Phil and Carol are officially over—and I’ve never been happier about a couple’s divorce.
They make the announcement to everyone around their usual bonfire and celebrate by dancing as Gale solemnly plays an accordian. Phil and Carol seem on top of the world, but the rest of the crew isn’t so content. They all watch on in a mix of discomfort and dismay while Phil and Carol dance—Todd, though, is having a blast. Classic Todd, making the most out of a weird situation.
Now that Phil’s single, he can do whatever—or more actually, whomever—he wants. And the ladies of Tucson waste no time: By the end of the morning, Phil has plans to have sex with Gale at 3 p.m. and go hiking with Erica at 5 p.m. He’s about to be living the dream.
But his dream, of course, gets interrupted: Todd told Melissa “I love you” and she responded with a “Thank you.” He goes wandering to work off some of his disappointment, and Phil finds him. They have a quick heart-to-heart, and Todd expresses his fear that someone more conventionally handsome is going to come along and steal Melissa away. “Relax, no one is going to show up,” Phil says. Hello, foreshadowing.
To really ensure no one shows up, Phil heads to the “Alive in Tucson” billboard and crosses out the original message before spray-painting “Moved to Tampa” onto the sign. Then he’s punished: The ladder he used to get up on the billboard’s ledge falls, leaving Phil stranded high up in the air. Phil is alone, just like at the beginning of the show.
Except he’s not as seemingly calm as he was at the beginning of the show. He screams and wails and attempts to use his jeans for shade before the wind blows them away. “You were my shade,” he yells, “and my pants!” Luckily though, his time spent stranded doesn’t last too long—because a dreamy, tall man (also named Phil Miller played by Boris Kodjoe) rescues him.
New Phil carries Phil out of a truck and presents him to the others, who are all in shock that a man this attractive just showed up to their street. Gale and Erica are basically drooling, and Todd’s insecurity reaches a high point. Here’s the guy he was afraid would show up.
Todd talks to Melissa about how worried he is, and Melissa simply advises that if he doesn’t want to screw up their relationship, he just… shouldn’t screw it up. Easy as that. This doesn’t make Todd feel any better though, and he later orders Melissa and New Phil to “get a room” in a moment of weakness. Poor Todd. Being extremely self-conscious (and making things awkward) isn’t going to keep Melissa by your side, bud.
Phil is also struggling now that New Phil’s arrived. New Phil is cute and has real-life skills (he’s been in the military and worked with Habitat for Humanity). Phil has a peeling sunburn on his face, needs a haircut, and doesn’t know how to do—or at least doesn’t express interest in doing—anything useful. And then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, New Phil wins a game of Jenga and, as a result, gets to keep the name “Phil.” This means that Original Phil is now Tandy (his sadly hilarious middle name/mother’s maiden name).
Having a new person around is cool, but we’ve already seen Phil—sorry, Tandy—go head-to-head with another guy. His one-sided war with Todd already went on for too long, so the idea of it happening again with New Phil is exhausting. These characters are the last people on earth! That situation in itself is endlessly intriguing—intriguing enough that it’s hard to understand why the show would keep relying on romantic tension to string it along.
- Todd apparently has a habit of making Melissa pancakes, and it’s really sweet. But also, he only gives her one pancake at a time. Who only eats one pancake?
- Carol made Phil raisinballs before they got married, but she made New Phil an apple pie for (finally) fixing her door. That’s what you get for being a lazy jerk, Tandy!
- Melissa’s disdain for (old) Phil continues to be amusing. He claims his mom was actress Jessica Tandy, and Melissa responds by telling Carol, “His mother is not Jessica Tandy” with an annoyed look on her face. Same, Melissa. Same.