The Last Man on Earth Season 4 Episode 11 Review ’Hamilton/Berg’

***Spoilers Ahead***


Will Forte (left). Fred Armisen (right). Photo: FOX/Kevin Estrada 

Since his introduction, it's been very clear that Karl won't be around for a long period of time. Every guest star on Last Man has a target on their back and it's only matter of time before they meet their demise. Naturally, the writers use Armisen's death as an excuse to get rid of another story thread. It may have been a bit predictable, but the Karl arc ended in explosive fashion.

The episode begins with Tandy and Todd vomiting uncontrollably while witnessing Karl eat human flesh in the graveyard. The scene is a perfect introduction to 'Hamilton/Berg' since the episode consistently creates humor out of dark and twisted situations. Surprisingly, Karl the cannibal continues to have a bit of charm to him. Despite embracing his cannibalistic tendencies and escaping from the prison, it's clear that Karl isn't exactly the black-and-white villain that a character like Pat was. Nonetheless, it is still unexpected that he eventually volunteers to be murdered. Judging by his previous actions, I expected him to put up a fight or become a threat to the Tuscon crew. As the installment nears toward the finish line, the writers insert a particularly sweet moment between Carol and Tandy. In that scene, Tandy decides he'll be the one to end Karl's life. It truly shows how far his character has come since the origins of the series and strengthens the relationship between the two.

Furthermore, the highlight of the episode comes when Tandy reluctantly prepares to shoot Armisen's character in the face. It's oddly impressive that the series can strike comedy gold with a subject as morbid as death. But, The Last Man on Earth has proved that it can handle the concept in a tear-jerking manner and a comedic approach. In the end, the Rubik's cube gets to Karl before Tandy can kill him through a Hamilton inspired performance. With that, the show knocks two birds out with one stone. The Karl and Rubik's cube storylines disappear with a single explosion. While this outcome may have been expected, I still thoroughly enjoyed the comedy-filled ride it took to get to this destination.

Outside of the main plot, there's a pleasant breakthrough in the Jasper storyline. It turns out that Melissa and Jasper have secretly bonded. While I appreciate that there was some progression, it seems utterly pointless to keep the Jasper character quiet. He has spoken in past episodes so it seems ridiculous that he won't open up again. In a show like Last Man, comedy has to be put aside at times in favor of development. The series definitely needs to sacrifice the running gag of Jasper being silent to provide his character with some depth.

'Hamilton/Berg' is an episode of Last Man that most saw coming. It seemed logical to infer that these two plot threads would collide and wrap up. While I would've preferred to see more of Karl, it's fitting that the comedy is speeding up its pace after a slow first half. To conclude, the large dose of dark comedy helped the series make a solid entrance after an extended hiatus.

Stray Thoughts
  • "There are good people on both sides." - Karl. This goes down as the best moment of the episode. 
  • I like how Todd's mention of Tandy trying to kill him is treated casually. It broke up their friendship at the end of the first season.
  • The Hamilton reenactment scene deserves an Emmy. Forte and Armisen play off each other extremely well. 
  • I seriously expected Melissa to shoot Karl early on. 
  • Karl joins the extensive list of people who've died on this show.

Grade: A-

What did you think of 'Hamilton/Berg'?

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