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'The Last Man on Earth' fan recap: The other man

Season 1 | Episodes 5 & 6 | “Dunk the Skunk” & “Some Friggin’ Fat Dude” | Aired Mar 22, 2015

“The solution is the hardest part.”

Finally, FINALLY, The Last Man on Earth brought up what I’ve been hesitantly mentioning for WEEKS (okay, two weeks) in my recaps. It was like the weight of five inbred children was being lifted off my shoulders. Will Forte and the other brilliant writers of Fox’s latest comedy addressed what has been obvious for weeks: Incest.

Bear with me, because for the first time in probably the history of television and cinema, incest was at the center of two very funny episodes. But first, let’s examine what has become an increasingly predictable formula in a usually unpredictable show.

How every episode occurs.

This formula occasionally has a slight variation, but the first six episodes have followed it almost exactly. This isn’t to say that a formula is a terrible thing—some of the best shows ever on television adhere to a strict formula. Lost could not end an episode without a cliffhanger or an overly dramatic statement. The Office perfected the cold open.

The only issue going forward with this formula is that it involves the same character. I don’t know that I will get tired of Phil messing up week after week, but it seems likely. Hopefully the newest addition to the cast changes that up.

As you’d expect, the first episode of tonight’s double-header started off with another brilliant idea by Phil. Talking to his balls (Kevin the tennis ball is back!), Phil formulates a masterful plan that’s “purely logical” to have sex with Melissa. It’s incest! And while Phil constantly mentioning the logic of this proposition becomes something of a joke, he’s right. We should all be thankful for Phil’s horny nature, because I was not looking forward to the incest episode in 16 or so years (YES, THIS SHOW WILL LAST THIS LONG).

Phil solicits some keywords out of Ms. Shart. Yes, she’s open to change. Yes, she believes repopulation is important. Yes, she really is super-horny. Our shifty skunk Phil immediately scurries over to Carol, faking distress. He has one simple question through his hilariously fake sobs.

“Do you want … our babies … to have sex … with each other?”

She does not, of course, but Phil could not be more obvious in his attempts to make love with Melissa. He also mistakenly mentions that Melissa is horny, thus enacting step three of our proven formula: “Everyone is upset and disgusted by Phil.” And they really are this time, deeming him a skunk:

Phil dunks himself

Watching Phil continuously dunk himself once again proves that the occasional slapstick humor on this show is perfectly acceptable, as long as it’s Will Forte. The attempt to apologize to the last two women on Earth (step four in the formula, by the way) works again because it’s so pathetic and endearing. The women do end up deciding that he must repopulate with both of them, leading to the best line of the episode:

“During those three days, sex can occur a maximum of three times per day.”
“But mathematically, if each session is eight hours long …”

But something bad has to happen, per the not-so-secret formula.

Just as things are going well for Phil, including a hysterical guitar-playing and pre-love-making fireworks display, it all goes to hell in the final seconds, at the arrival of a new suitor for Melissa.

The fireworks signal the newest not-last-person-on-Earth, Todd. So grab some GORAP (not GORP, because the “and” is often ignored, according to Carol) and buckle down, because this recap is only halfway over.

First, I just have to reflect on how “Todd” is the perfect choice for his name. There is something effortlessly endearing about that name. Perhaps it’s just because of The Fox and the Hound, or a Todd I know who has a childlike obsession with dogs, but it just fits.

That was unnecessary, but so was Phil’s guitar-playing fireworks session. Throughout this episode, Phil asks for pretty much everything that happens to him. The first night the last two women and last two men are together, he points out Todd’s weight, botches another attempt to impress Melissa (unfortunately, Tom Hanks was not in The Shawshank Redemption), and forces Todd to relive the terrible time his entire high school class made him Homecoming King to a barnyard pig Homecoming Queen.

His enthusiastic moment—studying The Shawshank Redemption, and failing to impress Melissa—falls flat. He continues to make it worse, thwarting Carol’s plans to bring Melissa and Todd closer together. The “shirts and skins” moment felt a little too sitcom-familiar, but then again, I’ve seen The Office‘s “Basketball” episode about 34 times.

shirts and skins

Ultimately, Phil must once again apologize for his silly, enthusiastic plans to make Melissa fall in love with him. Yada, yada, yada … it works. This leads to another scene with Phil’s sporting balls, and my favorite running joke of the show. Every time he gets to introduce Gary and the gang to someone, we’re guaranteed comedy. This was no different, AND our friend Kevin received additional screen time, which is always desirable.

Phil confesses his love for Melissa after introducing her to his ball friends. As silly as Phil is, I really do root for him and Melissa. The constant back-and-forth from Melissa in her perception of Phil seems very purposeful. I would not be surprised if she only really denied his advances here because he clearly is not in love with her—he’s just super-horny. Eventually he may be in love with her, and she may be too, and I’m hoping that potential guarantees a second season of The Last Man on Earth.

The somewhat predictable format of tonight’s episodes was discouraging, but the addition of Todd to the cast was a brilliant move, giving this evening one of the best ratings yet.

8.3 out of ten kevin

The Last Man on Earth airs Sundays at 9:30/8:30C on Fox.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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