Two and a Half Men 9.02 “People Who Love Peepholes” Review

Now that Walden owns the house, Berta is rehired, and Alan is moving back in, it’s almost time to settle into the new flow of Two and a Half Men. The second part of the season premiere was closer to a regular episode than the first, but it will take a few more episodes until the transition from Charlie Harper to Walden Schmidt is complete. Until then, it’s difficult to say what a typical episode will look like this season.

The jabs at Charlie were reduced to one this episode, with a former gal pal becoming upset over Charlie’s death until she sees Walden in a towel. I think (hope) we’re close to the end of the Charlie jokes, which only serve to remind us of the summer drama. The towel jokes, on the other hand, are probably here to stay.

Berta, if anyone, is loving life now. Her internal fantasizing about Walden was the best, and now she gets to live with him while making more money! If this means we’ll see more of Berta, that’s great news. With the help of alcohol, she already managed to get Walden and Alan to go skinny dipping and wind up snuggled together on the deck. This is going to be fun for her.

Like any other time when Alan almost moved out, it didn’t last long. He is at his mom’s place long enough for her to warn him about her loud “dates” when Walden shows up. He returns some of Alan’s ineffective self-help books, but really just wants to hang out. He is pining over his ex-wife, because she knows about baby shampoo and cushioned toilet paper. Since Alan is the expert in divorce, they bond over ex-wife troubles and Alan desperately tries to stop Walden from going to his ex-wife’s house. “Criminal trespass usually ends with her dating the cop.” He can’t stop Walden, and they both end up on top of an electric security gate. It ends up being a bad hair day, but Walden’s old house is awesome! Walden might be childish, but he’s a good geek. Arcade games, a gigantic gumball machine, R2-D2 and C-3PO statues, foosball and more line the walls of the house. These are the things you buy when you’re a billionaire (not to mention the $100k car).

We meet Walden’s ex-wife, Bridget, who reiterates the reasons she no longer wants to be married to Walden: he has the emotional maturity of a 12-year-old, and she’s tired of being a mother more than a wife. At first, Walden’s attempt at reconciliation seems to fail, but she later shows up at the beach house just as Charlie’s former gal pal, Penelope, has decided she’s going after Walden. Alan saves Walden by pretending Penelope is his girlfriend, which gives Walden and Bridget a chance to talk about reconciling, which means Walden owes Alan a favor, and there you have it. Alan is moving back in.

I find it odd that Judy Greer was chosen to portray Bridget given that she also portrayed Myra, Herb’s sister and one of Charlie’s love interests, in two episodes in 2007. Maybe they think it’s been long enough that it doesn’t matter, but Two and a Half Men is everywhere in syndication and Myra stands out as a character that I distinctly remember. She was unique in that she was almost an equal to Charlie. It’s a bit weird to me that she’s now portraying a different character.

We didn’t learn much more about Walden this week. He’s childish (“she is a stupidhead”) and a bit crazy (he loves peepholes), but he seems to have a good heart and is hiding intelligence that made him a billionaire. The previews for next week show some interaction between Walden and Jake, and we should get a better idea of what we can expect in future episodes. With Alan, Jake and Berta back at the beach house, the pieces are now in place to move forward with the show.

Last week’s episode drew nearly 28 million viewers, which is a record for Two and a Half Men. Given the controversy and curiosity surrounding Charlie Sheen’s departure, the numbers will surely begin to drop, but how much and how quick–we will have to wait and see.

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