'Anger Management' Review: "Charlie's Dad Visits"

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Another week down, with one to go for Charlie Sheen. ‘Anger Management’ season 1 makes good with dear old dad in its ninth episode, as Charlie finds himself visited by his father (Martin Sheen), and wondering if the slights he remembers over the years might have been his imagination running away with him.

Last week’s eighth episode  “Charlie Outs a Patient” saw Charlie Goodson accidentally disclosing that his patient Nolan is in anger management, only to realize that the girl he discloses to has severe issues of his own, so what will the most recent outing bring?  Are there more laughs to be had in the potentially penultimate half-hour, or is it not worth remembering correctly?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Anger Management’ episode 9, “Charlie's Dad Visits!”

At group one morning, Ed complains that he’s been unable to find a job, while Lacey has her own issues with having to work at all, especially given the road rage she gets in the mornings.  After the session, Charlie pulls Lacey aside because he's worried about how she might lash out on the road, offering his help to drive with her and implement techniques to moderate her anger.  Afterward, Jennifer enters and reminds Charlie that his father plans to visit tomorrow, in spite of their difficulties in getting along.

That night at Kate’s, the woman tries her usual seduction enhancers, but finds Charlies’ attention driven to thoughts of how little affection his father has shown him over the years.  Pressed too far, Charlie begins hyperventilating at the thought.  Later that night, Jennifer and Sam anticipate the man’s arrival, while Charlie continues dreading, but when Martin (Martin Sheen, of course) arrives, he does nothing but give his son a hug and wish him well.

Over a couple of beers, Martin flouts Charlie’s every expectation of being the bad father he remembers, explaining how proud he is of his son for keeping up a positive relationship with his ex-wife and daughter.  The next day at breakfast with Mike, Martin comes down and Charlie makes every effort to paint his neighbor as the polar opposite of his father, thus exposing his belligerent side, but Martin profusely respects any of Mike’s opposing viewpoints, even after Mike points out Charlie’s loveless relationship with Kate.  And yes, they made a joke about Martin Sheen as president.  Clever.

Later that morning in Lacey’s car, Charlie tries to coax his patient through her road rage, but only winds up angry himself, yelling at drivers for being nicer than he expects.  Predictably, the cops pull them over, as they try to talk their way out of it.  At the next group session, Martin comes up with the idea for Ed to become Lacey’s driver to solve both their problems, though Charlie isn’t sure it’s a great idea.  Confessing that he isn’t happy with their relationship, he asks Martin to go to therapy with him.

At a session with Kate, Charlie begins to discover that he may have imagined many of his father’s slights over the years, misinterpreting events such as leaving a Charlie’s little league game to deal with his Aunt’s death as leaving the game in disappointment.  Shooting down each memory, Martin asks for a moment alone with his son, where he assures him that he isn’t the bad man he’s remembered as.

And what better way to bond than over a few drinks?  Martin entertains Brett and Charlie with impressions of Jimmy Cagney and ‘Apocalypse Now’s Colonel Kurtz (of course), and as Brett flirts Martin tries to impress upon his son that difficult though she might be, he should make an honest woman out of Kate.

Later that night, Charlie watches some of his old home movies with Mike, before realizing that his Aunt Cecile was at one of his birthday parties, a full year after Martin claimed she died!  The next morning (after Ed briefly acts as Lacey’s driver, before her backseat driving causes him to abandon the car), Charlie confronts his father on the lie.  He also unraveled all of Martin’s other lies about the past, and Martin comes clean that he plans to move out near to Charlie, having lost all his Ohio friends and family.  Coloring a few memories of the past seemed like the best way to do that, and Charlie reluctantly accepts his father’s pleas that he’ll attempt to do the right thing from now on.

Later that night, Charlie relays to Kate that he found his father a place a short distance away, before they joke about having a picture of what the other could look like in the future.

As enthusiastic as we usually are about the latest 'Anger Management' episodes, we have to admit that the presence of Martin Sheen certainly brightens things up, even with all the shameless references to his past rolls.  As the ninth episode of a 10-episode order, the 90-episode pickup is like to come any day now, which would at the very least include Martin Sheen as a series regular.  Who knows, maybe there's hope for the show yet?

Did you like the latest episode of ‘Anger Management,’ or did it make you seethe with rage?  What did you think about the episode?  Join us  next week for another all-new ‘Anger Management’ episode recap of “Charlie Gets Romantic!” on FX!

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