S9E23: With the cast of of Two and a Half Men locked for a 10th season, one has to wonder where it's all going. The Ashton Kutcher-led revamp of the show isn't terrible...it just isn't all that interesting. Episodes seem to be drifting by with no consequence. Things happen. Then things are undone. Then things happen again. Where it will end? Did it ever begin?
Whoa, that's getting existential. It's just a CBS sitcom...it's just a CBS sitcom... From what I can tell, Men isn't leading up to any revelatory season finale, unless the Walden/Zoey relationship finally implodes — but you won't get hints of that in tonight's episode. In fact, you won't really get hints of anything.
One Charlie Sheen Head (1 - 10 Points): Ashton, you were in this episode.
Two Charlie Sheen Heads (11 - 20 Points): Ashton, you landed a few jokes, but we can't stop thinking about good ol' Charlie.
Three Charlie Sheen Heads (21 - 30 Points): Ashton, you earned tonight's laugh track. Solid.
Four Charlie Sheen Heads (31 - 40 Points): Ashton, we're impressed. You've surpassed Sheen-level kookiness.
Five Charlie Sheen Heads (41 - 50 Points): Ashton, you're scaring us with classic levels of comedy. Charlie who?
That's that, now on with the Ashton Kutcher Two and a Half Men scorecard!
"A Straw in My Donut Hole"
1. "I told you not to say it!"
We pick up with Alan returning home from his recent heart attack. "I'll be fine," he insists. Walden won't have it. You see, too many of his family members have suffered serious injury or died after dropping the optimistic words of fate — as he drives home incessantly in tonight's episode (seriously, the joke may have been dropped eighteen times by the final bumper).
The callback works the first few times, but Walden's entire role in this episode is to flashback to the horrific events of his past and look like a scared little kid. Funny! In the beginning.
2. "No one else dies on my watch."
Zoey has a problem: Walden won't stop taking care of Alan. Whether he's propping his little buddy in an auto-inclining bed or setting him up with satellite TV, Walden is obsessed with catering to Alan's every whim. Zoey sees past the "woeful patient" act for what Alan truly is: a slimy moocher.
Ashton is stuck in netural in tonight's episode. Thankfully, he has the always lovely Sophie Winkleman to spice things up. If the two break up at season's end, let's give Winkleman her own U.S. show, OK?
3. "Don't poke at it Zoey, the wound is still fresh."
While Alan continues to milk is heart attack for every slice of peach cobbler he can get, Walden is pressed by Zooey to take action. "That's what my cousin Earl said when he fell asleep with a cigarette in his hand..." Nothing's working.
Elsewhere, Seinfeld's Jason Alexander stops by to lecture Alan on the perks of being a rich doctor (sleeping with your receptionist) and guidance in his continuing rouse against his family and friends (continue stealing from them). A funny bit, but why not throw Ashton into the mix to work the trio? It's Jason Alexander! I know I'm a Kutcher-sympathist but the man can be funny, so let him be funny.
4. ""He says he needs it for circulation. He's starting to get bed sores."
Instead, Ashton gets scenes where he babbles about whirlpool tubs and stair lifts. Alan returns from the doctor to break the "bad news" to Walden: his heart attack isn't getting better. In fact, he'll need a transplant (possibly from a baboon).
A little more confrontation would have saved this episode, stretching out the revelation that Alan really is a total twerp reaping the benefits from his friends. Instead, Walden's out of the picture while Zoey and Alan butt heads. All leading up to...
5. "[Allen has a heart attack] OK. Well. We got cobbler in the kitchen."
...Alan: exposed. Zoey reveals she hired a private investigator to follow Alan on his sickly escapades — which mostly involve the creepy, Avatar-porn watching houseguest playing beach volleyball with a gang of co-eds. Walden and the rest of the gang aren't pleased. In a last effort to gain their sympathy, Alan fakes another heart attack. He's the man child who cried wolf. The group heads to the kitchen for cobbler.
Total Points: 22 - Three Charlie Sheen Heads!
I never thought I'd say this, but I need a crazy episode of Two and a Half Men. One to rival the "it was all a hallucination" episode from earlier in the season. This episode came and went as quickly as one of Jake Harper's farts — and was equally as enjoyable. We need some stakes! Or at least Patton Oswalt partnering with Ashton again.