- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Mike Baxter’s blunt, sarcastic wisdom returned with the season premiere of Last Man Standing on Friday, September 20. The episode, titled “Back to School,” was full of good humor, life lessons, family and a bit of Duck Dynasty. If you missed it, here’s a breakdown of what took place. Better yet, enjoy the hilarity by watching the full episode on ABC.com.
The episode begins with Mike arriving home to find Vanessa contemplating the complex situation of whether to have a late-afternoon cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Mike jokingly nudges the bottle of wine toward her. He tells her his day was full of seasonal change over at the sporting good store. With this comes the first politically infused statement as Mike joyfully states, “Thank God for the year round appeal for rifles and ammunition.” Mike then realizes his grandson, Boyd, is at their house, leaving Vanessa behind in the kitchen as he goes to find him. Boyd comes running down the stairs into Mike’s arms. As they catch up, Boyd begins speaking Spanish. Mike thanks Blanca for teaching Boyd Spanish, but she tells him that she hasn’t been. Vanessa walks in to explain to Mike that Boyd is now going to Wilson, a bilingual school, which is why he is learning Spanish in first grade. The school is named after Woodrow Wilson. Blanca, who is studying for her citizenship test, happily describes Woodrow Wilson as a great president. Mike disagrees, naming Ronald Regan instead. Even with its slightly politically infused statements, the show finds a way to include a bit of humor in all areas of politics.
In walk Kristin and Ryan, who rarely see eye-to-eye with Mike’s political beliefs. Vanessa and Mike are worried about Boyd attending Wilson. Vanessa likes that Boyd is learning a second language, but is concerned over the large class sizes at Wilson. Kristin defends her choice to let Boyd attend Wilson when Vanessa suggests they send Boyd to a charter school. Ryan and Kristin both believe that removing Boyd from Wilson only adds to the existing problems within urban public education. Kristin tells Mike they are very happy with Wilson, to which he sarcastically says, “Really, maybe I should teach Boyd how to fashion a shiv out of a lunch tray.” Kristin tells Mike not to give Boyd the idea that he is not safe around other cultures because they want to raise Boyd to have an open heart.
Mandy and Kyle then arrive. Mandy exuberantly expresses her love of college, as Eve walks down the stairs sarcastically picking on Mandy’s bad choices and lack of intellect. Mandy is excited about the philosophy class she is taking. She quotes René Descartes, who she thinks is a female. Mike thinks Mandy’s studying of philosophy is useless, but Vanessa is just happy their pop culture obsessed daughter is actually expressing interest in college. Vanessa urges Mike not to discourage her, to which he jokes, “I’m not going to discourage her. She can major in philosophy if she wants and her stripper name can be could be Socra-tease.” Mike and Vanessa discuss how they do not like Boyd going to Wilson. They decide that they should offer for Boyd to continue to use their address in order to be able to attend a school in their district. Mike is pretty excited as this means Boyd would be able to spend more time at their house.
Cut to Mike discussing this bilingual public school issue on his video blog for Outdoor Man. Knowing his views can be deemed as disrespectful, he reminds his audience that he is onboard with immigration. He just feels that assimilation is a part of immigration as the video cuts to a symbolic melting pot. His boss, Ed, agrees, but reminds Mike that assimilation takes time and that everyone should preserve elements of their own culture. Enter Uncle Ray and Brody, played by Si and Willie Robertson, respectively. They are there to get supplies for the start of deer hunting. Kyle, who has become engrossed in the philosophical ideas Mandy is learning, comes over to help. Unfortunately, Kyle isn’t taking the class, so he’s mostly using Mandy’s hilarious interpretations of the philosophy.
Kristin tells Ryan that Mike is coming to their apartment. Ryan’s liberal views are usually at odds with Mike’s conservative values, so Ryan becomes nervous when he realizes Mike is unexpectedly dropping by their new apartment. Mike offers to let Kristin and Ryan use their address to allow Boyd to go to Clark instead of Wilson. Kristin informs Mike that she and Ryan want Boyd to attend a multi-cultural school. Ryan surprisingly is on board with the idea of Boyd switching to a school in Mike and Vanessa’s district. Kristin continues to defend her choice. The tone becomes slightly more serious as Kristin describes Mike’s views and house as toxic. She thinks Mike just wants Boyd to spend more time at their house than hers. Mike sadly admits that he is having a hard time letting go as he walks away. Ryan, acting as a voice of reason between Mike and Kristin, tells Kristin that they both know Clark is a better school, but she stubbornly will not accept it because it is her dad offering it.
Back at Outdoor Man, Mike discusses the argument with Ed. Uncle Ray and Brody return to the store for more equipment. They wonder why Kyle is sitting in the canoe in the middle of the store. Mike claims that Kyle’s brain is broken thanks to Mandy’s philosophy class. Kyle finds himself in a depressing state over all of these philosophical thoughts. Uncle Ray and Brody decide to lend a hand. Kyle admits that he always found meaning in what he learned at Sunday school. They urge him to stick with the “big man upstairs” to ensure that his life will always have purpose.
Kristin visits Mike to tell him that she and Ryan have decided to enroll Boyd at Clark. She tells him that he has won. However, Mike tells her that it is Boyd who is the real winner here. She then apologizes for calling Mike toxic. Later, Blanca happily tells Mike that she is officially an American citizen. The episode ends with the Baxter clan, Ryan, Kyle, Blanca, Uncle Ray, and Brody having dinner at the Baxter’s. At dinner, Mike expresses his deep appreciation for being able to be a part of such a diverse community and country.
Be sure to tune in on Friday evenings 8/7c for more Baxter family life lessons and laughter.