It’s 28 days after Alan’s break from reality, and he is ready to leave the hospital, a new man. Well, actually, an old man – he’s lost his ‘Charlie’ persona and is back to being good old Alan, the leech. His nurse is less than supportive – there have been bets on when he’d be toilet trained, and another that says he’ll be back before Christmas. Is Alan ready to step back into the world, even with medication and the new tools he has learned for coping?
First things first – a warm goodbye from his loony bin roommate, Gary Busey. “"Hope you weren't planning on leaving before you gave your old buddy Gary a hug." As Gary bear hugs Alan, he whispers “I love you,” into Alan’s ear.
But wait! Are we in an alternate universe? Jake picks up Alan from the nuthouse – sorry, stress clinic – and wonders if Alan is really okay. Because he has some news for Alan. Jake’s girlfriend, Meghan is ‘kinda pregnant.’ But he has it under control; first they’ll quit school and get jobs, and then "we're going to teach the baby to talk and put him in E-Trade commercials."
Best of all, Jake hasn’t told his mother, who ‘scares the crap out of him,’ and wants Alan to break the news. Walden greets Alan with a soft voice and a gentle hug, not wanting to startle him. Jake tells Walden that he’s gonna be a dad, and if it’s a boy, call him ‘Frodo.’ Walden says that Jake should have used a condom. Or Alan should have.
Berta’s greeting is unsympathetic, as she hands him his mail from the last 4 weeks. The mail includes a notice that he’s being audited. Berta thinks the audit, and Jake’s problem, are hysterically funny.
Alan invites ex-wife Judith and husband Herb over to break the news about the impending grandchild. Walden notices that their baby, Milly, looks a lot like Alan. To cover the gaffe, Judith and Alan harangue Jake. Herb looks decidedly unhappy with this new discovery.
The next day, Alan returns from his audit, or as he calls it, ‘a brutal prison rape with a Number 2 pencil,’ and a new debt of $80,000.00. But he’s not worried, because he has ‘the tools to cope.’ Or does he? He’s then greeted by girlfriend Lindsay, who’s now Walden’s girlfriend. They understand that he’s upset, but he has to see it from their viewpoint; “the sex is awesome.” They coo at each other, while Alan gets steamed. How could they have an affair while he was locked up in the booby hatch? As he gets angrier, the final blow is struck. Alan will have to move out of the beach house, because it would be creepy if he was downstairs while Walden and Lindsay were upstairs having sex. But Lindsay doesn’t make any noise during sex, says Alan. She does now, says Lindsay, with a big grin.
The only good news is that Walden’s already packed up all of Alan’s stuff, and it’s in a storage bin out by the airport. He’s even paid the first month’s rent. And he hopes that someday they can look back on all this and laugh.
Alan storms out of the house and into the garage, planning to kill himself by carbon monoxide poisoning in his car. But he can’t even do that right – the car breaks down.
With nothing left to live for, but no way to die, Alan’s last hope is to throw himself on his mother’s mercy. With no car, he had to hitchhike, and give a truck driver a ‘happy ending’ to get there. However, his mother, being Evelyn, isn’t the haven he hoped for. As he stands in the pouring rain, she refuses even to come to the door. As he explains his dilemma to the security camera, she responds in a fake voice that “Missy Everyn is no home.” She then pretends to call the police. Thanks mom.
“Blindsided by my son, reamed by the IRS, rejected by my lover, betrayed by my friend, molested by a truck driver, cast out by my mother, and rained on by God. And this isn’t even the worst week of my life.” Alan arrives at his storage cubicle, where Walden has piled all of his things, and topped the mound with a big “Welcome Home Alan” sign. He sits on a lawn chair, which promptly collapses.
Just then, a gorgeous blond in a skin tight red dress strolls by, and asks him if he has a flashlight. He finds one, and hands it to her. “Thank you,” she drawls in a southern accent, “my fur coats all feel alike in the dark.” A sexy conversation leads to the possibility of Alan getting to know this miss a lot better. When she leaves to fetch a nice bottle of wine for them to share, Alan thinks God may have had a plan for him all along.
But it’s not God who’s facing him right now, with a gun, it’s Herb. And he’s not a happy man. He had a DNA test run on daughter Milly, and it turns out she’s Alan’s, not Herb’s, daughter. Alan begs Herb not to shoot him – he’s about to get laid by Jessica Rabbitt! But Herb shoots, and …
Alan wakes up in his hospital bed. It’s all been a horrible dream. But one part is real … Gary Busey is indeed his neighbor in the next bed.
We next see Alan again being driven home from the hospital by Jake. They’re both surprised that Walden let Jake drive his car, considering Jake’s driving record. Jake begins to talk about Meghan, and Alan cringes, since he’s expecting to hear about a pregnancy. But no, Jake’s concerned that Meghan wants to see other people, while he would prefer to keep the relationship ‘monotonous.’ Alan confirms that Meghan is not pregnant, to his relief.
Jake drops Alan off at the beach house, then leaves. Alan enters to find the place redecorated. Walden greets him in a soft, calm voice, and then demonstrates that the home is now computer driven. Walden’s voice controls the lights, music, television, and even the refrigerator. Alan’s voice controls nothing. He’ll have to call Walden if he needs to use any of the amenities.
Walden again welcomes Alan home, but Alan says it’s not really his home. He’s thought about things a lot in the hospital, and has realized that it was one thing to live off his brother, but his brother is gone. Now his stuff’s gone too. He really doesn’t belong there anymore. But he’s not leaving – not with the new big screen TV to enjoy! He just wants Walden to know that he’s aware of the absurdity of their situation. They hug as Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” plays on the stereo.
My take: it’s sure not ‘A Wonderful Life’ for Alan. His reality is sad and pathetic. His dream world was bad, but his every day is nearly as horrific. Walden’s no Charlie, Jake is annoying, and there’s no sympathy from the females in his life. Watching this debacle made ME want to commit suicide.
It would have been way more fun if this were a takeoff on “28 Days Later,” and all the characters had been zombies.
What did you think?