Last Man Standing was back this week with another guest star, as ventriloquist Jeff Dunham made his first appearance on the show. In the episode, "Meatless Mike," Ed (Hector Elizondo) riles up Dunham on social media, inspiring the comedian to take a trip to Outdoor Man, where he meets Mike Baxter (Tim Allen). Last Man Standing is now in its ninth and final season.
Vanessa (Nancy Travis) pushed Mike to see if he can give up meat for a week. "Are hot dogs actually considered meat?" Mike wondered. A few days later, everyone at Outdoor Man was surprised to see Mike was actually successful for a few days. Ed interrupted the playful ribbing by showing off a shout-out Dunham gave the Outdoor Man store on social media. Dunham said he was heading to Denver and was excited to go there. "Thanks for the heads up. It gives us time to put up a sign to explain who the hell Jeff Dunham is," Ed wrote in response. Ed thought this was hilarious and did not think Dunham would respond. But Dunham did see it and responded with an emoji flipping the middle finger. "This means war," Ed said. "A war that's not going to go well," Mike said.
Later, Mike told Chuck (Jonathan Adams) and Ed that Dunham is a nice guy. Chuck told Ed he should apologize, but he is too stubborn to do that.
Back at home, Jen (Krista Marie Yu) tested Mike's resolve, even dumping brisket in the trash. Mike pretended not to care, but he happened to take a piece of brisket. Vanessa came in at that moment. She told him he could eat whatever he wants because she was not forcing him to do anything. "I'd rather you eat as much meat as you want... and you can die at a young age," she told him to make him feel guilty.
The next day at Outdoor Man, Chuck was frustrated to see Ed continue trolling Dunham. Ed told Chuck he felt the need to take down a ventriloquist because of the horror stories he heard as a kid. While they discussed this, Dunham walked into the office to personally confront Ed. He brought out Walter, who instantly made Ed uncomfortable. At this point, Mike came out, revealing he was filming the entire time to prank Chuck! Everything was part of a promotional team-up Dunham agreed to do for Outdoor Man. Ed then brought out brisket, but Mike refused since he still wasn't eating meat. "What? Outdoor man doesn't eat meat?" Dunham asked. "I guess he uses all these guns around here to shoot broccoli," Walter added.
The first story of the night found Mandy (Molly McCook) and Kyle (Christoph Sanders) moving into the above-garage guest house on Kristin (Amanda Fuller) and Ryan's (Jordan Masterson) property. Although Mandy thought this was a little weird to move from her parents' home to his sister's, Kyle was instantly sold on the idea. Unpacking brought up some tough feelings for Mandy, who thought she'd be a successful designer by now, instead of living above her sister's garage.
When Mike got home, Vanessa was happy he turned down meat when she wouldn't even know about it. (Ed texted her about it.) Mike said he didn't want meat at that point. He was also frustrated about being told what he "should" do. Vanessa said she wouldn't say that anymore, but she wanted Mike to lie about little things anymore. The episode ended with an Outdoor Man vlog created using a Tim Allen puppet, seen in the tweet below.
Let's see a *show of hands* for who digs Mike as a puppet! 🙌March 5, 2021
Later, Kyle said he was asked to write a sermon on what he was grateful for. He asked Mandy what she was grateful for. At this point, Ryan popped in to ask what she was grateful for too. This was all a plot from Kristin to understand that she has plenty to be grateful for. Mandy said this was all unnecessary since she understands that she has a great support system. New episodes of Last Man Standing air on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET.