’m pretty fine with that after the past few plot-driven episodes.
Frank, to no one’s surprise, admits he’s embezzling from the bar, using accounts with fake vendors like Wolf Cola to hide money.
Mac and Charlie try to keep emotion out of their argument of what to do with the dead alley dog and end up sounding like kids with head wounds giving book reports.
Dee spends most of the episode sweating (literally) her confrontation with the IRS, stuck with having to produce sweet baby Barnabus in order to support her deductions. Realizing that she has to produce a baby by 3 PM, she turns to Mac and Charlie for help, who insist that such a request will be no problem.
It’s unclear why they are still courting Dee’s lime vote, considering Charlie wants big and Mac wants small, but for some reason they continue working in tandem to get Dee her “baby.”
Realizing that she can’t produce a baby for the IRS, Dennis suggests that rather than try to prove the baby is alive, that Dee prove it’s dead.
With a baby funeral.
For a fake baby.
It doesn’t really pop in the context of the show, but it’s hard to imagine anything more dark or twisted than a funeral for a fake baby. It’s also a testament to Sunny that they can incorporate it into the show with not so much as a raised eyebrow. It’s only in retelling the scene that I realize how completely morally bankrupt it is.
Caitlin Olsen’s physical comedy chops once again rate an A+ during her attempted fake eulogy with real chili pepper in her eyes. I don’t believe she’s actually in pain, but she does make me laugh.
The baby is revealed to be the dead alley dog, Dee is up shit creek without a paddle, and the gang unanimously agrees to go back to the old, chaotic way of doing things. This begs the question, “What’s to become of Dee and her IRS problems?”
Next week, my children. Next week.
I started this list thinking that there wouldn’t be much to report, but the casual nature of this episode lent itself to lots of great throwaway gags that certainly warrant mentioning.