The Last Man on Earth 3×04 ‘Five Hoda Kotbs’: Everyone’s falling apart


As anyone who’s ever been on a road trip can testify, the hardest part of the trip is getting through it without getting completely sick of the other people with you. No matter how much you care about someone, being in cramped corridors makes people irritated and grumpy.

A road trip is the perfect way for the writers to put all of the Tucson crew in the same location, and give them no way to escape from one another. Normally whenever Tandy starts being obnoxious the others will just walk away from him, but now they’re trapped in a hot, crowded prison bus with him cheerfully singing and playing “I Spy.”

It’s no surprise that Gail just gives up and decides she wants to go to Napa alone. Mary Steenburgen is one of the best actors on the show, and she really nails Gail’s cynical irritation. Gail is the antithesis of Tandy; where he wants to start a whole new civilization, she just wants to drink and be left alone. Tandy has a loving relationship with Carol. Gail is frustrated that Todd is spending all his time with the unstable Melissa and has resorted to taking comfort in the Gordon dummy again. Tandy believes that the world can be saved. Gail believes that the world is truly ending.

Source: Fox

Source: Fox

From throwing all of Tandy’s jokes back in his face, to her denial that the group is a family, “I got news for you. We’re not a family. We’re all just a bunch of people that happened to meet at the end of the world,” Gail shows how fed-up she is with her current circumstances. Gail is letting everyone know that she’s sick and tired of everything and everyone around her. She’s been shot at, ignored, and annoyed. She’s watched as people died around her, and is now on the run from a killer bent on revenge. It’s not a huge surprise that Gail’s had enough.

Melissa, in her own way, has had enough too. During the first two seasons, Melissa was one of the more reasonable and stable members of the Tucson Crew. She had her moments of unsteadiness, but for the most part could be counted on in a crisis. Now she’s got Todd following her around, treating her as though she’s five years old. Her mental instability is a sign of her checking out, unable to deal with what’s happened. Killing someone has permanently changed Melissa, and it’s anyone’s guess if she’ll ever be able to truly recover from her actions.

Source: Fox

Source: Fox

Tandy is hoping that his little family can save civilization and restart the world. He optimistically compares them to Noah and his ark, going out to build a new world. But the group is quickly falling apart, and they have problems that aren’t easily fixed. At this point, it’s not certain if the crew really is a family that will rebuild the earth, or if they are just the last dying remains of humanity.

Notes and Observations

  • We finally got a timeline of Carol and Erica’s babies: Erica is only a month further along than Carol, which means most of Season 2 happened in a month. That feels like a really compressed timeline. However, it does explain why Erica hasn’t started to show yet.
  • The biggest revelation of the episode: Gail lost her accordion! What will we do now for funeral tunes? (But seriously, I could have watched an entire episode about Gail and the self-driving car.)
  • We learn that Tandy burnt down all of San Francisco when he was initially looking for other survivors. He set off all the fireworks in a fireworks factory because he’s Tandy and of course he would do that. Melissa’s reaction: “I like it burned.”
  • Great bit on continuity: there’s a bullet hole in the A-Team van’s front window, left from Pat’s attack on the group.
  • I love how when the chips are down, it’s Carol who can get through to Tandy. After his adamant declarations that they just needed to wander around to find a new home, she had him convinced they needed a plan in less than 60 seconds.

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  • Sarah

    This show really does feel like the antithesis of The Walking Dead in some ways.