Photo: Fox

After last week’s revelation about a possible explosive Rubik’s Cube, it seemed like this week’s The Last Man on Earth was teed up for something big. And in a way, “Double Cheeseburger” did deliver (pun intended) one of the biggest surprises so far this season. But much like Carol’s birth, this episode was a snooze.

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Within the first few minutes of the episode the gang gets a little bit bigger when Carol and Tandy awaken to find that their daughter, Bezequil Pilbasian-Miller, was born in the middle of the night. So much conflict surrounded Carol’s pregnancy and her fear of the birthing process has been building since this season premiere, so to see little B just slip out was disappointingly anticlimactic. Of course, it was substantially more disappointing to Erica who spends the episode resenting Carol’s smooth labor.

The twist comes when we learn that there’s another cheeseburger in the bag—Carol’s pregnant with twins, and the other baby is on its way. But even this revelation is quickly resolved with another quickie, painless birth. What the situation does do is give Gail some really great emotional moments. Gail and Carol’s relationship has been rocky, and there have been times along the way when it seems like Carol’s obsessive love for her adopted mother is one-sided. In a moment when Carol’s well-being is on the line, no matter how briefly, it’s nice to see the real mama bear side of Gail come out. She truly cares about the weirdos she’s stuck with, and will do anything to keep them safe.

In this episode we learn the most about Todd, who has gone from zero to baby crazy. Despite Melissa’s lack of motherly instincts and the couple’s agreement to not have kids, Todd seems tailor-made to be a father—I mean, c’mon, those khaki shorts are basically a dad uniform. But we haven’t seen him this over-the-top about anything since Melissa’s breakdown last season. Maybe it was his recent heart attack, or maybe it was just the sight of all his friends holding babies in their arms, but this new intense desire could make for even more tension between Todd and Melissa in the weeks to come.

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For so many shows the introduction of babies is a death sentence. In this case, however, it adds something that always makes The Last Man on Earth its best: high stakes. We don’t yet know how these new humans will react to the virus. Carol and Tandy name their second daughter Mike, a reminder of how another loved one was lost to the unseen threat. And even if these new lives are immune to the force that wiped out the entire world, providing safety and nourishment to three babies is very different than the improvising the gang has done in the past. They’ve barely blinked an eye when newcomers have died in their midst in the past, but now they are responsible for keeping their own flesh and blood alive. The stakes have never been higher.

Stray observations:

  • Where the frig is Jasper?!
  • “I’m gonna go eat the placenta, anyone want to join?”
  • “I don’t like fast food, I prefer it slow or mid-tempo.”
  • “Would you feel better if I stayed up all night and watched your vagina?”
  • Glad I could take over for The Last Man on Earth this week, Vikram will be back next week for “Gender Friender”

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