The Last Man on Earth Recap: It’s No Hope Diamond

Mel Rodriguez as Todd, Mary Steenburgen as Gail. Photo: Kevin Estrada/FOX
The Last Man on Earth
Episode Title
“Secret Santa”
Editor’s Rating

Happy holidays, Last Man stans! This week, Will Forte & Co. have been gracious enough to gift us with some fun plot twists. But first, we have to sit through an endless Secret Santa ceremony.

Naturally, Carol is Malibu's very own Christmas elf, and she's puts her crafty efforts toward getting their house and her wardrobe into the yuletide spirit. (Green pantyhose were practically invented for her.) As Carol transforms into the Christmas Hulk, she's proud to hear that their living room “looks like Santa ate the Rockefeller Christmas tree and then took a big dump on the wall.”

Always one to take rules seriously, Carol insists that her roommates each draw a name from a Santa hat, then eat it so that each Secret Santa's identity will remain a secret. Never one to cooperate, Phil hides his target's name — Erica — under his tongue and, after the world's most awkward “This Little Light of Mine” sing-along, rushes it over to EvPhil, who remains banished to the solar house. The gang has decided, in the spirit of Christmas and all, that EvPhil should be allowed to participate in the festivities, and Phil's as eager as ever to secure his former (or current?) nemesis's friendship. Phil tosses his frenemy all 42.52 carats of the Hope Diamond (an estimated $200-250 million value!), convinced he'll revive both his friendship and EvPhil's ailing relationship with his baby mama. EvPhil tries to tell him that he has his own gift in mind, but lovable dope Phil is too distracted by his own infallible plan to listen.

We've also been periodically checking in on Mike Miller, who is now truly alone and lost in space, after the last of his eight pet worms died. Mike has stripped down to his boxers and is chugging down laughing gas. (If it weren't for all that zero-gravity stuff, he'd look just like some of the kids in my high school.) As he watches the last living thing he had a connection with float into outer space, an old family photo conveniently flutters into our view, and then into Mike’s. This almost could have been a melancholy moment if it hadn't been cut short by Carol screaming “Secret Santa!”

But it is, so it wasn't, and we're back on Earth, watching Carol delight in extravagant presents. Erica got Carol a chair from Oprah's studio audience, and her Aussie-inflected Oprah impression is recognizable enough for those of us following along at home. Carol plops her festive red petticoats down on her new seat as Erica commands, “LOOK UNDER YOUR CHAAAIR!” She's also gotten her friend J.Lo's famous Versace Grammys dress. We had better get to see Carol model that thing pronto or this is a waste of a joke. Imagine the animal-printed cardigan she'll pair it with!

Moving on: For Gail, who is still romancing Todd, her Secret Santa is also her secret lover. Todd insists his giftee is “normal special, not special, really, at all, just human celery,” then presents her with Z.Z. Top's car and a handshake, further underscoring that Gail Is Old. Phil, who pretends he'd drawn his own name — EvPhil actually got it, but Phil offered to trade, remember — shows off Pitbull's yacht … and decides to blow it up rather than let the gang party in it. Well, yippee ki-yay.

Carol got Melissa, and their exchange is my favorite. Earlier in the episode, Melissa casually mentioned that she wants size-6.5 Jimmy Choo over-the-knee boots. Carol, who never misses an opportunity to craft, Lisa Frank–ed the heck out of a pair for her understated BFF, encrusting them with jewels and unicorns and rainbows. They may not be my style — and definitely aren't Melissa's, for that matter — but they are friggin' awesome, and Melissa accepts them graciously, even though Carol also got her the pair she originally wanted. 

Then Melissa, who is totally coming back around on her feelings for Todd, gives him a sweet gift: a crown, sash, and scepter, because the kids in his high school were mean to him at prom. “If anyone deserves to be Prom King, it's you,” she says with a warm hug. Gail looks rightfully jealous. 

Gail gives EvPhil a decorative wicker ball that was literally the closest thing within reach of her seat, and finally, we move on to the main event: EvPhil's present for Erica. Pushing his way past Phil's endless gem puns, EvPhil leads everyone out to the solar house, and shows off a sonogram machine (complete with reclining medical chair!) for his expectant ex. We'll overlook the logistics here — where did he get that? How does it still work? How did he sneak it into the compound? — because it's pretty cute. Erica and EvPhil hold hands as she gets to see her baby for the first time. (How far along is she supposed to be, again? The baby looks pretty big.) I'm all for reconciliation, but honestly, I hate this notion that a TV couple can't co-parent without rekindling the romance they once shared. It's so tired and predictable. 

Anyhow, on to our cliff-hangers: Melissa gets down on one Jimmy Choo–bedazzled knee and pops THE question to Todd, who still has his new relationship under wraps. Just as she asks him to marry her, before we can even wonder how Gail will react, EvPhil falls to the floor and starts convulsing. Huh. Random, but also scary. We're not sure what's wrong with him. But then we quickly drift back up to space, where we see Mike Miller add his own name to his RIP wall and eject himself from the spacecraft. I don't know much about gravity or physics or whatever, but I do know that (a) this would kill him immediately if it happened for real and (b) it doesn't matter because he is going to magically wash up in Malibu next week in time for Christmas.

Suspend your disbelief, people. It's the holidays!