NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of The Last Man on Earth are present in this review
With Phil and Carol separated, The Last Man on Earth looked to be changing up the show’s dynamic in a big way. The two might have stumbled into new communities, perhaps found new survivors, or any number of things. Sadly, “The Boo” wimps out of any serious changes for the show, but it was still a good episode that had some solid humour, even if the status quo was rather laboriously restored by the end, or at least appeared to be.
So, Phil continues to try and get in touch with Carol, who, actually, has spent the whole time never leaving the same gas station. Turns out, Phil got the make of gas station wrong. It wasn’t a Speedy Pump. Oh dear. This was actually kind of funny and true to Phil’s character, though you’d think that he would notice other conspicuous things at nearby gas stations if Carol were living in them.
Anyway, Phil manages to send a message to Carol via train from Tucson, which she receives. He even attempts a steamroller in another throwaway bit, on account of running out of train cars. Sadly, this leads to the tragic “death” of one of Phil’s ball friends, but even if Phil’s broken up about it, the moment itself was played off for solid laughs.
So, Phil and Carol are reunited soon after. Considering the big deal that the season premiere made of separating them last week, it was almost a let down to see them back together so soon. The show sort of felt like it was wimping out of truly putting either character to the test by rendering them alone. Still, I suppose that The Last Man on Earth is a comedy, and it wouldn’t do to have the show moping around for too long. Besides, the humour didn’t suffer after the reunion, which was nice to see.
Phil shows Carol how his house was burned down and everyone disappeared, and the two decide to hole up in Carol’s former Tucson abode instead. In the process of finding champagne and preparing to celebrate their reunion, Phil discovers a note from the others that tells Carol to come to Malibu, which is apparently where everyone went. The note says not to bring Phil however, as it could be dangerous. Feeling pressure from the idea of losing his new situation with Carol so soon, Phil stashes the note, and luckily, Carol doesn’t notice.
This leads to a great highlight joke, with Phil having a nightmare about Carol discovering the note, and abandoning him to go to Malibu. This scene ends with other Phil cutting into his sunroof and stabbing him, though he then wakes up to try to get Carol’s attention, only to have Melissa be the one in bed with him! Melissa unloads an assault rifle into Phil, and he wakes up again, now actually being back to reality. This was a brilliantly executed bit, and the show actually did a great job of selling it, since audiences will not expect Phil to be dreaming due to how well the scenes were set up, and that makes the comedic payoff even funnier, especially when it pulls it off twice in a row!
Because of the nightmare, Phil comes clean to Carol about the note the next day, though her reaction is surprising to both him, and likely the audience. Carol decides that she’s most loyal to Phil, and if the community doesn’t want him, then she doesn’t want them. Clearly though, she’s in agony about losing her only other friends, which leads to Phil pushing to go to Malibu, only for Carol to keep refusing. Phil however gets wise, and keeps pouring Carol shots until she gets drunk and passes out. Then, Phil stashes her in the RV, and drives to Malibu without her consent. When Carol wakes up the next morning to see what Phil has done, she initially appears angry, but her line about Phil being the skunk that sprayed her with the scent of selflessness was a much funnier, and happier response than her just predictably throwing a fit.
Eventually, the two arrive in Malibu, with Phil offering to take Carol to the beach. This leads to an amusing throwaway gag about the beaches being full of dead whales, kind of ruining the moment. Fortunately, they discover the group in a nearby cove, and spy on them with binoculars, noticing that everyone is present, with… Will Ferrell?!
This was a fantastic surprise cameo that really had you wondering just what this group has been up to since Phil and Carol separated from them. The cameo only got funnier when Carol tries to surprise everyone, then apparently leads to Will Ferrell’s unnamed character having a heart attack, and appearing to die right then and there! This was actually a hilarious way to end the episode, particularly with Carol’s awkward shrug to Phil in the distance, and, if you also watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine on FOX’s Sunday night comedy bloc, you’ll see the missed potential that Brooklyn Nine-Nine suffered from when it initially presented Bill Hader’s short-lived Captain Dozerman, and had his first heart attack be a false alarm. Will Ferrell’s surprise cameo in The Last Man on Earth was funnier, since it committed to the hilarious gag of having a big guest star, and then appeared to immediately kill them off, right as audiences get excited.
Still, “The Boo” wasn’t quite as good as the season premiere, even if the great comedy still kept the episode strong and entertaining. Phil and Carol’s separation was ultimately pretty short-lived, and their separation from everyone else was equally short-lived, but it will no doubt be good to have everyone together again next week all the same. Too bad about poor Will Ferrell guy though.
- Phil's clever way to contact Carol
- Phil's double-nightmare is hysterical
- Surprise Will Ferrell cameo is also hysterical
- Phil/Carol separation is solved pretty quickly