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Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Last Man Standing episode "The Big LeBaxter." Read at your own risk!
Season 8 of Last Man Standing introduced a political storyline, but not in the way some fans may have expected. Vanessa Baxter decided to get into politics, and after episodes of showing Vanessa's attempts to get noticed, the show finally had a major development. Unfortunately, it resulted in an anticlimactic twist which may ensure Vanessa's future as a politician is all but over.
Vanessa was campaigning for the endorsement of the teachers union, but ended up losing the endorsement to another popular candidate. The Baxter matriarch was upset about this, especially since that more popular candidate, Therese Osgood, was campaigning on ideas that she stole from Vanessa. Vanessa thought about throwing in the towel and giving up on politics, but instead went to confront Osgood about what she did.
Did Vanessa end up shaming this woman into dropping out of the campaign? That would've been a great twist appropriate for the average sitcom, but instead, Tim Allen's Last Man Standing went the more realistic route. Osgood was not going to drop out of the campaign or stop running on Vanessa's values, but she did promise her a job as her education liason should she win the state assembly.
It was an anticlimactic end to what may have Last Man Standing's most entertaining storyline of Season 8. Sure, it was very clear that while Vanessa had great ideas on how to transform the education system she was an awful politician, but this show is a comedy. There was some real potential in showing Vanessa's misadventures in politics for quite a while, and audiences would ultimately forgive if she wasn't the most outstanding politician out there.
Instead, it sounds like Last Man Standing just casually ended this whole political campaign, in the middle of a scene where the characters were bowling. Considering how much time Last Man Standing has spent covering this angle throughout Season 8, it felt like a quick out, and not one that really respected the journey Vanessa had set out on at the season's beginning.
Of course, there are no guarantees this is all over. If Vanessa does score that position, she still will play some role in the political world. And who knows, perhaps Last Man Standing is using this arc to justify Vanessa taking another shot at politics after gaining some clout as an education liaison. Perhaps there was more of this story to tell, but the shortened season caused it all to fall off abruptly.
Last Man Standing airs on Fox Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest happening in television and movies.