The Last Man on Earth: A Real Live Wire Review

Last Man on Earth straddles the line between cartoon and reality as it juggles fantastical set pieces with talks of repopulation.

The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 6

“Gas goes bad?” 

I didn’t think the show would be able to top Tandy cramming clumps of cheese into his bearded face as fast as he could. But the cold open this week, which sees Tandy trying to enjoy a “liquid waffle,” manages to outdo it. This scene of extreme hunger is also emblematic of the much larger problem at hand in Miami; these people are running out of the remaining power that they have left. I’ve always been a fan of when these real end of the world problems have integrated themselves into these peoples’ lives, and now that they’ve settled down some what better time to indulge in such things? I’ve also been hoping that Melissa’s hand injury would also begin to take a turn for the worse, become gangrenous, and we’d begin to see some amputated (or even dead) characters on the show, but we’ll take this one disaster at a time. 

At first everything is operating at status quo here. I was quite happy to see Jenga returned to in the show as a bastion of comfort and relaxation for our crew as well. It’s also a welcome dynamic to see Phil turned into the show’s resident wet blanket—almost as if the moniker is a death sentence in itself—as the pressure begins to get turned on. The pressure in this sense is with the remaining gas in their possession going past its expiration date, the larger question is opened up of what these people’s end game is. When the topic of repopulation versus living in the now (“YOLO! YOLO!”) is broached, there’s a surprisingly amount of support towards having lots of fun and burning the house down in the process. It’s nice to see these larger areas of the series’ unique premise getting explored some, and it should be exciting to see how losing further luxuries will divide or unite this crew.

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Tandy and Carol’s dynamic is in such a place of perfection at this point it’s uncanny. They’re such a perfect couple and their scenes of repartee with one another are a constant delight. I’ve said it before, but I’m so glad the show has settled on these two being happy together rather than throwing obstacles between the two of them (remember when they were lost and separated throughout the desert?). Similarly, the groove that Tandy’s fallen into—a consummate jester that appears to always be performing for himself—is one that I’m a big fan of. As far as I’m concerned, at this point nearly everything out of this goose is gold—boom, still got it.

As matters continue, Tandy and Todd take it upon themselves to try and build a battery and bring some electricity back to their lives, with the proceedings feeling very Three Stooges minus one. You kind of can’t believe that things get to the point where these guys are being held hostage and at bay by a renegade live wire, but that’s part of the magic of this show. Director Jason Woliner really brings the threat of the wire to life, and watching these two idiots navigate around it is such a bizarre thing to behold. It’s a storyline that feels more appropriate in a point-and-click adventure game, not an episode of a sitcom.

On the opposite end of things, the dynamic filled by Carol and Melissa as the binary to Tandy and Todd is endearing in an entirely different way. Watching her try to convince Melissa to get on board with repopulation with wild paintings of what her offspring would look like are just as outlandish as going head to head with a live wire. They compliment each other well as act as reflections of how cartoonish this show can be at times. 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Miami I’m loving the depressing route that Gail has gone down. Apparently Gordon’s short tenure with this crew and the time that he shared with Gail made a larger impression on her than she’s let on so far. We’re just given a glimpse of what she’s going through, but her going down some sort of Norman Bates route is another live wire that would be a beautiful element to toss into the fray once the dust has settled from whatever the current chaos is. 

The turn of events that the end of the episode goes out on involving a certain character are an appreciated direction for the show to go down. Just as quickly as characters came into this show’s world in the first season, seeing the herd begin to (possibly) thin out is just as refreshing now. The show has a lot on its plate at the moment (let us not forget Space Sudeikis is still in orbit, too), and I suppose the fun of the upcoming episodes will be in seeing which of these angles it chooses to pursue. 

At least Tandy’s not going to be the biggest baby on the show for much longer.

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3.5 out of 5