Sing it with me, folks: “Mennnnnnnn.” Because if tonight’s episode taught me anything it’s that life’s most pressing problems, whether they lead to a complete Charlie Sheen-related mental breakdown or a particularly crappy installment of Two and a Half Men, all start with a jingle. Take, for instance, Alan’s meltdown — all was going perfectly well for our favorite “parasitic leach” until Walden started bopping along to Charlie’s Maple Loops song. And it all went downhill from there.
To Walden these Maple Loops were simply a fun and viable breakfast option, but to Alan they were something much, much deeper. For months he had been avoiding the unpleasant task of dealing with Charlie’s death, and hearing his brother’s old tune sent him right over the ledge. By lunch he was playing the sad Cat Power version on the piano. “One time I walked in and he was having sex on top of it,” he reminisced. “You can see where the young lady’s ass-print didn’t quite wax out.”
Seconds later, Walden’s movers arrived to take out the piano. He was finally starting to proceed with the renovations he discussed with Evelyn last week, and step one was sending the piano to a school for underprivileged kids. He discreetly sent the men on their way so that Alan could grieve, but he wasn’t happy about it. “So… I imagine you’re anxious to get rid of some of these painful memories…”
Alan didn’t want to get rid of Charlie’s piano, as it was the last keepsake he had from his brother. He was even willing to forgive the fact that it was filled with panties, a bong, and a vibrator. But even Alan couldn’t deny them underprivileged kids, no, that would be wrong. Walden called the movers back, but they didn’t get too far. “I changed my mind!” Alan screamed. “You can’t have him! Whyyyyyyyyy!”
They took it anyway. Jake came home late that night to find a mourning Alan pounding back some cold ones in the place where the piano used to be. Used to. They had a really gross chat about lessons from Uncle Charlie, and I’m going to skip that because I don’t want to talk about Charlie Sheen and STDs. The real “moment” came when Jake told his father that he didn’t want to be lonely like Uncle Charlie — he wanted to have a wife and children by that age. Aw? Also, it was totally Jake’s bong.
Alan went out to the bar, that one lonely bar they have in Malibu. The Malibu Bar. (And Grill?) He uncharacteristically ordered a bourbon instead of his standard appletini. Then Walden showed up and the cougar bartender grossly, overtly hit on him. “Can I get you anything else? A slice of lime? Peanuts? Breakfast in bed?” At this point I realized that Ashton Kutcher is actually too good for this material. Then I splashed some cold water on my face, but the thought was still there. I think that a character like Walden is pretty perfect for him, and better writing could make him pretty enjoyable sitcom fare. A slightly toned-down Walden would be a big hit over in Pawnee.
NEXT: Worst. Demon possession. Ever.