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'Two and a Half Men' series finale fan recap: The piano drops

Season 12 | Episode 16 | “Of Course He’s Dead,” Parts 1 & 2| Aired Feb 19, 2015

Well, folks, we’ve finally arrived. The series finale of Two and a Half Men marks the end of an era. The show had its faults, especially when Charlie was written out, but I told myself to accept it for what it was as a whole. That said, we definitely went out with a bang. Chock-full of cameos, reprisals, and meta moments, it was almost everything we could have wanted it to be. Almost.

The finale opens with Rose pouring vodka into a sippy cup while singing “So Happy Together” and bringing lunch down into her basement, where there is a pit straight out of Silence of the Lambs. She lowers lunch into the pit and tells the captive that after he eats he can changes his clothes. Then Rose pulls out Charlie’s classic bowling shirt and cargo pants. The camera never cuts to inside the pit, so we don’t actually see Charlie.

At the house, Alan and Walden are digging through mail and Alan finds something addressed to Charlie. Turns out that royalties for his jingles have been stockpiling over the last four years, and $2.5 million need to be claimed by his next of kin, which Alan immediately tries to get. He calls to claim the money, but is told he has to provide Charlie’s death certificate to prove he’s really dead. Alan leaves to see if Evelyn has Charlie’s death certificate, the camera turns to Walden and he breaks the fourth wall, saying, “I can’t wait for this to be over.”

Under the guise of commemorating the anniversary of Charlie’s death, Alan discovers that Evelyn doesn’t have the death certificate, and he immediately leaves. After applying his best Googling efforts, Walden can’t seem to find any record of Charlie’s death. He only finds a “crazy rant about his former employer.” Meta. The guys contemplate the legitimacy of Charlie’s death.

Alan is putting the finishing touches on a fake death certificate when he discovers that someone has already claimed the money and placed it into an account in the Cayman Islands. He also gets a text message that says, “I’m coming home and you’re going to pay.” Alan now believes that Charlie could still be alive. Evelyn, Walden, and Alan visit Jenny to see if it could be she who’s sending the hateful messages, but she receives a check for $100,000 with a message saying, “Buy yourself something nice. Sorry I wasn’t there for you.” Cut to Mia, Chelsea, and Delores Pasternak all separately getting checks in the mail, with apologies ranging from sleeping with their sister to giving their mom chlamydia.

Rose appears at the house and tells them what happened, through a very strange animated sequence that reveals it was actually a billy goat that Charlie had sex with, amongst a French maid and a mime; it was hit by the train and splattered. Rose took Charlie captive and dumped him in a pit in “their” house in Sherman Oaks.

Alan and Walden, clearly distraught, run to the police and speak with Lt. Wagner (Arnold Schwarzenegger!) They tell Wagner the story and that they are worried because Charlie has rage issues. “Has he tried anger management?” Wagner asks. “Yeah, but it didn’t work,” Alan responds. Meta. Wagner suggests “wrapping this whole thing up,” and that this situation has been going on for way too long. Alan mentions that a lot of people have mentioned that. “Haters gonna hate,” Walden adds.

The guys come back to the house and scream like babies when they find cardboard cutouts of themselves with nooses around their necks. Just as they are at their most vulnerable, Jake appears behind them! He reveals that he received a check for $250,000, which he actually turned into $2.5 million after betting on “craps” and “come.” Walden mentions how amazing it is that he made so much money with such stupid jokes, and all three of them turn to look at the camera, breaking the fourth wall once again. Before he leaves, Jake tells them he has a wife and kids in Japan, and he needs to tell them they are rich now.

Worried for their lives, Walden and Alan call former lovers to apologize. Alan calls Judith, Kandi, and Lyndsey, telling them they were all the loves of his life. Walden calls Bridget, who is getting it on with John Stamos, and Zoey, who is becoming the queen of Moldavia. Walden gets a call from Lt. Wagner, who tells him they found Charlie and have him locked up. But it just turns out to be Christian Slater in Charlie’s clothes, claiming that he was drugged and a hooker stole his watch. Meta.

Believing they are safe from Charlie’s wrath, Alan, Walden, and Berta are having cigars and scotch when they see a helicopter airlifting a piano toward them. A man dressed in a bowling shirt and cargo shorts walks up to their door and rings the bell, only to have the piano drop on him, killing him. The camera zooms out to reveal the stage as Chuck Lorre sits in his director’s chair and turns to say, “Winning,” before a piano drops on him as well. The end.

Two and a Half Thoughts

  • At the very end of the credits, it is revealed that Charlie Sheen was offered a role, but wanted it to end differently, setting up a new series called “The Harpers,” with himself and Jon Cryer.
  • The entire episode felt like a revenge piece aimed at Charlie Sheen, with meta moments mocking him. It felt a bit petty to me, especially with Chuck Lorre appearing at the end.
  • I wonder if we’ll get a “Jake in Japan” spinoff!
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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