Review: In the past 2.5 seasons, Last Man On Earth has done a great job balancing comedy with drama. Every once in a while, the characters acknowledge what world they used to live in and how things have changed ever since the virus, but we’ve never seen much of what it was really like before the virus outbreak. This episode finally gives us a view of this pre-apocalyptic world.
The focus in this episode is on Pamela Brinton (Kristen Wiig), her dog Jeremy, her husband and the people around them. It all starts in the world as we know it today: no virus and no apocalypse. Everything seems to be going well for Pamela, until the bad flu season turns out to be a serious epidemic. She takes the virus lightly at first, but her mood changes when it seems that even President Mike Pence (yes, that really happened) doesn’t have a vaccine and dies (as well as presidents Paul Ryan, Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos).
Pamela’s husband eventually gets sick as well and tells her to leave before she contracts the virus too. The only person she knows that’s left is her nemesis Catherine, but when Pamela arrives at her house, she has died as well. The good news for Pamela is that Catherine had just bought a bunker to be safe from the virus. Pamela decides to go to the bunker to make sure she and Jeremy, the dog, will survive the virus.
In year 1 the bunker is a lot of fun. There’s food, alcohol and cool technology like a drone, but once it’s Christmas Pamela starts to feel lonely. With nothing left to do, besides drink and nobody to talk to, besides Jeremy who doesn’t talk back to her (Pamela tries very heard to teach him the word milk though), year 2 and year 3 aren’t as fun. Tensions between Pamela and Jeremy rise and when Pamela gives him the option to leave the bunker, he does. Now all alone in a closed space, Pamela perfects her skills in flying the drone and eventually stumbles upon Gail and the rest of the Tucson gang. As we all know, Melissa shoots the drone, but now that she knows she’s not alone out there, Pamela leaves the bunker to find the other last people on earth.
First of all, I’m very happy that the show is finally back. I didn’t realize I missed it so much until I started watching this episode, and while introducing a new character it totally had that Last Man On Earth feel to it. It was quite a dark episode, something we’ve seen on the show before, but it also had the usual amount of awkwardness and dry humor that I love about Last Man On Earth.
All I can say is that Kristen Wiig was brilliant in this episode and I love it that we finally got to see more of what happened before the show started and before we got introduced to Tandy (or Phil at the time). I love it that the writers aren’t afraid of focusing an episode on one person alone (like they did with Tandy in the pilot and later with Mike as well) even after almost three seasons of establishing a great group dynamic between the already existing characters. The result was another really well-balanced episode and a nice introduction of a new character.
While we did not get any answers about Gail’s fate and how the rest of the gang is doing, we did get some great additional information about what happened before the virus outbreak. I can’t wait to see the group back next week and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Pamela yet!