Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher) is making himself at home in the former beach house belonging to the late Charlie Harper. Already, Walden has had a three way a pair of very beautiful women. Now, he has Berta (Conchata Ferrell) staying on to take care of him, in more ways than he’s aware. Ugh!
Alan, on the other hand, is moving in with his mother (Holland Taylor) who explains that though Alan has moved in, her routine will not change. The first night Alan is at his mother’s she has a date and promises that she will be having sex, rough sex, listen for her safe-word sex. Again, ugh!
Lucky for Alan, Walden drops by and suggests they go somewhere. Not so lucky, Walden wants to go see his ex-wife, Bridget (Judy Greer) and try to win her back. Alan, being an expert in having been dumped, advises against this course but the two nevertheless wind up atop an electrified fence and bad things happen.
We quickly learn why Walden was dumped: he’s an overgrown child. The house is filled with videogames and life size Star Wars figures and we are left to wonder: why she kept the house? Among Bridget’s reasons for dumping Walden is that she didn’t want to live with Peter Pan anymore; this from the lady living in the Richie Rich mansion.
Logic abnormalities aside, the plot is well executed and Jon Cryer wrings a few laughs out of Alan’s unending humiliation throughout. Plus, we really get to know who Walden is for the first time and we find him very familiar and easy to feel bad for. He’s Michael Kelso from That 70’s Show all grown up.
Kutcher as a television persona has hardly evolved at all from Kelso, an over-grown, over-sexed child in a man’s body. All that’s different is the hobo beard. To be fair, even on the big screen Kutcher has never been known for his range, in fact his movie characters are often mere variations on the dumb, handsome Kelso template.
While Ashton Kutcher recreates Kelso in the form of Walden, the rest of the episode was about trying to get back to what the show does best: Gay jokes. Last week it was Walden constantly walking around in the nude, even giving Alan a nude hug.
This week, we get Alan and Walden sharing a drunken canoodle, naked on the patio, thankfully under a blanket. Late drinks to help Walden get over his run-in with Bridget apparently led to drunken skinny dipping with Berta. Do I really have to say it again? Ugh!
Finally, at the end of the episode we find out how the show will explain Alan living with Walden. Bridget shows up unexpectedly and finds Walden talking with one of Charlie Harper’s many former ‘friends.’ Alan quickly wing-mans up and takes the girl while Walden talks to Bridget. Owing Alan a favor and craving his friendship, he offers a favor and let’s Alan move back to the beach house.
The bottom line on the new Two and a Half Men is this: if you like Ashton Kutcher and his limited range, you will like the show. If not, if you miss Charlie Sheen and you miss the show at its ‘Men-liest’ then you will have to find something else. Two and a Half Men is now derivation on the classic Kutcher character and it’s up to you if that is a good thing or not.