‘Last Man Standing’ Recap: Ryan V. John Baker

The latest episode of Last Man Standing was full of its usual wit. It also reunited Tim Allen and Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Miss “Ryan V. John Baker”? Here’s a recap of the hilarity.

As Eve enters the kitchen, Mike calls her out into the backyard. She walks out, but is unable to find him. Mike is hiding in the trees in a bush/tree disguise. He places a clip on Eve. Mike and Eve are playing war games as a part of her Junior ROTC training. Vanessa walks out, inquiring when these games are going to be over. While disguised as a bush/tree, Mike assures Vanessa that these tactics could save Eve’s life in war. Vanessa sarcastically replies, “Great, another bush starting an unnecessary war.” Eve, thinking she’s clipped her father, tells Mike to check his back. As he turns around, there’s no clip to be found. He outwitted Eve and clipped her. Vanessa asks Mike where he is going as he walks around the house. He tells her he’s going to go scare the mailman.

Mike enters the house looking for Boyd, who is hiding on the couch in the bush/tree disguise. Boyd jumps up to try to scare Mike, as Ryan enters the living room to watch the news coverage of the truck driver strike. Meanwhile, Eve sneaks up behind Mike while he is on the couch to try to clip him. Ryan and Mike argue about picketing, strikes, and unions. Ryan says he, Kristin, and Boyd have been doing just fine without luxuries like cable. Kristin is not impressed with the strike and is very annoyed at Ryan’s lack of income. Mike sends Boyd to get him a drink as he clips Eve, who is crawling next to the couch. Kristin heads off to work.

Mike, Vanessa, and Mandy arrive at the restaurant where Kristin works. John Baker (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), the owner, greets the family with a complimentary bottle of cab. Mandy jokes, “As along as he calls a cab to drive us home later.” Vanessa and Mike are very impressed with John and the restaurant’s success. John credits Kristin as playing a major role in the restaurant’s success. He says that Kristin brings class to the restaurant, as the two share a flirtatious glance. Ryan enters with Boyd. He needs someone to watch Boyd while he attends a meeting about the strike. Mike sarcastically asks, “How long do we have to watch him this time? An hour? Five years?” After a discussing John’s success and being showered with more complimentary goods, Mike confesses to John, “I’m proud of you son. Hope you don’t mind me calling you son. It just seems to fit,” which is a dig at Ryan, as well as, a throwback to Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Tim Allen’s Home Improvement days. Ryan begins to complain about Kristin making less than minimum wage, which further frustrates Kristin. She tells Ryan he should probably get going to his meeting. Sensing her annoyance, Ryan leaves saying, “Sorry, I forgot I was talking to management.”

The Baxters return home. Vanessa asks Boyd if he enjoyed his dinner, but Boyd thinks the macaroni and cheese tasted funny. Mike tells him it’s because it had truffles in it. After Mike explains what a truffle is, Boyd is disgusted and immediately runs up to brush his teeth. Mike opens the coat closet, throwing his coat on Eve, who is has been waiting in there to clip Mike. He then closes the door and walks upstairs, leaving Eve inside. She’s unable to get out because the door handle is broken on the inside.

Back at the restaurant, Kristin and John are closing up. John joins Kristin at the table with leftover bottles of wine. Kristin apologizes for Ryan’s behavior. John tells her she doesn’t need to apologize. Kristin begins talking about the financial hardships their under, especially with Boyd’s upcoming field trip that will cost $65. He takes $65 out of the cash he has from the restaurant and gives it to Kristin. She refuses the money. He assures her that he meant what he said earlier about her being a big part of the restaurant’s success. He tells her that the two of them are a good team. She replies, “I could kiss you for saying that.” He responds, “I wouldn’t stop you,” as he leans in to kiss her. Kristin abruptly stops him before they kiss. She confesses, “I would have never mentioned kissing you if I was in my right mind.” He sweetly, but sarcastically replies, “Thank you.” Kristin leaves to go pick up Boyd from her parents.

