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'Two and a Half Men' fan recap: The wrath of Ms. McMartin

Season 12 | Episode 12 | “A Beer-Battered Rip-Off” | Aired Jan 29, 2014

It was bound to happen. The Alan we’ve all grown to know and love on Two and a Half Men has yet again found a way to inadvertently wreak havoc on those around him. Once Alan began to date Ms. McMartin, their social worker—who is actually being very cool about Walden and Alan’s secret—it was obvious that things would go awry sooner than later.

The episode starts out with Ms. McMartin telling Walden that they are ready to begin the process of officially adopting Louis. But before they can go any further, she puts her foot down and says they have to tell Louis they aren’t really gay. Alan says he’s relieved that they can finally give up the charade, right before he compliments her on her “fierce” blouse. They break the news to Louis, but strangely it happens off screen. We only know about it because Berta mentions it to Alan in the next scene.

Lyndsey arrives with a box full of Alan’s old things, including a boombox with one of his mix CDs. “Mambo No. 5” leads to a cringe-worthy Alan-dance. Seriously, Alan dancing to “Mambo No. 5” is a hard visual to process.

Anyway, that’s not all Lyndsey was there for; apparently, she wants to move away and start fresh after recovering from her alcohol problem. Alan doesn’t really know how to feel about it, but they hug it out. They hang on for a bit too long, and before you know it, they are making love to Lou Bega’s hit song. Alan tells Lyndsey he wants to give them another chance. He even lies to her, saying he’s not seeing anyone else, just to get her to stick around. She says she has to take some time to think about it.

Walden sees Lyndsey walk out of Alan’s room and immediately knows what’s up. Alan tells Walden he wants to give his relationship with Lyndsey another shot, that he and Ms. McMartin aren’t serious, and that he’ll break it off. Walden is worried, and rightly so, that Ms. McMartin won’t like getting dumped. At dinner, Alan is three seconds into the breakup speech before Ms. McMartin snaps back, surprised and a bit insulted. She blames herself for getting involved, and Alan tells her she dodged a middle-age, lactose-intolerant bullet.

A storm hits in the middle of the night and the doorbell rings multiple times, waking both Walden and Alan to see what the trouble is. The trouble is a soaked, mascara-running, hate-filled Ms. McMartin at their door. “Surprise! It’s inspection time,” she says, as the guys react in horror. She finds a boatload of safety issues with the house and is obviously using her power to get back at Alan. Alan believes he can smooth things over, but Walden forbids him from seeing her: He’s afraid he’ll dig an even deeper hole because she still doesn’t even know about Lyndsey.

Instead, Alan goes to lunch with Lyndsey to a restaurant an hour’s drive away. Just as Lyndsey tells Alan she’ll stay and give their relationship another chance, guess who shows up? Like a terrifying horror movie, Ms. McMartin actually followed Alan all the way to his lunch date and finds out about Lyndsey. Needless to say, both Ms. McMartin and Lyndsey do not leave happy, and Alan’s shirt does not go unsplashed with wine.

Alan breaks the news to Walden, telling him that Ms. McMartin has gone crazy. “No. She hasn’t gone crazy. You drove her crazy! You make people crazy!” he shouts. Alan says he’ll fix this, and Walden loses it. Outside, he shouts to the masses not to worry—”Alan is gonna fix everything!”—and throws all of the chairs off the balcony. “Maybe I do make people crazy,” Alan realizes.

Walden shows up at Ms. McMartin’s apartment to apologize and try to fix things himself. He’s worried that she’ll take it out on Walden and Louis. She tells him not to worry; she won’t let her anger prevent a child from being placed in a good home. Relieved, Walden says he never knew how much another person could mean to him. Ms. McMartin cries because she doesn’t have that for herself. He tries to comfort her and tells her she’s way too pretty for Alan. They end up in the bedroom, where Walden looks like he realizes he’s made a grave mistake. Ms. McMartin sure looks happy, though!

At the end of the episode, Alan pulls a “Say Anything” boombox move using “Mambo No. 5” to win back Lyndsey’s heart.

Two and a Half Thoughts

  • It was odd that they didn’t show the guys telling Louis they weren’t gay. There was so much importance put on it from Ms. McMartin, only for it to only be mentioned in passing.
  • Ms. McMartin and Walden together was less expected after she hooked up with Alan.
  • Lyndsey and Alan were made for each other.

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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