'Last Man Standing': Kaitlyn Dever Returns as Eve in Final Season Episode

Tim Allen's Last Man Standing saw the long-awaited return of Kaitlyn Dever as Eve Baxter in her first physical appearance on the show this season. Although Dever briefly appeared in the final season premiere in January, "The Two Nieces of Eve" was the first time Eve played a significant part this year. In the episode, Eve came home from the Air Force Academy to spend more time with her new nieces.

"The Two Nieces of Eve" kicked off with Mike (Allen) and Vanessa (Nancy Travis) expressing their frustration that Eve will only be with them for one weekend. Mike wanted to spend all the time Eve has with her, but Vanessa told him that Eve should spend some time with her young nieces, Sarah and Evelyn. Eve finally came in and was instantly squashed like a panini by her parents. The next day, Eve made it clear she did not really want to spend time with the toddlers. After realizing that there was no way out of this situation, Eve discovered Evelyn and Sarah might be too impressed with her life as a pilot. Vanessa suggested she would have to tone down the "cool factor."

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(Photo: Michael Becker/Fox)

After spending time with Sarah and Evelyn, Eve was disappointed that her nieces "hate my guts." Eve was very confused, especially since (the now-missing) Boyd was always impressed with her. The fact is Sarah and Evelyn are into the same thing. Mike and Vanessa suggested she let her nieces take the lead when they are together to learn what they like. "But what if they... want to have a tea party?" Eve asked. Then, Mike said, she has to play along. If Mike and Vanessa had to pretend to like what their daughters like, Eve should learn to connect with her nieces in the same way.

Eve came home covered in glitter and wearing a dress, and she was not happy. She refused to speak with Mike and Vanessa, who were both frustrated. At that point, Mandy (Molly McCook) walked in and said the girls had a great time with Eve. It did not make much sense to Mike or Vanessa. They thought Eve might have misread the situation.

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Mike then visited Eve in her bedroom. Eve admitted she had a great time and was still confused. The girls were so adorable, and she admitted how hard it was to leave. Eve wanted to be as "cold and unfeeling" as Mike was when he left for Outdoor Man trips when his daughters were kids. Mike admitted things were not easy whenever he left. "All I've got is, the harder the goodbye, the sweeter the hello," he told her. Vanessa walked in at this point because Mandy wanted Eve to come over to read the girls a story. Now it was Mike who was disappointed because toddlers took his daughter away. Vanessa suggested they do something to take his mind off the situation. "Want to have a tea party?" Vanessa asked. "With bourbon?" Mike said. Vanessa agreed and, as they walked out of Eve's room, Mike shut off the lights.

This was Dever's first appearance on Last Man Standing since the Season 9 premiere "Time Flies," in which she appeared on Zoom. Her time on the show has been significantly limited since it came back on Fox, with her movie career taking off. It does look like she will be back for the Last Man Standing series finale, though. New episodes of Last Man Standing air at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.