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Headscratchers / The Last Man on Earth

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The 2015 series

  • Where's all the animals? Did they die off too?
    • Generally speaking, the virus wiped out animals, birds, insects, and sea life in addition to humans. However, some individual animals are known to have survived it. To date, these include one bull, one cow, one catfish, and a population of crickets. Several caterpillars also survived, but they were never exposed to the virus. There was also a dog that survived by avoiding exposure. Presumably there are others out there scattered about, but they are few and far between since the characters rarely encounter them. Also a few can be seen in this show trailer: although it may not be canon since the scene never appeared in the show.

  • How can it be sure that the last people on earth are all on the North American continent?
    • Honestly - finding two people within a week means these people should be preparing for more visitors, not thinking about sex and who gets Phil.
    • It can't-this is just the ones they about/can come into contact with.
    • Considering that none of them are able to get to any other continents, while they can't be entirely certain in practical terms they might as well be the last people on earth.
    • It isn't definitive, but Phil's brother in space hasn't found any signs of life anywhere else. Note that he scanned the US and missed the people there, so nobody is saying that the only living humans on earth are only in Tuscon.
  • The show has the premise that a virus has wiped out humanity, except for three people (so far, at least). Honestly, what is the likelihood that the last remaining three people on earth are all Caucasian, heterosexual, Christian/non-religious, cisgender, and between the ages of 30-45?
    • In the United States? Statistically pretty good.
    • Hey, it's just the first three.
      • Plus, young and old people tend to be more susceptible to illness, which at least might explain the age thing.
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    • Let's work it out: 96.2% of Americans are not LGBT. 77.7% are white. 89.6% are Christian or unaffiliated. Regarding age, there's the already-mentioned issue that children and old people are more susceptible to disease and also might not be able to travel or survive as easily. Let's assume that children and aged 65+ Americans are not viable. Of the remaining aged 18-64, those aged 25-44 are 42%. Adding up all these gives us 28.3% of any one survivor belonging to all of these groups (assuming that none of the factors make any other factor more or less likely). There's only a 0.6% chance of a group of four all belonging to all of these groups. Of course, Anthropic Principle explains the age and sexuality issues, as the characters need to be sexually compatible for the story to work. Ignoring age and sexuality, it's 22.6% for all four people being white and Christian or unaffiliated.
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    • Not to mention, these are all immune people. Certain genes may be more likely to be immune, which could justify a monochrome cast.
    • As of now, there are 7 people left on earth, four (Phil, Carol, Melissa and Gail) are white, one (Todd) is Latino, one (Erica) is black, and one (Lewis) is Asian. Gail seems to be a bit older (Mary Steenburgen is 62), Lewis is gay, and Gail and Erica, while not necessarily bisexual, show at least enough attraction to females that they had a sexual relationship before meeting up with the others.
    • Because it's an American show targeted at that demographic. If it was made in China than the last people on earth would probably be Chinese. If it was a German show they'd be German, etc. Maybe this exact scenario is playing out in a bunch of other countries concurrently with Tuscon/Malibu.
      • The problem with that is that there are almost no non-chinese people in China. There are millions of people who aren't white in America, though, and many non-white actors.
  • For Rule of Funny Phil jury-rigs a garden hose onto a large water connection with duct tape in episode 2, despite presumably having an army of fire trucks with hoses in Tuscon.
    • He read a book in the library about water systems. That's probably the only thing he knew how to do.
  • Phil gets an impressive beard due to not shaving at all when on his own, so why is Todd clean-shaven when he finds the group? Shouldn't he be just as bad?
    • Todd is a mature adult, so he keeps himself groomed. This is in comparison to the man-child that is Phil.
    • Keep in mind also that there is no shortage of razors or shaving cream, since all the stores are abandoned. The other characters probably kept up with normal hygiene routines to maintain a sense of normalcy.
  • How hard is it to just replace Carol's door? As in go to the next house, take the door off the hinges, bring it to hers, install it.
    • Kind of the point. Phil just doesn't care.
      • Sure, but what about Carol? Or does she care more about forcing him to do it, rather than having it done? What about Todd?
      • Basically, yes. She's his wife, she thinks they should be living together anyway. There's damn near infinite houses out there, and a constant theme of the show has been Carol trying to get Phil to put in the most basic level of effort. What's the door actually do, anyway? It's temperate already, it's not there to keep anyone out, so it's more symbolic than anything.
