Many wondered how Two and a Half Men would be able to top its ninth season, a run of episodes that featured the inclusion of Ashton Kutcher and even weirder plot lines than ever before. (Alan suffering a fever dream while institutionalized in a mental hospital might rank as one of the most deranged TV episodes of all time.) The answer is now clear: Miley Cyrus.
Last night's "You Know What the Lollipop Is For" put the young, tabloid-friendly starlet in the spotlight, pushing the entire cast (Kutcher included) into the background while her character, Missi, yammered for 22-straight minutes. The southern belle, a family friend of Walden's who arrives at his doorstep for an Los Angeles vacation, was something to behold. She never stopped talking. In the beginning, that was the joke — "Oh man, does this girl ever stop talking?!" By the closing credits, it became a monologue that would impress even Spalding Grey. No one could get a word in, the episode solely riding on Missi's stream-of-consciousness rambling to push the random action forward.
Impressively, Cyrus was up to the task. She spouted signature Two and a Half Men off-color remarks with cacophonous twang like she was in a David Mamet play (or as Berta puts it, the result of what happens when "hillbillies have unprotected sex with hummingbirds"). Horrifying, but impressive. The all-grown-up child star didn't back down from entering the raunchy territory of the show. Here are the highlights from this madcap comedy maelstrom:
"…Have you ever been to the Caribbean? I went once three years ago for Spring break and got stung by a jellyfish once. My friend had to pee on my leg."
Cyrus' arrival kicks off the nonstop chatter, with Missi segueing from nonsensical discussion point to nonsensical discussion point with the sentence structure of Faulkner. Two and a Half Men is known for its out-of-nowhere inappropriate metaphors, but in this opening scene, it's less about whatever the heck Cyrus is actually saying and all about how she is saying it. Last year, Two and a Half Men had an episode entirely devoted to vomiting. This year, they have one devoted to word vomiting.
"You gay for each other or something? I have a gay friend. His name is Russell. I got him to make out with me once but it didn't take."
It wouldn't be Two and a Half Men without an insinuation that Walden and Alan are a gay couple! Cyrus fulfills her civil sitcom duties with her own character spin, stretching out the inquiry with the awkward tale of her attempt to convert a gay man into a kissing partner. Wasn't that the plot to an episode of Hannah Montana?
"Don't forget to rub-a-dub-dub! Would you mind if I took the girls out? Get a little color on Kim and Khloe?"
Everyone was in a tizzy when the first photos of Cyrus surfaced for this episode. Scantily clad and provocative, most assumed the actress would be wooing Mr. Kutcher. Not the case — but that doesn't mean she wasn't ready to play up the sex angle. In the same scene, Missi makes a crack about (and juggles) her breasts, sending Walden into an uncomfortable tizzy. If the audience is able to take a breath in between Cyrus' strings of dialogue, the moment may actually be a little disturbing.
"This is a nice bed. I bet you could do some serious drilling on a workbench like this."
Walden and Missi's sexual tension hits new heights when the ingenue, dressed in a revealing nighty, tiptoes into Walden's bedroom. Luckily, thanks to Missi's complete lack of filter, Walden never has a chance to make a wrong move with his friend's daughter. Missi suggests Walden actually get with her Mom (who has been recently surgically enhanced).
"I sort of have a boyfriend. Technically, we broke up because I was tired of him putting his career ahead of me. He's a doctor. Not a real doctor. A glass doctor. Like if you have a crack in your windshield, he'll come and fix it."
Missi jumps from character to character, feeding on their souls with her anecdotal assault. With Walden and Alan out of the picture, the show wisely finds a way to bring Jake back from the army (coincidentally, he had the weekend off!) so it can pair the two young lovebirds. Jake is a moron. Missi is a self-obsessed monologist. It's a match made in heaven… until Missi confesses she might have another man in her life.
Will Miley be sticking around for good? The episode concludes with Jake returning to his military career, Walden declining Missi's offer to date her mom, and Missi heading upstairs. Little was actually accomplished — meaning Missi's stay may be a longer arc, and the one-woman show may only be in its beginning stages.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: CBS]