In this week's episode of Last Man Standing, foreign exchange student Jen finally returned to move into the Baxter home and Mike struggled to find common ground, hence the episode's title.
Throughout "Common Ground," Mike (Tim Allen) tried to find some way to connect with Jen (Krista Marie Yu), who has taken over Kristin's (Amanda Fuller) room while studying in Colorado. After waking up the next day horrified to find tea in the coffee pot instead of coffee and shocked to find the crossword puzzle already done because Jen is a morning person.
Mike is convinced there is no way he will connect with Jen. Vanessa (Nancy Travis) suggests he and Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) watch football together, but that does not work out either. Then, Vanessa suggests Mike take Jen on a tour of Outdoor Man, which only succeeds in helping Jen become friendly with Kristin. They connect over the Outdoor Man restaurant.
Although Mike is still worried about trying to find an interest he has in common with Jen, Mandy (Molly McCook) reminded him that he does not like anything she likes, but they still get along fine.
In the end, Mike realizes that maybe the real reason he was not getting along with Jen was they were just trying to be too nice to one another and were not themselves.
"Do you think I'm a nice guy?" Mike asked Jen.
"Of course, Mr. Baxter."
"I'm not," Mike replied. "I'm really, sometimes, quite a jerk."
Mike said he was trying to find something they had in common so they could be comfortable with each other, but even Jen thought that was crazy. After all, she does not have anything in common with her father and they get along, "except that we both think I'm adorable."
"That's the kind of stuff you shouldn't actually say out loud, so I think you should say more stuff like that," Mike said.
This confused Jen, who thought this would be rude. Mike said it is not.
"Would you rather be polite and uncomfortable, or rude and comfortable?" Mike asked.
"Can't you be both polite and comfortable?"
"Eh... Being polite often requires you to think about what people are doing and what they're feeling," Mike explained. "Being comfortable is... sometimes you just do what you want and other people just deal with it."
"I think I get it," Jen said. "So, if I want to be comfortable, I would say, 'Football sucks, soccer rules and I do all my shopping online.'"
"Sure," Mike replied. "Origami's boring and playing football with your feet is stupid... and tea is for old women."
"So from now on, I should just act the way I want to do and not worry about being polite?"
"Yeah, do whatever you want to do until I say, 'Don't.' That's the way it works around here," Mike said.
Mike realized that he could act more relaxed and like Jen's father by treating her as a daughter, and that could be how they can finally be comfortable around each other.
The next day, everyone is comfortable at the breakfast table and Jen even put coffee on for Mike. Vanessa walked into the room and tried to talk, but Jen and Mike both stopped her.
"Huh... I knew they'd find something in common," Vanessa said.0comments
New episodes of Last Man Standing air on Fox at 8 p.m. ET Fridays.
Photo credit: Fox