‘Last Man Standing’: Absence of Mike Baxter’s Grandson in Finale Explained by Showrunner

by Jennifer Shea
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The “Last Man Standing” series finale offered fans a chance to say goodbye to all their favorite characters. But in the final episode, one character was noticeably absent: Mike Baxter’s (Tim Allen) grandson Boyd (Jet Jurgensmeyer).

Boyd has been played by multiple actors over the course of the series. First he was portrayed by twins Evan and Luke Kruntchev. Then Flynn Morrison played Boyd. Finally, in Seasons 7 and 8, Jurgensmeyer took over. But Boyd made no appearances at all in Season 9.

Now showrunner Kevin Abbott is opening up to TVLine about the creative reasoning behind that decision, and why Boyd had to vanish.

‘Last Man Standing’ Had a Big Cast

“We have such a great cast, and it’s a big cast,” Abbott told TVLine. “Every week, we struggle to give all the characters something to do, and another regular just eats up real estate. There are only so many lines in a show, and if Boyd was saying them, then somebody else wasn’t, and we just didn’t have a ton of Boyd storylines. They were parenting stories [about] Ryan and Kristin trying to involve Mike, and we’d done a lot of them. We didn’t have any [new] ideas, and you can’t just say, ‘Hey, actor! You, who have been a regular, will you just pop in whenever I need you?’ That’s pretty insulting, and Jet was great.”

Plus, the episodes featuring Boyd had tended to include arguments between his parents. And the show’s writers wanted to do some episodes showing them on the same side for once.

“We decided that we didn’t want to do stories where they were at odds because [of how their relationship started],” Abbott continued. “It was so contentious, and so difficult at the beginning [because Ryan had abandoned Kristin when Boyd was born]. That always hovered over any arguments, and we felt like they had put that to rest… We wanted to show them as united, you know? As a solid couple.”

So “Last Man Standing” followed the “Everybody Loves Raymond” path and put Boyd “upstairs,” in another room or otherwise offscreen for the rest of the show, dropping Jurgensmeyer entirely.

Also Absent from Series Finale? Current Events

Audiences may also have noticed there was scant mention on the “Last Man Standing” series finale of current events. That choice was deliberate, Abbott told CinemaBlend last week. He’s had his eye on syndication lately, and he didn’t want any potentially stale humor on the show.

“I do want to kind of keep an eye on the future in terms of, I don’t want a show that says, oh, that joke only works if you knew what was happening in this particular political moment which, by the time you see this again, you’ll be going, ‘What was that?’” Abbott said. “You know, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me to do jokes that that are only good the one time you tell them.”

So while some fans may wonder how Mike Baxter would have handled more recent pandemic developments, the good news for “Last Man Standing” fans is that the show may live on in re-runs.

Outsider.com