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The Space Subplot on The Last Man On Earth is Setting Up Something Big

No matter what happens with the crew back on terra firma on The Last Man on Earth, I find the scenes up in space more fascinating. This week, for only the second time this season, Jason Sudeikis made an appearance as astronaut Mike Miller, Tandy’s brother—and even a mention of Mike totally changes everything.

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Anytime the show teases things with Mike it ups the overall potential. The questions are endless, about how these brothers both survived, how Mike’s going to get back, if there are others. The latest episode, “No Bull,” made sure to remind us of all that.

Up on the International Space Station, Mike figured out a way to send radio signals from space. He was crazy excited but, as tends to happen for the Miller clan, it didn’t work out. No matter, though—you just know more is going to happen and I’m so excited for when it does. His storyline will eventually change The Last Man on Earth as we know it.

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Back on Earth, Tandy and crew had a few problems of their own. One, their cow had a baby, suggesting there was a bull walking around. Two, Phil was still on everyone’s shit list. And three, tensions among the group were rising. Those were not helped by Tandy’s insistence on talking and talking and talking...

...and talking and talking. You get the idea. Basically, his non-stop yapping opens up the flood gates for everyone to talk about their feelings. Gail opens up to Todd about her CPR doll; Todd and Melissa finally talk about babies and bacon and break up; Todd and Gail hook up as a result; Phil tricks Tandy into letting him out of the stocks.

Later, just when things don’t look like they could be any worse for the group dynamic, the bull they’ve been looking for walks up. Simultaneously, in a great, great moment, everyone hits him with tranquilizer darts. Unfortunately, that kills him, but the unanimous show of solidarity - and a ton of meat - seem to bring everyone back together. Even Phil was back, after realizing he wanted to stay with this odd family they’ve created.

Illustration for article titled The Space Subplot on iThe Last Man On Earth/i is Setting Up Something Big
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But as much as the family dynamic between everyone is changing and getting funnier, I’m simply too intrigued to find out how Astronaut Mike is going to fit in. That’s dominating my mind right now.

Last Man is off next week, so this column will be too. It’ll be back in December.

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Contact the author at germain@io9.com.

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DISCUSSION

platypus222
Platypus Man

I loved the scene where they killed the bull. They had the sugarfree lemonade cow urine clearly set up as a trap, realizing that the only way these dumbasses can catch a bull is to wait for him to come to them (though it was actually Phil, of course). And I hope Phil will take his brief punishment and then the prospect of him being alone as a lesson and be less of a jerk. I mean, the show is funny because they’re all kinda terrible, but still.

As for Astronaut Mike, I am seriously wondering how this will work out. He said he can get back to Earth (I think), but without NASA guiding him he’s not sure he’ll make it. And even then he’s not sure he (or Terry the Worm) will survive once they get there. And even then, I don’t know how he’ll believably make his way to his brother in Malibu. But they obviously wouldn’t keep showing him if he didn’t matter. And his radio conversation was heartbreaking, though not frankly surprising.