Phil has spent the last few episodes of The Last Man on Earth as a pretty ineffective schemer, trying to apply sitcom logic to get his way. But it turns out that someone else is much better at manipulating post-apocalyptic life to get what they want — and even get it from Phil.
We get another double dose of the Tucson foursome in the episodes "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Mooovin' In." Todd and Melissa have comfortably settled into their new relationship — a bit too comfortably for Phil's tastes. Phil still thinks he's in love with Melissa and dreams about sexing her up each night. But his erotic dreams are interrupted by a constant blare of the Fine Young Cannibals song that lends its name to the show's sixth episode. It turns out that, every time the song is playing, Todd and Melissa are busy repopulating.
Todd is pretty blissed out about the whole situation, while Phil is apoplectic. In his capacity as President of the United of America (a bit I'm glad the show is following through on, complete with a very earnest assurance from Carol), Phil tries to pass a sex curfew/noise ordinance. I'm actually with Phil on the noise ordinance part; headphones make for good neighbors. But Carol points out that there's a more pressing issue than the New Wave sexing: Phil's toilet pool, whose toxic odor is starting to waft. Even Todd, the last nice guy on Earth, agrees it's time for Phil to clean the pool.
Since he can't seem to get his own way, Phil decides he's going to get rid of Todd. He's feeling cheated by the fate that brought Todd to Tucson just as Phil was about to copulate with Melissa, so he decides to take fate into his own hands. As if Todd were a dog that won't stop peeing on the carpet, Phil drives him three hours out from Tucson, intending to leave him on the side of the road.
It's hard to say how much Todd understands Phil at this point. Melissa understands that, when Phil is a behaving like a creepy jerk, it's a sort of weird, nervous act. Todd may be too amiable or too grateful to notice how insane Phil is, but he also may see something in Phil that Phil no longer sees in himself: that Phil is a nice guy.
We know that Phil can be a nice guy when he puts in a little effort, and so does Phil with a little push. He finally cleans out his toilet pool and when he shows off the newly fresh smell of his house, it's to Carol, not Melissa.
What's weird about The Last Man on Earth, is that it keeps forcing Phil to have the same emotional revelations with each character twice. He had two very similar heartfelt moments with Carol. He had two moments of honesty with Melissa. And now, in these two episodes, he has two moments when he realizes Todd is his friend.
It's a bit frustrating when The Last Man on Earth feels like it has set the emotional reset button with Phil and Todd at the beginning of "Mooovin' In." Phil's not going to dump Todd on the side of the road again, but he is jealous of Todd and how much approval he gets from the ladies. Someone mentioned last week that the show's title is a bit of false advertising, and I joked that Phil probably feels the same way. This week, it's very clear: Phil is frustrated that he's not the last man on Earth any more. He's not special.
So Phil storms through town, trying to think up some grand gesture that will impress the rest of his tiny community. At first, I'm excited, thinking we're going to see a return to creative Phil, but then a cow shows up.
Well, okay. A cow is pretty exciting, especially since this one has udders.
Phil is still in his god of destruction mode, and his first thought is that they should kill the cow for burgers. The others, however, realize that Phil just found them a milk machine.
Todd impresses the ladies with his knowledge of cows. He relates that factoid about cows being able to walk upstairs, but not downstairs. It's just a thing people idly say, so it's a pleasant surprise when it turns out to be a Chekov's gun moment.
Phil keeps dreaming up these harebrained sitcom plans that don't really make much sense, and in this episode, his plan is to steal the cow, keep it hidden for a while, and then "find" it, making himself the hero. Naturally, the plan falls apart, but it turns out alright for Phil anyway.
It also turns out that while Phil is a terrible sitcom schemer, Carol is a pro. In the episode's denouement, the cow appears in Carol's house, and, since it walked upstairs, it's stuck there. So Carol gets what she's wanted all episode long: to move into Phil's house. As she feeds Phil some bullshit story about how she found the cow in her house, we see in flashback how, like Phil did earlier in the episode, she snuck out in the night, untied the cow, and led it away. The difference is, Carol's plan worked. Sorry, not-last man on Earth, you've been outmatched.
- Todd reminds Phil that he's best when he's creating community rather than destroying it. I don't think it's a lesson that Phil is ready to take to heart.
- "Porta-Potty, Porta-Potty" isn't exactly "Everything is Awesome," but it is fun to sing.
- I really hope that the next episode gives us a lot of Carol and the cow, partially because the cow is living in Carol's house and partially because this episode reminded me how awesome Carol is. More Carol!
- I really like taking screenshots of the cow. The cow is gold.