I’m Very Concerned About The Last Man On Earth’s Gail


Major Spoilers if you haven’t seen the season 1 finale:

I feel a huge problem with Gail coming down the line.  What started as a twisted but fairly fluffy comedy about coping with living with people you didn’t actually like because you were the only survivors of a world-destroying virus has evolved into a complex character-study/comedy/drama with complicated, multi-layered relationships and existential struggles about whether choosing eternal loneliness is better than tying yourself down to a life you hate.  Gail’s own character arc has taken her from a one-dimensional ancillary character to a fleshed-out woman with a complicated history and psychological bruises that have left her can’t-look-away unstable.

Gail started as a faintly drawn cougar character, brought in to add more sexual tension to Phil’s growing, frustratingly untouchable harem.  But the sudden (and absolutely hilarious) death of her pseudo-husband Gordon, played by Will Ferrell in a scene-stealing one-line cameo, has left her a shattered alcoholic who spends all day with a glass of wine in her hand and carries on an affair with a CPR dummy dressed as Gordon behind closed doors.  On her best days she acts as the group’s de facto doctor, teaching them first aid and performing simple procedures like stitches.

The problem is coming because Gail was already broken when the finale started and Phil “Not Tandy” Miller was experiencing appendicitis.  She immediately ran for her booze while the mother of his child begged for her to perform surgery to remove his appendix, but Gail was forced into an unwinnable situation:  she was far too inexperienced to perform emergency surgery, she had already been drinking, and she had PLEADED with the group not to make her perform the surgery and they made it clear she had no choice.  So when Phil died on the table, it was inevitable, but it is also inevitable that Gail will be blamed.  And I’m concerned that with the weight of the grief that is already on her shoulders, she will not be able to take it…and soon they’ll have another fresh body to practice surgery on.

I absolutely think that Gail will probably be killed off sooner or later. With the stakes as high as they are, she’s the obvious candidate…

….buuuuut I don’t want her to go until Mary Steenburgen has had at least one scene with the DeLorean.