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Top 10 Episodes of The Last Man on Earth


Warning: There are huge spoilers for all three seasons of 'The Last Man on Earth'. Please turn back if you plan on watching and have not finished.

photo: wallpapermade
'The Last Man on Earth' is truly an inventive series. While there are times when the post-apocalyptic comedy drifts into normal sitcom territory, it normally offers up a creative, dark, and funny look at living in a world without civilization. The best episodes of the series are the ones that utilize its setting to its fullest extent. Before we get to the top 10 list, here are some installments that barely missed the list.

Honorable Mentions

Season 1 Episode 3: Raisin Balls and Wedding Bells

Season 2 Episode 16: Falling Slowly 

Season 3 Episode 1: General Breast Theme with Cobras


10. Season 1 Episode 13: Screw the Moon


The first season of 'The Last Man on Earth' was a completely different beast from what the show has evolved into. Most episodes involved Tandy being the antagonist and pushing the limits of the group. With that said, this season finale caps things off wonderfully. There are some hilariously dark moments like when Tandy & Todd plot to kill Phill 2 or when Phil decides to drop Tandy off in the desert to die. Luckily, Carol comes to his rescue and decides that the two of them should start over. It's rather touching that despite being despised by the entire group, Carol decides to stick with him. And, after a season of mostly hating Tandy for his actions, the episode makes the viewer feel sorry for him. Plus, we get a classic 'Last Man' cliffhanger with the final shot showing Mike, Tandy's brother, in space. 

9. Season 3 Episode 18: Nature's Horchata 

photo: Hulu
The latest episode of 'Last Man' is easily one of the best. Tandy and the gang have to deal with the fact that nuclear power plants will be blowing up all across the US and they need to leave their office building immediately before they're all dead. It's incredible how 'Last Man' can flirt with typical sitcom stuff immediately before jumping into panic mode. If the looming threat of death wasn't enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, the short re-introduction of Pat and the introduction of Pamela should be enough to seal the deal.


8. Season 3 Episode 6: The Open-Ended Nature of Unwitnessed Death

 

As much as it supplies laughs, this episode of 'LMOE' hits the emotional beats well. Tandy tries to get Lewis to go to Seattle to see if his boyfriend Mark is alive, but Lewis continues to tell him that Mark is dead. Tandy ends up striking a chord with Lewis after telling him his story about the 'Alive in Tuscon' billboards and Lewis ultimately leaves a note for Mark. Things get really emotional when Tandy decides to drive back to Tuscon and see if Mike is still alive. Unable to work up the courage to open the door, Tandy ends up leaving him a note. It's simply a powerful episode that many can relate to. Sure, Mike & Mark are most likely dead, but there's still no reason that you can't have hope. 

7. Season 2 Episode 17: Smart and Stupid


Like the previous episode, this one hits the emotional beats hard. The first half of 'Smart and Stupid' is very amusing and a generally fun episode. That momentum stops dead in its track in the second half after Mike becomes sick (contracts the virus?) and the whole group turns on him. It's a bit terrifying to see just how quickly Melissa, Todd, Gail, and the rest can turn their backs on him and things get even more depressing (in a good way) when Tandy & Mike sing 'Falling Slowly' one last time. I'm sure I wasn't the only the only one who shed a few tears while watching this.


6. Season 2 Episode 10: Silent Night


'Silent Night' is the first time 'Last Man' tackles death seriously. Gail has to operate on Phil 2 and it ultimately leads to the latter's death. In space, Mike Miller decides it's finally time to take his chances and try to get back to Earth. It's incredibly powerful when the two storylines intertwine in the final moments and we see just how perilous both situations are. There's also a nice touch of dark humor in this one as Tandy & Todd dig up Gordon's dead body. This one is a must-watch.

5. Season 3 Episode 10: Got Milk 



Unlike the other episodes on this list, this one can be viewed without watching any previous episodes. 'Got Milk' is a standalone episode that essentially shows us the start of the viral outbreak and how Pamela (Kristen Wigg) deals with it. This episode's energy is similar to 'Alive in Tuscon' and really shows us how being alone can affect you. I also like Pamela's denial about the epidemic and how she initially brushes it off as a bad flu season. This episode seriously deserved some Emmy attention.

4. Season 1 Episode 1: Alive in Tuscon 


The first episode of the series is easily one of its best. The greatest 'Last Man' episodes focus on the loneliness and disparity in a post-virus world and that's what this pilot does. Phil Miller simply wanders around, blows things up, talks to sports ball, and ultimately realizes that he needs people. What more could you want?


3. Season 2 Episode 1: Is There Anybody Out There?


The second season of 'Last Man' starts off wonderfully. Tandy & Carol travel the country in search of a new home. In a series where everyone in the world is dead, it's always great when an episode focuses on traveling instead of sitcom hi-jinks. And while there's a lot of fun in this episode, there's a lot of darker moments like when Tandy finds his house in Tuscon burned to the ground or when Tandy & Carol end up separated. It's an incredible opener.


2. Season 2 Episode 18: 30 Years of Science Down the Tubes


The second season finale is yet another tear-jerking outing. Tandy goes to see Mike in their old Tuscon home and they share memories, fight, and eventually part ways. The scene above is the emotional peak of the episode as Mike finds out that Tandy had to bury their parents and that he also made a grave for him. It's unlikely that Mike is alive, so at least this conclusion gave some solid closure.


1. Season 2 Episode 11: Pitch Black


I'm sure most people would pick "Alive in Tuscon" or "Got Milk" as their favorites, but "Pitch Black" just resonates with me. It's an episode with only two cast members (not counting young Tandy) and gives us a taste of a seriously insane individual in the form of Pat. It's really interesting to see how quickly Pat & Mike bond and how quickly Pat turns on him and shells out his conspiracy theories. It's a shame that Pat only got to be in four episodes, because he's a really interesting character.



'The Last Man on Earth' will return on Sunday, October 1st on Fox and I will be returning to review it.


What are your favorite 'Last Man on Earth' episodes? Do you agree with my list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.