‘Two and a Half Men’ Review: The 9:04 From Pemberton
After a fight with Walden, Alan moves in with Herb (recurring guest star Ryan Stiles).
“What is it about [Alan]?” – Herb
“What is it about us that we’re fighting over him?” – Walden
In “The 9:04 From Pemberton,” Two and a Half Men treaded old ground for something (sort of) new. In the Charlie Sheen era, tonight’s plot device was used at a minimum of once per season, especially in his later years where Jon Cryer had essentially become the series’ lead. Charlie and Alan would get into a spat and Alan would either be kicked out or leave on his own grounds only to return by the episode’s final act. The device got old quick, but the writers kept on using it whenever the show was in a rut. Men is currently in its tenth season, and while many would argue with me, I’d say the show is having one of its most entertaining seasons in years. There’s been nothing tired about it, and even when story lines haven’t worked, there’s been signs of a reinvigorated writing staff. As a result, “The 9:04 From Pemberton” seemed like rather unnecessary filler, but then again, it was funny.
“If there was a freeloader’s home, my dad would be living in it… for free.” – Jake
As Jake wisely points out, Alan has never gone as far as using his own money to try and make amends, but it’s easy to see why Walden would have been upset by Alan replacing the toaster he destroyed with a cheap pharmacy knockoff. Their fight over the matter sends Alan to Herb’s where just for a second, it almost seemed like the writers were willing to try something new even if for a short period of time. Ryan Stiles is always a hoot, and in the world of Men, something as simple as Alan moving out of the beach house would be momentous. But alas, that wasn’t in the cards. Alan’s stay with Herb is short and unusually frightening. The now Judith-less Dr. Melnick has taken his passion for model trains to a whole new level, and he’s gone as far as painting a mustache on his bathroom mirror to pretend he has a friend. As pathetic as he might be, the laughs per minute this character provides make you wish he was a more frequent recurring presence.
In the end, Alan moves back in with Walden. Everything’s status quo, and by status quo, I mean Alan’s back to masturbating on Walden’s furniture without any sense of remorse! ”The 9:04 From Pemberton” might not be the most memorable episode, but just think, it could be the first of many more times the writers rely on Alan temporarily leaving the beach house, only now, he’s got a different roommate. It might not be original, but it’s still providing laughs.