Credit: Kevin Estrada/FOX
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[Warning: Spoilers about The Last Man on Earth season 4 lie ahead.]

Here’s some news that will please fans of The Last Man on Earth (and of brotherly love): Mike is alive — and he’s coming back!

Jason Sudeikis will return to Fox’s post-apocalyptic comedy for several episodes, EW has learned exclusively. The reemergence of Tandy’s brother will be strongly signaled by the end of Sunday’s episode, and Mike will make his first official reappearance since the season 2 finale in the April 15 episode. Sudeikis, who appeared in a dozen episodes over the first two seasons, will remain on the show through the rest of the fourth season, which wraps up May 6.

Here’s what you can glean from this news: Apparently, Mike did not catch the virus that wiped virtually everyone off the planet. The lonely astronaut/formidable prankster/rogue hairstylist — who teamed up for two memorable performances of “Falling Slowly” with his brother — was believed to have contracted the killer illness, and abandoned the group (and his blossoming-if-medically-forbidden romance with Erica) to return home to Tucson. When Tandy (Will Forte) tracked him down in Arizona, Mike used his “dying wish” to persuade Tandy to go back to Malibu, leading all to assume that he was a goner. (But given that his death was never shown onscreen — and factoring in the show’s twisty nature — there was enough reason to hope that somehow he might still be alive.) Indeed, in season 3, Tandy returned to the house in Tucson but can’t quite bring himself to find out if Mike is dead; instead he tapes a note to the bedroom door and keeps hope alive.

Several questions need to be answered, of course, including this one: How will Erica (Cleopatra Coleman) react to Mike’s return, now that she’s in a relationship with Gail (Mary Steenburgen) and planning to have a child with Todd (Mel Rodriguez)? While you devise your theories about his miraculous recovery, check out this first-look photo in which Tandy seems to be up to his old half-shaving tricks. And it appears that the music, like Mike, never died.

An SNL vet like Forte, Sudeikis voiced the lead character in another Fox comedy, the short-lived live-action/animation hybrid Son of Zorn. He recently starred with Matt Damon on the big screen in Downsizing.

Last Man on Earth airs Sundays at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Last Man on Earth

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