73%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
97%

Filler, filler everywhere, and not a plot to sink… my teeth into.

 

Season 2, Episode 15: “Fourth Finger”

Mike and Phil continue in their one-upmanship, establishing a full-on prank war. It’s clear that Mike is smarter, constantly a step ahead of Phil, forcing him to go to really dark emotional places, and making him look like the worse character. In fact, both of them are terrible, and after a half-season of teasing their reunion, not as much fun together as I hoped they’d be. Of course their prank war led to a revelation that they missed their parents and were acting out on their resentment.

 

And of course Todd has trouble balancing being a good boyfriend two both Gail and Melissa with being a good potential father and a good friend. This whole episode felt like b-stories strung together until the end, when Carol asks Todd to help her make Phil’s baby. This would have been funny two episodes ago, when Todd was first spreading himself too thin. Now it’s disappointing not just in its predictability, but because, after setting up the nonsense rivalry between Mike and Phil, there’s a huge missed opportunity. Carol wants Phil’s baby, so why not ask the guy most genetically similar to her husband who’s not also boning everyone else in the compound?

 

Melissa and Erica continue to get lost in the shuffle. It’s a shame, because January Jones was so wonderful last season. I think it could use some of her biting line delivery right now. Erica has always been the odd one out, but with her pregnancy looming and everyone engaged in childish shenanigans even after a botched medical procedure, she should be the most interesting person in the show. Her conflict is real, not manufactured, and would still provide ample ways in which to highlight profound stupidity, which is all the show seems interested in anyway.

 

 

I hate that Last Man on Earth has become boring and repetitive. It seems the writers are more concerned with getting as much weird garbage out of Phil’s mouth and riding on the joke that a large man shouldn’t have so many girlfriends. It went from the freshest, most original show in a long time to being tragically typical. Despite being an episode of pranks, I did not laugh once. I really hope, with this season winding to a close, they do something that will make me watch next season. As much as I love Will Forte, I think making Phil the focal point of this season and not better utilizing the ensemble has really crippled any momentum the show had. He’s a one-note character who never changes, and his selfishness, while initially charming, has become obnoxious without anyone else tempering him. I had hoped Mike would provide a new foil, something more interesting than other Phil, but no dice. They seem more interested in turning him into a carbon copy of his brother, and it’s not a descent I’m willing to watch.

 

You’ve got three episodes, Jason Sudeikis, the incomparable Kristen Schaal, and a premise that still has legs! Make it work!

 

Directed By: Jason Woliner

Produced By: Andy Bobrow, Will Forte, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Chris Plourde, Liz Cackowski, Erik Durbin, Tim McAuliff, John Solomon, Emily Spivey, Steve Burgess, Erica Rivinoja, Seth Cohen

Written By: Erik Durbin

Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Cleopatra Coleman, Mel Rodriguez, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Sudeikis

Network: Fox

Release Date: April 10th, 2016

Runtime: 22 minutes

Rating: N/A

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