The curtains fell on Last Man Standing Thursday night, with the show ending its nine-season run. The series finale gave Tim Allen a chance to say goodbye to his co-stars in an emotional way, especially since it was the first and last episode of the show Allen wrote. In "Keep On Truckin,'" Mike Baxter's beloved truck served as a metaphor for the show, as Mike had to learn to say goodbye to something he loved working on for 10 years.
The episode kicked off with everyone sitting around a campfire while Vanessa (Nancy Travis) recounted the confusing romantic histories of Mandy (Molly McCook), Kristin (Amanda Fuller), Ryan (Jordan Masterson), and Kyle (Christoph Sanders) to a befuddled Jen (Krista Marie Yu). This was all deep Last Man Standing history built in just for fans of the show who have been there since day one. Anyway, after all that fun, Vanessa met Mike in the garage where he had some great news. He could finally say his 10-year restoration project on his beloved green truck was finished since he could now acquire the original bill of sale. Sadly, he saw that the document was sold to Joe (Jay Leno)! The next day at Outdoor Man, Mike thought he'd have to haggle with Joe for the document, but Joe surprisingly just gave it to Mike.
While all seemed well in Baxter-land, everything went wrong that night. Mike's truck was stolen, despite the alarm working. Everyone in the family, along with Joe, Chuck (Jonathan Adams), and Ed (Hector Elizondo) tried to help find the truck to no avail. Chuck later told Mike at home that security camera footage showed the criminals took the truck to a junk shop. Vanessa thought Mike would be heartbroken, but Mike was surprisingly OK. "I don't know why, but I'm ok with this," he said. Vanessa was not OK though, and she broke into tears. She later explained that while she didn't like the truck, she missed all the important conversations they had in the garage together while he worked on it. The truck also reminded Vanessa of Mike whenever he traveled.
The next day, Mike and Vanessa held a "memorial" for the truck. No one really understood why they needed to say goodbye to an inanimate object. "Don't think of it as a truck... think of it as something this group was involved with for 10 years," Vanessa told Ryan. During the memorial, everyone noted how the truck reminded them so much of Mike himself. Almost every comment they made could be applied to Mike, just as much as the truck. Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) phoned in over Zoom to say how important the truck was for her since some of her best memories with her dad were working on the truck.
That night, Mike and Vanessa sat together and caught up with Eve a little more (she can break the sound barrier, Mike can break wind). "So you think you're going to find another car to work on?" Vanessa asked. "I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not," Mike replied. "Right now, I just want to enjoy this moment with all of you." Vanessa then led Mike into the kitchen, where they shared a glass of wine with their daughters. The last scene at Outdoor Man was between Mike and Ed. "See you tomorrow?" Ed asked. "OK," Mike replied. Ed pointed to Mike just before he left.
The real last-ever scene of the show was, of course, an Outdoor Man vlog episode. In the beginning, he thanked everyone for watching the show, as well as everyone who might not be because they're outdoors making something. "I've been thinking a lot about the makers and takers because I had something very valuable taken from me. Somebody took my truck," Mike said. "Ten years of attention to detail... Poof. Gone. It's an empty feeling, like when John Elway retired." Although Mike is sad, he lifted his spirits by "eating some pork and remembering Ronald Reagan."
"I loved every moment of that show... I mean, truck," Mike said in his last comments. "It was a classic from a simpler, happier time. You know... the truck. And that's something that can't be stolen from me." He also threw in another reference to Allen's own comedy. "My mother was right," he said. "She always quoted this famous comedian - I can't remember his name - who said, 'Men are pigs.'" That was how Last Man Standing ended after nine seasons.