The Last Man on Earth Season 4 Episode 15 Review ’Designated Survivors’

***Spoilers Ahead***

Designated Survivors

L-R: Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis. Credit: Kevin Estrada/FOX

Across the show's four-season run, Mike Miller still holds the title of being the most intriguing and relatable character. As the series strayed away from its initial premise, Mike embodied what it was like to truly be the last man on earth. His arc in space beautifully represented the disparity and hopelessness of being alone and having no means of escaping. When Mike finally did break free, he only got a small taste of companionship before falling ill. Thus, his fate remained open-ended and he was once again by himself. Bringing back Sudeikis's character was certainly a risky move. The writers effortlessly capped off his story arc in an emotional and satisfying manner. Ultimately, 'Designated Survivors' does end up ruining the tragically captivating ending in some ways. But, bringing another character into the show's circulation acted as a much-needed breath of fresh air.

The story focuses on Mike returning to the group and attempting to fit in and catch up with everyone. First off, the writers definitely destroyed the emotional ending of season 3's 'The Open-Ended Nature of Unwitnessed Death'. It was unfortunate that Last Man revoked the touching moment and replaced it with a cheap sight gag of Tandy's note falling off the door. As the episode moves on, Mike realizes that there's no one there for him and he's essentially on his own. For what should have been a cheerful reunion, it gives the installment a somber vibe and ties back into the dark themes from Mike's arc in space. So, while I did not appreciate the undoing of the somber moment in 'Open-Ended' or the flimsy explanation of Mike's recovery, I did enjoy the parallelism between his adventures in space and situation in this episode.

Outside of Miller's return, Todd plays the jealousy card and feels insecure about Mike coming back. It's a bit disheartening to see the group not feeling especially enthused by his reappearance. Additionally, I'm not a fan of the obnoxious side of Todd's character. While it's not necessary for Todd to always be fun-loving and cheerful, it's definitely not pleasing to see his ugly traits on full display. The saving grace of this subplot is when Mike chimes in and provides an inspiring speech about how great Todd's life is. Luckily, Erica's pregnancy announcement snaps Todd out of this state of envy and it'll hopefully be kept to a minimum in future outings. 

The final moments of 'Designated Survivors' is The Last Man on Earth at its most soul-crushing. As Tandy declines the offer to sing a duet with him, Mike's feelings of isolation come to a climax after being developed throughout. It's equally well-done and heartbreaking to witness Miller saunter into his trailer and look off into the distance like he would in space. Despite being surrounded by people, he's just as lonely as when he was in a spaceship or secluded in his childhood home. Overall, 'Designated Survivors' does have some notable problems. Nevertheless, the heartfelt moments outweigh the bad for the most part. In all, it serves as a satisfactory reintroduction of Mike's character while simultaneously treating viewers with another engaging cliffhanger.

  • I really wish Mike's story at the dinner table had been true.
  • I hope the show doesn't introduce a whole group of new characters.
  • Jasper literally did nothing. I still have no idea what the purpose of his character is.
  • It's always a great episode when the sports balls make an appearance. 
  • Tandy and Mike duets are always amazing. 

Grade: B

What did you think of 'Designated Survivors'?

Created with Survey Maker

What did you think of 'Designated Survivors'? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »