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Watch Two And A Half Men S07E09

Spoiler alert: this blog is published after Mad Men airs on AMC in the US, on Sundays at 10pm ET. Do not read on unless you have watched season seven, episode nine (which airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Thursday 16 April at 10pm)

Watch Two And a Half Men S07E09

After half a season of unrelenting misery, torture and junk-measuring contests courtesy of Negan, The Walking Dead finally got back to basics in its midseason premiere, and in the process, rediscovered a show that isn't a chore to watch.

Up until this week's installment, episode 2 had been the high watermark for the season -- mostly because we got to spend it with King Ezekiel and his charismatic cohorts -- and much of the joy of "Rock in the Road" came from watching our group go through the same stages of mistrust and bewilderment that Carol experienced when she first encountered the Kingdom's eccentric leader.

You can see the motivation behind the producers' decision to isolate many of the characters in the first half of the season -- it's a tried-and-true method to hype us up for when the band inevitably gets back together -- but even if the storytelling choice was logical, it wasn't necessarily effective this time.

In short, the episode worked best because it allowed our heroes to be active instead of reactive for the first time all year, and if the rest of the season can keep us on that path, I can forgive a lot of the wheel-spinning and emotional torture porn of the first half. Given Rick's long-absent smile at the end of the episode, he's not even bothered about being surrounded by scruffy strangers with a whole lot of weaponry -- new recruits for his uprising against Negan, perhaps?

House is stealing food when he finds Cuddy and Wilson behind him, obviously aware of his deception. House tries to justify himself and says he was just planning to sit alone watching television. They tell House he has to choose. House chooses Wilson, but it turns out Wilson is coming to Cuddy's birthday dinner too.

House, Cuddy, Rachel Cuddy, Wilson, and Arlene are having dinner. Arlene complains that Rachel isn't eating properly. House sticks to safe subjects. Wilson tries to support Cuddy, but the mother is having none of it. The mother then complains Cuddy is never home with Rachel. House takes a call from his team about the ear pain going away and thinks it might be referred pain from his thyroid or liver. Masters still thinks it's an infection, but when House is telling her off, his phone goes dead. Cuddy serves coffee while the mother discusses whether House would convert to Judaism if they got married. House announces he's an atheist and the mother says half the Jews she knows are too. The mother also wants to know why Cuddy keeps calling him by his last name. She also tells Cuddy she doesn't want Rachel growing up thinking her mother's a slut. However, when House goes to confront Arlene, she closes her eyes and collapses backwards. Cuddy examines her and realizes she's been sedated and House quickly admits he's the one who did it. Wilson is initially supportive until he realizes House has drugged him too.

Dr. Gregory House: [House turns around finds Wilson and Cuddy] I forgot. you guys talk. Look, no offense to either of you, but dinner with your mom? Come on, I- I have to act like a decent human being, and you know what a strain that puts on me. And *you*. Ever since you broke up with Sam, you've done nothing but mope and whine. It's an unbelievable bummer.Dr. James Wilson: And just what is so exciting you have to blow off both of us to do it?Dr. Gregory House: I just want to sit on my couch in my underwear, drink Scotch and watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey... by myself. I just want one night off. Is that so much to ask?Dr. James Wilson, Dr. Lisa Cuddy: Yes!

Arlene: So, say you two got married. Would you convert to Judaism?Dr. Lisa Cuddy: We haven't gotten that far, mom.Dr. James Wilson: That's actually a really interesting question.Dr. Gregory House: I'm an atheist.Arlene: Honey, half the Jews I know are atheists. It's about community.

* The Francis clan (minus Sally) made their first appearance of the half-season, but the episode was without Joan, Ted and Ken (assuming last week's episode wasn't meant as his farewell), and Jim Cutler has been absent for both of these episodes.

Over at a table, Owen affirms he told Cristina to get a job since she was only eating cereal and watching infomercials, but he did not expect this. Derek suggests he tell her he changed his mind and that she can be a housewife, but Callie says housekeeping is probably the only thing she's worse at than bartending. Besides, Owen thinks it won't last long since Cristina doesn't like serving people. Cristina comes over with her special drink, which she calls the early-onset Alzheimer's, because you won't remember anything after you drink it. They toast to Derek and drink. It's way too strong for everyone but Bailey. Derek and Mark order a scotch. Owen wants to talk, but Cristina says they'll do that later because a bachelor party just arrived.

While Dean watches, Bobby and Sam perform an impromptu autopsy on Gerald's body and are disgusted by the procedure, which uncovers a strange blue-gray goo throughout his body, disturbing stomach contents, and an extremely swollen adrenal gland. Dean is unaffected, however, and insists on heading back to Biggerson's Restaurant for dinner, where he orders another Turducken sandwich. As Bobby and Sam research Gerald on Sam's laptop, Dean seems unconcerned. Instead, he's strangely intent on his sandwich. When Sam and Bobby look around the restaurant they realize that everyone else is just as focused on eating Turducken sandwiches, and Sam snatches Dean's so that they can leave to investigate what's left of it.

While Dean sleeps off the effects of the goo, Sam and Bobby stake out the Biggerson's Restaurant. They see a nondescript truck drop off a shipment of meat and follow it back to an unmarked warehouse. Dean wakes up as they arrive, and they all watch as a car parks next to the truck. The Leviathan Edgar steps out, pulls a hooded figure out of the trunk, and forces him inside the warehouse.

Bobby, Sam, and Dean are still watching the warehouse when Dick Roman shows up. Bobby and Sam instantly know who he is: a famous billionaire and one of the 35 most powerful men in America. Dean realizes that Crowley was talking about Dick Roman when he mentioned "hating Dick" during their last encounter, and Bobby points out that the Leviathans must have big plans if they're taking the identities of men like Dick Roman. Bobby gets out an advanced listening device and plans to find a higher vantage point to spy on the Leviathans from.

Dick and his assistant Susan lead Dr. Gaines up to an office, and Dick tells him that they're shutting his program down. Bobby, who has a high vantage point on a nearby building, listens in and watches through a pair of binoculars, horror-struck, as Dick forces Dr. Gaines to "bib" himself to atone for his mistakes. The ghastly ritual involves tying a lobster bib around Dr. Gaines' neck and then making him eat himself, starting with his right hand. Bobby starts to tell Dean and Sam what he's seeing, but a Leviathan finds him on the roof and knocks him unconscious.

Secondly, Diana (Elizabeth Reaser) appeared in the second half of the final season and so far has been a fairly large presence. What that does for many viewers is create a sense of panic: There are now only five episodes left ever and who the hell is this new character and what is she doing taking screen time away from the story resolution of so many beloved Mad Men characters?! 041b061a72

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