TV Club: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: “Psycho Pete Returns”

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia continually keeps viewer empathy off balance. It’s tempting to attribute the Gang’s present awfulness to their past history of abuse and humiliation, especially when we learn more and more about their childhoods and, most pertinent to tonight’s episode “Psycho Pete Returns,” their high school years.

As revealed most tellingly in the season seven finale, “The High School Reunion”/”The High School Reunion Part 2: The Gang’s Revenge,” that cauldron of adolescent cruelty forged Dennis, Dee, Charlie, and Mac inextricably into the codependent nexus of self-loathing and denial that’s run roughshod over unsuspecting Philadelphians for nigh on a decade now.

But, with customary Sunny rigor, all of the crushing defeats of their high school years—Dee’s back brace, Charlie’s status as spider-eating carnival geek, Dennis delusions of “golden god” popularity, Mac’s barely tolerated pot dealer utility—partially …

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