TWO And A Half Men creator Chuck Lorre took his revenge on Charlie Sheen by giving his character a grisly death when the TV show returned.
In the season premiere last night, Charlie Harper -- a thinly disguised version of the real-life Sheen -- died when he slipped on a subway platform in Paris and was hit by an oncoming train.
"His body just exploded like a balloon full of meat," Harper's obsessed neighbour Rose explained in the show.
Sheen went on a spectacular, insult-spewing rampage against Lorre and CBS after he was fired for drug use and erratic behaviour earlier this year. Lorre remained silent -- until last night.
The show, which introduced Ashton Kutcher as Sheen's replacement, opened with Jon Cryer, who played ad writer Harper's brother Alan, speaking at Charlie's wake in front of a coffin and one of Sheen's signature shirts.
Alan said that it was a sad day for everyone. "Speak for yourself," one woman shouted from the audience.
Harper said that his brother gave everything he got in life -- and women called out sexual diseases that they had contracted from him.
Later, Harper's housekeeper noted that all he had ever asked for was "clean sheets and hosing the vomit off the occasional drug-addled hooker".
After a delivery man brought Harper's ashes in a golden urn, Alan had a conversation and said it was "just like old times. I'm talking and you're in a bottle ignoring me." He considered how to dispose of the ashes, perhaps sprinkling them on the nearby beach.
"It's simple, dignified, and pretty girls with oil will be sitting on you all day," Alan said. "It's kind of like your life -- except for the dignified part."
When Kutcher surprised Cryer's character by appearing at the doorway, Charlie's ashes were spilled all over the floor.
Lorre's barbs come just as Sheen has been expressing contrition in recent days.
He said on the Tonight show that he would have fired himself if he was in charge at CBS or the show's producer.
At the Emmy Awards on Sunday, he said he wanted to sincerely wish Kutcher and his old colleagues good luck for the new season.
Lorre packed his show with a couple of inside jokes.
John Stamos played a potential buyer of Harper's house who backed off when he found out who lived there.
Stamos was widely considered a possible successor to Sheen before Kutcher was hired.
Kutcher plays internet billionaire Walden Schmidt, who made his appearance wet from a suicide attempt in the ocean. It seems Schmidt may be tall, good looking and rich, but he's morose about a lost love.
Kutcher joined in on the sex jokes that are the show's stock in trade. He walked around naked, and other characters commented on his anatomy. "I dig your house," he said. "I'm going to buy it."
That appears to set up the second episode, explaining how Schmidt comes to live with two people he doesn't know in a house he just saw.