TIME

Charlie Harper was still alive, yet Charlie Sheen was nowhere to be seen on CBS’ Two and a Half Men series finale. The comedy closed its record-setting 12-season run with an ultra-meta one-hour episode Thursday night, which brought back many familiar faces from the show’s past, a few celebrity guests, a rather unexpected dose of animation, and a shock cameo by the show’s co-creator. But Men’s former star, who was fired from the series after a spectacular falling out with producers and CBS four years ago, was entirely absent despite being the focus of much of the episode’s humor.

Below executive producer Chuck Lorre, who appeared at the end of the episode to utter a single word—”winning”—before being smushed by a falling piano, took our questions about the finale, which was full of self-referential one-liners—including Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher) telling another character, “It’s amazing you’ve made so much money…

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