This The Last Man on Earth review contains spoilers.
The Last Man on Earth: Season 2, Episode 14
“I come down from space after the whole world has died and you’re talking about Christine?”
A lot of stakes were lying on this episode. We’ve all been waiting for the Tandy and Mike reunion as soon as we saw Mike teased in space at the end of season one. Now we’re finally there and it’s a wonderful way for the show to mix things up again, right when it feels like it has started to settle down a little.
To see Tandy and Mike immediately launching into a fight from over three years ago and that they’re not even surprised the other one is still alive is the perfect way to play this reunion. Not a beat has been lost between the Miller Brothers, even through the end of the world. Watching Mike stabilize Tandy instantly speaks volumes towards their dynamic, with this being a really beautiful episode about their relationship and what family does to us.
It’s almost too fitting that Mike not only instantly fits in with the group, but is killing it with them (he even makes Carol cackle with some charming bestiality humor). Now that the antagonizer of Phil is out of the way, Tandy—Skidmark—Phil 2 has almost too strong of an adversary with his brother. It’s supremely cringe-worthy as the naturally charming Sudeikis cuts Tandy down in size without even trying. He even goes after his beard!
It’s fair enough to say that everything with Mike Miller connects quite well. There are also some brilliant gags in there like his natural archery ability indicating he could have given Phil the Viking funeral he deserved. I laughed just as hard at Mike’s guitar performance as I did at Tandy’s two episodes ago and it’s purely because of how good he is at it. You can see on Tandy’s face how much he wishes that he was him and it’s one of many beautiful juxtapositions drawn between the brothers Miller. It’s not long before you’re feeling, okay which of these women is going to jump his bones first?
I’m also inherently skeptical—due to the fact that Jason Sudeikis is a very busy man with an upcoming series of his own looming closer—how long Mike is going to be a part of the picture. His character leaving after such a drastic build up doesn’t seem like it would make sense, and him dying would begin to be hitting diminishing returns on the mortality well, too. I’d love for Sudeikis’ Mike to be a part of this show for a long time, but we’ll see what the series’ ultimate plan is for these estranged brothers.
Equally satisfying is seeing Todd’s big whiff, total misfire of a proposal last episode immediately get addressed by everyone involved in the hypothetical four-way. This is the sort of thing that could have been dragged out and let smolder for a while, but instead the show moves past it and heads in an even more interesting direction. By instantly cutting down the idea of polyamory, returning to it makes it all the plausible, and I’m actually really happy to see the show going down the road. This is a world with no rules and society anymore and these unconventional sorts of structures are what should be going on under these circumstances. Something really thoughtful and different could be said here if done properly, and Melissa and Gail care about each other enough that I hope this isn’t a rash decision that hurts them all.
On the other side of the relationship well, Carol’s commiseration regarding Tandy’s infertility is really touching. She even shares the burden, insisting that she might also be infertile, “Maybe we’re just a bunch of Hollywood stunt people shooting blanks.” I’ve said it before, but the show deciding that their marriage is solid and full of love was such a smart decision. All of their bedroom chats are a delight.
As progressive as Tandy has become, Mike understandably has him resorting to shades of the classic season one Tandy as he’s constantly trying to top his brother, which in this case means throwing a ridiculous party to end all parties. This sort of reckless behavior on his part ends up leading to some much needed emotional catharsis between the two of them. The episode rides itself out on this wounded note with the promise of rebuilding. Mike has very much made himself a mainstay in this world and I’m excited to see where this sibling rivalry continues to go. There’s a revenge plan at the end of the episode that is just too amazing to spoil, but it’s one of the funniest visuals that the show’s ever done.
See you all on the flippity next week