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The latest episode of Last Man Standing had Mandy trying to balance school, Ed going incognito, and the usual Mike Baxter wit.
Eve comes in after learning hand-to-hand combat at Junior ROTC begging her family members to try to attack her. No one budges, knowing full well they’re going to end up on the ground with Eve’s knee in their back. Kyle and Mandy return from Mandy’s college classes. Kyle has been driving her back and forth, even waiting there for her during classes. Mandy tells him if he’s lucky he’ll get to wait and drive her home tomorrow. Kyle is fine with it and tells Mandy he’ll just play some hacky sack with the friends he made there. Mike sarcastically chimes in, “Kyle, do you have your own sack?”
After Kyle leaves, Vanessa and Mike ask Mandy how school is going. She tells them she just doesn’t feel as involved as she did in high school. Vanessa wonders if it’s because she spends so much time with Kyle. After Mandy walks away, Vanessa tells Mike that she’s worried that Mandy will lose all interest in school if she doesn’t have a good social life at college. Mike mockingly remarks on how Mandy was almost invited back for a fifth year at her high school because she had such a good social life. Vanessa urges Mandy to join a sorority to meet people. Mike is against it because he feels sororities are about conforming.
At Outdoor Man, Mike wants to hire more workers on the loading dock, but Ed disagrees. Instead, Ed wants to go incognito to see who isn’t pulling their weight. Ed has already come up with an alter ego, Troy Fontaine. He’s going to blend in with the guys to see who is slacking. Mike thinks it’s a crazy idea.
Mandy has decided to join a sorority. While Kyle is walking Mandy to her class, Mandy stops to talk to one of her sorority sisters. There’s going to be a surprise fund-raiser for people with asthma. (She’s already told the students with asthma because apparently surprises aren’t a good idea for them.) This surprise fund-raiser means that Kyle and Mandy can’t hang out after class. Kyle decides to stay for Mandy’s astronomy class in order to spend some time with her.
Back at Outdoor Man, Mike, looking for Ed, finds him disguised as Troy down at the loading dock. His disguise includes a long dark ponytail, a signature walk, and a different accent. The two men hilariously speak about Troy in the third person. Ed admits that no one on the loading dock has been slacking, but this “role” has him missing being a regular guy and doing an honest day’s work.
Back at the Baxter household, Boyd comes down the stairs with only one shoe on, questioning if he really needs to have the second. Kristin hopes he can find it because they can’t afford another one since Ryan may be going on strike. Mike finds Boyd’s shoe in the chair. Boyd isn’t able to catch the shoe when Mike throws it to him. Mike hilariously focuses on the fact that Boyd can’t catch as a major problem, while Vanessa is more concerned about how Kristin can’t ever catch a break and how it’s connected to her staying with her high school boyfriend. Mandy then comes in a revealing farm girl costume (of sorts). Mike uses this moment to sarcastically point out how the sorority forces conformity. He claims he doesn’t support any group that forces conformity, especially through uniform. He then passes by Eve dressed in her Junior ROTC uniform, which, ironically, he’s clearly proud of. Eve, not letting a chance to harass Mandy pass by, questions Mandy’s attire. Mandy explains it was for a hoedown event. Eve quickly replies, “They’re down a ho now that you left.” Vanessa then sits down with Mandy and tries to urge her to take a break from Kyle to amp up her social life at school and meet new, interesting men.
At Outdoor Man, Mike calls Kyle in to go clean up some throw up. He realizes Kyle is late. Kyle explains his tardiness is because he went back to Mandy’s astronomy class. Mike asks Kyle why he isn’t embarrassed to be puppy-dogging after Mandy. Kyle explains that he isn’t great at most things, but he’s great at taking care of and being with Mandy. He lets it slip that Mandy has been skipping classes as he tells Mike that he has given Mandy space admitting that he hasn’t seen her in a few days.
Mandy shows up at Kyle’s apartment to tell him that she thinks they need a break. Upon arriving, Kyle announces that he created a poem to help Mandy learn the planets. He then proceeds to basically list the planets. Mandy comments that the poem doesn’t rhyme. Kyle proudly tells her it’s free verse, which is something he learned in Mandy’s English class while taking notes for her. In an abnormally serious and slightly intellectual moment, Mandy tries to liken Pluto no longer being designated a planet in the solar system to the two of them taking a break: “Maybe it just needed a break from Pluto.” Kyle tells her he doesn’t quite understand because Mandy’s English class hasn’t covered metaphors just yet. Mandy explains that she’s finding it hard to balance him and the sorority. Kyle urges her to focus on school, not him or the sorority. He tells her that he will do anything to help her do well in school even if that means Mandy needs a break from him.
Ed, still in his Troy disguise, comes to Mike’s office on behalf of the loading dock in order to discuss better wages. Ed, as Troy, has been elected shop foreman and feels a bond with the guys he has been working with. Mike reminds Ed that he’s the boss. Ed admits that the role has gotten away from him and knows Troy needs to be fired. Mike sarcastically asks, “Do you want me to do it or do you have a mirror handy?” Ed admits that it was a good break from his role as the boss and agrees to increase wages and hire more employees for the loading dock. As he walks out, Ed, still pretending to be Troy, hilariously yells, “I’ll see you in Hell, fat cat.”
Mike tells Mandy she needs to stop cutting classes. She tells him that she will. She was just feeling a bit overwhelmed splitting her time between the sorority and Kyle, but that won’t be the case any more since she’s made a decision. Vanessa, thinking Mandy has broken up with Kyle, says it must have been a hard choice. Mandy quickly tells her it wasn’t. She chose Kyle. Kyle walks in and happily says hi to Mike. He disapprovingly, but amusingly, looks at Vanessa and simply says, “Mrs. B.” Mandy has decided that she doesn’t need as busy of a social life like she had in high school. As she exits, Vanessa tells Mike that she worries about the men their daughters choose to date. Mike tells her that they can’t all win the lottery like she did. Vanessa sarcastically replies, “Just remember, a lot of people who win the lottery end up killing themselves.” Mike amusingly counters, “You remember, they usually end up blowing their winnings.”
This episode was, yet again, a great balance of seriousness and hilarity. Make sure you’re tuning in on Friday night 8/7c on ABC.