Thursday’s “Two and a Half Men” finale revealed what many viewers had long expected: Charlie Sheen’s character Charlie Harper did not actually die in a train accident.
Unfortunately, that revelation did not come in conjunction with an appearance by the original “Men” star.
Entitled “Of Course He’s Dead,” CBS’ hourlong “Men” finale was predicated on spotlighting the opposite. Harper was not dead and had instead spent the past several years held captive by his deranged wife Rose.
Rose did attempt to kill Charlie after learning of his infidelity, but her effort was unsuccessful. Following that failed murder attempt, she instead opted to trap the womanizing character in her basement. He escaped during Thursday’s finale, and he gave current lead characters Alan (Jon Cryer) and Walden (Ashton Kutcher) reason to believe he was coming to hurt them.
That effort did not include a return appearance from Sheen. The episode instead ended as a stand-in (wearing Charlie Harper’s signature attire) arrived at the door of the iconic Malibu beach house. At that moment, Harper was crushed under a falling piano Walden and Alan jokingly feared might have been meant for them.
The camera then panned away from the set to reveal series creator and showrunner Chuck Lorre in a director’s chair. In a nod to the catchphrase Sheen made famous following his departure from the show, Lorre declared that he was “winning.” A piano then fell on Lorre’s head, and the episode ended.
Overloaded with meta jokes and predicated entirely on Charlie Harper’s status, the hourlong “Men” finale possessed a very limited storyline connection to the previous twelfth season episodes. In addition to cameo appearances from characters who dated Charlie, Alan and Walden, it also featured a visit from Jake (Angus T. Jones) and guest spots involving Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christian Slater.