The Last Man on Earth Season 4 Episode 18 Review ’Cancun, Baby!’ [Season Finale]

***Spoilers Ahead***

Cancun, Baby!

Photo: Kristen Schaal. Credit: Kevin Estrada/FOX

Amidst his goofy, childish demeanor, Phillip 'Tandy' Miller has always been a rather complex character. During the early days of the series, his only goal was to have sex with the women and belittle the men in the group. As the seasons have passed, he has consistently changed and evolved as a person. While many have complained about Forte being annoying in this role, I have embraced his wacky traits. I've always felt that Tandy uses his ridiculous style of humor to cope with the aftermath of the apocalypse and unresolved issues from his past life. Framing his quirks in this light makes Miller's behavior take on a whole new meaning. 'Cancun, Baby!' is the pinnacle of character development for Tandy. While it acts as the final stage of growth for Miller, it's far from being an episode that ties up all loose ends.

'Cancun, Baby!' begins with the gang ditching their house in Zihuatanejo to move to their next destination in Cancun. Before that can happen, they have to pick up all the goats that Mike and Tandy found. Initially, it seemed like The Last Man on Earth was following the same tedious trend that has gone on for a while. Each season, the characters migrate to a new region after a deadly threat comes up. While it does help keep things fresh, the seasonal shift in location has become far too predictible. But, this is where the writers throw a commendable curveball. Upon finding a real dog and thinking things through, Tandy talks some sense and tells his friends that staying in the resource-inhabited area is the best option for them. In a way, The Last Man on Earth breaks the fourth wall since the writers almost address the repetitiveness of moving locations and landing in another mansion or building. Aside from that, this acts as an astonishing moment of development for Tandy. After sixty-five episodes of generally being irresponsible, Phil wakes up and sees the reality of their situation. Tandy would've never cared about long-term survival in the first season. Instead, he'd be fixated on living in the moment. Once again, this exemplifies just how far Forte's character has traveled. Overall, his speech brings a fairly gloomy mood to the episode. By digging himself a grave, Tandy demonstrates how their circumstances will likely never get better. The instability of their situation is a topic that simply needed to be confronted. It makes the episode rather grounded and helps illustrate how there will be trouble in any place they decide to live in. After being absent for the bulk of the season, these themes act as a metaphorical breath of fresh air. The juxtaposition between despair and hope is something this series has rarely tackled in the latest batch of episodes. Nonetheless, whenever the writers do inject them into the show's bloodstream, it leads to a harrowing, amusing, and throughly entertaining outing.

Furthermore, Tandy's speech isn't the only time in 'Cancun, Baby!' where he shows how much he's evolved and grown. His final interactions with Mike serve as another example. While the depature of Mike was handled in a rushed fashion, the connection between the two brothers remains solid as ever. In fact, it's hard not to shed a tear when the two break apart. The fascinating thing about their split in this episode is that it was entirely voluntary. Unlike '30 Years of Science Down the Tubes', Mike had little reason to separate himself from everyone else. Nevertheless, it's almost satisfying that he did end up doing so. Since he had no place in the group, it's fitting that he left to search for people and chase his goal of happiness. Even though the chances of finding other indivduals are slim, Mike simply couldn't survive without proper companionship and love. Although it'll never top the second season's arc, I enjoyed seeing the Miller brothers swap roles and still retain their signature brand of humor. Witnessing Tandy actually become the big brother and comfort Mike served as a great antithesis to Tandy's jealous behavior back in the sophmore season.

While Mike's sendoff was handled in a mature manner, Jasper's came off as sloppy and a bit disappointing. I'll be the first to say that the Jasper character has done nothing to make the series more engaging or entertaining. For a good chunk of season four, he's simply been in the background without any function or purpose. Because of that, I was relieved to hear that he didn't come on the train and was essentially written off the show. With that said, it's a shame how much his potential was wasted. Although nothing interesting happened with Jasper in the fourth season, he showed signs of being a worthy character during the final episodes of season three. But, I do feel that the writers made the right call here. Despite that, his sendoff still isn't handled in an elegant fashion and the series basically admits that they've given up on him.

'Cancun, Baby!' manages to end in a way that's both familiar and terrifying. The familiar part comes from the fact that it is tradition for the writers to provide a cliffhanger ending to close a season. The terrifying part derives from the actual outcome. Bringing in boatloads of people to the show puts The Last Man on Earth in a shaky position. The series has thrived with a small cast and the addition of dozens of people likely won't help the comedy in any way. Despite that, the cliffhanger does its job of getting the viewer excited for a potential fifth season. In the end, 'Cancun, Baby!' is a filling installement of the series. It focuses on the pressing matters of a post-apolyptic world and illustrates how mature Tandy has become. Whether or not the series comes back for more, it's been a fun sixty-six episodes of television. Even at its weakest moments, The Last Man on Earth has differentiated itself from the normal sitcom and brought another level of ingenuity to broadcast television. 

  • Rest in piece to Tandy's robot dog.
  • Poor Jasper. It's a bit cruel how they left him alone. There's no way he can survive. At the same time, that's what he preferred. 
  • If we get a season five, I hope the bunker people are a threat.
  • I wonder if we'll ever see Pamela & Glenn again. 
  • Season Grade: B-
  • Thanks to everyone who has read my reviews this season. 

Grade: A-

What did you think of the LMOE season finale?





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What did you think of 'Cancun, Baby!'? What was your favorite episode of season four? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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