The Last Man on Earth 2×01 ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’: Alone in Tucson

Phil Carol Pool

The Last Man on Earth has one of the most unique premises of any sitcom on television right now: it’s a comedy in a post apocalyptic society. A huge virus has swept through and killed most of the world’s population (and apparently dissolved the bodies), leaving only a few immune survivors left. It’s a concept that’s inherently tragic. Sure, there’s a lot of fun to be had for the audience, as they watch characters do things like drive stealth bombers to the grocery store and set up camp in the White House. But they’re only able to do these things because most of humanity – including their family and friends – has been wiped out.

The premiere reminds us of this in full force, as the episode follows Phil and Carol (now remarried and adjusted to one another’s eccentrics and quirks) trying to find a new place to settle down. Phil presents Carol with a lot of great options: Oprah’s house, the White House, even her old apartment, but he can’t give Carol the thing she wants the most: a community.

Unlike Phil, who screwed up so badly in Tucson that the group of survivors he had gathered dumped him in the desert and threatened to kill him if he came back, Carol was happy in Tucson. She’s inherently a people person, and liked having the comfort of a community. This is never more obvious in her old, pre-virus apartment, where she shows Phil pictures of all her old friends. Even more tragic is her room, where she tells Phil that she made an arts and craft project for each person she knew that died.

Source: Hulu

Source: Fox

The entire room is filled with projects.

Carol lost everyone she cared about to the virus, which makes it even more tragic when she loses Phil too.  I saw Carol being left behind coming from a mile away, but that doesn’t stop it from being agonizing when Phil accidentally leaves her behind at a gas station, thinking she’s sleeping in the back of the RV. Phil, on his part, becomes desperate to get his wife back, trying to retrace his steps and find the exact gas station (out of thousands) that he stopped at.

He’s even so desperate that he goes back to Tucson, even though he knows they’ll kill him. It’s the only place left he can think of finding Carol, and he’ll risk death to get his wife back. (Even though they’re an extremely odd couple, Phil and Carol might just be one of the most romantic pairings on TV right now.) And then the real kicker comes.

Nobody’s left in Tucson anymore. Either they’ve packed up and moved (maybe fearing Phil would come back) or something much more malicious happened. The only clue is that Phil’s house is now blackened, burned out rubble. Either way it’s devastating and eerie.

Source: Hulu

Source: Fox

Even more devastating is the reveal that Carol hasn’t vanished with the rest of Tucson crew, or given up on the idea of Phil coming back for her. She’s still sadly sitting at the gas station, firing her gun off into the air for Phil to hear her, alone again.

Notes and Observations

  • Hey everybody I’m Megan, your The Last Man on Earth reviewer for the season. I’m excited to see where this season is headed, considering just how good this episode was.
  • Carol’s apartment gives us more insight into what life was like during the virus: her roommate Glen’s area looks like a sterile hospital room, while Phil jumps at the skeleton belong to her roommate Bernice (she studied anatomy before the virus). Wait, so the virus didn’t dissolve the bodies? Then what happened to the bodies?
  • Since last season, I wondered what would happen if someone with malicious intentions entered Tucson. The Tucson crew didn’t have many weapons (even Phil only carries around his gun to shoot convenience store doors for fun), because why would anyone want to kill each other when they are the only people left on Earth? But, as this episode showed with Carol’s craft corner, people can go a little crazy when they lose everyone they love.
  • So what did everyone think of Phil’s brother, astronaut Mike Miller? His adventures in the space station, talking to worms and trying to convince himself to use the descent module to escape back to Earth were heartbreaking. I also never thought I’d use the word “heartbreaking” to describe the death of a worm, but here we are.
  • Phil’s ball friends are still traveling with him and Carol. Phil’s debate with Gary the volleyball over which gas station Carol was at was priceless.

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