This week's episode of Last Man Standing featured Jay Leno again as Joe, the mechanic at Outdoor Man. The main plot of this final season episode though was Vanessa Baxter (Nancy Travis) coming to terms with her age on the eve of her big birthday. Meanwhile, Joe and Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) learned that the meaning of friendship can be different for different people.
At the start of the episode "Granny Manny," Vanessa began getting ready for a half-triathlon, which she decided to train for ahead of her birthday. She refused to tell Jen (Krista Marie Yu) what her real age is. The next morning, Vanessa woke Mike up at 4:00 a.m. because she has a busy day packed. Mike insisted she needed to rest, but Vanessa told him she is competing with twentysomethings and can't take it easy. Later that day, Jen pushed Vanessa through training when Mandy (Molly McCook) and Kristin (Amanda Fuller) came in. Unfortunately, that was a dream! She actually slept the whole day when she was supposed to watch her grandchildren!
Next, Jen took toys back to Mandy's place because she believed Mandy and Kristin are using their mother as daycare. Mandy was confused because Vanessa is always happy when they pick up their children. "Of course she's happy when you pick them up... you're picking them up!" Jen said. Mandy and Ryan (Jordan Masterson) quickly realized she was right. Jen explained that Vanessa has very little time for herself. She was so tired, she missed the triathlon training, after all. Jen explained that Vanessa would never say no to taking care of her grandchildren. Mandy and Ryan agreed they had to stop relying on Vanessa so much.
In the morning, Kristin and Kyle (Christoph Sanders) dropped off a gift package for Vanessa on their way to work. While there, they explained that they took their children to daycare. Once Kristin and Kyle left though, Vanessa became frustrated and told Jen to mind her own business because she didn't need the help. An angry Vanessa stormed off to Ed (Hector Elizondo) at Outdoor Man. His advice for her was to embrace the changes in her life.
When Jen got back home, Vanessa tried to apologize to Jen, but she was the one who wanted to apologize for overstepping. Vanessa told Jen she didn't need to apologize because she was just doing the "Baxter thing" by looking out for her. During this conversation, Vanessa admitted she is turning 55 and realized it was silly not to embrace it. "Yes, I'm older, but in a lot of ways, I like myself even better," Vanessa said. Jen agreed to go with Vanessa on a training run and came to terms with her own truth... she's a Baxter now!
The story at Outdoor Man involved Joe getting frustrated because Mike didn't know anything about him. One day the garage, Chuck (Jonathan Adams) was quizzing Mike with classic car trivia when Joe came in. Joe felt rejected because Mike only wanted to play trivia with Chuck. Chuck came up with the idea to let Joe quiz the two of them next time they feel like playing trivia. The next day, moderated a quiz game in the office between the two. Suddenly, he began to ask the two questions about himself, like what was his mother's name. Mike quickly realized he did not know anything about Joe, who stormed off in frustration because Mike only wanted car questions.
Later, Mike was surprised Joe was still not happy that he couldn't answer trivia questions about his life. Joe knows everything about Mike, which he believes is evidence that he's a good friend. But Mike sees things differently. He believes a good friend is someone who accepts him the way he is. Mike compared himself to a cat, so he walked by Joe and ignored him.
This week's episode ended with an Outdoor Man vlog, in which Mike reflected on the changing view of male friendship. When he was a kid, everyone could communicate with a nod. Now as an adult, friends have to talk. "Adults have to have friendships. To make matters worse, we have to talk about those friendships. No thanks!" Mike said. "Battleships? I'll talk about them all day long." New Last Man Standing episodes air Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET.0comments