Last Man Standing Review: “Heavy Meddle” Has Upsides…and Downsides

Last Man Standing Review: “Heavy Meddle” Has Upsides…and Downsides

Last Man Standing

I will be the first to admit that not every Last Man Standing episode is a home run. Any show that runs for six seasons has its hits and misses. Admittedly, when I start to watch an episode about parents meddling in their kids’ lives, I’m not optimistic. But where Last Man Standing stumbled out of the gate, they ended up sticking the landing in what turned out to be a really funny, sweet episode.

This week on Last Man Standing: Eve’s boyfriend doesn’t invite her to his parents’ anniversary party, which bothers Vanessa much more than it bothers Eve. Vanessa, subsequently, uses Mike’s connection to Eve to get more details from her. Meanwhile, Kyle and Mandy go to an escape room with Ryan and Kristin, but one couple is much better than the other.

Generally speaking, I do NOT enjoy stories about parents meddling with the lives of their children. But, the redemptive part of this episode came from the message that Vanessa was preaching to Eve. In every relationship: communication is key. So Mike’s method of not doing anything and waiting for problems to bubble to the surface, while common among men, does not generally work in a healthy relationship. Vanessa can be a meddlesome mom, but she was well-intended, and her saving grace this week was…well… that she was right.

The best part of this episode, though, was easily the Kyle/Mandy/Ryan/Kristin game story. When the episode started, I was put out by the parental meddling and was determined that the episode would not be good. But all of the fun that Kyle and Mandy had losing at a board game totally turned around my attitude. It may have been the most fun that I’ve had watching this show all season. I’m so impressed with the way that Christoph Sanders and Molly Ephraim have the ability to just cut loose and be completely ridiculous. They’re having fun with it, and it’s contagious, and I appreciated the rest of the episode so much more because of their scenes.

Here are a few other thoughts/funny moments from this week’s episode:

  • “I can’t have Ryan’s pacifist nonsense in my head”
  • “Let me guess…ignore it?”
  • “If there’s a dead body, it’ll float up”
  • “I was going to come and tell you about it, but I thought I should eat first”- Mike is a quintessential man in many ways, and this is only one of them.
  • “I know when I’m not wanted, I just don’t care”
  • Can we talk for a second about how much of a treasure Nancy Travis is? She’s nailed the dorky mom, and she’s not always the center of the plot, but she holds up her co-stars and plays her role so well. I loved her arrow sound effects this week.
  • Anyone else catch Mike’s “Wilson” reference? It’s funny because Home Improvement. They really ought to lean in one of these days and do a whole HI tribute episode.
  • “I saw it on a poster with a cat climbing out of a toilet”

This episode really won me over. I still don’t agree with meddling, but it approached the problem well and came to a more neutral, realistic outcome. It helped that the B plot was hysterical, too.

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the episode? Let us know in the comments!

Last Man Standing airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC

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  2. alpenmeister
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