**Spoiler Alert** The content of this article contains spoilers for Season 10, episode 3 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If you do not wish to learn plot information about the episode, do not continue reading.
If you are a big fan of the show, you may recall the two-part season 7 finale when the gang attends their high school reunion. It was revealed that the guys used to hang out with a character named Psycho Pete, a man who allegedly murdered and ate his family. After being victimized by several bully attacks reminiscent of their real high school days, the gang goes on a mission to find Psycho Pete, an integral member of the “freight train,” to fight back against their enemies. Unfortunately, we find out that Psycho Pete was institutionalized at the time of the reunion so we never got the chance to meet him.
Sunny has featured cameo appearances from some very funny actors including Seann William Scott (Country Mac) and Jason Sudeikis (Schmitty). When I learned that this episode was titled “Psycho Pete Returns,” I had high expectations that were not met. After two seasons of waiting for Psycho Pete, I figured the show would get somebody well known who can make a crazy character funny. Matthew McConaughey and Danny McBride came to mind, probably because I’m a huge fan of Eastbound & Down. Nonetheless, there are a number of actors (Aaron Paul has been rumored) that could have stepped in and made the character work.
Instead, the show went a different direction by casting Dominic Burgess as Psycho Pete and everything we’ve been led to believe about the character is inaccurate. He is not a high-energy personality with “crazy eyes” (which is the impression I was given), but a reserved, quiet man who is trying to right the wrongs in his life. We discover that Pete returns from being institutionalized not because he murdered his family but because he dealt with serious mental health issues. At this point in the episode, I was struggling to find the laughs but I was confident the gang from Sunny was going somewhere with the plot.
I started to smile a bit when it was revealed that Charlie, Mac, and Dennis were responsible for messing up his life so badly. Apparently they spread horrible rumors about Pete that led him to a challenging life where it was difficult to maintain any relationships. Instead of assuming responsibility and offering Pete a helping hand, they quietly slipped out of the bar and let him drink on his own. This was a good use of dark humor and the gang’s selfish attitudes.
I’m sorry to say that I did not enjoy this episode all that much, but there are still laughs in terms of how they deal with Pete’s situation. Dennis and Dee were fixated on reinstating him to the hospital whereas Charlie and Mac wanted him to get back to his hardcore partying ways, times of which are warped in their minds and remembered incorrectly. My favorite part comes when we get the season’s first glance at Rickety Cricket, the former priest who looks progressively worse as more time passes. This episode reveals that Cricks was horribly burned at the season 9 finale when the gang tries to squash their beefs and instead lock people inside their apartment as a money fire was left ablaze.
I’m looking forward to what the gang has in store next as I seemed to have missed the “freight” train this time around.