The Last Man on Earth 3×01 ‘General Breast Theme with Cobras’: Road trip!

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Let’s face it: the Tucson Crew has never been great in a crisis. Even though they’re managed to survive a planet-wide virus, at the end of the day they’re just a bunch of regular people trying to deal with a destroyed civilization. So to put them in a situation where they need to defend themselves from intruders is just asking for disaster to happen.

This episode picks up where the season finale left off, with armed strangers approaching their house. The group can’t even get away, with Todd’s A-Team van blocking them in the driveway. It plays out as an extremely dark farce, with the group running around, screaming, searching for car keys and weapons. A lot of the problems in this show come from the group dynamics, so adding three outsiders to the mix and seeing the group panic as they face new strangers is a lot of fun.

Of course, because it’s The Last Man on Earth, the situation escalates from hilarious to dangerous when the armed intruders finally come into the house, resulting in a stand-off with the group. It goes right back to hilarious when Melissa emerges from hiding with a shotgun and kills one of the intruders – who happens to be Jon Hamm, the actresses’ former TV husband on Mad Men.

Source: Fox

Source: Fox

The hilarious/dangerous mix continues as the group agrees to take in Lewis and Pat, the remaining two intruders. While Phil is determined to see the good in him, the Tucson Crew (and the audience) know something’s not quite right. Thanks to Mike’s encounter with him in “Pitch Black” the audience knows that Pat’s mentally unstable, his terror of the virus warping his mind. The Tucson Crew just know that something about Pat doesn’t seem right, but Phil manages to convince them to take both Pat and Lewis.

When Pat calls Phil the leader of the group, he’s not that far off. As Phil’s become more responsible and empathetic over the seasons, people are listening to him more. Last year the crew didn’t even want to be in the same room as Phil, this year they agree to give Pat a chance based on Phil vouching for him.

Of course, Phil’s good intentions backfire on him once Pat figures out that Mike is his brother. Then Phil finds his new best friend holding a gun in his face, demanding he tell him where the other “bunker people” are at. Some of the show’s finest moments are when it escalates in tension, and this is no exception. The final minutes of the episode are great, and they’re treated seriously. The show manages to squeeze in a few jokes, but the threat of Pat killing them is real. Their escape in the end, with Pat looming in front of their fleeing van like a horror movie villain, is a great suspenseful moment. Then the Tucson crew hits him, and the episode closes on their horrified, screaming faces, as they keep driving into the night.

Source: Fox

Source: Fox

I was disappointed when Phil and Carol’s road trip last season came to an end after two episodes. While it’s understandable that the show wanted to reunite them with the ensemble, there were so many stories that could have occurred with them on the road. Luckily, it looks like I’m about to get my wish, as the entire Tucson Crew (plus Lewis) is all going on the run. Sure, Todd thinks he killed Pat, but does anyone want to chance it by going back to check? If you live in a world where houses and canned food are everywhere, why would you bother to put yourself in danger by going back?

So let’s hit the road with Phil and the Tucson Crew and see what’s next for this season.

Notes and Observations

  • Welcome to the Tucson Crew, Kenneth Choi! I’m not sure how long Lewis is staying around for, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of how he interacts with the group.
  • Props to Kristin Schaal’s acting in this episode. She’s the one who has to sell that Phil’s in real danger, as Phil’s still trying to keep calm and talk down Pat.
  • I loved the music in the final scene, which was sounded like something more out of an action movie than a comedy.
  • As much as Phil is upset about it, Mike leaving the group probably saved all their lives. Not only did he save them from possibly catching the virus, but if Pat had shown up and seen a sick Mike, he would have tried to shoot everyone immediately.
  • I loved Gail attempting to make a weapon out of a wine bottle by chugging all the wine and then slamming it into the counter – only to end up with a few very tiny fragments left. It was a good try, Gail.
  • So, what do you guys think? Is Pat alive or dead? I hope he’s alive – I’d love to see the overall season as a huge road trip as the group tries to outrun Pat.

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