  • Phil took all that time to write "Alive in Tucson" on all those billboards hoping that people will show up yet he lives in the desert outside the city where it is more remote and less likely to attract others. Melissa even said she'd been there for two weeks and Todd almost left. Sure, it's more comfortable where he is because of the mansions, but it's very impractical for attracting survivors.
    • It's perhaps safe to say that Phil is not the most forward-thinking or rationally-minded of men. That his plan to attract fellow survivors might have some holes in it is perhaps to be expected.
    • Keep in mind that when Phil did his search through America, he was broadcasting over loudspeakers to attract attention. He apparently assumed that other survivors would do the same thing, so simply being in the same city would be enough to find each other. Also, one of the others does mention how dumb it is to live in a desert.
    • Cities attract because of population. Everywhere is remote now, because so few people are still alive. It's also safe to assume that other survivors may have settled down in or looked in what were wealthier neighborhoods in the South and West, where it is warmer and where there are more resources.
    • While he was writing his messages, he was working under the assumption that he was going to end up back home. In the first episode, Phil returns to Tucson after his great trek and goes back to his apartment which looks like it is in Tucson (the building is called "Tucson Knolls"). After looking around for a few minutes, he makes a snap decision to move to one of the posh suburbs.
  • Living in empty Tuscon and not noticing other people. Melissa says she's there for over a week and didn't see Carol and Phil until they ran into each other. Todd said he was almost ready to leave when he saw the fireworks. The two new girls already have a house staked out when they meet Phil. This is silly when you think about it (but it's a work of fiction, Tropes Are Tools), because all of those people should be leaving an imprint on the city as they live there. Phil has left messes and dead, burnt-out cars all over the city. He used a gun to open class doors. After this long, quite a few grocery stores and supply places should have obvious signs of being used. The campfire the people at the cul-de-sac should stick out like a sore thumb at night. If Todd and Melissa playing "She drives me crazy" could be heard across the street that loud, you should have been able to hear it across town.
    • Phil and Carol are not in Tucson!!! Tucson is huge and the mansions like where they are living are not in the main part of Tucson. Trust me, this is not Tucson, it's the rich suburbs outside Tucson in the mountains.
  • Why would Carol,who was obsessed with following rules, think it's okay to ruin those paintings in Phil's house? Even if they're married those were still priceless artifacts that she basically vandalized?
    • In her mind she isn't vandalizing them, but improving them.
    • In apocalyptic scenarios nothing really has any value anymore. See the second episode of season 2 when the group burns down Phil's house that is filled with all sorts of stuff we consider treasures. To them, it's just Phil's junk. Also, its probably safe to say that Carol doesn't understand the artistic significance those painting held.
  • How did Phil obtain a 2021 calendar as seen in the first episode? If the virus happened two years earlier the most recent one he could've found would be from 2019, and even that's assuming it happened late enough in the year for next year's calendar to be out.
    • Calendars are often produced more than one year in advance. They might not be for sale, but a generic calendar for two/three years out should be findable in a print warehouse.
  • When Phil is being punished with the shock collar and puts out the fire, Wouldn't the first thing the group assume is that he started the fire himself considering how unwilling they've been to give him the benefit of the doubt? Nobody else saw the fire start so it seems more plausible that Tandy got out and knocked over a torch than it just fell over by itself.
    • They probably thought that, but realized that the torch was too close and started the fire. Plus, it seemed like Tandy was definitely not going anywhere, either by choice or the shed, so how can he go out there and "knock" over a torch? The better question would be why would they believe that Tandy did put out the fire, they probably would doubt that part more.
      • To be fair on that one, there's "thinking the worst of someone" and then there's "ignoring the blatantly obvious out of nothing but pig-headed stubborn intransigence". There's clearly been a fire, the fire's been put out, Tandy is the only one present who could have put out the fire, hence Tandy put out the fire. Plus, they might think the worst of him, but they probably don't think he wants to risk burning to death by letting a fire burn out of control nearby him either.
  • What happened to the other astronauts on the space station? It's implied in several episodes that Mike is not immune to the virus, he just survived because in space he was never exposed to it If that's the case, what killed them off? He evidently has enough food and it seems unlikely that his crew mates would have left him behind alone on the station.
    • Maybe they couldn't handle it and committed suicide?
      • Or, maybe they didn't commit suicide...

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