‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ recap: The gang runs scams, fears urine in ‘The Gang Goes to a Waterpark’

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Charlie Day (left) and Danny DeVito (right) appear in “The Gang Goes to a Waterpark,” the second episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s’ 12th season.

After a particularly shocking season premiere last week, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returned to FXX Wednesday with something a little more leisurely: A trip to the waterpark.

Dubbed “The Gang Goes to a Waterpark,” It’s Always Sunny’s second episode of season 12 takes the Gang to “AquaMania Pennsylvania,” a fictional Philly waterpark. There, Dee (Kaitlyn Olson) and Mac (Rob McElhenney) hope to avoid urine in the pool, while Charlie (Charlie Day) and Frank (Danny DeVito) have their hearts set on riding every ride, and Dennis (Glenn Howerton) looks to enjoy “hot food, cold beer, and bikinied women seeking relief from the insufferable prison of motherhood.”

The episode opens at 9:58 a.m. on a Saturday as the Gang waits near the front of the line to enter AquaMania. Charlie, dressed in a wetsuit and swimming cap, explains his getup to the Gang, saying that “its an issue of aerodynamics” as to whether he and Frank can hit every ride in the park in one day.

“The brochure says three days,” Frank says. “We’re saying b------- to that. One day.”

Dee notes that after 10 minutes “every slide’s basically a urine delivery system,” so to avoid that element of waterpark enjoyment, she and Mac decide to “bomb down it once” and “sit by the pool the rest of the day, disease free.”

Dennis informs Mac that the pool is “already infested with every parasite on the planet,” and relays his plans to scam on some dissatisfied mothers in the park.

The gates to AquaMania open, and Mac enters free-of-charge thanks to a laminated wristband from the park he has had since the '90s. Before going in, Mac warns the rest of the Gang to not sit on the pool drains with the story of a girl who had to chew through her own intestines to get free from the pool after being trapped there back in 1996.

Dee and Mac make a beeline to the “Kiddie Twister,” their favorite ride, but are told by park employee Angel that they are too tall to ride. The pair blow him off, and after Dee tests the ride’s water for urine, the two take a trip down despite warning from Angel.

Mac, however, becomes stuck in the slide as Dee takes her turn. Both become stuck, and before long, a heavy young boy who we later find out is named Sherman also takes a ride and becomes stuck along with Dee and Mac.

Charlie and Frank, meanwhile, wait in line at another ride, their first of the day. As they discuss their plan (Charlie “can’t ever tell which way is north on a map”), a young, frail looking boy named Ethan cuts to the front of a line with his caregiver. The caregiver explains the Ethan has leukemia and is at the part with a special group, which gives him front-of-line access, which seems to give Frank and Charlie an idea.

The episode then immediately cuts to a shirtless Frank cutting through a line with Charlie in tow. Yelling “AIDS! I got AIDS, we’re coming through,” Frank and Charlie cut through the line, with Charlie playing the part of his doctor.

“I’m his doctor,” Charlie tells the line. “My patient’s got to get to the front of the line because he has AIDS. He got it from a gay guy in the '80s.”

Frank maintains that he is not gay, and notes that “there’s no good AIDS,” but “this is not the gay AIDS.” With that, the plan appears to be going off without a hitch.

Dennis, meanwhile, lounges alone by a pool area filled with kids. As an older woman attempts to flirt with him, Dennis waves her back down with a Jedi hand wave in order to go speak with a young, blonde mother nearby.

As Dennis tells the woman he has a daughter (which we know isn’t true), a young girl identifying herself as Abby (Jayden Bartels) approaches and asks Dennis for $20 while calling him “Daddy.” Admiring what he recognizes as a scam, Dennis coughs up $20 and blows off the woman he was interested to find Abby, telling the older woman “I’m done with you, try and keep up.”

Mac and Dee continue to be wedged in the Kiddie Twister as more and more kids pile on. Dee realizes Mac’s wristband, which is stuck on the slide, may be holding them up and asks him to rip it. Frustrated, Mac tells Dee that “it’s triple laminated, it’s not just going to rip.”

Sherman, the heavy young kid stuck in the tube with Mac and Dee, pees in the slide, setting off Dee. After complaining about the sun shining in her face, Dee realizes she can pass kids over the top of the pileup to lighten the load. They send one child down the slide, but not before Mac warns him about the dangers of pool drains.

“No matter how alluring it is, do not put your genitals or your butthole near the pool drain,” Mac tells the kid. Dee, meanwhile tells Mac to stop talking to little kids about their buttholes before sending down a second kid.

