Mase Takes On THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Eps 11 and 12
Name of the Episodes: “Pitch Black” and “Valhalla”
For those that don’t know(but you must because you are reading this article) The Last Man on Earth has got to be the most underrated show on the major networks. Most shows that have an apocalyptic theme are dark and gritty, they might have zombies or monsters, and there will always be another city or town or group of people that wants the resources (clean water or food) and they will take it by force. This show has none of that. Last Man on Earth is bright and witty with one cow and two Phils.
It was originally pitched by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Lego Movie, 21 and 22 Jump Street) to be a movie. When they pitched the premise to Will Forte, he ran with it. Last Man on Earth is about Phil Tandy Miller(Will Forte – SNL, MacGruber) who is an average guy with an average job. Then one day patient zero contracted a virus that spread across the world and killed everyone with one exception, Phil Miller.
–This review is for season 2 episodes 11 and 12. Major spoilers for the series follows. You have been warned.–
Since the show started, viewers have been in the dark on what exactly happened to the world. We know that 99.999% of the world’s population died, but we don’t know what it was that killed us or even how we died and we don’t see any bodies anywhere. Well we are back from winter break on LMoE, and they finally gave us some more insight into what actually happened.
As we found out last season, Tandy has a brother, Mike Miller (Jason Sudeikis), who has spent the last few years on the International Space Station. Episode 11 starts with Mike and his pet caterpillar Phil launching an escape pod towards Earth where they eventually crashes into a cruise ship. Unable to find a lifeboat, because the ship is now sinking, Mike finds a water trike and proceeds to paddle off into the ocean.
Mike passes out and hallucinates young Phil sitting in a kiddie pool of Kool Aid, just like his older self. Mike wakes up, after kiddie Phil calls him a fart face, to find a schooner with food and fresh clothes and a lone man named Pat Brown(Mark Boone Junior). After explaining to Pat that he is merely a spaceman and not a man carrying the virus, they become friendly and share a beer. The two eat a meal of rusty mashed potatoes and wash it down with a $10,000 bottle of scotch. Much to the displeasure of Pat, Mike wishes to go into shore to see the world that was left behind.
–This is where we get some answers for the series–
The two head into Miami, in hazmat suits at Pat’s request. Pat gives us first hand accounts of what happened. Blood comes out of everywhere. Mike asks about all the bodies, so Pat takes him to the Miami emergency staging area where we see thousands of bodies in body bags. On the way back to the boat, Pat drives by one of Phil Tandy’s billboards. Mike jumps out to see the billboard and try to convince Pat to go to Tucson. Pat hits him on the head instead and takes him back to the boat.
When Mike wakes up, Pat tells him that he is saving him from the government that now resides in Tucson, Arizona. Pat loses his gun and Mike goes for it. They scuffle until Pat hits Mike in the head with a rock. Pat then realizes Mike’s hazmat suit was ripped and he won’t take him back on board. So he does the only humane thing he can think of, put him in a body bag and the emergency staging area.
Now for the third time this episode, Mike wakes up in the body bag. Pat must have forgotten his name already because he was simply known as “spaceman” on the bag. Also, we find out Pat couldn’t spell gover(n)ment. The episode ends with Mike jumping in an ambulance and headed to Tucson.
Our next episode, Valhalla, we are back with the main cast. Quick recap of the last episode. The group was exchanging gifts. Melissa was in the middle of proposing to Todd when Phil Miller aka Phil 2 fell to the ground clutching his stomach in pain. Gail was put in charge of the appendectomy, which she failed and Phil Miller aka Phil 2 died.
So episode 12, Valhalla, starts off with the funeral service for Phil 2. Tandy, I mean Phil we are back to just Phil with him, thought it would be the best to have a viking funeral for the departed Phil. After a rousing accordion rendition of Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping from Todd and Gail, Phil pushes the viking canoe (while singing Pat Benatar “We Belong”) off into the ocean. Phil then attempts to fire flaming arrows at the canoe but he fails.
