We seem to be awash in sitcom Halloween episodes this year but I'll take it, especially when they're as brilliant as Sunny this week. Using a Rashamon structure through flashbacks as the gang tries to piece together a drunken party (sort of like the "Who Pooped the Bed" episode) was a clever take on Halloween, with costume-switching and everyone's varying degrees of self-aggrandizement keeping the repeated flashbacks fresh and funny. Plus, it explored a question I've often pondered — what if one of the gang had sex with Dee? And what if, gulp, it turned out to be Dennis?
From the start I was figuring it had to turn out to be Dennis who knocked Dee up, because Sunny exists to shock and that's pretty much the only direction they could pick (except for Frank, but I don't think that would even be allowed on basic cable). So that's why I'm almost grateful about the fakeout at the end where it turns out to be none of them, even though that might piss off some fans, because after the hilarity of seeing Dennis' disgust, I dunno where they would have gone with it. Either Dee has to have an abortion (which is tricky to make funny) or she gives birth to a horrifying Reynolds spawn.
But really, the reveal wasn't even half the fun. Watching the mystery unfold through repeated flashbacks, each slightly tweaked from the last, was really clever and hilarious for a show that rarely plays with time this way. By far the best costume was of course Dee's, not because she was being a sexy angel but because of the gang's incredulity that she would wear wings in front of them. In case we forgot, there was a barrage of jokes in the cold open where the gang notes that Dee's so fat, the jokes don't even apply anymore. "That's cause I'm pregnant," she retorts. "I feel like you say that all the time now!" says Mac, before adding, "We don't care about you, or your body, or that baby bird you're carrying around inside of you."
As the flashbacks progressed, Dee became more and more birdlike until the wonderful, wonderful sight gag of Mac talking to a monotonous, squawking ostrich. I like to imagine that's how Mac always perceives Dee. Of the costumes, Mac's was probably the least hilarious (except for his pronunciation of "Vigio Morenstein") but I liked how it screwed up Dennis' Luigi outfit (he's really perfect for Luigi cause he's tall and skinny!) and how he shouted "MORENSTEIN!" when punching a woman in the face.
The recollections of the bar fight, which started with Charlie punching the Waitress' date and them then making out and concluded with Mac shoving Charlie and punching a woman in the face (and Artemis making out with Charlie) was another great example of flashback-degradation concluding with a shocking sight gag. I liked the little things, like how Dee complemented Charlie's costume the first time around and the last time told him to buzz off (to which he quickly, drunkenly assented). Lots of little hints were thrown in to make us think maybe Dee went for Mac or Charlie at various times, just to keep things interesting, and I appreciated that!
"Who Got Dee Pregnant?" also made excellent and sparing use of three of the show's recurring characters — the Waitress shows up but isn't humiliated anew (which would have been a little stale), Artemis' food-sex addiction is repeatedly mentioned to the disgust of everyone ("She incorporated a bun in the lovemaking…she took the dough and rolled it into a ball") and the McPoyles, who can be funny but can also be distracting, didn't dominate the plot too much but were amusingly creepy. Their final confrontation with the gang was the best part, especially Liam's guttural command of "YOU WILL CALL HERRRR" and then asking Dennis not to flush after he vomits.
But still, reflecting again, I'm glad Dee didn't end up hooking up with any of the gang. It feels like a line the show should try and avoid crossing because it'll only be funny once, so while Kaitlin Olson's real-life pregnancy (Mac, in fact, DID get her pregnant) seemed as good an opportunity as any to do it, the show would have had real trouble taking the plot further. And we can still speculate as to who got Dee pregnant! I'm hoping it's Cricket. But obviously the gang doesn't care, in the final extended take where they go right back to mocking her after they find out they weren't involved.
Everyone's very into Mac's coining of the phrase "browned out." "Let's put all our browns together, mash it together, and try and find out which one of you idiots banged my sister."
Charlie thinks the Phantom is a vampire. "He eats theater people!" "No, he doesn't." "I think he might."
"I don't remember most evenings," drawls Artemis. Loved the repeated cutaways to the shaking dumpster.
"I had douchebag blood all over my knuckles…"
Dee getting the peacock costume was pretty awesome. "The second great thing for you is I'm not going to beat the shit out of you."
Also: if Dee and Dennis were in the office but weren't having sex, what WERE they doing? Maybe an out for the writers in case they want to make Dennis the dad later?
"Okay, Dee, we're out of here, you look like a turkey!"