The Last Man on Earth: Season 4 created by Will Forte (The Si Fi Company, Lord Miller, 20th Century Fox Television)
Starring Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez, Cleopatra Coleman, and Mary Steenburgen.
Let’s Begin Some Thought Experiments
Do we really change? The passage of time seems to gives us new perspectives, to the point it seems like we’re different. But is that really a change? Or is it rather a better understanding of who we really are? So do we change and if so, how much?
This question rests over what turns out to be the final episode of this oddball series. It also accurately examines the effectiveness and value of shifting storytelling.
The Last Man on Earth offers possibly the best pilot episode I have ever seen. Inevitably, the rest of the series never feels like it holds up to its beginnings.
But it certainly was a fun ride.
Fast Forward to the End
Season 4 finds the motley collection of people settled in Zihuatanejo. Much as they have during their previous stops, Tandy (Will Forte) and crew find the biggest estate and lazily plunder the resources around them.
A running gag throughout the seasons, the group’s ability to find random canned foods and mixed them into unappetizing concoctions while they enjoy what would’ve been paradise before the end of the world is a testament to the writer’s room.
But, life in this manner, even when the rest of the world has been wiped out from a devastating plague, is unsustainable.
Consumption as Immaturity
This immaturity around consumption makes a bit of sense when Tandy thought he was the only person left on earth. But with more people in community, there’s hope for a future. So, the continued consumption doesn’t logically follow. The viewer can extend these silly actions to the overall maturity of the group.
Survival seems important, but it still feels like a biding of time until some form of sickness consumes each and every one of them.
Much of what we know in behavioral psychology suggests who we are doesn’t change much. Our personality is largely innate. So, given the nature of these characters, can they change?
Universally, the answer for all of us is a mixture of yes and no. We’ll always be who we are, but that doesn’t mean what we want might change.
The Glimmer of Hope at the End
Given this understand, what turns out to be the series finale offers that glimmer of hope for a group ready to change. Or more importantly, a group ready to want something different.
This vision emerges as the group travels hundreds of miles to a remote destination, fertile with orange trees, avocado trees, and a herd of goats.
If ever there was a place to find roots, here it is. The old group would steal the goats, grab a few oranges, then skip to Cancun for some abandoned resort. But, times have changed.
We’ll never know how the group will fare in a place well suited for long-term sustainability. But, the mere fact they all want it shows this random assortment of survivors has truly become a family. That kinda brings a tear to my eye.
Verdict: 3 out of 5