It happened: Phil hooked up with Melissa—actually, he just came really, really close to it. But that still kind of counts, right?
Last week, Melissa drunkenly revealed how horny she was and Phil took that admission as an opportunity to pounce. But his pouncing was interrupted when Carol said some sweet things about making their marriage work, and he changed his mind about cheating and/or “divorcing” her. Although watching him prioritize that relationship over his sexual urges was heartwarming, it was very clearly fleeting. And he proves that as soon as this episode starts.
Carol brings up how “having a baby is the most important thing they can do,” and Phil suddenly has an epiphany: He can use the need for repopulation as an excuse to have sex with Carol and Melissa. Even better, he delivers news of this epiphany to his ball-friends, who are (thankfully) still around. Can’t wait for a bottle episode about Gary to happen, guys.
But Phil can’t just say, “Hey ladies, I’m going to have sex with you both so we can have more babies” (it wouldn’t be surprising if he did though). So first, he heads over to Melissa’s to check how generally open-minded she is by asking her opinion on wearing white after Labor Day and talking about Rosa Parks. This tactic is wildly uncomfortable, but then again, so is every one of his interactions with Melissa.
He figures out that she is a fairly open-minded person, so next stop is Carol’s. He bounds into her house fake-sobbing, claiming he had the worst thought. “Do you want our babies to have sex with each other?” he whines through more wails. His performance might not be Oscar-worthy, but his strategy with Carol is far superior to the other one. Unless Carol turned out to be okay with incest, that is (I know, gross, but it could happen!).
She’s not though, but is—rightfully—a little suspicious once he reveals the only solution is to have sex with Melissa. Then he fixes the situation by again reminding her of the age-old “Do you want our babies to have sex with each other?” question, which works in his favor until he brings up how Melissa’s been horny. And that’s when Carol figures it all out.
“You’re a skunk,” she tells him, proving herself as the show’s No. 1 name-caller. “P.U., your tail stinks! Get out of here, you skunk!” So now Carol’s mad at Phil, and she’s mad at Melissa for telling Phil about her sex cravings, and Melissa’s mad at Phil for making Carol hate her. Fun times in Tucson!
Melissa’s risen above being the resident Hot Girl by actually being more than a, well, hot girl: She cares more about cultivating a friendship with Carol than anything else, and that’s the reason why she’s angry with Phil—for perhaps ruining her only chances at having a girlfriend. Between shows like Broad City and Parks and Recreation, female-female friendships have been getting more and more positive time in the spotlight, so it’s refreshing to see The Last Man on Earth maybe joining that list, too. Yeah, Melissa’s horny, but she’s more than her physical needs—she has emotional needs and desires, and her yearning for a platonic girlfriend perfectly shows that.
To fix this whole messy situation, Phil completely embraces the skunk title and creates a carnival of sorts revolving around a Dunk the Skunk machine, featuring Phil as the skunk. He tries to get Carol and Melissa to come outside by yelling into a megaphone, but his attempts initially only work to bring the two women together. And then, eventually, they come outside and propose they follow through with his solution to the whole repopulation thing.
This doesn’t come without rules though: Phil and Melissa can only have sex three days per month and three times per each of those days. Then once Melissa’s with child, no more physical contact between the two. It’s a pretty sweet deal, especially for someone who’s still married. Phil, the last and luckiest man on earth.
Except he’s not really the last man on earth. Throughout the episode, we get glimpses of a man driving a red sportscar through Arizona. He wears highly reflective aviator sunglasses, leather driving gloves, and speeds like he’s on the Autobahn. From all these peeks, you’d think he was going to be an irrestible, Antonio Banderas (feel free to swap him out for the dreamy dark-haired actor of your choice) type. But… you would be wrong.
NEXT: Meet Todd.[pagebreak]
The mystery man shows up right as Phil and Melissa are about to get it on for the first time. This would have never happened if Phil wasn’t insistent on making their first time something special: Melissa begs for them to just get it over with, but Phil has other plans. There are candles and chocolate and a guitar and fireworks—fireworks that point the mystery man exactly to their spot outside. He arrives right as they’re kissing, about to officially begin on their journey of repopulating the earth. And he is not an Antonio Banderas type.
Not to make this all about appearances, but I’m going to make this all about appearances for the sake of sensically recapping the rest of the episode: The mystery man, Todd (Mel Rodriguez), is overweight—a detail Phil latches on to.
He latches onto this because he’s, of course, threatened. The whole point of having sex with Melissa was to spread out the gene pool, but now there’s another man who she could have sex with. Better yet, if Melissa and Todd have a baby, it will be completely unrelated to Carol and Phil’s, whereas Melissa and Phil’s and Carol and Phil’s babies would still be half-related. His only hope of hooking up with Melissa now is if she chooses him over Todd.
So when he notices Melissa and Todd bonding over their favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption, later that night, he lies and claims it’s also his favorite movie. It’s very clearly not—he thinks Tom Hanks is the star, and Carol even points out that he’s said before that The Godfather is his favorite. This is embarrassing enough, and it gets even worse: He asks what Todd’s weight is. Yes, Phil is now a grade school bully.
Todd responds by talking about how he’s been overweight since his parents died when he was young, and how he was bullied for it in high school. Melissa and Carol both offer comforting words, and Phil piggybacks onto their encouragements but ends up coming off as insincere. Going from a bully to a convincing supporter in 60 seconds is fairly impossible.
But, alas, his intimidation tactics prove futile. Carol tricks Todd and Melissa into going on a date together (that Phil spies on), and it works: Melissa asks Todd out for a second date. But Phil and Carol crash it, and Phil continues on his never-gonna-work campaign against Todd by insisting they play a game of tennis with their shirts off. Although Phil is being a complete asshole, it’s cool to see a TV show painting him as such and giving the overweight guy more favorable treatment as if to say “Body-shamers like Phil are the worst, don’t do it!” Sure, the bullies always look bad in pop culture, but the bullied don’t always come off looking dignified. But Todd’s no victim: He rocks his belly, gamely taking off his shirt.
It helps that Todd has some impressive stories to his name. Melissa notices a scar on his side, and Todd reveals it’s from donating his kidney to his foster brother—who rejected the kidney and died. He gets emotional and has to leave the tennis court, sending Melissa running to his side… then making out with him with as Carol and Phil, two people with very different perspectives on the budding romance, watch on.
This, somehow, doesn’t give Phil the hint to back off, so he heads to Melissa’s house later on and warns her that “it’s hard to trust fats.” Melissa’s mad, as she should be, and slams the door on him. Then, finally (finally!), Phil gets real with her and genuinely explains how he’s still not used to talking to people after spending all his time with sports balls.
She accepts his apology, and then accompanies him to the bar where she meets all his friends. There, they have some refreshingly honest conversation that should hopefully put an end to Phil’s ridiculous behavior toward her (it’s been amusing so far, but that can only go on for so long before it gets unbearably annoying). It might put an end to Phil and Melissa too though: He spills his guts to her, saying she’s the one he was waiting for and that he might be falling in love with her. Nooooo.
Melissa, as expected, doesn’t return the feelings, so Phil acts like he was just practicing what he was going to say to Carol. They both know that’s not true but go along with it anyway. Phil started out the episode a jealous jerk and ended it as a heartbroken human, a rather deep transformation that happened over a rather funny hour of television. Finding out your crush isn’t into you is always hard, but it must be impossible to deal with in a world where a saying like “there’s many other fish in the sea!” doesn’t offer any comfort. She was his sole fish. And she doesn’t like-like him.
But, on the bright side, this rejection is great news for Phil and Carol ‘shippers. Long live the Miller-Pilbasians?