Last night was the series finale of Two and a Half Men. And what started off as a "So long, farewell" episode slowly unspooled into a terrifying horror show. And I think I've cracked it: Two and a Half Men is actually a brilliant mashup of Black Mirror and Stay Tuned. And last night the actors finally tried to escape.
Full disclosure, I've only seen one episode of Two and a Half Men all the way through. But I'm well versed in tiger's blood and all that 2011 Charlie Sheen shit, so I feel pretty up-to-date as this entire episode was mostly about things that happened four years ago.
On the surface, the finale appeared to be just a a big F-U to Sheen for leaving (note the above gif) many years ago. However, beneath the not-so-veiled Sheen kicks and digs there was something else brewing. I'm beginning to think that Two and a Half Men isn't a television show about two men living in Hollywood with a kid, but rather this is all some sort of larger hell dimension, Stay Tuned-style.
If you're unfamiliar with the 1992 movie, the premise is such: the Devil makes his own television world and sucks souls into it. But in order to get their souls, they have to die in the TV show that they've been beamed into. So there is a chance for survival if you can just hack it out in whatever hell channel you've landed on. Got it? Great.
Now, back to last night's Two And A Half Men. I'm almost 100% certain that the actors in this series are not really acting, but are stuck in what can only logically be explained as another level of Dante's Inferno (not fully realized in the book). A television level. They are reenacting Stay Tuned (or also maybe this was an elaborate homage to Stay Tuned, but for argument's sake let's just all agree that hell is real and that Two And A Half Men is a version of that).
The final episode really could have been the cast's (and crew's) attempt to get our attention. Did we hear them? As opposed to tackling whatever the hell Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer usually do, this whole episode centered around Sheen and his presumed to be dead character (also named Charlie, so this makes it easy). And guess what? Charlie isn't dead. The character is alive and has been held captive in a pit Silence of the Lambs-style. His captor is his wife, Rose, whom he married many years ago (she was previously his stalker, but they got married).
The episode starts off with the reveal that Charlie is very much alive, and has been living in captivity. His current existence at the bottom of a pit is explained when the Rose appears, lowering a basket of food for her hostage. Later on in the episode, she reappears and explains via animated cartoon what happened and how we all ended up in this place.
This parallel cartoon universe is only further proof that this is truly some sort of hell world and there are many planes of tortured existence. But moving on, turns out as Charlie's time in the pit was punishment for cheating on Rose during their honeymoon. Rose faked Charlie's death and threw him in the pit. This is the "surface plot." Beneath it, something much darker is brewing.
My theory? Charlie made a deal with the Devil. In an attempt to escape the forever singing "Meeeeeeeen" sirens (below), Charlie traded his freedom within the television show itself for "the pit" (the Ninth Circle of Hell).
This deal was actually alluded to in the animated flashback scene from the finale. When Charlie is discovered cheating on his new wife, you actually see him get into bed with a goat. A not so subtle nod to Baphomet (note the breasts)? Is this Charlie literally getting into bed with the Devil? Perhaps.p
Clearly, many years ago, Charlie traded one hellscape for another. And now, four years later, Charlie wants out. But we all know that you cannot back out of a deal with the Devil. Being stuck in a hellscape, though, he really has nothing to barter with, except the souls of his colleagues. Could the souls of one Ashton and Jon quench the thirst of the Dark One? It was worth a shot. But first, he must regain his strength (he's been living in a pit), so naturally he leaves an offering to the Dark Lord, just a trinket, a promise of what's to come. Because we all know the Devil feeds on fear and giant cardboard cutouts of Hollywood celebrities.
What's funny is the rest of the "surface plot" revolves around much of the same principle. Charlie escapes his pit and mails checks to a bunch of old cast members and then threatens to kill Ashton and Jon.
Meanwhile, Ashton and Jon get a little help, or as I'm calling it, divine intervention. At some point during the long stretch of this series, actor Angus T. Jones escaped. He left, calling the series filth and joined up with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in North America. However, last night he came back looking so much like Jesus.
Did Angus return like Tron: Legacy's son of Kevin Flynn to save his TV father from what he believes is eternal damnation? Was this their life line? Was this their... SAVIOR?
Alas, it didn't work. Within minutes, they were all eventually absorbed back into the magic of their hell world, breaking for only a few stray seconds to look out into the world (camera) and beg, "MAKE THIS END. PLEASE GIVE US SWEET RELEASE OF DEATH."
And truly, death was nearby. Charlie inched his way closer to the two, but in the end, satisfaction was not to be had. Jon and Ashton would not be his. He would not get out of his deal, and the Devil waited until the very last minute to remind us all who we're fucking with.
The Dark Lord lets Charlie walk right up to the door of his old fame, and then just drops a piano right on top of him. And as the piano dropped, you could almost hear a nightmarish voice cackle, "THE DEVIL HAS PLANS FOR JON AND ASHTON! BACK TO THE FIRE AND PIT WITH YOU, CHARLIE."
The camera zooms out, revealing the Devil's greatest con. This was all a television show! Your world is mine. Your fate is mine. I own you. And then he shows his face. It's Chuck Lorre! Creator of Two and a Half Men! And just to prove that he is indestructible and that everything you know is a lie, he drops a piano on himself. Or perhaps he does this to let you think he's dead. As we all know, "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn't exist."
We can only assume that Jon and Ashton's bodies and souls have been jettisoned to some other hellscape now, like The Big Bang Theory. So really, was Two and a Half Men just a regular sitcom, or was it the greatest episode of Black Mirror ever about a bunch of actors stuck forever inside a sitcom of hell.
But really in the end, it's everyone from Two And A Half Men who wins, because they said it, "It's amazing that you've made so much money with such stupid jokes."