The Last Man on Earth Season 3 Episode 8 Review
Whitney Houston, We Have a Problem
If there's one thing that The Last Man on Earth does really well, it's penultimate episodes of the season or the first half of the season. From the double cliffhanger ending from last year's "Secret Santa" to last spring's "Smart and Stupid" which gave us a morbid moment as Mike fell sick just a while after returning, The Last Man on Earth really knows how to build up suspense to a finale. With that sad, this episode has a lot to live up to considering how great second-to-last Last Man episodes usually are. "Whitney Houston" doesn't exactly give us the same build-up to the finale as past episodes have done, but it makes up for it in other ways.
The episode begins right where "Mama's Hideaway" left off as the gang set off to search for Melissa. What this episode really excels in is showing a different, more stressed out Todd than we're used to. Throughout the episode, Todd loses sleep, literally, looking left and right for Melissa and completely losing it. One particularly stand-out moment we get from Todd is his blow-up at Carol. As Carol continues to simultaneously look for Gail and Melissa and urges Tandy to go search for Gail with her, Todd completely blows up over her mother-daughter baloney, which I'll have to admit was getting a little annoying, and tells her off about looking for someone who's not missing, when in reality Gail's in even more danger. It's an interesting character grouping as Carol and Todd haven't actually interacted much throughout the series, so props to the writers for giving a scenario for the two.
Meanwhile, in Tandy's world, we get his great T-Rex costumes, these random sight gags continue to be at the top of my favorite things about The Last Man on Earth, Tandy is put in a difficult position towards the second half of the episode where he has to tell Carol truthfully about the Gail situation. It's a scene that solidifies how much Tandy has matured throughout the season but at the same time, the T-Rex gig and his interactions with Todd prove that he's still kept his man-child sort of personality which is a good thing since the show wouldn't be the same without it.
This "Finding Melissa" plot works out very well as we get to see a different side of Todd and Tandy while also providing us with a lot of great comedic moments, particularly the Todd-Tandy in the shower.
In the B-plot, Gail continues to be trapped in the elevator, and that's about it. The Gail plot honestly seems like an imitation of the Mike scenes early last season where he was stuck in space, but they aren't bad in any way as we get to see how Gail cracks under pressure. What I wasn't a fan of though was how the episode ended with it basically going nowhere, this plot does have it's moments and I hope to see a solid resolution in the fall finale.
The same problem I have with the Gail plot kind of registers for the Melissa plot as well. In the end, Melissa returns and we get no explanation as to where she was and why, I was also a bit disappointed that Todd, Tandy, and Carol didn't go off on a road trip after her which could have been a very interesting set-up to the fall finale.
Just so they get a mention, Erica continues to be rather missing-in-action basically doing nothing the entire episode, or season so far for that matter, and this time Lewis also doesn't have much to do. I don't mind that much because Todd, Tandy, and Carol are such a solid pairing but I do wonder if we'll see Lewis and especially Erica play a part in the fall finale.
Ultimately, "Whitney Houston, We Have A Problem" is by no means a bad episode, in fact, it's a very enjoyable installment. The only problem is that it doesn't add any new developments to the Gail plot and has the Melissa plot take a very strange turn with her being found by the end of the episode. Nevertheless, both storylines will most likely be wrapped up in the fall finale, so my complaints are rather insignificant and don't detract from the fact that this was a great episode by adding more depth to the characters and putting them in different situations.
Thanks for reading my review, leave your thoughts on "Whitney Houston, We Have A Problem" in the comments below.
Don't miss the fall finale of The Last Man on Earth airing Sunday December 11, 9:30/8:30c on FOX.