The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 8 may have been called "No Bull," but there was, in fact, quite a bit of bull – on the dinner table in that last scene at least.
Next stop on the Phil Miller redemption tour, apparently, is showing mercy when the easy option would have been to throw in with the others, allowing Phil 2 to spiral out of control as Phil did and wind up all alone.
Phil's mission this time around was twofold: to convince the group that Phil 2 was worthy of forgiveness and to convince Phil 2 that he didn't want to be alone/that the group was his family. In the end, he did succeed, on both counts. So that was nice!
Hey, like it or not, we're a family. And you never give up on family. Took me a long time to learn that. And one of these days, you're gonna learn that too.Phil
Again, yay for maturing Phil Miller! It is quite lovely how this show manages to maintain its humor and resist coming off as pedantic when it's this moral-driven and big-hearted. Phil 2 was decidedly less annoying in "No Bull" (arguably as a direct result of Phil's mercy) so that was a win-win.
As expected after all the yelling closing out The Last Man on Earth Season 2 Episode 7, Phil 2 was still displeased with Phil having saved him from being drunkenly swept out to sea and having stuck him in the stocks against his will. Also as expected, the group was utterly nonplussed with Phil 2 taking his punishment in the stocks.
Phil's high-energy pitch to the group about Phil 2 was interrupted by Todd's discovery that the group's cow had given birth to a bull.
Holy cow... Boom.Phil
Phil's mission to get Phil 2 back in good graces with the group resulted in two instances of Will Forte's specialty: that is, two Phil speeches that quickly spiraled off into ridiculous tangents.
The first was Phil's "Finding this bull" speech to the group, trying to convince them that Phil 2 should be let out of the stocks to assist with the bull search. As per usual with Phil's speeches, it went on for about three minutes too long and devolved into a lot of rambling platitudes and historical misreferencing.
Phil 2, in a minimally clever scheme that obviously worked easily on uber-gullible Phil, convinced OG Phil to release him from the stocks so that he could "go find the bull" for the group. Naturally, as soon as Phil had sprung Phil 2 from the stocks, he rejected Phil's family conceit and made off for Canada, apparently leaving the formerly-Tucson-now-Malibu crew in the dust for good.
There's an old expression. It says "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone... in a glass house."Phil
The second Phil speech, his "Throwing stones" speech, also gave way to the wonderful scene of the entire group devolving into name-calling and arguing. This is a common thing in shows, where pent-up tension leads to a "Serious Confrontation" and The Last Man on Earth did it really well here. Tension has been rising among several of the group members, or hadn't you noticed?
Carol is still annoyed about Erica being pregnant, Melissa apparently throws dishes out the window after using them, and Gail puked in the humidor, to name just a few important revelations from that scene.
Meanwhile, in other minor group dynamics, Todd and Melissa broke up. That was a little confusing, because I feel like the two of them had already broken up in an earlier episode? Anyway, I didn't care too much about that, but it was definitely interesting to see a Gail/Todd connection developing. Can't say that was particularly surprising, though.
Gail has been shouting her loneliness from the highest rooftops and doing questionable things with CPR dummies; Todd was clearly feeling deeply wounded by the whole Melissa thing. So it made sense that Todd and Gail would find solace within one another. Plus, once Gail told Todd that he was lucky to have Melissa, that pretty much sealed it for me with the eventual kiss between the two. The writing was on the wall, there.
The way the kiss happened was actually pretty cute – Todd and Gail talking over each other and babbling as their mouths got closer and closer, seemingly without any conscious action on the part of either party. Are there real feelings there, or is this just reactive (for Todd) and convenient (for Gail)?
How is Melissa going to react to this? Not well, I assume. And I sincerely doubt that the show will just drop it; there's far too much potential plot to be derived from this pending love triangle.
Jason Sudeikis' side plot as Phil's astronaut brother Mike Miller could easily have a gimmicky or intrusive feel, but it really doesn't. I credit this to Sudeikis' abilities as an actor. I mean, it's not many actors who could effectively work off of a worm as a scene partner.
Was anyone else genuinely moved by that brief breakdown scene when, after thinking he had finally made contact with someone, Mike's hopes for human contact were shattered by the unexpected echo of his own voice? It was so upsetting! I really felt for this character we'd only seen across a maximum of maybe twenty minutes of screen time, which was incredibly impressive.
Kristen Schaal and Will Forte get the best dialogue, hands down, and this was the night's greatest Carol-ism –
She was just going off to do a little "Wham, bam, thank you livestock," weren't you? You little hussy.Carol
Cutting from "Too many tranqs?" "Eh, he'll be fine" to the group feasting on the dead bull was possibly the greatest cut in the show's history, thus far.
Finally, there was that "friggin' awesome" ending montage featuring "Perfect Day" playing over the images of the group feasting on the bull, as Mike Miller floated alone (and drunk, maybe?) through space. That was a seriously perfect choice of song.
- The fact that the calf was born completely clean/not all gory like a cow normally would be really got me for some reason. The group just arrived outside and found this perfectly clean and peaceful-looking baby cow... Naturally.
- Erica's recurring squeamishness about pregnancy and childbirth continues to be a really funny bit. I love how Carol really needles Erica about it, whenever something pregnancy/birth related comes up.
- "Carol, did you pack unsweetened lemonade in here?" As soon as the words "cow urine" left Todd's mouth back at the house, I felt certain Phil would be ingesting said cow urine. Thanks, show. Gag.
- Erica was clearly upset when she thought Phil 2 was gone for good, which seems to bode well for that eventual reunion. Just in time for baby, perhaps?
- Remember when Gordon stood up and peed in Gail's wine and she threw it in his eyes? Because Todd remembers. Classic Gordon. (Seriously, what a tool that guy was! Makes Gail's rosy-colored remembrances of him all the more absurd/funny.)
Thoughts on "No Bull"? Did you like the way the Phil 2 exile story was resolved? What are your predictions for Mike Miller's story? Remember to watch The Last Man on Earth online and chime in by commenting below!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.