The Last Man on Earth aired two episodes on one night as an hour long finale. If you missed the recap for 3×17: “When the Going Gets Tough,” click here.
Erica marvels over her newborn baby girl. Even Todd can’t keep back tears. Carol can’t handle the messiness caused by childbirth, so she leaves. Melissa admits that, although she doesn’t like babies, Dawn (Erica’s daughter) is a good one. Tandy and Jasper rush in and ask the group to follow them. Once on the roof, Tandy, Jasper, Melissa, Todd, and Gail see an enormous black smoke filling the sky. He tells them that it’s a nuclear meltdown. Todd recalls that Lewis warned that this would happen — bridges collapsing, satellites falling from the sky, etc etc. They all agree that they need to get out of there as soon as possible. They’re going to grab what they can and just drive away. Gail is tasked to tell Erica, and Tandy plans to tell Carol. He goes to their little house and wakes Carol, and Carol delves into an anecdote about how she used to be deathly afraid of sliding out of long booths in Mexican restaurants, until her therapist slid in and out of a booth to show Carol that nothing bad was going to happen. Just like with the therapist in that booth, Carol only needed to see Erica’s delivery go well, and now she isn’t afraid anymore. She looks around and describes this as the perfect home, and Tandy loses his nerve to say what is happening.
Gail rushes around, collecting medical supplies, while Todd vacuums up Lewis’s ashes by the tree. Melissa hangs her poster back over the hole she dug in the wall, and Tandy says goodbye to the toilet.
Carol wakes up with the entire house shaking and is understandably concerned. She opens the door to see what’s happening, and all she sees is road. Tandy tells her that it’s just a road trip for their last chance to be spontaneous before becoming parents. She demands that he turn this house around, but Tandy says he’ll have to consult with Todd, the driver. Once again, Carol asks “Onto which what is going?” (I personally love that Carol always rewords sentences so that they don’t end in prepositions. It always sounds so awkward, but I appreciate it.) and Tandy finally tells her that they can’t go home. Since there’s no easy way to explain what is happening on Earth, Tandy busts out his guitar so that he can sing it (to the same tune as all of his other songs, i.e. ‘The Open-Ended Nature of Unwitnessed Deaths):
“Have you ever had a nuclear meltdown sitting right on your face?
So you load your sleeping wife into a trailer bed, haul her pregnant ass from that place. Nuclear meltdown, nuclear, nuclear meltdown
is gonna melt away the friggin skin from our bods.
Nuclear meltdown, nuclear, nuclear meltdown
Skin melting off of your body
Erica is trying to feed her Dawn, but she won’t latch on. After hearing Erica say that they’re racing away from a nuclear dust cloud, Jasper asks what that is. Todd tries to lie, saying it’s a ska band he listened to in the 90s, but Melissa bluntly says that it’s a poisonous cloud that gives you cancer and slowly kills you. Jasper is confused why they didn’t bring the cow. None of the adults realized that they had left it behind. Gail points out that they’ve been driving aimlessly for three hours, and they really should figure out what they’re going to do.
The group stops at a library to read up on nuclear plants. Tandy went to the army surplus store nearby and picked up a Geiger counter, which will detect any radioactivity in the air. Melissa’s book says that sooner or later all of the nuclear reactors are going to blow. Gail’s says that as long as you’re not within a hundred-mile radius of a meltdown, you’ll be okay. Carol wants to go back to their building as soon as possible, but Gail says that it’ll be 20,000 years before it’s safe. Todd suggests the obvious — move to where there aren’t any nuclear plants. Gail holds up the book, showing everyone a map of the nuclear plants in the US. Nowhere is particularly safe. Erica notes that Mexico is fairly clear — only one plant noted on the map. However, the book was written in 1998, so there may be many more by now. They decide there isn’t any other option, so they’ll have to risk going to Mexico, which plunges Todd and Melissa into a recitation of a scene from The Shawshank Redemption about Zihuatanejo — “There’s a little place on the Pacific Ocean…”
Back on the road, Tandy stumbles in on Erica about to feed Dawn. Erica tells him that he doesn’t have to leave, since this will be happening around here a lot. He gets creepily up in her business until she asks for a little privacy. Gail reassures a tense Carol that the delivery room will be all set up as soon as they get to Mexico. However, 72 miles away from Tijuana, the Geiger counter’s gauge spikes dramatically, warning them of radioactivity. They turn around immediately, heading back north. They list their non-options before Melissa says there’s only one place to go, which is apparently LA. No one is dying to get back to LA after the incident with Pat at the beginning of season three. (Forgot what happened? Check it out here.) Jasper asks who Pat is, and Melissa gives more information than necessary, rehashing his murderous side. Finally, Gail gives the full version of the plan — they’re going to the marina in LA to hop on a boat, drive that boat around all of the problem areas in America, and land in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. With LA being a big city, they’re hoping that one vehicle won’t even be on Pat’s radar. (And who’s to say that Pat even stayed in LA?)
They stop at a gas station and Tandy tells Carol that he set up a little oasis in their home — lit aromatherapy candles, put on Gregorian chants, etc. Carol thinks she just needs to walk around a little bit.
Tandy asks to have a word with Dawn when she still won’t eat. He tells her to ‘just do it,’ and then walks away. At last, they are entering Los Angeles. Carol asks if they’re going to come up with a plan for if they see Pat. As Tandy is reassuring that Pat won’t see them, a candle falls into a basket of yarn. Since Carol walked around as her way to calm her anxieties, she didn’t go into her ‘oasis,’ so no one is in there to see the fire that started. Right after Tandy promises that Pat will never find them, we see an ice cream truck taking notice of the large smoke cloud that is now following the group’s RV, now that the home is entirely engulfed in flames.
By the time they arrive at the marina, the house is completely burned down. Carol is devastated, but everyone assures her that things can be replaced. Todd is trying to decide whether to choose “Ship Happens” or “The Sea Word” as their temporary home. Both are a decent size, but Melissa calls over, saying that she’ll be taking the yacht. Once situated, Erica tries feeding Dawn again, and this time she succeeds! Tandy is super creepy, as you would expect. Everyone is all set to go, but Tandy feels the need to give a speech. The ice cream truck pulls up during Tandy’s very long speech (he wants to spend five minutes telling each person what they mean to him). Gail urges him to let them start their journey, but he keeps talking. He’s finally entirely interrupted when he hears Pat’s voice behind him. He turns around and everyone screams as Pat cocks his shotgun. Before he has the chance to shoot, blood splatters all over the inside of his face mask. He falls to the ground, and we see that Pamela (Kristen Wiig!!) shot him through the back of the head with a handgun. Awkwardly, she says “Hi. I’m Pamela.”
EPISODE (and season) OVER. YAAASSS. The last ten seconds of that episode was overly exciting to me, and I can’t wait for season four! (Which, thankfully, there will be a season four! It was renewed this week!) We’ll be back with a full season recap next week.