January 17, 2019

Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 11 Review: Common Ground

Foreign exchange student Jen and Eve were both on Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 11, treating fans to some hilarious interactions with Mike Baxter.

When Vaness first met Jen in Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 5, it was clear that Mike was going to struggle with having the teen live in his house. He wasn't 100% on board with housing the young girl, but he did it for his wife.

Mike and Jen are both more alike than they each realize. They both speak their minds and don't hold back on their opinions. However, when they were thrown under the same roof, they stopped being real and started being polite.

Despite his harshness, Mike is a good guy at heart, and he wanted to find some common ground with Jen. It makes sense; the girl is going to be living in his house for six months.

However, the two couldn't find one thing they had in common. What transpired instead was a lot of struggling to find that connection.

Jen: I don’t know much about American football.
Mike: That is about to change, sit down. It’s still the first quarter, and we’re playing the Chargers. The guys in the white helmets with the little lightning bolt, we don’t like them. You got any questions; you just fire them out.
Jen: Why do they wear their face masks? Is that, so they don’t bite each other?
Mike: I don’t know.
Jen: They use their hands much more than they use their feet. Why isn’t it called handball?
Mike: I don’t know.
Jen: Mr. Baxter does it help your team when you wear their blouses?
Mike: They’re actually called jerseys. You know what? We should just watch the game and ask questions at the end.

Even with family, it is hard to find a connection, but it is different with family. There is a bond with family. Good or bad, it is there, and that is the connection.

Jen is not family, but she is living in the Baxter house for an extended stay. It is not easy to have someone stay in your home for a long time or to be the person living in someone else's house for months.

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Vaness and Mike both wanted Jen to feel at home, but they went about showing her that in different ways. She already has the bond with Jen, so it was easy for Vanessa to vocalize her intentions.

Struggling To Bond - Last Man Standing

Mike, on the other hand, tried to show his intentions by creating some common ground. The problem was that he was not being himself with Jen. In his quest to bond, he was too polite, and that is not Mike.

I loved that Mandy was the one who got Mike to see that he just needed to be real with Jen. Sometimes people try so hard to make a connection, they become fake or as Mike said too polite.

Mike: Would you rather be polite and uncomfortable or rude and comfortable?
Jen: Can’t you be polite and comfortable?
Mike: Being polite so often requires you to care about what other people are doing and feeling. Being comfortable, sometimes you just do what you want, and other people just deal with it.
Jen: I think I get it. So, if I wanted to be comfortable, I would say, football sucks, soccer rules and I do all my shopping online.
Mike: Sure! Origami is boring, playing football with your feet is stupid, and tea is for old women.
Jen: So, for now on I should just act the way I want and not worry about being polite?
Mike: Yeah. Do whatever you want to do until I say don’t. That is the way it works around here.

There is truth to what Mike said about being polite and uncomfortable. Sometimes people try so hard to be polite, they are uncomfortable and can't be themselves.

Mike and Jen were so focused on trying to make the other one comfortable that they were each uncomfortable. It can be good to say your peace and be comfortable even if you come across rude.

Mike and Jen Bond - Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 11

Now that isn't to say people shouldn't be polite, because we should. It just means that occasionally being comfortable and not always being nice, can be the right thing to do.

Related: Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 10 Review: Three for the Road

Once Mike and Jen decided to be comfortable, they created a common ground. Their desire to be real, honest and open bonded them.

A connection or common ground isn't always as in your face as it seems, there are times it has to be created for the greater good.

Jen and Vanesa - Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 11

When will the guys of Outdoor Man learn they can't get one over on Ed Alzate?

Chuck came up with a great prank changing Ed's DNA results to say he was part black. What he didn't expect was Ed to believe him and become obsessed with learning black history.

Chuck: Hey Ed.
Ed: My brother!
Chuck: What is happening?
Ed: I have great news, and I want to share it with one of my people. Chuck, I am black.
Chuck: Wow, Ed that DNA report.
Ed: Has changed my life! Look at this I am 37.5% West African. My people were traced to what is now Nigeria. Where are your people from Chuck?
Chuck: St. Louis. Ed, don’t you find it a little hard to believe you’re black?
Ed: No, this answers everything. You see my father always seems like he was keeping a secret. But now that I know what it was, I finally feel close to him, this is a blessing.
Chuck: Oh God!

Ed rattling off the things he had learned from Chuck was priceless. It was at that moment it became clear Ed was no fool, he was torturing Chuck.

I was rolling on the ground when the truth came out that the prankee had turned into the prankster. I did feel bad for Kyle, who did not want to prank the man who is like a father to him.

Kyle and chuck - Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 11

Chuck, Ed, and Kyle are the kind of friends I want to have at work. They are all friends, but they love to joke around with each other. Their friendship is very cool.

I could watch Chuck, Ed and Kyle have a conversation for hours. They provided some of the best entertainment when they are together.

Kyle: Hey guys. I am headed home. I just wanted to see how everybody is doing.
Ed: The world is turned upside down Kyle. It turns out I am not black.
Kyle: I am shocked that somebody would mess with your DNA. We’re not scientists.
Ed: You knew!
Kyle: I am sorry Mr. Alzate. I wanted to tell you, but you kept saying you were done listening to the man.
Chuck: I am sorry too Ed, and if it makes you feel any better, it is not easy being a black man in Denver or anywhere.
Ed: Well then, I guess I am back to being Basque.
Kyle: Hey, being Basque is great sir. The history, the traditions, the soup!
Ed: Well that is true. There is one more good thing about being Basque. We can’t be fooled.
Chuck: Uh oh!
Ed: Yeah, turns out Beverly gave me the real test results before you found my report. I am 82% Basque and 100% too smart for you idiots.

One of the greatest things about Last Man Standing is how there is always one story with a lesson and a side one that is simply there to provide humor.

Related: Last Man Standing: Why Recast Molly McCook Deserves a Chance as Mandy.

Last Man Standing fanatics now it is your turn.

Do you think Mike was right in his polite talk with Jen?

How do you feel about the addition of Jen to the Baxter home?

Kyle - Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 11

Were you surprised Ed knew he was being pranked or did you think he was that gullible?

Sound off in the below comments section or connect with TV fanatic on Facebook and Twitter.

Remember you can watch Last Man Standing online any time you need a fix.

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