Is 'Last Man Standing' Skipping Mandy's Baby Story In Season 9?

Last Man Standing Mandy Baxter-Anderson Molly McCook Kyle Anderson Christoph Sanders FOX
Patrick Wymore / FOX

“Last Man Standing’s” official logline has provided a preview of what is coming in Season 9, and it seems like the show will be skipping Mandy and Kyle’s baby storyline. Wait, what? Yes, the Season 9 premiere’s official teaser reveals that multiple time jumps will find Mike and Vanessa with not one but two new grandchildren.

Will there be time travel on the scale of Netflix’s “Dark”? Not quite. However, “Last Man Standing” will make multiple time-jumps in its Season 9 premiere. That means Mandy and Kyle expecting their first child could be a plot point largely smoothed over in Season 9. Bolstering that notion is TVLine reporting Mandy and Kyle’s 3-year-old daughter will figure into the premiere.

She is practically off to college! I kid (but only sort of). Where will the fun, baby-related storylines be? I guess baby Mabel (you know who I am talking about “Mad About You” fans) ruined that for sitcoms? In related news, “Last Man Standing” will instead focus on Mandy becoming a stay-at-home mom. Executive producer, Kevin Abbott, teased Mandy’s Season 9 plotline by telling TVLine:

She has to grapple with how she feels about that in terms of identifying as somebody’s mother, as opposed to identifying as me[.] She’s still going to be Mandy, but time will have changed her. Motherhood will have changed her.

I am all for Mandy exploring life as a stay-at-home mom, but I will miss the storyline about her becoming a mom. Why? Because Mandy becoming a mom is huge. For the first six or so seasons of “Last Man Standing,” she was fairly self-centered, although her love for Kyle helped salve that some. So, I was looking forward to seeing how she would evolve in Season 9. That seems unlikely now.

Does all of this mean that Mandy’s pregnancy will be a blink-and-you-missed-it event? It seems so, and I am surprised. How Mandy, of all people, would handle becoming a mother seemed like an interesting story for “Last Man Standing” to tell. It seems like it will get skipped, and yes, this fan is sad about it. I love the show, so Season 9 skipping this much interesting territory is surprising.

Last season, “Last Man Standing” did not spend a bunch of time focused on Kristin’s pregnancy, seemingly because the first-time flutters were out of the way. She and Ryan already had Boyd, who was born before the Tim Allen-starrer began. Once Mandy and Kyle’s baby reveal happened, I thought the sitcom had purposefully avoided overdoing Kristin’s baby storyline. 

The theorized goal being to avoid wearing out the new-baby storyline. I guess not. Perhaps, that was the plan, and it changed? Maybe. “Last Man Standing” is a great show (on the level of “Full House”), and I trust its judgment. It is unusual for a sitcom to take such a bold time-jumping swing, though. It is more commonplace for shows like “Vikings” with a lot of historical ground to cover.

However, the three-year time-jump will give fans a chance to see more about where the Baxters’ lives take them. Will Kyle and Ryan’s podcast go viral, leading them to a long-term team-up and lots of success? I hope so. In some definitively good news, fans can look forward to seeing Jen, who appears in Season 9’s promotional stills for the episode entitled “Jen Again.” It airs on January 21.

There to welcome her is none other than Kyle and Mandy. Hopefully, Jen is in more than one episode next season. She has been one of the many highlights of “Last Man Standing.” Find out what happens with Jen and if Mandy’s baby story gets skipped when Season 9 premieres Sunday, January 3 at 9:30 ET on FOX.