While there’s still a good bit of Last Man Standing‘s Season 9 left, this weeks’ episode did some heavy hinting on how Tim Allen‘s beloved sitcom may wrap up. Be warned, this article contains spoilers for the latest episode.
Fans who tuned in for “Grill in the Mist” have a leg up on where Last Man’s characters may end up when the series finale comes around.
Amidst dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Mike Baxter’s Outdoor Man business (a reality-heavy plotline few modern shows bother to touch), Tim Allen’s patriarch makes a shocking decision. If the episode’s happenings follow through, then Baxter has chosen his Outdoor Man replacement for when he retires. And it ain’t no man!
“Just promise me you won’t be one of those guys who dies at the office,” Vanessa groans to Mike as the two continue to delay their Peru trip. Mike, however, has far bigger things on his mind. The pandemic has hit their business hard, and Mike’s making the tough decision to close down the store’s Grill, run by daughter Kristin. Yet before he can deliver the bad news to her, she comes to her father with the proposal herself. A true Last Man Standing “finest moment.”
Both Baxters are understandably gutted, but the interaction, alongside their entire relationship, leads to a very telling string of dialogue:
“We have to close The Grill,” Kristin tells her dad. “I’m not devastated… I am completely destroyed,” she tells him after Mike says he thought that would “devastate her.”
“I’m proud of you Kris,” Mike tells his daughter after she offers to take care of it all, staff included, herself.
“Good, you can take me out to dinner. You’ll have to pay,” she remarks. Later on, Kristin suggests to her father that they use the Grill as more storespace to help the business.
“When did you become such a compassionate businesswoman?” Mike asks her.
“Hi, I’m Mike Baxter’s daughter,” Kristin lauds.
“I love this, Outdoor Man is going to be run by a woman!”: Mike Chooses Daughter Kristin to Take Over ‘Last Man Standing’ Legacy
Later that night, the Baxters can’t believe how happy Mike is after such dismal numbers for Outdoor Man. But for Mike, it’s simple: he now knows Kristin should take over the family business. He feels it.
“She’s got great management skills, she’s got a great heart,” Mike tells Vanessa.
“I love this, Outdoor Man is going to be run by a woman!” Jen lauds of the Last Man Standing legacy.
Kristin, however, wasn’t as pitch-perfectly sure as her eager-beaver father. Upon hearing the news, she thinks her sarcastic ol’ pop is pranking her. She even flat out turns him down, which Mike absolutely doesn’t understand.
As it turns out, Kristin believes her father would never retire, which leads her to turn him down. At first.
“Who in their right mind would stay at Outdoor Man forever?” PopCulture quotes Mike in the episode. “Mike insisted he was really ready to leave, but Kristin really needed a timeline. She agrees if Mike would leave within two years and it was written in a contract. If Mike does not retire then, she wants a big penalty,” the site adds.
In the end, “Grill in the Mist” ends with an Outdoor Man vlog with a truly moving message: “there’s no more gratifying feeling for a parent than seeing their kids support themselves.”
Stay tuned to Outsider.com with your fellow Last Man Standing fans for all the latest during the series final season.