When it came to the February 18 episode of Fox’s Last Man Standing, “Lost and Found,” viewers were treated to an episode which was atypical in more ways than one.
The episode centers around Mike Baxter (Tim Allen), along with mechanic Joe (Jay Leno), and his co-worker Chuck Larabee (Jonathan Adams) in a dispute as they try to find the best car to renovate so Ed Alzate (Hector Elizondo) can put the winner’s face on a billboard.
When Mike and Joe both happen to be looking at a car at the same time in someone's driveway, the old lady who owns it comes out to reveal her neighbor had Chuck arrested. “My neighbor saw a Black man snooping around earlier today. Oh, but don't worry. No, no, no. She called the police and they took him away,” she retells, while whispering “black man.”
The show returns from the commercial break to the Outdoor Man store where the men deal with the aftermath:
Joe: Maybe it's not him.
Mike: Well, he's not answering his phone. Why would they arrest Chuck? He's Chuck.
Ed: Hey, boys, how are the barn finds coming, eh?
Mike: Not a good time right now, Ed.
Ed: So much for "Iron sharpens iron," huh? You know, you guys need a swift kick in the ass to win this.
Joe: Chuck got arrested.
Ed: What for?
Mike: Well, most likely doing exactly what Joe and I were doing.
Joe: We were looking at some old lady's car in her driveway. I mean, why would they arrest Chuck for that and not us?
Ed: Because he's Black.
Mike: You are aware that Chuck is a Black man, right?
Joe: I know that. I'm not an idiot. In fact, he told me that the first day we met. In-in confidence.
Ed: It just never ends.
Mike: I know.
Ed: Remember Jamal? -
Mike: Yeah. -
Joe: What happened to him?
Ed: He was an intern. Said he was uncomfortable handing out flyers in certain neighborhoods. I-I told him he was being paranoid.
Mike: Until he was detained.
Ed: I blame myself for that.
Mike: Yeah, it's too bad you couldn't cure racism all by yourself, Ed.
Ed: But I should've listened to him.
Mike: Guys, Chuck's on his way up.
Joe: Well, I am gonna get to the bottom of this.
Mike: No, no.
Ed: I want the name of that arresting officer. I'll have him writing speeding tickets to snowboarders till he retires.
Mike: I know what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna listen, like you should have.
Chuck: Hey, Baxter, I'm gonna need you to move your Junker, man. You're parked in my spot.
Mike: Will do.
[Joe hugs Chuck]
Chuck: Who told you?
Joe: So it's true? What the hell'd you do to get arrested? Was it the pink shirt?
Chuck: I didn't do anything. The cops got a report of a suspicious person in the area. I didn't have my I.D., so... They put me in handcuffs, took me downtown to verify my identity, then they let me go.
Joe: Well, that's crazy. I mean, I leave my house all the time without an I.D.
Chuck: Really? Well, what a magical world you live in. Oh, please, Joe, tell me more.
Joe: I can't believe this happened to you. I mean, you're, you're Chuck.
Mike: Could we give it a rest, guys?
Joe: I'm just trying to understand.
Chuck: Yeah, and I want you to understand, man. I just don't want to have to be the one to help you process what I'm going through.
Joe: That's never gonna happen.
Chuck: You're mad because this happened to me, but this kind of thing happens every day to somebody else's Chuck. I'm not the exception, I'm the rule.
Ed: I'm glad I listened this time, Mikey.
Mike: Me, too. And I'm really glad I don't have to listen to your album.
In one breath they’re talking about “racism” and Chuck being arrested “because he’s black,” and then are laughing about Chuck’s pink versus salmon shirt in the next.
The episode’s description mentioned that “Chuck teaches them a valuable lesson.” Clearly this was it, all complete with laughter and jokes. PopCulture.com in their recap included tweets from users who ate it up.
The episode otherwise is typical for the show, except for one thing. The episode opens with Mike’s vlog, when the show usually ends with it. In one of the final scenes, Mike decides he’s going to change his vlog's "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" concept to discuss “what happened to Chuck,” and “what happens when you find out something is broke, but you don't know how to fix it.” In other words, Mike wants to address racism.
Last Man Standing is only one of many shows to fall prey to this Black Lives Matter narrative, but it's the only one that has a history of being anti-woke. With any hope, this will be a one-time thing for the show, rather than span across several episodes. We can’t bear for Last Man Standing going the way of NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and ABC’s The Rookie, whose plots and character dynamics were sabotaged and completely upended by such a narrative.
Conservatives Fight Back: Advertisers for this episode included Allstate, Amazon, Ford, Progressive, Walmart, and Xfinity. Google was a repeat offender throughout this episode.