Y: The Last Man finale recap: Forging new paths
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Y: The Last Man's characters decide exactly who they want to be and where they want to go in the season finale — which doesn't, alas, mean they can easily escape their pasts.
"Victoria" begins with a flashback to a pre-apocalypse restaurant dinner shared by Yorick, Beth, Hero, Jennifer, and her husband. Yorick talks about Elvis' twin brother Jesse, who was stillborn and buried in a shoebox. To Yorick, this begs the question: why does fate choose one man over another? Yorick plans to use this historical anecdote for a metaphorical magic trick in which he takes chains, ropes, and handcuffs out of a box, each representing a family member. Hero calls out Yorick for not being included in this stunt and then admits that she doesn't want to be a chain keeping him down. She also mocks his burdens as a straight cis white guy whose mom is a congresswoman — a "joke" that, given the bitter delivery, falls flat.
On horseback, Nora and Roxanne discuss their upcoming siege of the inmates' Marrisville community. Nora doesn't care if they find a man; what's important is that their followers are excited, and they'll soon have supplies. Roxanne muses that it must be interesting to be a mom in this new reality since you don't have to raise your daughter to be a wife, mother, or clock-punching workforce drone.
Agent 355 wakes up in the middle of the street and initially thinks the woman standing above her is Fran, the mysterious Culper Ring mentor she's searching for (and who was the figure seen in last episode's flashbacks). She visits Mann in a greenhouse and hears that mice and bunnies are next on the list of animals to go extinct. Mann can tell from Agent 355's bare feet that she's been sleepwalking again, and Agent 355 explains that the only thing that's ever kept her from doing it is tying a ten-pound sandbag to her arm. Agent 355 says Janice has offered them two ATVs, which should make their journey easier. When Mann remarks that Yorick will be disappointed to leave, Agent 355 bluntly responds, "He'll live."
Yorick confides to Sonia that he and Beth considered having kids, but held off due to Beth's professional ambitions. He also admits that he's only slept with one woman (Beth). Agent 355 interrupts them to inform Yorick that they're heading out tomorrow.
At a nearby indoor pool, scouts report to Nora and Roxanne about the inmates' compound. Nora devises a strategy for taking the place, while Roxanne suggests simply showing up and scaring them off with gunfire. Two older women appear and demand that Nora, Roxanne, and company vacate the pool, which they'd claimed for themselves. That doesn't work. Before they're sent packing, the duo reveals that rioters have stormed the Pentagon and killed the president. This hits Hero hard, and she and Nora share a charged look.
Back to the pre-apocalypse dinner flashback. Beth explains the matrilineal, collectivist environment she's going to be building in Sydney as part of the fellowship she's just received (thus providing some context for her current anti-government revolutionary actions). Yorick is excessively supportive of it.
In the present, Beth and Jennifer are holed up in an abandoned house. Beth suggests that Jennifer cut and dye her hair, but the president declines. Beth rails about how the system is broken and can't be fixed, to which Jennifer laughs since it appears that Beth's big idea was anarchy. Beth wants to know where Yorick is, but Jennifer, of course, has no clue. They plan to leave at dark.
Yorick tells Agent 355 that she acts like a stone-cold defender of democracy, but she's actually lonely — and, thus, just like his mom. Agent 355 balks at this comparison. Yorick questions her about Culper Ring, and she says that she didn't know anyone else in the organization because they were kept separate and that her handler was a man. Yorick wants to stay in Marrisville, but Agent 355 says they're not doing that just because there's a pretty girl in town (i.e. Sonia). Mann overhears Yorick expressing doubts about her ability to fix this global catastrophe, and comes inside and spoils the surprise going-away party the inmates are throwing for them.
Returning to the dinner scene, Hero's dad encourages her to return to school to get her bachelor's degree. As Hero continues drinking wine, Yorick announces that his sister is dating someone, forcing her to confess that she's seeing Mike — whom, she explains, is married, and not leaving his pregnant wife. Jennifer believes Hero has to end this affair, and when her dad agrees, Hero rails at him for his incessant evening texting, which she claims is to the teaching assistant he's screwing. Hero slams them as hypocrites, and Yorick for not defending her. Sensing a brewing public scene, Jennifer bails, albeit not before privately whispering something in Hero's ear.
At night, as Jennifer and Beth are about to depart, an intruder breaks into their house. It's Sam, and he's seen a van outside, indicating that someone's watching them. They try to escape but are taken hostage by mysterious assailants.
At the pool, the women are all partying ahead of the following morning's siege. Nora tells Hero that she vetted her when the former president was considering Jennifer as his VP. Clearly, Hero was considered the Brown family's biggest liability. They chat about the origins of Hero's name: it comes from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and specifically, from the ingenuine whose fiancé tricks her into thinking she's a whore, and abandons her at the altar. "It's a comedy," Hero dryly quips.
Nora explains that she changed her name because she didn't like the stuffy one given to her by her mother. Roxanne announces to everyone that Nora and Hero are mourning the old world (i.e. the fallen Pentagon), and riles up her acolytes. Nora quietly warns Roxanne to never speak to her like that again and leaps into the pool to lead the festivities.
