Talk about an awkward reunion: Carol surprised the Tucson crew at the conclusion of last week’s episode by running up and screaming “Boo,” an entrance that literally scared Will Ferrell’s Gordon to death, and now she’s left attending the funeral of a man she didn’t know (and whose death she is kind of responsible for). It’s a bad day to be Carol. And Gordon.
Thanks to her guilt, she feels the need to speak at his wake. Problem is, she can’t even remember his name and goes off on a tangent about how she used to live next to a guy named Dordon. Funerals are typically places where friends and family of the deceased gather to say kind words and slip in some humorous memories to ease the pain a bit. Carol, though, doesn’t even have to try to force a funny anecdote. Her uncomfortable fumbling is enough to turn the funeral into a giant joke.
Todd doesn’t help make the affair more somber when he bursts into a totally genuine, teary rendition of Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” for a performance that, in theory, should be heartbreaking but, instead, is hilariously ridiculous. The award for Most Amusing Onscreen Funeral goes to: Last Man.
The remembrance continues when the group heads to Gordon’s beachfront home, a 13-bathroom mansion where they’ve all been living since they met him. Gail — who was hooking up with Gordon — lists a bunch of bad things about Gordon, such as his racially insensitive and sexist tendencies and his body odor, before noting that all the bad stuff melts away when someone dies. Oh, so constantly smelling like garbage is a good memory?
Gail’s sentiment inspires Carol to tell them Tandy is dead in hopes that they’ll start recalling all their happy times with him just in time for Tandy to magically come back from the dead. This is a bad idea, which Carol is seemingly in denial of: She returns to the RV to tell Tandy the news and insists that “people always remember the dead fondly.” Her main example? Michael Jackson. Needless to say, Tandy isn’t exactly sold that his death will have the effect Carol hopes it will.
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Although this entire episode screams, “TERRIBLE IDEA,” Carol is a delight in her quest to introduce Tandy back to the group. She is so absurdly optimistic — and, admittedly, incredibly naive — that it’s hard not to root for her and her crazy plan no matter how irrational it is. Plus, it’s good to see someone believe in Tandy despite everything he’s done. In the wiped-out world of Last Man, Carol is the cheerful, crafty representation of forgiveness.
And that crafty side takes center stage when she tells Todd and Melissa the heroic story of Tandy’s “death” by taking them through a journey of drawings. According to her story, she was doing a handstand on the Grand Canyon when she slipped, which is when Tandy sprung into action and caught her before falling off the edge himself and cratering to his death. Melissa looks skeptical despite Carol’s attempt to really sell it — she even does an impression of Tandy’s screams of “No regrets!” echoing as he fell — and Todd starts crying, but because he’s thinking of Gordon.
Now’s a good point to rewind to when Gail was listing all of Gordon’s many negative qualities. It seemed like everyone was in agreement that Gordon was a pretty big asshole, yet they’re all mourning him as they would if, say, a likable guy like Todd died. This would be understandable if they didn’t have such an intense hate for Tandy: So they can threaten him with death, but Gordon — another jerk — is a (dead) knight in shining armor? Seems unfair, guys.
NEXT: Phil comes back from the dead