Vanessa walks into the kitchen and finds Mandy still up. She tells Vanessa that she received a text from Eve saying she was in the closet. Mandy replied back telling Eve that she loves her no matter what. She tells Vanessa she then realized Eve was in the actually coat closet. Kristin walks in from work. Vanessa makes a comment that she had to stay late with John. Flustered, Kristin says it was just work. As Mandy walks out she says, “The lady doth protest too much, me thinks,” adding that someone famous wrote that and she needs to know who by tomorrow at 11 a.m. Kristin asks Vanessa for some money to help her with bills. Ryan walks in to pick up Boyd. Kristin mentions it would have been nice to know he was coming. He tells her he sent her a text. Kristin looks at her phone and realizes he did message her. Ryan comments that it would be nice to be able to get a hold of her. He then realizes she asked her parents for money. The two begin to argue. Vanessa tells them that when her and Mike used to fight, they would go into the basement where it’s quiet. Mike adds that there is a drain down there just in case it gets ugly. Kristin insists they’re not fighting. Ryan informs her that they didn’t take the deal so the strike is still on. Kristin becomes upset and the two continue to argue as they walk into the living room. Mike tries to follow, but Vanessa calls him back in to let Ryan and Vanessa handle it on their own. As she’s leaving with Boyd, Kristin tells Ryan not to come home tonight. Ryan, not sure what to do, stands there as Mike sarcastically and joyfully tells him, “Well we had a nice run.”

Mike, as usual, incorporates a bit of his personal life into his ad sales at Outdoor Man. His video blog/advertisement shows him floating down a river. He questions why people feel they need to go with the flow. He makes his boat go where he wants it to go, but some people choose conformity. “Ah, the Communist party.” He claims that America is great because people think for themselves citing Swifson, a company that makes boating gear sold at Outdoor Man.

Mike comes down the stairs to find Ryan on the couch. He sneaks by and asks Vanessa how they end up with custody of Ryan after the break up. Vanessa basically ignores him. Next, Mandy comes down the stairs and unsuccessfully tries to sneak by into the kitchen. He asks Mandy to talk with him about the situation with Kristin. Eve comes walking down and Mandy asks her if she wants to help cheer up Ryan. Eve replies, “Nope, I’m good,” as she walks into the kitchen. As Eve enters the kitchen, her and Mike aim their clips at one another as she backs out the door. Mike thinks that maybe Kristin and Ryan’s relationship has run its course and maybe she should look at other options, like a successful restaurant owner. Vanessa basically tells him not to get his hopes up. Mike sarcastically tells her to stop feeding Ryan and he might go away, like they did with that mangy cat that was hanging around. Vanessa tells him that poor cat was put down by the pound. Mike replies that they probably won’t get that lucky with Ryan. He asks Vanessa if she really thinks that Ryan is the best future for Kristin and Boyd as Ryan walks in. He tells Mike he believes he is the best possible future for them because no one loves Kristin as much as he does. Ryan informs them that he can’t cross the picket line. Mike assures him that he doesn’t have to cross the picket line. Mike just wants him to support his daughter and Boyd. He tells him to bring home the bacon, “or whatever a manly vegetarian brings home.”

Mandy is waiting for Kristin when she arrives home. She asks Kristin if she’s sleeping with John. Kristin assures her that she isn’t. Mandy mentions that she noticed the flirtatious vibe between Kristin and John. Mandy tells her she thinks she’s lying and stares her down for the truth. Kristin gives in and admits that part of her wanted to kiss John. Mandy hilariously replies, “That part gets me in trouble, too.” Kristin wishes Ryan was more motivated like John. She doesn’t want to have to take care of the guy she’s with. Mandy tells her she has a surprise for her and the two leave. Mandy takes Kristin to Outdoor Man. They see the night cleaning crew. Kristin realizes Ryan is inside vacuuming. Mandy informs her that Ryan took a minimum wage job at night with Mike as his Boss, adding, “Tell me that guy doesn’t love you.” Kristin, realizing how much he cares for her, walks in to make up with Ryan.

Later in Mike and Vanessa’s bedroom, Vanessa thanks Mike for giving Ryan the job. Mike replies that it’s a night shift and says, “just doing my part to make sure the grandchild population stays at one.” He then asks Vanessa if he gets a reward for being a nice guy. She replies, “As long as nice guys don’t finish first, you can.” He comments, “You can consider that a compliment.” Eve busts out of the curtains saying, “Oh God! I can’t take any more.” She gives up the war game as she walks out the door saying, “Why did I think this was a safe place to hide?!” Mike says he knew that would flush her out.

Make sure you’re tuning in on Friday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

image: ABC

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