Mike and Phil reached some form of a truce on The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 15... I think.
With this show, who knows whether that heartwarming moment of realness between the two brothers will actually allow the truce to stick. Thankfully, it'll at least put an end to the escalating prank war.
For an installment that was all about pranks, "Fourth Finger" wasn't the funniest of the season. That's probably because, once again, Phil took things way too far and used harsh emotional warfare to get back at his brother.
No, overall, this was more emotional than The Last Man on Earth has been lately. We haven't seen Phil deal with his grief over losing his parents pretty much at all, and the penultimate prank in the prank war allowed both Millers to confront that.
"Fourth Finger" picked up right where The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 14 left off – immediately after Phil confronted Mike over half-shaving him. This led to a trio of wonderful descriptions from a few of the ladies, with the winner of the bunch going to Erica, for sure:
You look like two different serial killers.Erica [to Phil]
She's not wrong. He really does look like two serial killers.
I'm going to take a minute to appreciate the half-shaved look again. It takes serious dedication to the role to actually go through with something like this, and Will Forte is nothing if not devoted to physical comedy.
Props to Carol for trying desperately to play it off like she wasn't horrified. Phil did a decidedly less convincing job pretending he'd meant to half-shave himself anyway and that Mike had done him a big favor by going ahead and doing it for him.
Naturally, Phil decided he had to get even with Mike and resorted to a prank war. Also naturally, Mike one-upped him every single time, dodging Phil's poison-oak-in-the-sleeping-bag trick by moving into his own house and leaving behind a gag present box filled with exploding blue ink.
He friggin' Smurfed me!Phil
Mike's "Do Not Open Until Christmas" note to Phil was particularly funny given that (1) Christmas literally just passed and (2) Phil completely fell for it like a real goober.
Half-shaven and now dyed blue, Phil continued to amp up his ridiculous appearance by caking on face makeup to cover up his dyed skin. He tracked Mike to his new house, attempting to lay out the poison oak on his new bed, but Mike caught him because, again, he's one step ahead of Phil basically all the time.
After inexplicably listening to Mike's instructions to rub the poison oak on his balls to prove it wasn't poison oak (seriously, why on earth would Phil go through with that?), Mike vowed revenge.
He completely delivered – the next morning, Phil woke up atop a cliff and rolled off of it, only to land on a giant inflatable mattress. Touche, Mike.
Phil quickly realized that he was outmanned – Mike was simply the better prankster. After cowering in fear for a while, Phil managed to recruit Todd to help him out. Poor, sweet Todd agreed to shave half of himself as well, in solidarity with Phil.
Honestly, I'm not really sure how that plan was supposed to go, but it somehow worked. Mike felt bad once he saw that Todd had involved himself in the Miller brothers' prankstravaganza (because, y'know, he's not a monster), and agreed to back off.
Of course, Phil was on high alert and not quick to accept his brother's truce.
No! You two are even now. You made him feel awful for missing your grandma's death. This is just a classic tit-for-tat situation. Your head's the tat and your grandma was the tit.Carol
After completely misinterpreting Carol's heartfelt encouragement to make amends with his brother, Phil yet again took things way too far when he "pranked" his brother by faking a really emotional (and poison oak-covered) letter from their dead parents to Mike.
Good lord. That one was almost as bad as the Grandma story in "Skidmark."
Reassuringly, Phil almost immediately realized that he'd gone too far – and he did it all without Carol lecturing him! After spending some time looking through old family photos of himself and Mike as boys, he realized he needed to apologize.
This led to the first legitimately emotional scene between the brothers – they each confessed that they missed their parents, and Phil vented about how their parents were always bragging about Mike, with Mike reassuring Phil that they were equally proud of their older, less accomplished son. So all's well that ends well... right?
I'm not convinced that Mike and Phil have just kissed and made up, but Phil is about to have a much bigger problem.
After struggling with juggling two girlfriends (can you blame the guy?), Todd finally had a breakthrough. His breakthrough was that he can do everything for everyone but, alas, he took it just a little too far.
So there I am, standing between Denzel Washington's legs, and I'm saying "Push, Denzel, push!" And Denzel pops out the most beautiful little Siamese twins, they are perfect. And then he says, "Sally" -- because he's calling me Sally for some reason -- he says, "Sally, you keep my attached babies. I got my movie career." And I have had that dream fifty times, and I do not know what it means.Carol
Carol, still clearly struggling with Phil's infertility (as per the above reccuring surreal/disturbing Denzel Washington baby dream), asked Todd to "put Tandy's baby inside of her" in the closing coda.
Which... sounded like she's asking Todd to impregnate her. And Todd, still on his alpha-dog high after delivering his super-dominant speech, breezily agreed to do it. Uh oh.
- This wasn't the most laugh-out-loud funny installment of the series, but Phil's quick little "this oak is poison," sung in the style of the Bell Biv DeVoe song "Poison," really got me for some reason. I laughed for about five minutes straight.
- The return of the ghillie suit! For some reason, I love seeing Phil in that stupid thing.
- The voice of Mike and Phil's mom? That was Will Forte's actual mother, Patti Forte.
- The fourth finger instead of middle finger schtick was such a perfectly childish gag. Again, Sudeikis and Forte do an excellent job of acting like perpetually tweenaged bickering brothers. It's such early adolescent humor, and they have wonderful fraternal chemistry.
- I loved how legit and absurd Mike's bed-on-the-cliff prank was. The fancy dinner table with the note instructing Phil to look up and see Mike giving him the finger on the cliff? Classic.
- Phil and Todd's friendship is the best. I adore how Todd is willing to do just about anything for anyone.
What did you think of "Fourth Finger"? Share your thoughts by commenting below and watch The Last Man on Earth online to relive Mike totally trouncing Phil in the prank war!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.