The Last Man on Earth 2×06 ‘Real Live Wire’: Oh, baby

Phil 2

The Last Man on Earth is a show I look forward to watching every week, mainly because you’ll never know what you’re going to see. Crickets as a meal? It’s happened. People using stocks as a punishment? We’ve see that twice now. This show makes the most out of its premise – with society destroyed, all bets are off and anything can happen. This is apparent in this week’s episode, which deals with keeping the harmony in a society, and working towards a future.

I’m sure everyone watching this episode knew that Phil and Todd attempting to hook up solar panels would end badly. Truthfully though, Phil did everything he as right as he possibly could in this ep. He tried to stop the flailing live wire, made sure every dangerous idea he had was undertaken by him instead of Todd (I was terrified that Todd was going to get seriously hurt and the Tucson crew would blame Phil for it), and eventually admitted that he needed help once he realized he couldn’t fix the problem. Season 1 Phil would have never admitted that he was stumped and would have happily pushed Todd into any dangerous situation. Phil’s growing up and becoming more rational as this season continues.

Source: Fox

Photo Source: Fox

But if Phil is becoming more rational, Phil 2 is flying off the handle. As the only one with any survival skills, he can see just how bad of a situation the Tucson crew is in. They are rapidly running out of food to eat, their gasoline no longer works, and all they want to do is play gold bar Jenga (which, admittedly, looks like a lot of fun). Not only that, but he’s lost the woman he loves to Phil, whom he considers idiotic and lazy. This all comes to a head when he goes on strike, and is confronted by Phil, who chastises him for not caring that the live wire is dangerous and for holding a grudge that Carol chose Phil over Phil 2.

When Phil 2 hits Phil, it changes things permanently in the Tucson crew. Whereas before Phil was so loathed that nobody (except for Carol) really cared if Phil 2 hurt him, now he’s become a part of the group. Phil has proved that he’s changed, and this is the sign that the group really does believe him. As the group yells at Phil 2 for hurting Phil, you can see his face fall incredulously. He could get away with getting revenge on Phil before, but not anymore. Now the group is defending the man he views as inadequate, stupid, and nasty. They are, in his eyes, choosing Phil over him. Just like Carol did.

Source: Fox

Photo Source: Fox

Everything that Phil 2 did to Phil is now working against him. The group demands a punishment, just like he demanded one from Phil earlier. His own methods are now backfiring against him, proving how unfairly he’s been treating Phil. Phil 2 refuses to accept his stock punishment, but he had no problem forcing Phil to keep a shock collar on and live in a shack. Phil 2 doesn’t think of himself as part of the group – he thinks he’s better than the group.

When Phil 2 announced he was moving away, unable to cope with the fact that Phil is part of the crew, I was relieved. Everything about him screams “unstable” – Gail lost her lover and Erica lost Phil 2, but neither of them have reacted this way. Only Phil 2 has continually held a dangerous grudge against someone, and lorded himself over the group. If he continued in that manner, someone was going to get seriously hurt, and by something more than a punch in the face. Unfortunately, it looks like Phil 2 might be sticking around some more, now that Erica’s announced her pregnancy. Considering how angry and vengeful he’s proven himself to be, I’m getting really worried about Phil 2.

Notes and Observations 

  • So in the scene with Phil and Phil 2 fighting, did anyone think that Phil 2 was going to fall into the pool and get electrocuted by the wire flopping around in the background? I was holding my breath during that fight – it’s one of the most suspenseful scenes this show has ever done.
  • Kirstin Schaal’s acting is top notch, especially in the scene when she’s trying to decide if she really wants to have kids. The way her face lights up when she makes her decision is wonderful.
  • A sentence that I’m pretty sure has never been uttered before now: “Nobody wants to raise a baby in the wastelands of Malibu…”
  • Gail has started pretending that the CPR dummy is actually Gordon. Should we be worried about Gail? We should probably be worried about Gail.
  • A sign of how badly Phil 2 screwed up: even Melissa takes Phil’s side.
  • “No, we have a system of punishment that works! The stocks!” And just in case you were wondering how dysfunctional the Tucson crew are, there you go.

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