In the second part of the season premiere, this episode picks up shortly after Walden’s announcement that he likes the house and wants to buy it (not surprising, after getting lucky with two women on his first night there). He hires Berta to stay on, only now as a live-in housekeeper, explaining to her, “I have trouble taking care of myself.” With Alan moving out to live with his mother, Berta cheerfully taunts him that she’ll be taking his room.
In a funny throw-away gag, Jake pops out of his room after Alan has left and Walden has gone upstairs. Although it’s just a joke that he’s being forgotten, it oddly serves as a metaphor for his character so far this season (it seems like he’s been forgotten by the writers, too…but perhaps they wanted to establish his relationship with the Alan character first).
As Alan unpacks at his mother’s house, it is immediately clear how awkward this living arrangement could be. In a clear attempt to discourage a long stay by Alan, she freely volunteers that she’ll be having a date over, leading to some kinky bedroom action—a promise that she delivers on (the word “umbrella” will be forever tainted). When Walden stops by to return some items that Alan left at the house, he jumps at the chance to get out of the house and go hang out.
Of course, Alan doesn’t realize that Walden’s plans involve trying to get his wife back…including breaking in to his old house. This proves difficult—and costly—due to the electrified fence. Walden’s wife, played by Judy Greer (who has performed other guest roles on this show in earlier seasons), does invite the men into the house afterwards. She explains her reasons for kicking him out; basically, she saw him as a big child that she had grown tired of nurturing. This brief scene gives her character some surprising depth; Bridget (expected to be recurring throughout the season) is not the unreasonable or unstable shrew that Alan’s ex, Judith, is.
After leaving Walden’s old house, he and Alan wind up back at his new house, inexplicably sleeping on each other on the deck (apparently after a drunken bender). When a bikini-clad former flame of Charlie’s pops by, she is shocked to hear of Charlie’s passing…but quickly pacified by the sight of Walden in a towel (revealing the shallow connection with Charlie she probably had). Surprisingly, Bridget shows up to give Walden a chance to talk to her, and Alan successfully covers any appearance of impropriety. Although the show ends without knowing if Walden and Bridget have a chance to get back together, Walden is so appreciative of Alan’s help that he offers him any favor he can grant, which—predictably—is a “temporary” place to stay.
So by the end of the episode, Alan is back living as a long-term guest in the house now owned by Walden. However, there are some new dynamics for the season that will revolve around Walden’s relationship with his ex-wife, and to a lesser degree, Berta’s full-time presence in the house. Will there be some teases of Walden getting back together with his wife? If so, what happens to the house? If not, how will her character be involved in the show? And just how much obligation does Walden feel to let Alan stay (without being a blood relative)? How will his living situation change with Berta living there full-time…and sharing a fairly equal status with Alan?
This show ends with a clear establishment of the new characters, but it leaves plenty of open questions about how the relationships with the old ones will integrate.