BWW Recap: Tandy Has No 'Fish in the Dish' on THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
The most important thing in a post-apocalyptic society is growth, and the continuation of society. Growth, especially in the early days like on THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, means babies. Because of this, and with a population of four women and two men, women have an enhanced role in society. The growing power of the women is on full display in tonight's episode.
After a couple episodes dealing with the past, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH sets its sights on the future, alternating between two plots: Tandy testing his fertility, and Todd being involved with every woman in Malibu not named Carol.
As we realized in the last episode, Todd is rekindling his relationship with Melissa, while still having sex with Gail. This conflict (between Gail who is sexually exciting and Melissa who is safe and Todd's age) comes to a head tonight. We first see him in tonight's episode leaving Gail's room, and directly running into Melissa. Melissa tries to kiss him, and Todd avoids it, because he just had sex with Gail.
After this, Todd has sex with Melissa, and decides to tell Gail about Todd's cheating on her. As soon as Todd gets into Gail's room, though, he falls for her sexuality, and ends up sleeping with her again. After leaving Gail, he runs into Melissa again. They have sex.
Todd's aversion to kissing Melissa right after leaving Gail, and his general hating himself for a behavior show that he does feel guilty for his actions. His weakness is simply women. He even has a conversation with himself, where he concludes that he needs to tell both women. And then he doesn't. And then he ends up kissing Erica after she asks him to help her.
The most interesting thing about the Todd plot is how much each woman on the show controls their sexuality. They are the ones that always initiate sex with Todd, and the show does not paint them as villains for sexually enticing them. Rather, the show paints Todd as the villain, wondering how he can consciously maintain relationships with Gail and Melissa at the same time. Todd even views himself as the villain, and takes a joyride on the jet ski to clear his mind.
Meanwhile, Tandy and Carol continue to try to conceive. After Carol realizing in the last episode that they need to start switching things up to have a baby, she has Tandy try a fertility test. In typical Carol fashion, she makes Tandy a non-misoygnistic book of sexualized images of women, and creates a masturbation room for him-complete with paintings of famous women (Billie Jean King, Condoleezza Rice), and a painting of Tandy fertilizing the garden of life.
Tandy tries, and the test comes back negative-he's infertile. In typical Tandy fashion, he refuses to accept this answer. He takes several more tests, each one concluding that he's infertile. He then decides to check the expiration date on the fertility tests, and realizes that they are all expired. He and Carol conclude that that's why the tests are coming back negative, not because of Tandy.
However, Tandy doesn't accept this answer himself. He gives Todd a sample to masturbate into, and then tests Todd's sperm to see if it didn't work for him too. Unfortunately for Tandy, Todd's fertility test came back positive, and threw the expired argument out of the window. Before he can get rid of it, though, Carol comes in and finds the positive test, and Tandy doesn't immediately tell her it's Todd's.
All the girls take a beach day together, and then Tandy and Todd show up and each tell their secrets. Todd tells Gail and Melissa that he's sleeping with the other. Melissa is mad at Gail for sleeping with Todd because they'd been dating the whole time. Gail's mad at Melissa because she's the one being cheated on, and Melissa and Todd broke up. Then, Todd suggests that they have a polygamy situation. Both women look disgusted at this idea, but it's unclear whether they will agree to it or not in future episodes.
The role of the women in this episode is accented. Carol has all the power in her relationship with Tandy. She gives him the tests, and is in full control of their baby-making. The show continues to vilify Todd and Tandy for their actions. They are the ones that continue to make mistakes.
Then, Tandy tells Carol that he's infertile... and then Mike shows up on the beach. In the in between time, Mike must've made his way to Tucson, and then to Malibu and found Tandy on the beach. The introduction of Mike at this time has implications for Tandy's infertility, as well as the dynamic between men and women on the show. It'll be interesting to see how they integrate him into the cast, especially given the enticing previews for next week!
Leave your comments or thoughts on tonight's episode below or tweet me @gunnar_larson! Be sure to head here next week as I recap the next episode of THE LAST MAN ON EARTH. I'm pretty sure we're back on a normal weekly schedule for the remainder of the season!
Photo Credits: Anthony Hardwick | FOX