TV Club: Family photos and baby dolls star in a middle-of-the-road Last Man on Earth

Coming off the heels of “The Open-Ended Nature of Unwitnessed Deaths,” one of The Last Man On Earth‘s most heartfelt episodes that embraced the series’ tragic core with grace, “Mama’s Hideaway” can’t help but feel like filler. It sets the pieces for the last couple episodes before the hiatus, advances some of the season’s lingering plots, and shines some light on underserved characters like Melissa and Gail. It accomplishes those goals fairly well, but never makes the journey from point A to point B that compelling. It’s 22 minutes of strung-together scenes—some are engaging, some are not—that never quite find a coherent whole.

Here’s the rub: Carol wants Gail to take a family photo in matching outfits now that she’s legally her mother. Gail refuses, partially because she thinks it’s stupid and partially because Carol’s persistence annoys her. The …

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