I know what you’re thinking, and no, unfortunately season 12 episode six “Being Frank” does not explain the Russian hats that Frank and Charlie were wearing throughout episode five. Now that I’ve likely lost about 2/3rds of my readers with that last sentence, we can continue.
I’m aware that I’ve missed reviewing the last few episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s been a combination of not having seen them when they’ve aired, being away from my computer/my house when watching them, or being preoccupied with writing elsewhere.
But shit am I glad that I caught episode six, “Being Frank.” The episode continues the trend set forth by the first five episodes of getting better each week. From the first scene it was obvious that this was going to be another atypical production, opening with a shot of Frank/Charlie’s bed from the point of view of the former.
The episode quickly into the continuing degradation of Frank’s mental state as he struggles to recall Dennis’s name. Caught up struggling to remember the name of his sort-of-son, Frank realizes he couldn’t keep up with the outline of the gang’s newest plan they had just gone over, leaving him on the outside looking in.
The episode is again reminiscent of “Charlie Work” as we follow one character’s outside view (for different reasons) of one of the gang’s insane plots. Instead of battling an admittedly strict health inspector like Charlie did, Frank instead battles groups of pedophile beaters, unknown drugs and his own mental health.
Season 12 has, so far, seen the production value of each episode increase exponentially as the team of Howerton, McElhenney and Day push the limits of what they’re willing to do. Despite featuring a few callbacks to previous episodes, “Being Frank” showed the strides that they’ve taken by changing the standard layout of “open at bar with gang thinking of new plot” that worked for seasons one through 11. The death of a recurring character and the very near death of another shows that they aren’t afraid to kill people off when necessary, minus Cricket, who seems to be invincible to some degree.
If nothing else, an entire episode from the point of view of Frank Reynolds’s insane, decrepit, ever-failing mind episode leaves you wondering what exactly Frank is thinking in every other scene of every other episode. The final scene serves to wrap the episode up well while simultaneously giving a brief, yet much-needed look into “Night Crawlers,” in a never before seen slightly touching moment brought to you by Frank and Charlie.
Overall Grade: B+