Last Man on Earth: She Drives Me Crazy/Mooovin’ In Review

Growing pains are felt as Phil tries to find a pattern in this new twisted life that he’s built for himself...

“I have a question, is this going to change the game in some way?” 

The Last Man on Earth’s propensity to often be “changing the game” is exactly what made it such a standout, unusual fluke when it began in the first place. It was constantly changing its rules and universe in a way that legitimately made each episode surprising and something you eagerly awaited each week to get more answers. So when Melissa poses this question to Phil in the second episode of the night, it’s more than a little self-aware. And while the game perhaps isn’t changed in the way that it has been in the first few episodes, it’s because the show is settling into a nice little pattern (or as much as one as a show like this is capable of) that it has become comfortable with.

Series writer Andy Bobrow took to Twitter with an extremely brief outline for the season, and if we’re to take it seriously, then these episodes are simply fulfilling the show’s promise of finding a routine. So as comfortable as these episodes may feel, knowing that it’s going to shatter this tower soon enough (and judging by the previews for the next episode, that could happen in a huge way) and continue to build new toys out of these blocks is even more exciting. 

These episodes open on a delicious ret-con of the ending of last week’s episode, which is pretty fantastic and another gentle reminder of just how desperate and sad Phil has become. He doesn’t even have the luxury of the privacy of his own dreams anymore. Even they are being invaded by Todd. 

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As a result of all of this, we see Phil returning to the conniving, duplicitous version of himself that has become so prevalent lately; the kind that “wants details and wants details now.” Seeing Forte explode through a rainbow of ugly emotions shifting from blind rage to crippling sadness when he realizes that “She Drives Me Crazy” was in fact Todd and Melissa’s sex anthem after all is actually kind of hard to watch. 

While Phil was nightmaring all evening, Todd was quickly having what was “the best night of his life now.” The ability for this song to then be used as a strong aural cue that cuts through Phil like a knife everything that it pops up on the soundtrack (which is often) is some wonderful comedy. Almost like a Telltale Heart-esque riff on the situation as Phil is forced to listen to the inadvertent fruits of his labor driving him crazy. 

As nice and as much as Phil’s new grievance board may be “cool stuff,” it kind of would have been nice seeing him fight sexual fire with sexual fire and him and Carol having their own sexual theme song that they boomed through Tuscon to compete against “She Drives Me Crazy.” That being said, seeing Forte trip up on the instant bureaucracy of his grievance board and the “rigid sex restrictions” that come with it is a lot of fun. It’s also worth noting that Carol’s weird grammar affectation has returned to welcome arms, and it’s always something that I could ask for more of.

There’s a nice prolonged scene where we see Phil literally cleaning up his trash and trying to get his pool back in order as a nice, if not obvious representation of how the lives he’s played around with have coalesced into a situation out of his control that he just has to deal with. To see that these “What ifs” are also plaguing Phil’s mind has me pretty excited. He constantly seems on the cusp of snapping and seeing his bubbling fake personality that he puts on when dealing with Melissa is just as terrifying as it is hilarious. So when Phil jumps to the place of wanting to kill Todd so that Melissa will therefore obviously want to be with him, it’s scary stuff, but it also doesn’t feel that far gone for him. 

Abandoning Todd is a pretty light sentence considering all of the places my mind went for what Phil might have done to him. You could argue that this scene of Phil trying to leave Todd, as he careens his car back and forth in reverse as he screams wildly, is one of the series’ funnier moments but it’s also no doubt one of the darkest moments that it’s pulled off. Seeing Phil wrestling with himself and simply how pained he is by doing the right thing (remember how I said he wasn’t a good person last week?) is devastating. Juxtaposing this with Todd’s complete naivety and trust towards the situation has it hit even harder.

We see him outright tell Carol that he’s a “good person” later on, and doing what good people do. Meanwhile Todd is simply helping Carol with things like moving dressers because “it’s fun” and has no agenda at hand. But it’s going to take a lot more than simply acting like a good person to truly become one, Phil Miller.

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The second installment puts Phil and Carol’s relationship under the microscope with Carol thinking it’s time for the two of them to move into together. Lord knows it would make things like trading DVRs (a really great apocalypse joke) a heckuva lot easier. Phil’s so desperate to avoid this he even jumps at the opportunity to fix Carol’s perpetually broken door.

This leaves Phil looking for some “grand gesture” to really blow everyone away and get the focus off of the Todd love fest and remind everyone of the man that got elected to be president of the United States. This might feel a tad repetitive with the motions that Phil has been going through lately, but his discovery of a cow and the ensuing discussion of what to do with it makes for some pretty engaging television. The cow is the perfect catalyst as tensions are already rising and Phil’s grasp on his relationship with everyone seems to be becoming ever more tenuous. He even compares himself to Christ right after the lactose intolerant man agrees to choke down milk for the rest of his life. 

The funny thing is, even if Phil wasn’t trying so hard to go out of his mind to seem like the martyr and hero through all of this, he’d realize that he was already being seen this way. Todd idolizes and endlessly values the man because all of his gestures have ended up leading to him being as happy as he is now. I can kind of see this show also being about Phil not being the worst person left alive, but inadvertently the best person on Earth. It’s certainly not as strong as an angle, but seeing good deeds piling up in Phil’s wake is also pretty satisfying.

It looks like we still have a lot of Phil Miller left to figure out.


3.5 out of 5