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The Last Man on Earth 'Stocko Syndrome' [Season 4 Episode 2 Review]


***Spoilers Ahead***

Stocko Syndrome 

January Jones, Kristen Schaal, Mel Rodriguez (left to right). photo: Kevin Estrada/FOX

Despite being called The Last Man on Earth, the series has introduced a variety of individuals over the span of multiple seasons. There have been sane people, crazy people, and almost everything in between. But, the post-apocalyptic comedy has never shown us someone who hasn't been informed about the apocalypse. 'Stocko Syndrome' does a great job at giving us a look at the events of the past five years through a very unique viewpoint. Through the introduction of Glenn (Chris Elliot), Last Man shows that it still has a lot of different twists and turns under its sleeve.

While the Glenn plot receives a good amount of attention, the main focus is on Tandy and Pamela. The episode picks right back where it left off with Tandy tied up and Pamela hoping that he'll fall for her. The great thing about this plot is that, for once, Tandy is not the one who screws up. Instead, we are given a much more interesting and fresh dynamic. In many ways, Pamela resembles Season 1 Tandy, she's a well-meaning woman who acts on impulse to get what she wants. Furthermore, Tandy's attempts to escape were hilarious. The story became even better when Gary got to play a part in the episode. Adding on, it was great that the writers steered clear of the 'Tandy is an idiot' shtick and focused more on his affection for Carol and his desperation to reach the island. The one problem I did have was that things ended rather abruptly. Pamela gave up her motive and the conflict that drove the final moments of the last episode were resolved far too quickly. It would have been better if the 'Pamela & Tandy stuck at sea' plot had lasted longer, but it still did not detract from the fact that it was a great story on Last Man's part.

Moreover, the plot with the gang and Glenn ends up being just as entertaining. It's heartbreaking to hear just how much optimism Glenn had for the future and how he waited so long for something that would never come. After having characters like Pat or Phil 2 who knew how to handle the post-virus world, it's a nice change of pace for the series to introduce someone who is oblivious to the damaging events. While he probably won't last long, I am looking forward to how the dynamic between Glenn and the rest of the group will be. Speaking of the rest of the group, they have next-to-nothing to do in this episode. Aside from Carol and Tandy, the other main cast members only throw in a few lines here and there. But, the episode needed to shift towards the newer characters, so I can't blame the writers for that.

Ultimately, 'Stocko Syndrome' is a phenomenal episode of the series. Just like last week's premiere, it adds new variables to the show while also maintaining the right balance of comedy and drama. Wigg and Elliot are really shining in their roles (so I hope the writers don't kill them off soon). The stage has been set for an amazing season and the possibilities are seemingly endless for a show like this. So far, season 4 has been on a creative roll and I am rooting for it to continue to keep up that momentum.


Stray Thoughts
  • This isn't the first time the series has done a really hilarious Michael Jackson joke (only true fans will remember the other one).
  • I like the callback to Pamela's obsession with Lester Holt. It was only a minor detail in 'Got Milk'.
  • I was extremely annoyed that there was no promo for the next episode.
  • I don't remember Jasper saying anything in the episode. I hope they give him more lines soon.
  • Always glad when one of the sports balls make a cameo.

Grade: A-


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As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below. Catch an all-new episode next Sunday at 9:30/8:30c on FOX.