The Last Man on Earth 2×03 ‘Dead Man Walking’: Let’s talk it out

Carol Melissa

The mistake I frequently make when watching The Last Man on Earth is that I expect the characters to behave like normal people would. However, this show takes place among the last few survivors on Earth, who have watched everyone they love die off. When this happens, it’s illogical to expect people to behave like they would in everyday society. They lack the ability to function normally and communicate with others, mainly because there’s only a handful of people left.  When you come to terms with that, it makes more sense why everyone in this show is straight up insane.

Take the Tucson crew, for instance. When Carol left them to be with Phil, they started a bet as to whether Phil kidnapped her or not. Yet when she reappears, they only bring up that situation as a way of settling the bet. Carol was desperate to get back to this group, and yet some of them thought she was being held hostage by an unstable madman, and didn’t even bother to ask her if she was alright. If we’re supposed to believe that Carol and Phil are better off with the Tucson crew (as the show implies) then we need to see that the group actually has each other’s best interests at heart. Right now it looks like they can barely get along.

Source: Hulu/Fox

Source: Fox

Granted, it’s understandable that Gail would be upset at Carol accidentally killing Gordon, who turned out to be her lover. But Erica’s jealously at Carol coming back, and Phil 2 trying to immediately make a move on Carol after he thinks Tandy died, aren’t signs of a happy group existence. The only ones who don’t want anything from Carol, and appear genuinely happy that she’s back are Melissa and Todd. But even though they’re happy that Carol is back, they still don’t want anything to do with Phil.

In defense of the Tucson crew, this is highly understandable. Phil committed a huge amount of offenses against them, including threatening to kill members of the group, not leaving Melissa alone, lying to just about everybody, etc. It’s no wonder that the Tucson crew really hates Phil. The show makes this point obvious by showing that the group can mourn the racist, sexist, alcoholic Gordon but can’t find any empathy in their hearts for Phil. It would take a real miracle worker for the group to forgive Phil.

Source: Hulu/Fox

Source: Fox

While Carol is many things – kind hearted, sweet, loving – she’s not a miracle worker. She’s also not the best at communicating with people. This is never more obvious as she skulks around the group mourning Gordon, trying to get them to transfer their feelings of empathy and forgiveness to Phil. When that doesn’t work, she says that Phil’s dead. When THAT doesn’t work, Phil shows he has even worse communication skills and holds up the group with a gun so he can apologize.

As I said earlier, a huge problem for these characters is communication. They’ve all been on their own for so long, learning to live in a group is a hard task for all of them. They desperately need each other, because nobody wants to be alone for the rest of their lives. But living together isn’t easy when you’re stuck with the same group of people for the rest of your life, especially when you didn’t choose those people. You just have to make do with the crew you have, and hope they grow into a group you can stand. I don’t think the Tucson crew is there yet, but showing empathy and taking back Phil is a good start. If he can just refrain from making the same mistakes he made in Tucson, this living situation might not be a disaster.

Notes and Observations

  • I really hope that Phil and Melissa can start a friendship. It seems like a long shot, but I really enjoy how she calls him out on his lies and immature actions. I’d be really interested to see what would happen if they actually got along. (I also like that she hates his beard.)
  • That being said, I hope Phil’s romantic interest in Melissa is entirely gone. His relationship with Carol is the heart of the show, and I also don’t want to revisit the really creepy Phil-Carol-Melissa love triangle from season 1.
  • The best joke of the night was Gail flopping down onto the CPR dummy, sobbing while trying to demonstrate on how to give mouth to mouth.
  • My favorite little detail of the post-apocalypse world is how Carol’s sketchbook is now taking the place of a camera.
  • Gordon’s mansion appears to be the new home of the Tucson crew, mainly because of its thirteen bathrooms.

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