The Last Man On Earth / FOX

It’s been four months since we last caught up with the Malibu Crew on The Last Man On Earth, but not to worry, they’re exactly where we left them: On a yacht and headed for Mexico to escape nuclear fallout and the unstable, heavily armed Pat (Mark Boone Junior). At the very end of last season, Pat had tracked them down and planned to murder them all but at the last second was killed by Pamela Brinton (Kristen Wiig), a wealthy socialite who survived the virus in an underground bunker. Fortunately, she discovered Tandy the others via a mysterious drone and set out searching for them, otherwise she wouldn’t have been there to kill Pat just in the nick of time!

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Actually, Pamela’s journey was a little more protracted than that. During her search for the gang, she shacks up with Pat and their relationship becomes intimate, involving lots of sponge baths. But then the two meet Roy (Jack Black), a Rear Admiral who eventually becomes intimate with Pamela as well. After Pat sees the smoke coming from the gang’s camper, he seeks them out for vengeance, and while Pamela had the sense to murder Pat before he could get his revenge, Pat also kills Roy in the process. Cue a double funeral on the boat with Todd singing a somber cover of “Forever Young,” complete with accordion accompaniment from Gail.

The presence of children in the crew has ramped up the stakes of LMOE because now there’s a literal future to protect. Jasper and Erica’s baby Dawn fill out the contours of a makeshift family, and with Carol’s baby on the way, it’s more important than ever to keep everyone close together. Unfortunately, Pamela’s presence does not improve things, as her lifestyle needs infringe on everyone else. She hogs the big bed, takes up all the resources, e.g. she uses an entire bag of potato chips to help with her tan, and she doesn’t connect with anyone else. Well, everyone except for Tandy, who loves when she laughs at all of puns and lame jokes (“He’s no Garrison Keillor,” Carol admits).

Another hiccup occurs when Gail and Melissa don’t properly drop anchor one night and they drift way off course. Though they convince the others that they can’t see land because of an optical illusion called Davey Jones’ mirror, the two frantically struggles to find land before Carol discovers their ruse and accidentally goes into a panic labor. Luckily, the gang comes across an island in their midst, but things quickly become complicated after Pamela discovers that she’ll soon be cut out of the group once they hit land. Impulsively, she knocks out Tandy and kidnaps him and the boat, leaving the rest of the crew on a raft headed for the island.

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“M.U.B.A.R,” which stands for Messed Up Beyond All Regular-Standards (yes, it is hyphenated) is a pretty standard season premiere for this show, complete with a guest spot and a secret cameo, following in the tradition set by Will Ferrell and Jon Hamm. Wiig excelled in her one-off episode back in season three, but here, she just plays a one-note pest. Some inspired gags and one-liners aside (including the speedboat explosion and the fear of Pat’s decapitated head possibly reassembling with his body), “M.U.B.A.R” doesn’t offer much of anything new, but it also reminds what was compelling about the series in the first place.

By the end of the episode, Pamela has Tandy tied up, assuring him that he’ll grow to love her soon, and the gang is about to hit shore, but they don’t know that someone mysterious is waiting for them. The Last Man On Earth keeps getting bigger and more dangerous every season. Let’s see what this one has in store.

Stray observations

  • Welcome to season four, gang! Let’s have some island fun.
  • I’ll admit, Jack Black getting murdered immediately made me laugh, even though you knew it was gonna happen.
  • Tandy uses two t-shirts and a sock for toilet paper, permanently clogging the toilet.
  • Tandy still tries to serve as a father figure to Jasper, albeit unsuccessfully. He approaches the concept of a double homicide by way of the sex talk: “Sometimes when a bullet and a man’s brain feel very strongly about each other, they decide to take it to the next level, and that’s called penetration.”
  • “That was the hardest decap I’ve ever done, and I mean head sand shoulders above the last one.”
  • “Champagne and beef jerky? This is like New Years at Ted Nugent’s house.”

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