After 12 years, 262 episodes and enough Tiger Blood to satisfy an entire nation, the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men has officially ended its run. And the season finale was not shy about dragging its former star through the mud with punchlines that were as meta as they were eye-rolling.
Rumors circulated around Charlie Sheen's character, who was "killed off" during season nine after an embarrassing public meltdown and fall-out with showrunner Chuck Lorre, returning for a cameo in the final season. Sheen has since rebounded in the public eye thanks to a clear-eyed apology tour plus the success of his FX series Anger Management, and he admitted that he would've loved to appear in the finale. Since everyone loves a good redemption story, a visual truce between Sheen and Lorre was all but imminent. Chuck Lorre had different plans.
While the finale boasted big name appearances from the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Stamos, Sheen was a no-show. To add insult to injury, a faceless character intended to represent Charlie does show up briefly, but a grand piano falls on his head. This unsubtle joke was punctuated by a shattering of the fourth wall, with the camera cutting to Chuck Lorre in the director's chair so he can shout "Winning!" to the millions of people watching.
That's the level of humor Two and a Half Men believed was witty and groundbreaking since its first season. For a show that's long been criticized for being low-brow and trite, it didn't do itself any favors by ending on a such a mean-spirited note.
So it seems the Sheen-Lorre beef will live on. Luckily for fans of decent television, Two and a Half Men will not. That is at least until syndication takes over.