In Marrisville, Mann expresses doubts about being able to save the world to Agent 355. She lies down beside Agent 355 and puts her head on the spy's shoulder. Agent 355 reluctantly accepts this new "weight," which will prevent her from sleepwalking. Meanwhile, Yorick divulges to Sonia that they're heading to a lab in San Francisco. Sonia says she doesn't view time as linear, because that would mean that everything she's ever experienced falls into two categories: before and after she committed murder. She'd rather view time as an ocean, where all of the good and the bad are intermingled. Yorick kisses her.
In the morning, Nora finds Mackenzie in the bathroom, dealing with her period. Nora doesn't know why the start of menstruation is "exciting" (this is just programming she received from her mother), and she gives her daughter her wedding ring, saying that Mackenzie must now be brave and strong — thereby implying that Nora is also ready to begin a new phase in her life. Mackenzie opines that Nora sounds like Roxanne, to which Nora replies, "No, Roxanne sounds like me."
Kimberley has a dream in which she stares into a mirror, her breasts lactating. Yorick appears behind her, undresses, and they have passionate sex. She awakens beside Christine on the floor of a barn, and announces that she knows how to restore everyone's futures: "All I need is him."
As both Yorick and Sonia, and Agent 355 and Mann, rise from their respective nights together, the Amazons arrive in town. They're confronted on the main street by a resident as well as Janice. Before long, gunshots ring out. Agent 355 sends Yorick off with Sonia and Mann to a nearby silo that's just outside town. Agent 355 and a trans man give themselves up to the invaders, who think that the latter is the individual they covet. Once in the woods, Agent 355 easily neutralizes these adversaries. In town, all hell breaks loose, and Mackenzie proves her mettle by helping Nora pull an injured comrade to safety.
Following a suspicious noise, Hero chases down Yorick, Mann, and Sonia in an open field. Just as Hero realizes that her brother is alive, Sonia shoots Hero off her horse. Yorick prevents Sonia from finishing off his sister, whom he hugs intensely. Hero lets Yorick know that their mom is dead. She says Yorick has to flee because the Amazons are coming for him, "so the new world can be born." Sonia is fatally shot by Hero's fellow Amazon. Hero forces Yorick and Mann to run, and then kills her ally in order to protect her brother.
In the final flashback to the dinner, Yorick fumes to Beth on the sidewalk about Hero's selfishness. When Sam arrives to go out for drinks with all of them, Yorick and Beth bolt in a cab. "I made a mess," says a forlorn Hero, as Sam comforts her.
The shootout rages on in Marrisville. Roxanne stalks Agent 355 but runs out of ammo, leaving her vulnerable for a kill shot. To prevent Roxanne's imminent death, Nora surrenders to the inmates. Roxanne is furious about this decision, and storms off. The Amazons retreat to the indoor pool, and Hero discloses to Nora that her brother is alive. Nora suffers the slings and arrows of Roxanne, who calls her a coward. Nora defends herself by censuring Roxanne for being just like the controlling men they once knew — using shame, humiliation, and then compliments to turn them into obedient partners.
Nora reveals that her real name is Victoria, and that changing it, getting married, and working for the president didn't satisfy her, because "the real you is a shadow, and it is always there." To the disbelief of everyone, Nora guns down Roxanne, who falls dead into the pool. She says the Amazons no longer have to reinvent themselves. ("This world will learn to fear us because we'll show them exactly who we are.") Hero stands beside Nora, thereby marking her as their new leader.
Agent 355 joins Mann and Yorick at the silo. Yorick is distraught about this recent turn of events, and to comfort him, Agent 355 recounts her own traumatic incident: as a 12-year-old girl, her musician grandmother took her to a club, which infuriated her father. On the way home, they were in a car accident and everyone died except Agent 355. "I survived. You will too," she tells a weepy Yorick.
Now that the president is (supposedly) dead, Agent 355 says the mission is technically off, and Yorick and Mann are free to go. Yorick doesn't want that but also doesn't want to keep being helpless. He asks Agent 355 to teach him how to be tough and self-reliant, and she agrees.
Y: The Last Man cuts to Jennifer, Sam, and Beth being held prisoner in the same sort of white-tiled room that we previously saw in Agent 355's episode 9 flashback. They wonder who's watching them via security cameras, and the answer is Fran, who's using them as bait to lure Agent 355. Sure enough, Agent 355's tracker leads her to a van that has a full tank of gas, medical storage supplies, and a map and coordinates. Although they're undoubtedly heading into a trap, they nonetheless proceed down a long road that, a closing aerial shot reveals, is shaped like a Y.
- Kimberley's dream indicates that, in true fanatic fashion, she views herself as a potential Eve, and Yorick as her Adam.
- Ampersand's perfunctory role throughout the first season proves that the show has no idea what to do with him.
- There are many loose threads to be tied up in season 2. However, since the show has now been cancelled by FX — and hasn't yet found a new home — it's unclear whether we'll ever see them resolved.
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