Tweetable Takeaway: The Last Man season finale is satisfying, if not riotous.
Airtime: Sunday at 9:30 on Fox
By: Bryan Kastelan, Contributor
This is it. We’ve reached the season finale of Will Forte’s post-apocalyptic gag fest. We’ve met a handful of interesting characters along the way, in a season that has had its ups and downs. It took me a bit to think about whether I was satisfied by the season finale or not. The answer is yes, although it is not perfect. Where the past few episodes have been all out sex romps, we are given a simple and down to Earth finale. It reminded me of the pilot. You have emotion for Phil Miller again. Yes, there are a few laughs, but the conclusion favors heart. At the end of season, I have to conclude that there were moments of deftly mixed raunch and heart that I haven’t quite seen in a network comedy before.
As a conclusion episode, we get a nice close with Todd and Melissa. This is satisfying because I’ve actually been feeling terrible for Todd for the past couple episodes. Although they get an out of the series, it feels satisfying. There’s no doubt about the two of them sticking with each other, unless the series pulls a “Last Man On Earth” in a later season and sees them split. I’m talking about the unpredictability of the show. Even if the tone didn’t stay consistent for all thirteen episodes, the surprises stayed strong. I’m feeling re-watch value for the season. There may be subtle connections here and there. I laughed when Forte found an old raisin ball in the finale. That was a rewarding moment that gives me faith in the serialized television comedy. The callbacks are solid.
The calm nature of the episode gets shaken up for a moment when the new Phil ties up Forte and drives him out to the desert, ordering him to never return. This sets the gears in motion for the second season, which I will get to in a moment. Taking Forte away from the town was necessary to switch things up, but it closed off doors to characters that I wanted more of. I might be judging too early to say that we will never get more of Gail and Erica, but I’m doubtful. They were the only characters that didn’t get one last gag with Forte before he was out. It does make sense that we don’t get a conclusion with them. They were only here for a few episodes. I just had too much fun with them in the mix though. However, the conclusion of the new Phil showed his true colors and ended up being satisfying. He is just as inhumane as Forte. Wait, even more so. He actually left Forte in the desert, where the other Phil Miller that we know never went through with it when he had the chance to ditch Todd.
There is a different feeling to last time that Phil and Carol talk in the season. I never thought that I would say this, but the final scene makes me hope that they stay together. Wait, that changes the whole goal of the show for season 2! It is no longer about a guy trying to sleep around. It can’t be. He’s settling down. I have a feeling that the majority of season 2 will explore what the pilot set up; a weird post-apocalyptic world where rules and laws don’t exist. It makes me very curious as to where the two will journey to now. It will definitely be pointing more towards the creative end, given they have to steer away from the humor of season 1. Maybe it won’t change, I just have a feeling that it is going to turn into a different series next time around. Over all, I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed myself this season. Although a couple episodes missed the mark, there were redeeming moments that outweighed the misses. I’m excited for the series to return, and I plan on re-watching the first season.
Wait, and what about the creepy tone of Forte’s lost brother in space?! His brother is alive?! Yes, it managed to throw in a cliffhanger to stay true to the twists of the series. Now I have to see where this goes.
Bryan Kastelan is an avid fan of film and television. He is a screenwriter that dabbles in music and comedy. He has a degree in film studies and creative writing, and is a pop culture junkie. He would be great on a film and music version of Jeopardy.