Alan is a good man: he only freeloads to the extent that he needs to. After having opportunities to sell Walden’s wedding ring or name any amount of cash for Walden to give him, he instead agrees to start paying rent. After all, what would Alan do if he wasn’t struggling?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we’ve finally had what I’ve been hoping for: an episode where there isn’t a jab against–or mention of–Charlie Harper. The episode equally featured Walden, Alan and Jake, with some Berta thrown in and a completely new character as Walden’s date. This is what a revamped season of Two and a Half Men should look like.
We learn a little more about the background of Walden’s fortune in this episode. He sold a couple of companies to Microsoft (which they regret buying), and he has two houses and a private jet, but no yacht. “Let’s just say I’d have more than God if God only had $900 million.”
Jake is just learning about Walden’s fortune and tries to talk Walden into hiring him to do his grocery shopping. Unfortunately for Jake, Walden likes grocery shopping because he discovers things like bacon-flavored dried cranberries and a British woman with an interest in organic beef. Walden can surprisingly explain the difference between organic and grass-fed beef, which scores him a date with the British woman, Zoe.
Alan is playing what Berta likes to call “Seven Card Screwed.” He’s paying his MasterCard with his Visa, his Visa with his Discover, and his Discover with his American Express. He contemplates asking Walden for a loan, but Berta tells him that Walden appreciates that he’s one person who doesn’t want anything from him and who likes him as a person. Alan agrees that he can’t ask Walden for money, so he starts to ask Berta–that doesn’t happen. With all the credit cards on the table, Walden walks in and shows off his black credit card and offers Jake his quarter of a million frequent flier miles. Walden can’t use them, what with the private jet and all. Alan suggests that Jake go to the moon with that many miles, but Jake says that’s ridiculous because nobody’s ever been to the moon.
In an attempt to fix his own financial problems, Alan goes to a pawn shop. First he tries to get rid of an old computer that is “loaded” with software: Quicken, Lotus, Word Perfect, Tetris. Those were the days, but I couldn’t even sell my 4-year old laptop. Alan tells the pawn shop owner that he’s desperate, but everyone is desperate in there: he has a fishbowl of glass eyes in the back. Alan brings out the next item: diamond cufflinks that were a gift from his mom. He finds out they’re not real diamonds. The last item is a crystal vase that he took in his divorce. It’s worth $1,200 until he punches the counter in his excitement and smashes it on the floor.
Jake found a job he could do for Walden and gets $100 for washing his car before his date. Nice gig. Being friends with Walden seems like the perfect opportunity for Jake. You don’t need a lot of intelligence when you can get hired to do random tasks for a rich friend, and Walden needs all the real friends he can get. He needs friends like Alan, who tell him to lose the wedding ring before he goes on his date. The ring is made of rhodium–the most expensive metal in the world–and platinum. Walden takes it off and gives it to Alan, who immediately transforms into Gollum and calls it “my precious.” He returns to the pawn shop and almost faints when he finds out what it’s worth. We never get to know the value–it was one of those write-it-down-and-slide-it-across-the-table situations–but it was at least as many digits as a phone number.
On his date, Walden explains that he met Alan because his house was the closest one with a phone when he tried to kill himself in the ocean. That’s not a great start. As usual, the conversation turns to Bridget and Zoe is actually turned off by the fact that he is still in love with her. She’s kind to Walden, but she’s not going to hop into bed with someone who is obsessed with his ex-wife. Wow. There’s a female character who isn’t going to brush aside all values to be with Walden. By sticking its toe in the waters of reality, this episode might be the most enjoyable of the season. Zoe isn’t wrong about Walden not being ready to date. After she refuses to let Walden meet her daughter when he takes her home, Walden decides he has to call Bridget to tell her all about it.
Alan comes home to Walden standing on the beach. Apparently Bridget agreed with Zoe, and now he just wants to put the ring back on. Luckily, Alan didn’t end up pawning it. He knew Walden would eventually want it back. Walden knows he needs to move on though, so he throws the ring in the ocean. Walden walks back up to the house and watches Alan go for a desperate swim to find the ring. Walden seems a little put off by Alan’s reaction, but Alan explains that he needs the money. This is where we find out that Walden doesn’t believe in lending money. He just gives it away, because people don’t repay loans and then you end up resenting them. The concept is amazingly generous, but Alan won’t ask for anything. He wants Walden to think of him as a friend, not a freeloader. Walden points out that the freeloader ship has already sailed, and then asks if it would make Alan feel better if he charged him rent. Alan says yes, but then lets him know that the first few payments will be late. After confirming that Walden would have given him $100,000 if he had asked for it, Alan goes back to the ocean, possibly to never be seen again.
Jake calls the house and Walden picks up. Jake has used the frequent flier miles and has no idea where he is while he’s standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. There’s no new episode next week, but when Two and a Half Men returns on December 5, we are sure to have some adventures with Jake overseas. Is he going to run into someone we know?
Stop this show please! It's lame and not funny anymore!
Ashton Kutcher always looks so awkward and out of place here.
I've been watching the new show with an open mind but, I really don't like it. Every episode is full of compliments for Walden. I've started feeling like I'm watching the Ashton Kutcher show. Last night seeing the house changed the way it is I almost stopped watching the show. The new set is so cold.