Something new today. I may or may not develop this further, but I call 'trademark' on the idea. Here's the write-up I put together for a potential episode of Last Man on Earth.
Last Man on Earth
“Mano y mano” – joke revolves around Tod’s misuse and attempt to understand the term for hand-to-hand fighting vs. fighting man to man vs. fighting monkey to monkey (which is what he actually winds up saying).
Synopsis: This episode has the group encountering yet another survivor while gathering supplies in southern Mexico. Picturing Oscar Nunez for the role. The newcomer, Ted, is a self-proclaimed native, and as he shows the group around the land, how and what plants to gather as food and when to stay out of the sun and such, Tod starts feeling threatened and unsure over his own background, about exactly how much “machismo” he has and whether he’s a good representative of his culture. He wants to be. Tandy and Melissa both give their own perspective. (potentially: near the end of the episode, everyone has their say (Erika feels like her culture overtakes who she is because of stereotypes; Carol recounts some odd specific tradition and genetic marker that her people fail to measure up to; Ted thanks Tod for being so vulnerable, and says he wishes he could be as aware of his heritage and open as Tod has shown himself to be). The group splits with the men going off to get supplies in the city, a trip worth making despite potential danger according to Ted's 'secret insider knowledge.' They travel in an area of downtown that looks rusted falling apart, dangerously so, to what is supposedly a centralized building that has everything a city seed would need to get growing. While walking, in an aside to Tod, Ted reveals that he’s not a native, as he claimed. He is instead a longtime New Yorker and stock trader who just happened to be on a business trip in the country northernmost to Mexico when the virus hit. He had been making his way up toward the States, but had encountered people who hadn’t been friendly—people? Tod asks?!? What people? Ted resumes—so he had lied about being a native to appear more useful to our group, fearing reprisal otherwise. Then he realized the group was nice and felt like he couldn't take it back. Ted claps Tod on the back before jogging off to join the group leaving Tod alone with the secret. We catch up with Tod joining the group as Tandy, Ted and [Jasper] stop outside a skyscraper. Ted smiles at everyone. After claiming all episode to feel as though something were about to happen to him, at the end of the episode TED says, here, with this group, he finally feels safe. Just after he pronounces this, a safe falls from above and crushes him. Episode ends.
A plot: Ted shows everyone around the area, including details on how to survive off the land as well as how to scavenge the cities taking advantage of the local architecture, customs, etc. Important themes: Tod’s Hispanic identity, what it means to represent a people (well/poorly/as a survivor). The rest of the group, in the light of Ted’s arrival and seemingly flawless ability to live with the land, question their own place now that they’re seriously considering “living off the land” instead of out of a jar.
B plot: Carol, who always tried to be self-sufficient before the virus, finds that she isn’t able to cut it out in the rough as well as she’d thought, especially with the babies. She begins to worry about getting the girls (and potential offspring) alive to the future, outfitting them with Davey (Daisy) Crocket gear and “getting back to her roots” by making new food delicacies – notably, made of roots.