When Last Man Standing had to end its previous season early due to the coronavirus, Tim Allen teased that there would be a lot to look forward to when the show returned. He was right. At the time, Last Man Standing planned to return with the second half of last season’s two-part finale serving as the Season 9 premiere. Well, not anymore. There is going to be a time jump for the final season.
The Season 9 finale will no longer pick up directly after the events of last season’s unplanned cliffhanger-esque ending. Thanks to Season 9’s logline, TVLine reports that Last Man Standing will take a time jump into the “near future," after Kristin has given birth, and Mike is contemplating his retirement. I have to admit that while I get the decision, I am also disappointed, and here is why.
It Is Awkward
Last season’s centerpiece was Kristin and Ryan awaiting the birth of their daughter. So, to have Season 9 kick off with baby girl Vogelson already in the world will be a bit of a disappointment. Last season’s awkward cliffhanger is now made all the more uncomfortable by picking up with Mike and Vanessa’s granddaughter potentially already a few months old. All that lead-up for nothing?
Fans just got Eve back for a brief visit when Last Man Standing signed off early last season. Since Kristin had had her baby when Season 9 starts, there will be no reason for her to be around when the final season begins. So long, Mike’s best buddy and one-liner extraordinaire. You can thank the time jump for presumably helping usher her off-screen again.
Why I Am Okay With It
It would seem that this sudden time jump could have been fueled by the need to explain why Eve will not be around when Season 9 begins. Last Man Standing had expressed hope to have Kaitlyn Dever reprise her role as Mike’s unofficial/official favorite daughter. Dever’s busy schedule could have made that impossible, and the show opted to jump forward in time instead of explaining why Eve would leave in the middle of her sister giving birth.
On a related note, it also leaves Mandy and Kyle in the prime position of welcoming their first child with all of the requisite fanfare that entails. Two babies arriving in one season could have gotten crowded. That said, the time jump also puts Mike in talks about retiring, which I do not recall him contemplating too seriously last season. At least viewers will get to see the hilarity of Mike choosing a successor.
I wonder who will take over. Kyle is out due to his newfound calling into the seminary, so the door is open for others. It is going to be interesting to find out who gets the job. Last Man Standing's final season will arrive on January 3, 2021, as you can see on next year’s winter/spring schedule. While you wait for Season 9, you can watch past seasons on CMT thanks to syndication or by streaming them on Hulu.