It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 16 Episode 8 Recap & Review

Dennis Takes a Mental Health Day

Episode 8 of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 16 begins in a doctor’s office with Dennis talking to his doctor about his high blood pressure. Dennis confidently tells his doctor that he can lower his blood pressure on his own, dismissing the medication that is advised to him. 

In the next scene, Dennis is at his apartment syncing his heart rate to his phone. He then gets a call from Charlie, who is with Frank, Mac and Dee, asking if they are above or below sea level. Charlie’s question is related to a pressure cooker he is thinking of buying as he doesn’t want to purchase it if they are under sea level, as it might explode.

The conversation is ridiculous and obviously not good for Dennis’s heart, which itself is likely to explode because of Charlie’s inane questions. When Dennis tells them he is going to take a mental health day, the others want to be a part of his plans. The more they ramble on, the worse Dennis’s blood pressure gets, so he sensibly hangs up on them.

Dennis goes to the car hire place and is offered a TSUMA electric car upgrade. The car is operated by an app instead of keys, which infuriates Dennis and causes his blood pressure to rise. He begins to calm down when he is in the car, which includes automated steering, enabling him to relax. He then plays the song “Listen to your heart” by Roxette using the car’s audio system, which is quite fitting, considering his current condition. 

Dennis’s day continues at a tea shop where his attempts to get a cup of tea without boba (tapioca pearls) backfire when he is told that isn’t possible due to the store’s computer system. He is then told he has to download an app for the order, which causes more stress for Dennis. He asks if he can pay by card instead, which he can, but only if he places a $10 minimum order. The stressed-out Dennis then orders two teas to make up the cost.

When back at the car, he accidentally leaves his phone on top of the vehicle after placing his two teas inside. During his drive, the car gives him a warning about the missing key (phone app). This stresses him out as does a subsequent phone call from the gang who tell him they have eaten his French dip after pressure cooking it. After hanging up on them, he is pulled over by the police for some reason. He is reluctant to step out of the car as he doesn’t have his phone to start it again. 

After getting out of his car and subsequently getting locked out of it, Dennis heads to a tech shop for a new phone. His efforts to get a phone go awry because of the store’s computer system. We then cut to the rest of the gang who are trying to pressure-cook charcoal into diamonds. Dennis needs to speak to Frank to get a pin number for a phone family plan to help him get him a phone but the gang thinks it is a mental health day test from Dennis, so ignore his call. 

Dennis manages to get a phone after remembering his pin number – 6969 – but has trouble connecting it to the hire car. He gets put on hold by the TSUMA call centre that he rings for help and is put through more stress when he is repeatedly told to enter a 17-digit PIN. We then learn this is only one company he is called in a chain of many others in an effort to get put through to somebody who can assist him.

Eventually, Dennis gets through to Daisy, a customer care representative, but loses his cool when she asks for details he has already provided. As his mental health deteriorates, he tracks down TSUMA’s headquarters. He wants to speak to the company boss but is told he isn’t available. Dennis is asked to leave a message at the desk by the receptionist who tells him the boss is currently at his beach house. Dennis, whose destination was the beach, begins to boil over when he hears this news.

We then cut to the beach where the TSUMA boss is relaxing. He is confronted by Dennis who takes the guy’s hand and places it on his chest. Dennis then places his hand on the man’s chest and smiles at him. After the two share a few accommodating glances, we see Dennis’s hand has pushed right through the guy’s chest and to his heart. With a deadly look on his face, Dennis pulls out the heart and crushes it. What’s left from the once-beating organ is a diamond which Dennis consumes. 

Of course, Dennis didn’t really pull out a man’s heart. Every event in this episode has been part of a dream (or meditation) that Dennis used to lower his blood pressure naturally. He tells this to his doctor who wants to know how he was able to pull off such a feat. Dennis then leaves the surgery, feeling relaxed, to visit the gang who have just called him with a query about whether or not they are above sea level. 


The Episode Review

When it comes to season finales, this isn’t one of the series’ best. But by putting Dennis at front and centre, with his escalating stresses, this manages to raise a few laughs as well as a few knowing nods. The experiences Dennis goes through in the episode can be shared by any one of us, from unhelpful call centres to the over-reliance on technology for the everyday things that shouldn’t need an app to manage them. 

We didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the rest of the gang in this episode. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as attention wasn’t taken away from the central premise by lots of different plot points. With a focus on one character, we had a story we could follow, with tighter writing, more laughs, and a well-thought-out social commentary. 

Overall though, Season 16 has been something of a disappointment. While it ends on a high note, it still falls short of earlier, better seasons which contained more laughs and satire than this one did. But while things weren’t ‘always sunny’ this season, time spent with these characters isn’t necessarily wasted. It’s just a shame the writing wasn’t as strong as it had been previously as good actors can only take a series so far.

Previous Episode

 

You can read our full Season 16 review of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia here
  • Episode Rating
    (3)
3

Leave a comment