The Last Man on Earth Review S2E6 “Real Live Wire”


[SPOILERS ahead in this Last Man on Earth Episode Review]

Watch the full episode of “Real Live Wire” here

The basic premise of The Last Man on Earth has always been predicated on suspending disbelief. All of humanity (minus a few) have been wiped out by a virus, but buildings and communities are still intact, signs of people are absent, and liquor appears to be aplenty (although bacon is not). This fantasy setup has allowed the characters to sidestep more realistic problems and instead focus on group dynamics and learning to tolerate survivors that are annoying and selfish.

But the show has now started to address the reality that supplies are limited and many have expiration dates. Who knew that gas had an expiration date (I didn’t and most of the group didn’t)? But New Phil is aware of this reality, and he’s frustrated and tired of people not listening to him or taking his survival skills for granted. So he’s going to take a break.

Nothing highlighted the discrepancy among the group more than New Phil building furniture while the rest of the group played Jenga with solid gold bars. New Phil believes Malibu is not a habitable location and wants to move. The others don’t agree and want to live for short-term, immediate gratification. Carol eventually sides with New Phil, questioning whether Malibu is the right place to raise babies. It is then that the group discovers that the rest of the women don’t want to have babies. Todd is crushed by Melissa’s assertion, as is Carol.

Carol is distraught by the notion that none of the women want to bear babies. Each have their own reasons. Melissa has surveyed the situation on the planet and believes bringing a child into it would not selfish and uncaring as a parent. Erica simply sees having a baby as a hassle with minimal benefit. Gail tells Carol “that ship has sailed” while going back to making out with the CPR dummy that she has dressed in Gordon’s clothes.

With New Phil on strike, Tandy and Todd attempt to earn some brownie points by taking up the torch of handypersons. They attempt to assemble a set of solar panels but lack the knowledge or know how. This sets up a confrontation between Tandy and New Phil which results in New Phil beating the crap out of Tandy. Surprising to all, the group take Tandy’s side. Melissa declares that beating up Tandy is “like hitting a girl.”

New Phil refuses to accept the same punishment that Todd and Tandy have endured and decides to leave the group. But before he does, he apologies … only to Carol. He expresses his frustration that she chose Tandy over him and begs her to leave with him. But before Carol can respond, Erica informs everyone that she’s pregnant.

This show continues to surprise me with how they tackle larger issues about survival and group dynamics while continuing supply the show with ample laughs. When the group isn’t united in their disdain for Tandy, we’re starting to discover that a majority of them wish to live out their remaining days carefree and with little regard for preserving humankind. They may not be as annoying as Tandy, but they are starting to show that they are just as selfish and weak. But New Phil believes he’s above reproach, and his refusal to abide by the group rules and punishment is a startling development. What do you do when one person believes they are above the rest?

The relationship dynamics continue to evolve. What will happen to Carol now that the person who didn’t want to have a child is pregnant, and the father of the child was just about to leave after declaring his love for someone else? And can Melissa move past Todd’s bacon debacle? Will he get past her assertion to not have children? Things are getting messy, and for once, Tandy is not in the middle of it.

Grade: A-

Review: S2E5 “Crickets”

Review: S2E4 “C To The T”

Review: S2E3 “Dead Man Walking”

Review: S2E2 “The Boo”

Review: S2E1 “Is Anybody Out There?”

Why You Should Watch The Last Man on Earth

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