The Last Man on Earth: Falling Slowly Review

A human ‘Last Man on Earth’ runs through the gauntlet of divorce, marriage, and new life as emotions run high

This The Last Man on Earth review contains spoilers.

The Last Man on Earth: Season 2, Episode 15

“Please don’t look at my genitals.”“You know I can’t make that promise, Mike.”

We all know that the big news this week is that we get the glorious return of Carol’s unique dirty talking, and it does not disappoint. Mike’s incredulity with what she’s saying as this former astronaut tries to keep up and comprehend is just wonderful. The rest of the house being numb to the nonsense is an even better new angle to all of it. Let’s back up a little though because Carol and Mike packing a metaphorical picnic basket together is far from where things last were with the Malibu Crew.

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The hanging thread from last week’s episode doesn’t waste a minute in rearing its head and I was quite relieved to see that Carol immediately opens up to Tandy about what’s going on. Tandy and Carol have been on such a roll that her keeping a (tremendous) secret behind his back is not what these two have earned for the final stretch of the season. Besides, the two of them broaching this uncomfortable topic head-on allows for some much more interesting storytelling to take place.

The series is consistently finding new ways to intertwine these remaining people with this one being a worthy addition that deflates any campiness by the maturity that it’s shown. It ends up becoming yet another reflection of how strong their relationship is and how much Tandy trusts her. It’s also just too good to see Tandy pacing back and forth on the issue, going through the motions, with this bizarre two-face appearance highlighting this binary to a comical degree. I’m so happy to see the mileage that the show is getting out of this look. Never thought it’d be possible to top the beard but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get comfortable with Tandy’s current look.

Of course, with Tandy being Tandy his degrees of trust and comfort are going to become in flux on the topic of someone else porking his wife. Especially when that wife isn’t even his wife anymore. In what’s some appreciated continuity, Carol requires Todd to first marry her in order to have sex and impregnate her (although I won’t think too hard on the sinful out-of-wedlock sex she had with Phil 2…). Like a lot of Last Man on Earth’s best episodes, “Falling Slowly” forces itself to jump through a number of hoops to achieve the moments that it’s going after. So it’s not long before a full wedding is in swing in order to facilitate this arrangement.

It’s hard not to feel bad for Melissa and Gail as they are put through this flashy gauntlet on top of everything else that they’re going through. I can understand that that these people have a lot of free time on their hands, but I’m sure they’d rather be doing anything else in that moment. Todd says that he’s doing all of this for the good of the family and yet you can’t help but be a little suspect. Tandy’s natural Tandy-ness gets the better of him and he soon pulls the plug on this operation, instead deciding that his brother should be the one that gets to do the deed, a decision that somehow makes a lot more sense in this twisted scenario.

I was actually a little worried that Todd having sex with Carol would push Gail even further into the bottle, so it’s probably for the best that Tandy manages to defuse things since she’s still hitting it pretty hard. She’s beginning to show signs of perhaps not being as comfortable with all of this as she thought she was, especially now with everyone else’s virility wagging in her face. At one point in this episode Gail says, “I don’t know that I like living here anymore,” and it just hangs there with sorrow. It’s a heavy line and a real reflection of where the show has moved in some ways.

Todd is left feeling jilted from the whole experience, even if his Body Lockers moves at the wedding ceremony might say differently. Seeing Tandy and Todd being at odds with each other again is brutal after the strong reunion that they saw in the very last episode. It might feel like a quick turnaround for their relationship, but Todd feeling replaced by Mike once he and Tandy have repaired things makes sense. It’s even harder when the two of them are repeatedly singing “Falling Slowly” on karaoke, as if acting as an anthem to their renewed strength. I’m not sure how I feel about this alpha male un-Todd Todd. His erratic behavior may finally be catching up with him.

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It’s not long before Tandy’s even more concerned about his latest decision than what could have happened between Carol and Todd, when Carol and Mike begin showing some actual chemistry together (although to be fair, who doesn’t Sudeikis spark with?). This also leads to the news that Mike’s middle name is Shelby, which acts as some interesting food for thought just in case another Mike Miller ends up showing up and a middle name situation needs to be resorted to again. Classic neurotic Tandy rears his head once more and just repeatedly makes this situation more uncomfortable than it needs to be. This does end up leading to the perfect first “I love you” between Tandy and Carol (the fact that they’ve never said this before seems a little weird, but I can get past it), so his buffoonery is almost all worth it. Even the pregnancy news at the end feels like the universe absolving him and it’s nice to see him get a win by the end of the episode, and it’s still one that’s has him enduring his brother having sex with his wife.

All of this bubbling emotion takes a backseat for the episode’s final beat, which chooses to embrace the mysterious instead. The revelation of some sort of military drone being around might not be my favorite angle to take things, but it’s still undeniably interesting and a huge gamechanger for the show. Last Man on Earth has done an exceptional job at subverting every other topic that it plays with that why should the military or government be any different?


3.5 out of 5