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'Two and a Half Men' recap: It takes a village, people

Season 12 | Episode 4 | “Thirty-Eight, Sixty-Two, Thirty-Eight” | Aired Nov 20, 2014

So now that the boys are approved for adoption, the journey to parenthood begins. The fourth episode of Two and a Half Men starts with Walden, fresh from getting approval, wearing a construction hat in the kitchen and frantically baby-proofing the house.

The social worker will be coming by the house to inspect it and make sure it’s safe for a baby; Walden, being who he is, overdoes it. All the cabinets are locked up, there’s padding all over every table corner, and even the towel drawer is locked. When a hungover Berta asks about the towel drawer, Walden explains that it’s “the first step on the stairway to disaster,” and spins a hypothetical scenario that ends with the baby being saved by a shirtless, heroic Matthew McConaughey. Walden does a terrible “All right, all right, all right” impression, but he does spill coffee on himself and has to take off his shirt.

The social worker drops by and is impressed at how safe the house is. She also tells mentions that a birth mother, Kathy (Alessandra Torresani), liked their profile and might be a potential match.

Kathy is gorgeous, so of course Alan is having trouble pretending to be gay—but doesn’t go down the full I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry path. Kathy’s pregnancy is the result of a spring break trip to Vegas, to which Alan responds, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Kathy.” When Kathy asks why they want to adopt, Alan sweetly explains how raising Jake was one of the greatest experiences of his life and how he wants Walden to feel that same joy.

Even though it was part of the act, hearing Alan say that actually felt genuine, and it was a refreshing reminder that Alan has a life experience that Walden doesn’t share. Kathy decides that Alley Cat and Wally Bear would make great dads, declaring, “I’ve made up my mind, I want you to have my baby.” Alan excitedly responds, “Oh my God, you did not just say that, you bitch!”

The happy couple celebrate by having Barry, Larry, and Herb over for beers in baby bottles. The trio are obviously out of the loop: they have trouble getting over the fact that Walden is gay, and Larry—a straight-up nincompoop—believes technology is to thank for two men being able to have a kid. Walden and Alan fill them in on the secret as it begins to dawn on Walden that he’s finally going to become a father. He promptly thanks Alan for being his test baby by being incapable of being able to take care of himself. The phone rings and they learn Kathy is in labor, so the gang rushes to the hospital.

While looking through the window into the nursery, Walden thanks the guys for coming along but tells them they don’t have to stay. Larry says, “Are you kidding? We want to be here. You know what they say, to raise a child it takes the Village People.” Barry asks Walden and Alan if they’ve thought of a name yet. Walden is cautious because he doesn’t want to choose one that can be mocked easily. Barry enlightens him by saying that all names can be ridiculed. Barry and Larry were both called fairies, Alan was “Anal Harper,” and Herb just got his head dunked in the toilet for being named Herb.

The nurse arrives to congratulate the couple on having a healthy baby boy. Naturally freaking out, they enter Kathy’s hospital room to visit her and the baby. Walden has a tender moment with the baby, telling him about all the adventures they’ll be sharing, including “picking up chi … ckens together,” while Kathy is still in the room. Walden give him back to Kathy to be fed, and says, “I miss him already.” Kathy somberly replies, “Yeah, it’s hard to let him go.” She looks Walden in the eyes and adds, “Actually, it’s impossible.”

Kathy feels terrible about putting them through this, and while Walden looks broken, he is surprisingly understanding about it. “I wouldn’t be able to give him up, either—I don’t blame you,” he says. He tells Kathy that they are lucky to have each other as Alan and Walden, disappointed, walk out of the room.

Two and a Half Men airs Thursdays at 9/8C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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