Last Man Standing Season 5 Episode 14 Review: “The Ring”

Last Man Standing

Welcome to Last Man Standing reviews! I’ve been watching this hilarious show for several years now, and I’m excited to start bringing weekly reviews for everyone’s enjoyment. Though the show has a different type of humor than most of the sitcoms on television today, it’s a fun, family-friendly, Friday night show.

This week on Last Man Standing: Ed decides that he’s going to propose to Wendy, so he sends Kyle to get his ring re-sized. Ed insists Kyle must not say anything to Mike. When Mike inevitably sees Kyle with the ring, he assumes that Kyle got it for Mandy. Mistakenly, he tells Vanessa, who tells Mandy.

I appreciate when a sitcom can show all its colors in one episode. Last Man Standing  is a show that has a lot of heart, can be really funny, and a strong ensemble cast with realistic characters. Even though some of the cast was absent, “The Ring” was a strong showcase of all these elements. Particularly poignant was the exploration of Mike’s feelings about Kyle. It’s pretty obvious that Mike usually makes jokes about Kyle, but this was a chance for him to truly reflect on Kyle’s future with his daughter. Even though it was all by accident, Mike comes to the realization that he wants Mandy to be happy more than anything, and gives Kyle (er….more or less) his approval. Tim Allen is good at playing characters who fight their emotional side, but Allen’s performance was true to the character and really strong.

I liked that there was only one plot. Sometimes, sitcoms can get bogged down in their secondary stories and end up not telling the main story well. “The Ring” was smart to cut out the extraneous moments and plots, and focusing entirely on the Kyle/Ed misunderstanding, and the Mandy/Kyle relationship. I didn’t expect things to end well for Mandy and Kyle, so I was pleasantly surprised when (SPOILER ALERT) Kyle ended up proposing to Mandy after all. The ring he wore around his neck felt so real, and Christoph Sanders’ (and Molly Ephraim’s for that matter) performance was incredibly genuine.

This wasn’t the strongest episode in terms of laughs, but there were still some genuinely funny and laugh out loud moments. I am extremely forgiving on the funny front if a half hour sitcom can have real moments with its characters and grow them. All told, this was still a pretty funny episode. Would watch again.

As I always do with comedies, here are some of my favorite quotes/moments from the episode:

  • “Inaction is all you’re going to experience”- Mike, taking his weekly shots at the government
  • “Just cause you can download an app does not make you a genius!!”- Mike’s “Apple Store” experience was not a good one
  • “That’s a relief. I was going to say ‘okay’ but I was caught in a paradox”- Kyle
  • “I’m good over here. I see a big snot bubble brewing”- Mike
  • “Oh great. Champagne and those two? Someone’s coming home with an eyepatch”- Mike, re: Kyle and Mandy
  • “She’s not my favorite”- The whole scene with Mike talking about Mandy and Ed talking about Wendy. *insert crying laughing emojis*
  • “My BIGGER mistake was when I told my wife”- Mike, preaching the truth

This was a funny episode that really got to the heart of the show. This show is much more than surface level jokes about Obama, and it was nice to see a showcase of character. This was the show’s 100th episode! Hard to believe it’s been running this long.

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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