On this week's episode of Last Man Standing, Tim Allen's Mike Baxter learned that winning is not everything. Unfortunately, that lesson came through just as his wife Vanessa experienced a major setback in her political dreams. She still found a silver lining to it all, as she usually does.
In "The Big LeBaxter," Rev. Paul (guest star Bill Engvall) hoped to recruit Mandy (Molly McCook) and Kyle (Christoph Sanders) to join the church bowling team, the fittingly named Holy Bowlers. Mike was not happy about that, since it meant Team Baxter would lose its best players and he was left with two unappealing choices. First, Jen (Krista Marie Yu) said she could bowl, but turned out to be terrible. Ryan (Jordan Masterson) thought he could bowl just because he was good at curling, even though curling and bowling are nothing alike.
While Mike was going through this crisis, Vanessa (Nancy Travis) tried to get Mike to admit he could still enjoy bowling without needing to win, especially when the opponent is the reverend. But Vanessa had her own crisis. She hoped to get the endorsement of the teachers' union, especially since she has so many great ideas for education reform in their community. Unfortunately, the union endorsed Therese Osgood, a more popular candidate who stole Vanessa's ideas. She decided to begin work on a concession speech.
Later at the bowling alley, Vanessa told Mike she did the civil thing. She spoke with Therese, who surprisingly admitted she stole the ideas. Therese said if she wins, she will appoint Vanessa her "education liaison." After that, Mike came up with a unique way to make bowling fun again - just take himself out of the equation. He also kept Kyle distracted from the bowling lane by giving him quarters for the arcade games.
The episode ended with Mike waxing on about winners and losers in another vlog entry. This included a topical dig at the undecided Iowa caucuses, as well as some words of advice. "You know they say history is written by the winners. But it's really written by historians," Mike said. "And before we call them winners, one of them should have to go out and get a girlfriend."
"Speaking of history, Roman philosopher Seneca once said, 'Admire those who attempt great things even though they fail,'" Mike continued. "Another philosopher, Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi said, 'Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser!' Seneca won more debates, but Lombardi won more championships. Now sometimes as Americans, our obsession with winning and losing can make us lose sight of what's right and wrong. I'm talking to you, Houston Astros. As Marcus Aurelius said, 'If it's not right, don't do it. If it's not true, don't say it.' And that my friends, is the truth."