The Last Man on Earth recap: Skidmark
Phil tries — and fails — to outshine his cool little brother
Phil first greeted Mike — who, let’s remember, he probably assumed was dead or at the very least never making it back to Earth — by physically punching him in the nuts, and he doesn’t treat his long-gone little brother any better following that reunion. Actually, he’s a full-out friggin’ jerk once he realizes that Mike’s getting more attention than he is.
See, Mike is the cool brother. He’s the one who went to space and who got with Christine, Phil’s onetime crush. As Phil explains to the rest of the Tucson crew, “I had liked this woman quite a bit, and then Mike fooled around with her.” Apparently Mike left for space right after, meaning the two never had a chance to make up. If Mike did know that Phil indeed loved Christine, it was pretty messed up of him to get physical with her, but at the same time, that is not worth keeping a years-long grudge over — especially when the offender is literally the last family you have left on Earth.
But, as we know, Phil’s strong suit isn’t rationality, and, as we find out, Mike loves to push his brother’s buttons. He reveals to the group that Phil’s nickname used to be Skidmark because, well, he allegedly always had skidmarks in his underwear. (For what it’s worth, Phil later rips off a pair of underwear he’s wearing to reveal they are poop-free.) Everyone quickly takes to the nickname, including Carol: “There’s my sexy skidmark!” she coos before getting in bed with him. It does sound kinda cute when she says it like that, though.
Once they’re in bed, they finally talk about Phil’s confession that he’s shooting blanks. Carol theorizes that she could be infertile as well, a possibility Phil immediately shoots down. “I’m sure you’re fertile,” he says. “I mean, you have so many periods.” I don’t think that’s how it works, but, hey, whatever they need to tell themselves to believe that one day she’ll produce Baby Carol (or Baby…Carl?). This makes Phil worried about his place with Carol until she reassures him that she married him (the second time, at least) because she wanted to be with him. These two are simultaneously the weirdest and most adorable couple on TV.
NEXT: Mike gets musical
Later, Mike tells everyone he wants to have a bonfire to thank them for being so welcoming. Once they’re there, he launches into a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” after everyone urges him to pick up a nearby guitar. It’s actually a solid performance, and the show isn’t afraid to let it go on for an uncomfortable amount of time. As he strums and sings, most of the crowd begins crying before he has to stop thanks to his own sobs. Phil loses again.
Someone who’s not losing: Todd. Gail and Melissa talk about how great he is and ultimately decide that they’re going to try to both be his girlfriend, just like he’d suggested earlier. He thinks they’re joking (me too), but, nope, they’re totally sincere about it. I’m sure this will work out wonderfully!
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Phil’s still feeling jealous about Mike’s popularity, so he announces he’s throwing his own party that night. Everyone ends up arriving three hours late thanks to a pre-party Mike threw, and they don’t seem to be in the mood to appreciate Phil’s customized version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” which includes lyrics like “All alone, oh my Lord, then you saw my billboard” — except for Mike, who jokingly dances. Eventually, Phil gets fed up with Mike being all cutesy up in the stands and stops banging on his keytar.
This is the part where Phil has a temper tantrum that’s half pathetic, half heartbreaking. He obviously has always been living in Mike’s shadow, and now he’s being reminded of that all over again. He’s just a joke to the Tucson crew; Mike’s a star. Phil tries to convince everyone that Mike’s not as amazing as he seems, that he had to switch colleges because he plagiarized and that he left their dying grandma to go on a kayak trip. Maybe he was just running away from his problems because it hurt too much, though? Or maybe I’m just buying into Mike’s charm like the rest of them. (He is super charming. So charming.)
Anyway, Mike leaves, and the rest follow. Carol gives Phil some real talk, explaining that he’s been nothing but mean to his brother and that he needs to apologize for what he said. It seems like he’s actually going to — until he looks in the mirror the next morning and finds that half his head is covered in hair, and the other half — face included — is completely bare. Mike shaved his head in his sleep to get back at him. So that’s why Will Forte was sporting the look at a January party. The only good thing about this? Phil got what he wanted: He’s once again the center of attention.
The Last Man on Earth