NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of “The Last Man on Earth” are present in this review
With the revelation that Pat is alive, if not wholly well at the end of last week’s episode, the crew of The Last Man on Earth starts becoming very paranoid in the latest episode, “You’re All Going to Diet”, airing after the show took a week off. This episode began as another reliably silly, over-the-top farce for Phil Miller and co., though the unexpected gut punch at the end still gave this week’s offering some surprising weight, making it another winning offering for this underrated FOX sitcom overall.
The first order of business for the survivors is setting up several crude security measures, in case Pat comes back to exact revenge on the protagonists. Phil assures the group that Pat is too scared to return, something that Lewis surprisingly agrees with for the most part, though that doesn’t stop the fear permeating the group from gradually spreading. Once again, it’s Melissa that seems to take the group’s defense the most seriously, going as far as installing very deadly sniper and explosive traps around the area, though this only exacerbates the group’s growing anxiety.
Phil’s idea of installing singing fish as a means of alerting the group to intruders was very funny, especially when a glitch inevitably occurs with the fish going off after Erica wanders downstairs one night, forcing Carol to come up with an even more ridiculous solution. Carol gives everyone tap shoes and whistles, encouraging them to blow their whistles and tap their feet if the fish go off, to avoid being blown away by most likely Melissa, something that Gail in particular is opposed to, though ultimately, the group doesn’t seem to have any better options.
A subplot of sorts also unfolds in this episode, whereupon Phil starts noticing that Lewis is agreeing with some of his decisions, giving Phil the idea to try and befriend Lewis. Phil feels especially guilty when he hilariously accidentally tasers Lewis at dinner one night, on account of a botched self-defense lesson, and uses that as extra incentive to go the extra mile to win Lewis’ friendship. Phil calling Lewis to the beach and telling an exaggerated story about lions and mice was especially amusing, particularly when the other survivors gather to watch the gesture from atop the nearby cliff, like some sort of twisted reality show. Luckily, Phil is successful though, and that was heartwarming to see, especially when this plays into the surprisingly dramatic conclusion to the episode later.
As great as the episode’s conclusion was though, the journey to that final push is a bit questionable, since things get into motion after Melissa somehow fills the beach with land mines, right as Phil tries to get Lewis to befriend him. The mines are also unmarked, and Melissa conveniently left the small warning post-it note (seriously) in her pocket. I know that this is a goofy sitcom where the group seemingly always has ridiculous luxuries and tools that they’d never be able to secure in real life, but seriously, where the hell did Melissa get all those land mines? Moreover, Melissa suddenly deciding to fill the beach with mines and not tell everyone is a pretty big stretch, especially when she seems to do it so quickly, and without being noticed. Melissa’s a loose cannon, definitely, but she’s certainly not stupid, nor reckless enough to let one of the other survivors inadvertently kill themselves on account of taking a walk on the beach, and not knowing that it’s filled with mines. It was funny in some places, but even by the standards of this show, filling the beach with unmarked mines, which somehow didn’t lead to anyone being injured or killed, including Melissa, was pretty illogical.
Nonetheless, high tide eventually sets off the mines, with their vibrations in turn setting off a bunch of car alarms. This also leads to Melissa rapidly shooting at nothing, including aiming at the house, which, again, feels a bit excessively reckless, even for her. It all just leads to everyone finally cracking under their fear, and Lewis in particular demanding that the survivors leave their house. Phil, of course, defends the place as being their home, filled with memories over the course of Season Two especially, but Lewis finishes Phil’s story about the lions and mice, saying that the story ends with the mouse removing a thorn from the lion’s paw, and it’s time for Phil to metaphorically do the same.
The episode’s surprisingly sad ending didn’t even really attempt all that many jokes after Phil finally comes to this realization with everyone else, beyond a few quick gags that reference the group’s less proud moments, along with a pretty quick burial for the long-deceased Cher, nicely referencing the joke of Cher’s house from this season’s prior episodes. There’s a genuine air of regret as everyone packs up and eventually leaves, with the episode ending on the uncertain note of the survivors driving to an unknown destination together. This will give viewers a heavy heart, but considering that this is a new season of The Last Man on Earth, it really is time to go for a different set of story arcs in a different location. Hopefully though, wherever everyone ends up at next, it will provide a new batch of funny and memorable moments for this ragtag crew.
The Last Man on Earth was once again fully on-point with its humour and its drama this week, with, “You’re All Going to Diet” serving as a very fitting way to move the group to a new setting. Beyond some of the leaps in logic with Melissa here and there, the show delivered a consistently funny and heartfelt final bow for Malibu, while also providing the necessary emotional punch at the end. It’s anyone’s guess as to where the group’s next stop is, but next week’s episode promises an amusing start to another crazy journey, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for this lovable group of survivors!
The Last Man on Earth bade goodbye to Malibu in this week's episode, which exceptionally balanced a silly main plot with a surprisingly emotional conclusion.
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THE GOOD STUFF
Phil's adorable efforts to befriend Lewis
The group's ridiculous security measures
Emotional goodbye to Malibu
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
Melissa's recklessness is a stretch, even for this show