The Phil Miller redemption tour continues... just as the group starts to turn on Phil 2.
The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 6 wasn't a particularly thrilling episode but it did end on a few shocking notes: Erica revealed that she was pregnant (with Phil 2's child) right after Phil 2 declared his love for Carol and basically begged her to come away with him.
Desperation? Not a good look, Phil 2!
The group turning on Phil 2 has been a long time coming, really. He's always been portrayed as this know-it-all, bossy dude, so it wasn't a surprise that everyone finally got sick of all that noise and turned on him.
Granted, he wasn't wrong about anything that he was saying: Malibu is definitely not a smart choice of home base for long-term survival. However, his ranting to the group about no one ever listening to him was a bit obnoxious.
"A Real Live Wire" opened on a great little montage of Phil singing quietly along to himself as he attempted to test the power of various appliances – only to discover that there was no power and the gasoline had gotten chunky ("like a ghost took a dump in this gas can"). The scene culminated in Phil drinking a "liquid waffle."
I will never not love Phil's conversations and songs sung to himself. It's honestly one of the best parts of the show. Will Forte plays such a perfectly delightful weirdo.
Phil interrupted the group's game of gold bar Jenga (because what else are you going to do with bars of gold in post-apocalyptic society?) to show them the weird clumpy gas. Phil 2 explained that gas expires and lectured everyone (again, not incorrectly) about the need to leave Malibu for another place better suited to long-term survival.
The group was having none of that, though Carol was leaning a bit more toward Phil 2's way of thinking. Carol wants babies; her entire relationship with Phil in the first season was really predicated on the fact that she wanted to repopulate the earth (but wouldn't do that without being married because, you know, logic).
The other women could care less about reproducing and were instead all about that "YOLO" mentality (you only live once). They all much preferred to remain in Malibu, living for the now and not making preparations for the future. Which is absurd, obviously, and a terrible idea, but how can you argue with Mary Steenburgen leading the ladies in a "YOLO" chant?
To her credit, Carol tried mighty hard to sway both Melissa and Erica in favor of having children. That portrait of Melissa and Todd's probably future child was one of the most horrifying things I've seen in recent memory. That visual, coupled with Carol's gruff "baby voice" trying to implore Melissa to have children was so beyond creepy. I loved it.
Carol's cajoling of Erica was equally unsuccessful –
Erica: My sister had kids and it turned her nether regions into a real war zone. Her boobs were like coin purses.
Carol: Well, who doesn't love a good coin purse? Put it in your hand and feel all those coins, just feel richer and richer the more you squeeze?
Much as Carol tried to spin it in a positive light, coin purse boobs were a firm "con" in the pros-cons list of baby-making for Erica.
Meanwhile, Phil worked hard to make Malibu a more habitable long-term place to live for the group, with Todd's help. This culminated in Phil and Todd creating an out of control live wire that terrorized the household for a full day. Shockingly ("boom, still got it!"), neither Todd or Phil possessed the know-how to deal with this electrical snafu.
Phil: Careful is my middle name, bro. Just kidding, it's Tandy.
One of the best parts of The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 5 was the reconciliation between Todd and Phil that built up over the course of the episode and culminated in the closing minutes, when the two men were in the stocks together for their bacon-hoarding crime.
The Phil/Todd relationship was on display in full-force in "A Real Live Wire." Todd cheering Phil on as he taped the duvets onto the solar panels (in an attempt to "starve out" the live wire) and then the two of them hiding behind the cardboard box was a particularly hilarious moment.
As has been the recurring theme all season so far, Phil learned a lesson by the end. He was desperate to prove his worth to the group by setting up the solar panels on his own, without Phil 2's assistance. In the end, though, he realized that the group's safety and what was best for them trumped his individual desire to prove himself and make amends to them.
Again: yay, character development!
It definitely didn't hurt to see Phil 2 snap and beat the snot out of Phil. That definitely made Phil look more like the bigger man at this point. Phil taking partial responsibility for the fight, admitting that he had goaded Phil 2 a bit into the fight, and asking the group to just drop it, all really contributed to underscoring how much Phil has grown as a person since the heyday of Season 1 Phil Miller.
Finally, Phil 2 unloaded all of his frustrations about Phil as he prepared to leave. His speech to Carol was predictably pitiable, especially because we all know that there is really no danger of Carol leaving Phil for Phil 2. Erica's surprise announcement was something I absolutely did not see coming, though. Especially after she so nonchalantly shut down Carol about having kids only a few hours earlier!
- The group's confrontation of Phil 2 after he punched Phil was hilarious. Todd's tremendous anger, in particular, was really funny; he was practically apoplectic with rage.
- Carol's pros and cons list for having a baby was actually really heartbreaking. Based on that little smile she had at the end there, she'll almost definitely be moving forward with her baby-having plans – especially now that her baby will have a companion-baby in Erica's offspring.
- Melissa's "What's he gonna do, punch it?" response to Phil 2 approaching the live wire – proving once again that snarky/pissy Melissa is best Melissa, second only to my all-time favorite, drunk Melissa.
- Do we definitely think Erica is pregnant? Is this a fakeout, or a ploy for Phil 2 to stay in Malibu? I'm inclined to believe she's really pregnant, but who knows with this show.
What did you think of "A Real Live Wire"? Are you as over Phil 2 as I am, or did you see his point? Do you think he'll still leave Malibu, or will he stay because of Erica's shocking announcement? Share your thoughts by commenting below and watch The Last Man on Earth online right here at TV Fanatic to catch up on anything you might've missed!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.