After the funeral, Carol and Phil have a talk about events in the house. Carol was about to give Todd a piece of her mind about turning Melissa down, but Phil spilled the beans on Todd and Gail sleeping together. We check in on Todd and Gail to see how their romance is progressing. Todd doesn’t want Melissa to find out about them so needless to say, it is still as awkward as ever. Bub.
Melissa is dealing with grief in her own way as well. She is setting up Carol’s Christmas ornaments on a baseball tee in the backyard. Carol attempts to avoid her and avoid talking about Todd (not very well). The next day we see her singing Phil’s closure song as she is un-bedazzling the boots Carol had made for her to propose to Todd. Todd finds her chewing on her boots with glitter all over her face. The nice guy that he is, he makes plans to watch TV with her later.
Later when Todd goes to have sexy time with Gail, he levels with her and tells her that he is going to hang out and watch TV with Melissa. Bub. Melissa and Todd watch the 2019 International Motocross champion where Melissa kisses Todd. Excited about the possibility of Todd becoming her lover again, Melissa tells Carol about the kiss! Carol, who knows all the details, asks Melissa if Gail knows. Later that night, Carol Godfather kisses Todd and tells him that she knows about the kiss.
Phil’s song did not bring him any more closure. So Phil heads to look around d-Phil’s room for something to help bring him closure. Phil finds d-Phil’s driver’s license to discover d-Phil did have a middle name, and it was even funnier than his. Philip Stacy Miller. Stacy!! This of course upsets Phil greatly so he needs his other friends, the room full of balls. Through his rambling, Phil figures that he can help d-Phil by helping Erica raise the baby. Erica does not want any part of that though. Especially after he duct taped the cradle all wrong and even broke in his hands. Erica reveals what d-Phil’s last words were “Don’t let Tandy raise our baby”. Phil tried one last time to get into Erica’s good graces, but Erica tells Phil that she is sorry that Phil didn’t want him to help with the baby. Phil then goes to burn everything at the beach where Erica finds him in his underwear. Phil’s coffin had washed back up on shore, so they buried him on the beach and Phil said his final goodbye.
Episode 11, Pitch Black, was a fantastic episode to give us a grander scale of the devastation caused by the virus. The series picked up a long time after the virus had killed off everyone so we hadn’t seen or heard anything about what actually happened. Only bits and phrases were used up until now. Now thanks to Pat the Seaman, we have a mild understanding for what happened.
I personally can’t wait to see how Mike coming to the group will affect Tandy. Mike is headed to Tucson first. This means he will see the burnt down houses and a lot of the aftermath of the group hating Tandy. I can only assume that the season will end with Mike showing up to Malibu and the group won’t know what to do. But I can also see Mike meeting up with the group and then dying of the virus at some point with everyone around.
Phil’s death is pushing everyone to the brink. Todd and Gail are sleeping together. Erica is pregnant with d-Phil’s baby. Melissa is now a pissed off teenager because Todd turned down marriage. Phil is using Phil’s death as a way to grieve for his not-so-dead brother Mike. Lastly, Carol…well Carol is the most balanced person on the show. She never really has any problems that can’t be fixed by an apology or any issues that could leave her emotionally scarred.
My favorite part about this show is the bleakness of the world they are inhabiting. With the exception of the cow and calf, there are no birds, no dogs, no cats. Hell, I doubt there are any fish in the ocean. There are no raiders on the outside of town, so there is no need for guns or violence. A lot of apocalyptic shows rely heavily on guns and violence to keep the story entertaining. Over all two great episodes to bring us out into the back half of the season. I am looking forward to finding out what actually happened (if we ever find out). Why weren’t they infected with the virus? Will Mike Millar become infected? Is there another group of survivors out there? Let me know what you think!
New episodes will air again starting Sunday April 3, 2016 at 9:30pm on FOX