HitFix First Look: Plotting to kill Phil Miller in the ‘Last Man on Earth’ finale

05.01.15 2 years ago

FOX

Thanks to several weeks of double-dipping, FOX's “Last Man on Earth” is coming to an end on Sunday (May 3) night, making it a fast run of 13 episodes for the already-renewed comedy.

Titled “Screw the Moon” — it makes sense in context — the “Last Man on Earth” finale continues Phil “Tandy” Miller's discomfort with the newly arrived Phil “Looks a lot like Boris Kodjoe” Miller. And, as you can see in this HitFix exclusive scene, Tandy and Todd are plotting ways to take this significant threat out of the picture.

I've seen the “Last Man on Earth” finale and I have a few thoughts and spoiler-free teases, but first check out the clip, which is the very funny opening scene:

Some quick finale thoughts:

For me, “Last Man on Earth” has weathered those little bumps that set in perhaps around episodes six and seven when many people felt like Original Phil Miller was becoming too obnoxious and initial fans began to wonder if the show was aware of how off-putting Phil was.

Subsequent episodes have proven rather conclusively that the show was aware and that the devolution and evolution of Phil Miller were very important to “Last Man on Earth.” Of course, Phil Miller had several different levels of “bottom” to hit and I can't say with certainty that he's even hit his nadir. But the show has already begun the fairly organic process of trying to shift Phil's behavior and his relationships with everybody around him, making his focus more than just a monomaniacal quest to get laid. Heck, we've been getting more and more scenes of other characters having conversations that don't involve Phil. Crazy, right?

For me, “Screw the Moon” was the best “Last Man on Earth” episode since episode four, probably? In fact, it has the best use of Will Forte's expressive versatility since the opening three episodes that were just Forte and then Forte and Kristen Schaal. The episode contains some Bad Phil, but there's just as much vulnerable and human Phil and I've generally felt like the show works best when Forte gives himself moments for grounding even within episodes in which he might otherwise be doing outlandish things. When we remember the things we found sympathetic about Phil in the opening half-hour, the lonely man-child just trying to deal with a world that might otherwise be tragic or nightmarish, we'll forgive him a lot of immature behavior. Maybe there were one or two episodes at midseason that either forgot that or didn't have the balance right? This one does.

The finale continues to make great use out of Boris Kodjoe as a devastatingly handsome straight-man, continues keep pushing Schaal's Carol far from the caricature a few critics suggested she was at first, and continues to do nice things with both Mel Rodriguez and January Jones.

If you tuned out on “Last Man on Earth” in those middle episodes, I'd say that you'll probably like where the show ends its first season, though you might like it even more if you watch the full run for the journey. I think the finale leaves the show looking in some interesting directions for Season 2, especially the very, very end.

“Last Man on Earth” wraps up its first season on Sunday (May 3) night on FOX.

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