The Tuscon crew can’t be counted on to be rational in the best of times – remember how they would rather play gold bar Jenga rather than think about the future? But now with Phil’s death, their actions have gotten even more and more erratic.
This week’s “Fish in the Dish” picks up where the last episode left off – with everyone still making incredibly poor choices in the wake of Phil’s death. Their grieving seems to have lessened, but his death still lingers over the series in the decisions the characters make. Carol realizes that life is short and she really wants to start a family; Todd is trying desperately to not hurt anybody, which means having sex with Melissa and Gail, knowing that once they inevitably find out the truth he’ll be hurting them anyway; and Erica asks Todd to help her raise her child.
Kudos to the writing team and Mel Rodriguez for making Todd still seem kind-hearted, even while he was cheating on Melissa and Gail. Even though Todd’s actions were misguided, he was coming from a place of good intentions (that were just really, really poorly acted out on). Mel Rodriguez really sold Todd’s anxiety about the situation. His acting was top notch, from his stress in the beginning to his complete breakdown in the end. He even managed to suggest a “Big Love situation” without coming across like a total jerk. Rodriguez makes sure the audience knows that, however wrong, Todd’s actions come from a good place. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s hilarious; Todd’s breakdown on the jet ski was my favorite part in the episode.
Tandy was also still dealing with the fallout from Phil’s death, as Carol became focused on wanting to start a family. Carol is funniest when she’s incredibly motivated, and her dogged attempt to figure out why she and Phil couldn’t conceive was great. Her attempts to get Phil to take a male fertility test – from her “female enpornment” to designing a mural of powerful women – Carol goes all out in order to have a child.
We get yet another glimpse of how much Tandy has changed his season. He takes Carol’s desire to have a family incredibly seriously, and when it turns out that he’s the reason they can’t conceive, he can only take a few hours of the guilt before confessing. His reasoning for lyng in this episode was also understandable: Carol wants a child so badly, it’s understandable that Tandy’s fear of letting her down got the better of him. I can’t wait to see the fall-out from his confession. In a normal world, the couple would have plenty of options to still have a child. In Tandy and Carol’s world, not so much.
But none of this compares in the end to Tandy and Mike Miller finally being reunited. Mike Miller, after three years, has finally found his brother. Of course, he was then promptly punched by Tandy. After thirteen episodes of being with the same people, I’m so excited to see how Mike’s addition shakes up the group dynamics.
Notes and Observations
- Carol’s adopted Tandy’s habit of saying “Boom!” when she makes a good joke, which is adorable.
- Carol’s “motivational” speech about willing a pregnancy to happen was incredibly sad and scary. Mainly because there was blood dripping down her face from pushpin acupuncture at the time.
- Erica on kissing Todd: “I did not know there was a take a number situation.”
- The looks on Carol, Melissa, Erica, and Gail’s faces during Todd’s big confession speech were priceless.
- The Last Man on Earth got renewed! I’m so excited to see what the writers can cook up for a third season.