Dennis continues his search for Abby, finding her in trouble with a security guard for shoplifting sunglasses at a waterpark gift shop. Dennis introduces himself as “Officer Dennis Reynolds” and gets Abby off the hook, all while stealing the sunglasses Abby was caught stealing. With that, the two form a partnership.

“I see the road you’re heading down,” Dennis tells Abby. “The lying, the stealing — all of it. And as somebody who’s been down that road, let me tell you something: You’ve got real talent.”

The pair then start a string of scams at the waterpark, beginning with Dennis taking a woman’s clutch off a table, only to have Abby later return it for a reward.

Across the park, Charlie and Frank continue their own successful scam, though with some more theater now. Frank appears to have lesions on his shoulders and chest to drum up the AIDS angle, and we later find out that they are hickeys that Charlie made (“sucked on ‘em,” as Charlie puts it).

A montage then shows how each member of the Gang’s day is progressing. Dennis and Abby defraud the park’s lost and found for items like a DSLR camera, gold chains, and a watch while Charlie and Frank continue their AIDS line-butting scheme. Mac and Dee, sadly, remain trapped in their favorite ride.

After the montage, we join Frank and Charlie, who have completed every ride listed on the AquaMania map — a fact that they rub in the face of Ethan, who happens to pass by with his caregiver.

“Suck on that, river rat,” Frank tells the sick child.

Frank and Charlie then notice a waterslide not listed on the map, which an employee tells them is the “Thunder Gun Express.” It’s Always Sunny fans may remember that name as the title of the 11th episode of the show’s seventh season, which had the Gang running all over Philly to see the Thunder Gun Express movie (Mac steals a motorcycle, Charlie and Dee take to the sewers, and Frank hijacks a tour boat).

As huge fans of the film, Frank and Charlie decide they have to give it a spin — even if the ride isn’t open yet.

“No hesitation. No surrender. No man left behind,” Charlie says, imitating a movie preview narrator. “We’ve got to get to the top of that slide.”

Dee and Mac still have gotten nowhere in their slide jam, and Dee, though she is against it, tells Mac that she can’t hold her urine any more, and pees on his shoulder. Mac, who is maybe not as bothered as he could be, admits that he peed as soon as he got on the slide. Sherman says he did, too.

Mac then has a lightbulb moment, and realizes that Sherman could chew through his wristband like the girl from 1996 who “chewed through her prolapsed anus and chewed herself to freedom.” With that, Sherman agrees to give it a try.

The episode then cuts to Dennis and Abby, who is shooting her scam instructor with a water gun that she got from a boy who she promised a kiss. The day has come to an end for Abby, who must go home with her mom, which enrages Dennis. Especially considering Abby indicates her mother is the older woman from earlier in the episode who Dennis used his Jedi hand wave on.

“That makes me mad,” Dennis tells Abby. “A genius whose fate is controlled by an idiot.”

He confronts the woman about Abby, telling her that Abby is a special, gifted girl who “should be treasured.” The woman has no idea what Dennis is talking about, and Dennis realizes that the student has become the master. In a slow motion flashback, Dennis remembers that Abby stole the key to his storage locker in the park when giving him the water gun she stole.

He lays the woman down with another hand wave, and sets off to find Abby.

Charlie and Frank have by now made their way to the top of the Thunder Gun Express, with Frank taken so aback by the beauty that he says “they should have sent a poet.”

After Charlie pours a single bottle of water down the slide for lubrication, he tells Frank to go first because he “pulled off the AIDS thing.” Frank obliges, and goes down the slide with no shirt on.

As he slides down yelling “it burns,” a slight smoke effect can be seen traveling down the slide. Frank lands at the bottom, his battered back forming a pool of blood in the water.

A little boy points an tells, “That guy has AIDS,” setting off a stampede away from the pool as a lifeguard calmly directs the traffic.

“AIDS, everybody out,” he says while reading a magazine.

At that moment, Sherman appears to have chewed through Mac’s wristband, with Dee, Mac, and a gaggle of kids hitting the pool as the cloud of blood turns the water red. Unaware of Charlie and Frank’s scam, Dee hears that the blood came from someone with AIDS and begins to have a meltdown.

Mac, however, is a little more relaxed. After landing in the pool, he dives under water to find a pool drain, and can’t resist the urge to have a seat.

Not heeding his own advice, Mac takes a seat on the pool drain, with an angelic, peaceful smile taking over his face to end the episode.

The next episode of It’s Always Sunny, “Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy,” airs Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 10 p.m. on FXX.