The Last Man on Earth Season 4 Episode 16 Review ’The Blob’

***Spoilers Ahead***

The Blob

 Photo: Will Forte. Credit: Kevin Estrada/FOX. 

In a series called The Last Man on Earth, it's fitting that the most engaging moments involve finding new signs of life. When disparity hits hard, the appearance of a fire, balloon, or any other source of movement acts as a beacon of hope in a lonely world. In fact, the only scenes that rival those in terms of emotional richness are ones that mark the demise or departure of a character. 'The Blob' mixes in elements from both scenarios and the outcome is a fairly touching half-hour.

The principal storyline picks up exactly where 'Designated Survivors' left off. Mike observes the blob and decides to take off to see if it's a sign of life. Unfortunately for Miller, Tandy won't let him leave the premises. In many ways, this storyline acts as a counterpart to '30 Years of Science Down the Tubes'. That episode featured Mike urging Tandy to leave him alone. Once again, Mike reaches a point where he simply wants to fly solo to accomplish his task. But, that's not the only time 'The Blob' takes a page from past episodes. The haircut montage is a direct homage to the season two finale and the brothers' on-and-off relationship resembles the way they acted in 'Fourth Finger'. While you could look at this as the writers rehashing past themes, I see it as more of a poetic parallel. Tandy is the dominant brother now, and Mike is simply envious of his superior situation. The sharp contrast between their past and present lives flawlessly displays the flimsy nature of this post-apocalyptic world. In an instant, one could go from living well to being forced into seclusion due to virus symptons. After a season full of middling storylines, it's exhilarating to witness Last Man utilizing the potential of its premise again. Plus, the contagious chemistry between Forte and Sudeikis drives the episode as a whole. Their playful moments channeled the vibe of the show's early days and their confrontation in the second half felt genuine and raw. While I was skeptical of having his character back, 'The Blob' justifies Mike's reintroduction and makes his return worthwhile. 

The A-plot showed how great Last Man can truly be. Sadly, the B-plot is a return to the middling, tedious plotlines that have plagued a good portion of this season. Essentially, Todd wants to paint the baby's room yellow while Erica prefers blue. Despite making amends at the end of the last episode, it's clear they have some issues to work out. It's annoying and tiresome to watch these two fight about something so trivial. There are just thirteen people on planet earth and their food supply is running short. Yet, these two would rather argue about the color of a room. Speaking of their depletion of food, this episode finally addresses that situation. Carol sends Gail and Melissa to fetch some supplies for them. Like clockwork, the two decide to take a break instead. Considering their matching careless personalities, it's a shame that this is one of the few times that the pairing has been explored. Additionally, Last Man on Earth tends to be very inconsistent when it comes to matters involving food. One episode, they could be eating well and using hand-pies as cadavers. The next, Carol is cooking crickets or making raisin balls. This makes their food shortage concern seem meaningless and it's unlikely that they'll bring the subject up again. Hopefully, the writers prove me wrong and steer onto a more consistent path. Overall, neither story thread adds much to the episode. The only engaging moment comes with Todd's realization that the mansion has flimsy walls. This could potentially lead to a large, exciting discovery. 

Ultimately, 'The Blob' has a phenomenal main story that revives past themes in a poignant manner. The mediocrity of the B-plot is not enough to bring this installment down. Finally, the fact that Tandy and Mike are isolating themselves from the group and going on a road trip opens up many new possibilities. This series is always best when they venture into different locations. And, there's no one better than the show's strongest duo to take on this adventure. In all, 'The Blob' sets up the foundation for what should be two fantastic episodes. 

Stray Thoughts
  • I was a bit scared for Tandy when he was underneath the truck. Killing off the main character is not out of the question for Last Man.on Earth
  • So, where is Jasper? 
  • That game of "bowling" was great. Reminded me of Tandy's games from the pilot. 
  • I wonder if the Miller brothers will stumble upon Pamela and Glenn.
  • When was the last time that Gail and Melissa had a plot together? The last time I remember is season 2's 'Crickets'. 

Grade: A-

What did you think of 'The Blob'?

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