The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 18 Review: 30 Years of Science Down the Tubes

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Looks like there's going to be trouble in Malibu during The Last Man on Earth Season 3.

The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 18 ended on a serious cliffhanger, as Phil and the gang spotted Mike's crazy boat friend headed to shore with back-up – and automatic weapons!

As expected after his departure on The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 17, Mike forced Phil to leave him behind at their family home in Tucson.

This both took care of the issue of Jason Sudeikis being unable to stick around as a series regular – he's got his own show, Son of Zorn, from Phil Lord and Chris Miller (the guys who also created The Last Man on Earth) coming this fall to Fox – and left open the door for eventual surprise guest appearances in the future.

Because, obviously, if we haven't seen Mike die onscreen, there's no way he's actually going to die. Not anytime soon anyway. I feel confident we'll see Mike again in the future, given how he and Phil ended things (they have that fart jar opening date on February 11, 2052, after all!).

Phil spent the majority of the finale saying a reluctant goodbye to his younger brother at their homestead, giving us some of the most legitimately emotional scenes of the entire series so far.

The central joke of this installment (which also gives the finale its title) was Phil's fart jar. In a very Phil maneuver, at some point 30 years prior, he farted in a jar and sealed it up, hoping to test his hypothesis about a fart retaining its scent decades later.

Phil: This, my friend, is full of active fart.
Mike: So, you farted into a jar and you saved it?
Phil: This is not some whimsical pursuit, Mike. This is a valid scientific experiment. And an important one at that. How long can a fart retain its unique smell composition in a sealed jar?

Yep, this sounds very much like something our good pal Phil would do.

Unfortunately, Mike blew the whole experiment to pieces by farting at the exact moment Phil opened the jar.

Beyond that joke, the finale was actually pretty somber, as Phil struggled to come to terms with the fact that his brother was dying.

I love that "Falling Slowly," has sort of become a theme for Mike and Phil. It's also kind of hilarious that the song is a love song.

For that reason, it was great to hear the song make its reappearance as Mike helped Phil cut his hair in what was a surprisingly emotional scene.

Unfortunately, Mike's frustration with Phil's inability to take anything seriously and respect his dying wish led him to lash out at Phil angrily, essentially voicing Phil's worst fears about himself, shortly after that sweet hair cutting scene.

The only time you even came close to being special was when everybody died but you.


Way harsh, Mike. 

Luckily, the two brothers managed to make amends and parted on as good a note as any. After finding Phil sitting in front of the graves he'd dug, on his own, for their parents and for Mike (back when he thought Mike was dead in space), Mike successfully managed to get through to Phil, convincing his older brother that he shouldn't have to bury a loved one yet again.

Mike's selfless act of love, choosing to die alone so that his brother wouldn't have to go through the pain of burying him a second time, was a wonderful moment. It's the majority of the reason I'm hoping for a second miraculous reunion between the Miller brothers sometime down the road.

The exchange of gifts between the two was also really significant. Mike's fart, jokey and gross as that gag was, symbolized leaving behind a part of himself with his older brother, to last beyond his death.

In return, Phil gave Mike his ball friends, signifying his departure from the last vestige of his former, loner self – he's found his people now (the Malibu gang) and no longer needs the company of his imaginary friends. That was a wonderful way to symbolize Phil's character growth this season.

Meanwhile, back in Malibu, the group discovered that the drone Gail had apparently drunkenly hallucinated was all too real.

Unlike the rest of the group, who had a rosy-colored view of the world and assumed the drone was sent by other innocent survivors just like them, Melissa was immediately suspicious of the drone's owner.

She shot it down immediately on sight, angering the rest of the group who thought the fellow survivors may have been friendly.

Melissa: 'Cuz whoever sent this thing is trouble.
Todd: You don't know that, they could've been nice!
Melissa: Nice? No, a nice person says, "Hey, guys, I'm alive! Here's a pound cake." They don't plant a freakin' camera at our front door doing recon on us.

In the end, despite the dangerous, gun-wielding paranoia spiral the drone sighting sent her on, Melissa would appear to have been right.

We didn't get confirmation that the drone belonged to Pat Brown (the paranoid solo survivor that Mike encountered back on The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 11), but the juxtaposition of that drone showing up shortly followed by Pat and his boat on the shore of the Malibu house heavily implied that.

From what we know about Pat and his virus paranoia, he would be all too willing to kill the survivors in a heartbeat, assuming that they'd been infected with the virus.

The big questions, then, are: Who are the two other survivors accompanying Pat to shore in the closing shot of the season? And what exactly are they planning to do when they get there?

Other thoughts:

  • Though Pat Brown is established as a violent paranoiac, it is vaguely possible that the drone was sent with no harm intended – and that Melissa violently shooting it down signaled that the Malibu survivors were themselves dangerous. Not likely, but just another potential scenario.
  • Melissa with a shotgun was a great callback to that notable gun-wielding moment for Betty, the character also played by January Jones over on Mad Men.
  • Don't even care where Phil got that Delorean. Totally worth the suspension of disbelief for that amazing scene transition and the use of the Back to the Future music as Phil drove to find Mike in Tucson.
  • Carol's pregnancy goof of the week:

Carol: Oh my gosh, my water broke!
Gail: Way too soon for that, hun.
Carol: Oh yeah. It's pee.

What did you think of the season finale? Chime in by leaving your thoughts in a comment below and remember to watch The Last Man on Earth online right here at TV Fanatic, to relive all of The Last Man on Earth Season 2!

30 Years of Science Down the Tubes Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 18 Quotes

Ugh, you just don't get it. That's thirty years of science down the tubes.


Phil: This, my friend, is full of active fart.
Mike: So, you farted into a jar and you saved it?
Phil: This is not some whimsical pursuit, Mike. This is a valid scientific experiment. And an important one at that. How long can a fart retain its unique smell composition in a sealed jar?