Phil and Carol have spent the last couple episodes of The Last Man on Earth trying to procreate so they can save the human race — but does that mean their kids will have to have kids with each other? Phil comes up with a plan to spread out the gene pool, but naturally, it doesn't go the way he hopes.
I spent a great deal of this two-part episode, "Dunk the Skunk" and "Some Friggin' Fat Guy," marveling at how I went from loving Phil to wanting to punch him in the face. But I must say, the last few minutes of the hour went a long way to redeem both Phil and the show in my eyes.
Despite last week's realization that he needs to stay married to Carol and try to make their relationship work, Phil is still hot for Melissa and he's trying to find a way to sex her up — with Carol's blessing. Part of Phil's insanity lately is that he keeps coming up with sitcom plots to get what he wants, so he comes to Carol in crocodile tears. He tells her that, out of the blue, it occurred to him that their kids will have to have sex with each other. And to decrease the amount of incest going on, he'll have to procreate with Carol.
Carol's face in response to this is hilarious. Phil may be living in crazy sitcom land, but the women are not. Carol may still be covering everything in glitter and wearing her wedding dress to casual gatherings, but she's mellowed out a lot since she and Phil exchanged "I do"s. And she immediately realizes what Phil is up to.
Still, she recognizes that Phil has a point. She and Melissa stop talking to Phil, but they realize that there's a kernel of truth in his scheming.
Phil's plot to get back into their good (or at least tolerable) graces also comes straight out of a sitcom. Somewhere, he must have remembered on sitcom character enjoying a bit of catharsis by dropping another sitcom character into a dunk tank over and over again. He figures he'll sit in the dunk tank while Carol and Melissa sink him, and they'll all have a good laugh about it later on. But the women ignore the dunk tank and instead decide to hash out their issues.
Much to Phil's surprise, they agree that Phil should try to impregnate Melissa. Sperm is in limited supply, so Melissa and Carol lay down some ground rules: Yes, Phil can have sex with Melissa, but only during the fertile part of her cycle and only until she's pregnant.
Naturally, Phil goes overboard. Contrary to the spirit of Carol and Melissa's rules, he tries to make his first time with Melissa romantic. He sets up candles, an outdoor bed, even fireworks. He quickly regrets that last bit.
A car just passed by Tucson when its driver spots the fireworks. The car quickly turns around, pulls up to romance central, and out pops Todd.
Phil, if you're going to launch sitcom schemes, fate is going to give you sitcom results.
This is where things get painfully uncomfortable. Carol and Melissa are both delighted by the appearance of another man, and it's clear that both women view Todd as a potential procreation partner for Melissa. Melissa and Todd quickly bond over their shared love of The Shawshank Redemption while Phil does everything in his limited power to cast Todd in a negative light. Phil's attempts to woo Melissa were pretty cringeworthy before, but he cross the line into full-on asshole territory when he brings up Todd's weight.
Everything Phil does to tear down Todd backfires, of course. Todd presents himself as a sensitive, but not self-pitying soul. He admits that he overeats. He donated a kidney to his young foster brother, who died anyway. Most importantly, where Phil is awkward and obviously dishonest with Melissa, Todd seems remarkably easygoing. It's not long before Melissa and Todd are making out.
That's when Phil's assholery turns psychotic.
Phil shows up on Melissa's doorstep and starts ranting about how the "fats" are dishonest people, and that Todd probably isn't the good guy he seems to be. (He may not be, but obviously his weight doesn't factor into it.) Melissa is appropriately horrified, and slams the door on him. That's when even Phil realizes that he's crossed a line. He once again tries to make amends with Melissa, but this time he uses something he hasn't tried before: the truth. He finally admits that he has gone completely crazy, and Melissa opens the door again when he confesses that he talks to sports balls.
I missed this Phil, the Phil who seemed to vanish when Melissa showed up. He takes her to the bar, introduces her to all of his ball buddies, and offers her a whiskey. Melissa likes this Phil a lot better too, and encourages him to be honest with her. He is, telling her that she was the person he was waiting for in Tucson and that he has fallen in love with her. She returns the favor with a little honesty of her own: she will never fall for him.
I'm hoping this closes the chapter on crazy asshole Phil. Certainly, he's not going to magically get over Melissa or suddenly fall head over heels for Carol, but something cracked open with this confession. Plus, the post-apocalypse is starting to get a little crowded. If Phil is too much of a jerk, the other remnants of humanity may decide they don't want him around.