Last Man On Earth (S03E06) “The Open Ended Nature of Unwitnessed Death”

(With 100% of the votes, ‘Tandy’ won last week’s poll. So from now on Phil Tandy Miller’s name will be Tandy in my reviews)

Review: Every once in a while Last Man On Earth comes with an episode that reminds you that the gang lives in a post-apocalyptic world. They had different lives before they met each other, but then the virus hit and killed their loved ones… This is one of those episodes.

This week we finally get to know Lewis a little better, when we dive into his past. It all starts with Tandy trying to apologize to Lewis for accusing him of sabotaging the new building, but Lewis tells him he’s not in the mood for that right now because it is the day of his anniversary with his partner Mark, who probably died of the virus. The last time Lewis saw him, he was going on a business trip to Tokyo, and because all flights were grounded when the virus hit, he couldn’t come back home to Seattle. It’s a sad story when you hear it like this, but Tandy sees a glimmer of hope: maybe Mark is alive and is back in Seattle right now. Naturally Tandy wants to take Lewis to Seattle to see whether or not Mark came back, but he doesn’t want to go so Tandy’s only choice is to tase him and just take him to Seattle against his will.

Meanwhile Carol is thinking about the future of her baby and doesn’t want it to  grow up without a grandma. Therefore she asks Gail if she wants to be the baby’s grandmother, but she declines. After seeing Carol’s great famous grandma drawings (“Who runs the world? Grandmas!”), Gail reluctantly says yes to Carol’s request, but then Carol takes it one step too far. She wants Gail to make it official and sign adoption papers, making Carol her daughter. Gail doesn’t want to sign because she finds it ridiculous, which starts a fight between the two.

Both Tandy and Carol show their annoying side in this first part of the episode, even though they’re just trying to do what’s right. But after all that, the episode takes a very emotional turn in both storylines.

On the way to Seattle, Tandy tells Lewis the story about Mike and that he found the gang by following Tandy’s signs. All Tandy wants Lewis to do is to leave a note for Mark in case he comes back from Tokyo. He later emphasizes this point when he tells the story of when he almost tried to kill himself, but found Carol thanks to a plume of smoke. Lewis finally understands that he also could be lucky and get Mark back, so he decides to leave a note for him on the door of their old house.

Things between Carol and Gail heat up and Gail wants to apologize to Carol for the fight, but still makes it very clear she doesn’t want to sign the papers. She has a valid reason not to because as it turns out Gail already was a mother, but her son died and she just doesn’t want to be a mother to someone again. Carol feels bad about what happened and says she would have never brought up the whole thing if she had known about Gail’s son. She tells Gail that she sees her as a mother figure and that she misses her own mom. After this emotional speech, Gail decides to sign the adoption papers after all.

And as if we were not crying enough, the most emotional scene of the episode has yet to come. After this experience with Lewis, Tandy realizes that he has never had any closure about Mike, he doesn’t know if his brother is actually dead. They go to Tucson to find out, but when Tandy is in his old house, he just can’t get himself to open his brother’s bedroom door. Instead he leaves a note, just in case… He takes Gary, the volleyball, and leaves Tucson.

The lighter storyline this week is for Todd and Melissa. Melissa’s mental state is getting worse, and now that she wants to add a baby to the mix, things don’t get easier for Todd. To convince Todd to have a baby with her, she recreates a scene from The Shawshank Redemption, their favorite movie. This was a fun little scene in between the emotional parts of the episode, but still pretty sad when you think about how emotionally unstable Melissa is.

This was one of Last Man On Earth’s best episodes yet. Like I said, the first half of the episode had some of the annoying habits of both Tandy and Carol, but the emotional scenes and all the hilarious jokes and sight gags (Tandy with that bag over his head had me laughing out loud) definitely made up for that. A perfect score for a perfect episode.

Rating: 10/10

Some other random thoughts:

  • Will Forte/Tandy ‘playing’ the guitar will never not be funny.
  • It was nice to see Tandy and Lewis bond a little bit, especially when they were singing. I didn’t really trust Lewis in the beginning, but now that we’ve gotten to know him better, I don’t think he has anything to hide.
  • “Hey don’t walk away from me when I’m talking to you” “I’m going to my room!” I loved the mother/daughter dynamic between Gail and Carol in this episode.
  • I really want to know what Gail’s son died of, now that she said it was not from the virus.
  • How did Melissa dig that hole in the wall so fast?
  • Mel Rodriguez’s impression of Red/Morgan Freeman was amazing.
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