Imagine you say “yes” to marrying the last woman on earth because you’re the last man on earth and marrying her is the only way you’ll both satisfy your long-unfulfilled sexual desires. Imagine you do this extremely reluctantly, that you finally say “I do” in a chapel… only to bust out its doors and find that you aren’t the only two people on earth. And you just married someone you really don’t care for. Sucks, right?
That’s what happens in Phil’s dream, which he wakes up only to feel relief when he realizes everyone is still dead. That’s how unhappy he is with his impending marriage: He would rather remain one of the last two humans on earth than have others witness his not-meant-to-be union with Carol.
Carol, on the other hand, seems thrilled about the whole thing. She walks into Phil’s mansion the night before the wedding to bring him a celebratory meal of spaghetti and raisinballs. She made raisin versions of meatballs because, as she says, “meatballs will never, ever exist again.” This definitive statement is surprisingly realistic coming from Carol, who just last week seemed to be in denial about that whole there’s-no-one-left-on-earth thing. And her concoction is unsurprisingly gross: She takes a bite, claims they’ve “turned,” and advises Phil to eat around them.
Luckily for Phil, she also brought him a walkie-talkie so they can more easily communicate. Again, he is not thrilled (even though walkie-talkies, no matter the gifter, will always be extremely fun—especially in a world where cell phones and computers and all that fun stuff don’t exist). As is, their relationship runs the risk of coming off as too one-sided: He’s consistently disapproving of all things Carol; she’s consistently attempting to please him. This dynamic could make Carol come off as a one-dimensional character created solely for laughs, but the thing is, both of them are hesitant—it’s just Carol tries to cover up her feelings with enthusiasm, while Phil tends to go the honest-but-grumpy route.
This all becomes hilariously apparent at the actual wedding, which Phil shows up to in cargo shorts and a zip-up hoodie while Carol dons a sparkly white gown. She spent the day at Craftworks making custom cake toppers and blowing up helium balloons while he spent the day taking flaming shots with Gary and co. She’s trying to make the best of what she has; he doesn’t really care either way. Two very different attitudes for two almost-spouses.
Their exchange of vows is a culmination of those differing attitudes, with Carol’s highlighting the importance of their union and with Phil’s just stating the facts: “We’re going to be married, you know.” Everything’s going (kind of?) fine until Phil reveals he never got the rings—his one wedding-related job. Carol is pissed, so she pulls a Runaway Bride and ditches the chapel for Craftworks, her apparent safe place.
Phil eventually finds her there—after breaking into her mansion and discovering she made a wedding cake out of what he guesses is eggplant—and makes her listen to his speech about how much she annoys him, and, more importantly, how he’d still rather be with her than be the only human on earth. The speech doesn’t get too sentimental, which is good: Phil is very obviously not a sap, so watching him very (very) uncomfortably deliver this kind-of-heartfelt monologue makes the moment all the better.
Carol appreciates his words, but she still feels the need to—rightfully—tell him how mad she was in what turns out to be perfect throwback to the ’90s.
Carol: You were a real scrub today. And you know how I feel about scrubs.
Phil: You don’t want no?
Carol: [shows him pillow she’s been working on, which features the word “SCRUBS” crossed out]
And from here on, the odd couple becomes somewhat of a normal couple. Phil drives Carol home, but first stops at the jewelry store so she can pick out whichever ring(s) she wants. They return to the chapel, where he sweetly places the multiple rings on her fingers before awkwardly pecking on the lips. Then they finally have sex. Weird, weird, weird sex.
Carol talks the whole time, pretending to be what seems like a camper, and Phil just stares in horror. Then they finish, and Carol winds down by popping open a can of beans. “After I do the nasty, I have to have some beans,” she explains. Totally normal.
The next day, Carol finds Phil playing racquetball in his foyer. As soon as she opens the door, he sets off on a lecture about how this is what he does and she has to get used to it. She lets him finish, and then tells him she just came to ask for a second racquet. With that, they’re back to Normal Couple Mode.
Later on, they have sex and she stays silent—well, mostly: she tells Phil she’s being silent—and then she joins him in his parking lot, fire-filled exploits. They laugh, they play. He’s opening up to her, and she’s showing interest in his strange but endearing habits. He even introduces her to his ex-girlfriend (the mannequin), and Carol responds by throwing her out the window of the store while Phil watches this “interaction” with apparent amusement. They’re joking! This might work out after all!
But probably not: On the way home, they crash into a car. They are the last two people on earth, but they just crashed into a moving car. A car that January Jones—blonde, dreamy January Jones—gets out of. They are not the last two people on earth, after all—and their marriage is about to get very complicated.