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Mike Miller returns to Earth and finds refuge with a man who’s waited out the viral apocalypse on a boat. The gang mourns a loss.

 

Season 2, Episode 11 “Pitch Black”

After a nail biting mid-season finale, Last Man on Earth returned with a bang — literally. Phil’s astronaut brother, Mike Miller, crash lands onto a cruise ship. He takes a water trike and pedals for days. He almost gives up hope, but in his dream, passed out atop the water trike, he sees a child version of his older brother Phil, who harasses him until he wakes up and sees a yacht. Although at first it seems abandoned, he learns that it’s actually home to Pat Brown, a grizzled looking man who’s terrified of the virus that wiped out most of humanity.

 

His ship, Deez Knots, is fully stocked, and he’s happy to have company. He and Mike drink pilfered MacCallan 1939, but Mike is still restless. He wants to see land, especially after being stuck in space for so long. After a creepy night of sleeping while Pat watches, Pat agrees to grant Mike’s wish, likely hoping it will convince Mike to stay with him on the boat.

 

They land in Miami Beach in full hazmat suits, and Mike couldn’t be happier to be on dry land. They drive around in the ice cream truck, and Pat gives Mike more details about the virus. Mike wonders what we all have since the beginning of the show. Where are the bodies? It turns out, many of them are in body bags in a quarantined staging area. It’s a disturbing sight. But Mike remains hopeful that his family is still out there. As they drive the ice cream truck back to the dock, Pat speeds up, trying to distract Mike from something. It’s one of Phil’s “Alive in Tucson” billboards.

 

Mike sees it, and Pat knocks him unconscious and carries him back to the shore. Once again, Mike gets a visit from kid Phil, who threatens to pee on him if he gives up hope. When he awakens, he fights with Pat, gets knocked unconscious again, and tears his suit, forcing Pat to leave him. Mike wakes up in a body bag in the staging area. He takes a fire truck and makes his way to Tucson. Pat chats with worm Phil, his only companion since he still believes he’s the last man on Earth. I hope we revisit him again in the future.

 

This bottle episode gave us some much-needed release for Mike’s harrowing plight, but we still don’t know what happened to Hot Phil in his surgery or the rest of the gang in Malibu. Mike is now on his way to an empty and torched Tucson, and we’ve seen one of the show’s most disturbing images to date — even more upsetting than the beached whales. It was a wonderful reminder that this is one of the most original and unique shows on TV, and it was great to see that Jason Sudeikis will probably be a regular member of the cast, if not this season, then next.

 

Jacob Tremblay, fresh of an incredible awards season for his work in Room, was spot-on as kid Phil. He delivered each fart face and flippin’ turd with the relish and passion that only a little kid getting to say his favorite words can. I love that kid Phil had a Kool-Aid pool, just like his adult self and the margarita pool.

 

This episode had me deeply anxious in between the jokes, and it felt like a great way to get back to business. I’m excited to see where it all goes, but I’m nervous about returning to the gang.

Season 2, Episode 12 “Valhalla”

And I had every right to be nervous, it turns out. The show opens on Phil’s funeral. Tandy has tried to put together a viking ceremony, but of course it goes wrong in every way. Todd sings Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumpin’” while Gail plays according, and Tandy misses the shot. It felt a little similar to the Gordon’s funeral death and gag from earlier in the season, which is a shame. Phil Miller, despite his disdain for Tandy, deserved better. The rest of the gang just rolled with Tandy’s antics, but instead of perhaps being in too much shock to say anything, it felt like everyone was just phoning it in. Oh well – just an opening tag, right?

 

But a world without Phil is not a world I’m sure I like right now. Without a foil to curb his insanely selfish behavior, Tandy gets lost in his own story. The Todd/Melissa/Gail love triangle takes up most the episode’s real-estate, and I’m just not sure I care. Carol is stuck not talking to Melissa about it. And while I appreciate the attempt to give Erica her own storyline, I’m not sure Cleopatra Jones is strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Forte.

 

That’s not to say this episode was a complete loss. With a show this unique, it never is. Even though his story gets lost in the shuffle, Tandy’s mourning gives us a glimmer of what’s to come. He keeps referring to Phil as his brother. Their last round of drinks together really meant something to him, and Carol suggests that he’s projecting his feelings for his own real brother onto another strained male relationship in his life. My only wish would have been that Tandy had a little more anger when he found out that Phil did have a middle name, Stacy. He never tells anyone, which feels like a miss for our favorite narcissist.

 

Boris Kodjoe will be missed. He was a perfect foil for Will Forte, and I don’t think any of us could have fully appreciated it until this episode when we look at life without his presence. I’m excited to see where the show goes, and I hope that they resolve this love triangle quickly so it goes away. With Mike on the same planet as a rudderless Tandy, I cannot wait for their eventual confrontation, er, reunion.

 

Directed By: John Solomon; Payman Benz

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: David Noel & John Solomon; Erica Rivinoja

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

Network: Fox

Date released: March 6th, 2016; March 14th, 2016

Runtime: 22 minutes each

Rating: N/A

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