When the news first came out that Kaitlyn Dever wouldn’t be returning full-time to Last Man Standing, it was understandable to express concern. The series was already experiencing another change with Mandy, and of course, change within the sitcom world is not the easiest thing to bear. Comedies are based on a family atmosphere and finding a way for the viewer at home to feel comfortable. It’s a central tenet to long-term success; this family vibe is, after all, one of the reasons why sitcoms operate within real-time and also feature episodes themed around major holidays like Christmas and Halloween. It’s an attempt for viewers to feel like they are seeing a part of themselves represented on-screen.
This is where we offer up the Last Man Standing creative team, plus Dever, some credit. When we hear “oh, [insert actor name] will still make appearances” after they leave a show as a series regular, sometimes that means that they turn up once or twice, then never again. Dever and the writers have made good on their claims! We’ve seen her a number of times this season, and you will be seeing her once more in “The Passion of Paul,” the 18th episode of season 7, set to air on March 15.
What’s also cool about this particular story Dever is how exactly Eve Baxter factors into the story. Check out the synopsis below for more information:
When Reverend Paul (guest star Bill Engvall) calls on Mike to teach Sunday School, Mike calls on Kyle to take his place. Meanwhile, Eve (guest star Kaitlyn Dever) fears Mandy and Kristin are taking advantage of Jen at home in the all-new “The Passion of Paul” episode of LAST MAN STANDING airing Friday, March 15 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (LMS-718) (TV-PG D, L)
While Jen is not a replacement for Eve by any means — these are separate characters with different wants, needs, and personality quirks — the character is potentially on the show, in part, to fill a void left by Eve’s absence. Having the two characters operate within the same storyline is a way to give both actors some fun material, and to show the differences between how Mandy and Kristin treat their own sister and how they are treating Jen. They may be trying to use her in ways that Eve would never allow, mostly because she’s had a lifetime of knowing how they act and some of the tricks they pull, intentionally or unintentionally.
In between seeing Mike try to teach a Sunday-school class and getting Eve back on the show, “The Passion of Paul” should prove to be a fun one. By the time it airs, fingers crossed there’s some news floating around about a season 8. How long does Fox want us to wait on this one? (Speaking of season 8, we discuss the renewal possibilities in the video below! If you enjoy this, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and remember to check out the full Last Man Standing playlist for other pertinent discussions.)
Do you appreciate how Last Man Standing is using Eve?
Share some of your thoughts on the matter below! Remember, the next new episode airs Friday night on Fox, and you can preview that now by visiting this link. (Photo: Fox.)