Friday night on Fox's Last Man Standing, the Baxters rang in the Christmas season reminding us what is most important this holiday season. In the episode, “The Gift of the Mike Guy,” the family gathered together to decorate the tree--even Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) came home.
However, the most heartwarming thing about this episode was the message they gave about veterans. In addition to reminding us to appreciate the men and women sacrificing so much, including their Christmas for our country, Mike (Tim Allen) gave back in a big way.
After getting Ed (Hector Elizondo) a unique Christmas gift-- naming the street on which Outdoor Man is located after him--Mike pays a visit to the bar Ed works at now that he’s retired to figure out why he doesn’t like it. When Ed explains the gift reminds him he’s no longer needed at Outdoor Man, Mike reminds him he can always come back. That’s when Ed explains why he likes where he is currently at.
Ed: What are you doing here?
Mike: Well, after your little performance at work, I thought I'd stop by and find out why you hated my gift.
Ed: I didn't hate it. I loved it. Best gift I ever got.
Mike: And the Oscar goes to anybody else. Come on, why did you hate it?
Ed: All right, all right. I didn't like it. You know who gets streets named after them? Dead guys.
Mike: This is why I gave it to you this year and not... Next year. Made me realize that my career at Outdoor Man is really over.
Mike: You also realize you could come back to work anytime you wanted?
Ed: When a man wakes up in the morning, he needs to wake up You see, I'm not needed at Outdoor Man. I realize that now, thanks to you.
Mike: Doesn't sound like you're very grateful.
Ed: I actually am. I need to look forward, Mikey, not backwards.
Mike: All right, I think I understand.
Ed: You know what? I don't think you do, really. You know why I tend bar here?
Mike: Sure. You don't have to pay for Sex on the Beach.
Ed: Because I like to talk to the veterans here who feel the same way I do. Like Billy there. Yeah, look at him. He ran a munitions depot. Huge warehouse. Yes, moved ordnance all over the Middle East.
Ed: Now he drives an Uber.
Ed: Yeah, just until he finds a place that can use his unique skills. We all have hope.
Upon learning this, Mike figures out the perfect gift to get Ed. After having Chuck (Jonathan Adams) do a little research for him, he returns to the bar.
Mike: Hey. Look, I'm glad I found you before you took off on your trip.
Ed: Yeah? What's this?
Mike: It's a chance for you to give me a nice gift, you cheap bastard. Because of the awesome job I'm doing at Outdoor Man, we're expanding. These are personnel reports from each department. We're looking for new hires.
Ed: Well, thanks for explaining the business to me. Let me return the favor by reminding you that you have a personnel department.
Mike: I know exactly the kind of people I want for these jobs.
Ed: So you came here to brag, huh? You're a piece of work, Mikey.
Mike: Listen. I want people looking for a place to apply their unique skills.
Ed: You're talking about veterans?
Mike: Mm-hmm. And I'm looking for somebody who knows their specific skill sets, so they can match them to the correct position. Ed we need you.
Ed: I'd say you're just being nice, but we both know that's... That's not your strong suit.
Mike: Listen, this isn't just Denver. I mean, this is all the stores.
We're gonna be doing a lot of new hires.Yeah.
Ed: Obviously, we'd coordinate with local vfws and the va. Also, I could reach out to the discharge offices of military bases.
Mike: Yep. Sounds like a lot of work for a guy who just started his career as a bartender.
Ed: Department of Labor has a Veterans' Employment
and Training site. I'll contact them. Mm-hmm. I like the fact you still use paper, Mikey.
Mike: Well, you know me-- old-fashioned.
Ed: Yeah, me, too, pal.
Mike: No, I'd like you to make me an old-fashioned.
Ed: Yeah. Please. I've got work to do. Now, what the hell are you doing here?
Mike: Wow. I missed your sunny disposition.
Ed: Mikey, they always said you give the best gifts. They're right.
Mike sets a wonderful example in how to give back to our veterans who have fought so hard and lost so much for us. What’s more, his gesture reminds us that we have such wonderful traditions as giving gifts because, as he puts it, “...a lot of brave men and women fought for them.” Leave it to Tim Allen to drop such a heartwarming moment into a hit comedy --reminding us once again what we love so much about Last Man Standing.