Two and a Half Men Series Finale Recap: Charlie's Back — With a Twist!

Two and a Half Men ended Thursday with a big, crude and unapologetically vulgar finale. In other words, it ended the only way it knew how.

As far as the big mystery at the center of the show’s swan song, well, remember how Charlie died all those years ago when Rose pushed him in front of a moving train? Yeah, not so much.

It turns out Charlie’s stalker-turned-wife Rose kidnapped him and kept him chained in her basement for the past four years. He escaped in Thursday’s episode, only to die in the final seconds via an airborne grand piano.

Amazingly, the Men plot played out without Charlie Sheen. An animated version of the character was featured in one extended flashback sequence, and a body double was used in the climactic scene.

angus-t-bonesThat said, the episode wasn’t hurting for special guest stars. Among the noteworthy celebs passing through the hourlong sendoff: Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Stamos, Christian Slater and the former Half Man himself, Angus T. Jones.

Charlie’s potential whereabouts came into question at the start of the hour when Walden and Alan received an unclaimed royalty check worth $2.5 million (heh!) for Charlie’s years as a children’s songwriter. But in order to claim the fortune, Alan needed Charlie’s death certificate, which neither he nor Evelyn had ever received, assuming the other had been in possession of it the entire time.

Charlie set out for his revenge on Walden, Alan and Evelyn for continuing on with their adventures past his presumed death. Meanwhile, he claimed his royalty funds they sought upon his escape, and used them to repay the people who he had wronged, including ex-fiancees Mia and Chelsea, and estranged daughter Jenny.

Of course, Charlie never got his revenge, but series creator Chuck Lorre got his. After the piano crushed Mr. Harper to smithereens, the camera panned out revealing the producer, who turned to the camera and claimed that it was he who won after all. Then for the hell of it, another piano came down, squashing Lorre like a bug.

As for what happened to the rest of Men’s most important characters? Well, here’s what you need to know:

* Jake, happily married with kids to a pole dancer in Japan, hit it big in Vegas, which allowed him to turn the $250,000 Charlie sent him into $2.5 million.

* Judith was alone, but happy, having received $100,000 from Jake. Meanwhile, Alan’s second wife Kandi was still a rich and famous TV star, and current fiancée Lyndsey was busy hocking her engagement ring at a nearby pawnshop.

* Walden’s ex-wife Bridget moved on, and now shares her bed with John Stamos, while ex-girlfriend Zoey married the King of Moldavia.

* Berta decided to remain Walden and Alan’s housekeeper, happy enough with the additional funds allotted to her by Charlie.

* Walden, of course, was in a new relationship with social worker Ms. McMartin, whose first name was never revealed, and they would build a life together along with Walden’s adopted son Louis.

So that’s it, folks. After 12 seasons, 262 episodes and ‘winning’ streaks with two different male leads, Two and a Half Men has come to an end. A very meta end!

What did you think of Men’s final hour? Grade the episode below, then sound off in the comments section.