Last Man On Earth recap: Season 3, Episode 4
The group finds the light at the end (er, middle) of a road trip gone wrong
“Look, we’ve all been through a lot,” Erica says at one point during tonight’s episode. “I think we’re all coming apart at the seams a little bit.” Or, uh, a lot?
Melissa’s still acting like she’s the group’s resident ruthless security guard; Gail’s still drinking her troubles (and boredom) away; Tandy’s still…Tandy. And taking a road trip to an undecided location — yes, they leave Malibu before agreeing where to call home next — only makes their “quirks” even more pronounced. It also causes some things to come out into the open.
For example, Lewis is gay. Tandy first acts bewildered when he finds out, which made me worry he was going to turn out to be some intolerant prick on top of everything else. But alas: He’s just really, really excited — and apparently keeping tally of what groups are represented in their ragtag gang. “I was pumped when you were just Asian. But a gay Asian?” he responds. “Hey, that checks off two boxes for us!”
The San Francisco they were imagining is not the San Francisco they find, though. It’s burned to the ground, a complete mess. A flashback then reveals Tandy had taken a trip to SF two years earlier, when he decided to light all the contents in a fireworks warehouse. You can guess how that went.
Now they’re back to square one, trying to agree on a place to live (although Melissa would be fine with staying: “I like it burned,” she shrugs). Tandy’s plan to wander aimlessly until they land on somewhere quickly goes awry once Erica’s car breaks down, thanks to Carol’s insistence they put the A/C on full blast. Then Todd’s van won’t start, leaving everyone left to join Tandy in his prison bus. Everyone is, as you can imagine, thrilled.
NEXT: Maybe Tandy should have picked better cars?
Then Tandy’s bus runs out of gas. He remains optimistic throughout: “You were all very recently complaining that you hated riding in these cars!” he laughs. Now they’re left without any cars on a stretch of road with nothing but a patio furniture store. Oh, and Gail’s self-driving car — which ditched her earlier at a rest stop — passes them by without slowing down even a little bit. This was so close to turning into a Black Mirror episode!
Once they get to the furniture store, the collective crankiness has been turned all the way up. They begin arguing about where to live — Erica’s pro-Vancouver, Todd wants to go to Tampa, Carol just wants to be close to Dollywood, and Lewis is voting for Portland because it seems the most sustainable food-wise. In the middle of the fight, Gail heads out and tells them she’s going to Napa, whether or not anyone wants to join her.
Tandy gets ready to give one of his “dumbass speeches,” as Gail says, before she cuts him off by mocking his aforementioned dumbass speeches. She says her time has come to leave them, and when Tandy says they’re a family, she responds that they aren’t. “We’re all just a bunch of people that happened to meet at the end of the world.” Cold, Gail. Cold.
Meanwhile, Melissa’s checking out a view from what looks like a massive pile of hay. Todd tries to talk her down, showing no interest in what she’s so captivated by until he sees it: There’s a light glowing from behind a series of hills before them. That’s enough to keep Gail around for at least a little bit. They all walk toward the light and find what looks like a hospital with all its lights on. Could there be…others? How are the lights on after all this time? This development could mean terrible things for the group (what if Pat’s hiding out in there?), but for now, it feels a lot like finding water on Mars — or, in Gail’s case, like finding wine, well, anywhere.
Episode grade: B+
The Last Man on Earth