It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 16 Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Gang Gets Cursed

Episode 3 of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 16 begins at Paddy’s Bar where Mac reads out an email from the showrunners of Bar Rescue who are interested in filming an episode of their show at Paddy’s.

Mac explains to the gang that he has been sending a letter to the programme-makers every week since the show started. The others are worried the show will make them look like jerks. Mac is more enthusiastic as he thinks their luck has turned around. 

Later, we see them getting ready for the show. Strange things are happening. Dennis can’t remember simple words and Dee’s face has become deformed, two signs that all is not going to go well should filming of the episode begin. When Frank discovers his egg is all bloody, Charlie decides this run of bad luck is because somebody has placed a curse on them.

Charlie asks the gang if they know of anybody who could have cursed them. Dee wonders if it might be her neighbour (played by Rhea Perlman), who called round to her apartment to ask her to keep the noise down. Dee rewarded her with a large trophy with the words “C**t Of The Year” written on it. “Bad things are going to happen to you one day” promised the neighbour as Dee slammed the door in her face.

The gang aren’t sure if the neighbour is the one who cursed them as they call old ladies c***s all the time. Dennis is more concerned Dee gave the trophy away as they all worked very hard on it.

Charlie has another reason as to why they might be cursed. He then tells a story about Frank killing a seagull that flew into the bar. It’s bad luck to kill a seabird, according to Charlie. 

Charlie continues with his theories about the curse. The next one is related to a conversation between Mac and Cricket. When Mac turned on Cricket and called him”street trash,” the guy put a curse on him.

To get rid of the curse, Charlie suggests they all need to make amends. This begins with Dee who, with Dennis, goes to visit her neighbour. When the woman opens her door, Dennis forgets simple words again and then sees a black cat run from the old lady’s apartment. As Charlie explained to them earlier, a black cat is a bad omen! Dee spits over her shoulder in response to the cat (to take away any bad luck) and accidentally hits the woman with her spittle. 

Dennis asks the woman if she has a black cat. Apparently, she did, but according to her, the cat, whose name was Maureen, had been dead for years. Dennis is startled by this news as he was once married to a now dead woman named Maureen (Maureen Ponderosa, who in a previous episode identified herself as a cat), although he mixes up the word ‘married’ with ‘murdered’ when he first announces this. 

We cut to Mac and Cricket in the van. Mac presents Cricket with a case of beer, although he has already drunk some of them. After Cricket lifts the curse, Mac reveals a monkey’s paw, which Mac thinks brings good luck. Quite where he got the paw from, we don’t know at this stage.

Following this, Mac meets up with Chase Utley, a former baseball player, who once sent Mac a video of himself reading out a letter Mac had sent to him. Mac surprises Chase with the video, as the guy thought it was a kid who had sent the letter. The meeting goes badly as Mac forgets how to speak coherently and then tells Chase it was his dying son who sent the letter. 

In the next scene, Charlie is at his mom’s house with Frank. His Uncle Jack is there as it’s his birthday and his mom thinks Charlie remembered his invite. As it happens, Charlie only visited his mom to pick her brains about the seagull. While eating cake, he asks his mom if killing a seagull could instigate a curse. She tells him it can and that one way to lift the curse is to cut Frank’s throat. Alternatively, they could give the seagull a proper burial, which is a much better suggestion.

Back at the bar, Dennis brings out an urn containing Maureen Ponderosa’s ashes. Dee considers it a souvenir for the murder, implying that Dennis could have killed his former wife. Dennis denies this and tells the others he kept the ashes to spite her, as she wanted to be buried in a pet cemetery. Charlie suggests his denying her last wishes could have led to the curse.

While they are arguing, Mac arrives with Cricket and a homeless young guy that Cricket is pimping out. Mac was going to hire the guy to be his dying son for another meeting with Chase. When the young man leaves after being given drugs by Cricket, Mac reveals where he got the monkey’s paw from. He took the paw from a dead monkey that he found behind some beer kegs at the bar! Dennis assumes this is the monkey that once worked at the bar and robbed them (Season 15: episode 4). 

The episode ends at the pet cemetery where the monkey, seagull, and Maureen have now been buried. Mac is with Chase and is trying to convince him his dead son is buried there. Chase isn’t convinced by the lie and on realizing this, Mac gives in and tells him about the monkey’s paw that he used to bring him good luck. He admits believing in superstitions is silly, but Chase doesn’t agree as baseball players use these to get out of their slumps. He then reminds Mac that actions (like lying) have consequences. As if to prove this, Chase steals the paw and runs away with it,  thinking it will be his ticket into the Hall of Fame. 

The gang arrive on the scene. Dee and Charlie think the curse may have been lifted now that Chase has stolen the paw. Dennis reads something from his phone concerning temporary facial paralysis and brain fog and explains that these conditions can be caused by black mould. We previously learned the bar had mould because of the dead monkey that Mac had never cleaned away, so once again we (and the gang) learn that actions do have consequences. 

Dennis concludes that there was no curse. But when Mac reads out an email from the Bar Rescue team telling him they have rescinded the TV show offer after visiting the bar and finding nobody there, some of them start to believe they have been cursed again. Dennis disagrees with this, just as poor Cricket arrives asking why he has never had good luck. Nobody has a helpful answer!

The Episode Review

The black humour the show is known for is on full display in this episode, with scenes of Frank beating a seagull to death, jokes made about Cricket’s homelessness, mention of a fake dead child, and hints that Dennis may be a killer (something which the show has touched on in the past).

None of this equated to any big laughs due to the uncomfortable nature of these scenes but those familiar with the show may be left satisfied if they enjoy moments where the gang goes dark.

It was good to see Rhea Perlman in this episode but it was a pity she didn’t get to share any scenes with her husband, Frank actor Danny DeVito. It was also good to see Cricket again, even though his presence tinges the show with a little bit of sadness. In one scene, he is prepared to drink a bottle full of pee as he is just glad to have a beverage! 

Season 16 hasn’t had a brilliant run of episodes so far but there is still time to turn things around. It’s not that the first few episodes are unenjoyable but they aren’t as memorable as the series standouts from earlier seasons. 

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You can read our full Season 16 review of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia here



  • (2.5)

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