It was only a matter of time before Washington fell.
On Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episode 9, chaos reigns supreme, hinting at a darker, wilder future ahead.
There’s so much to process from this episode, so let’s get to it!
Y: The Last Man has never been one to shy away from topical issues — it chooses to tackle them head-on, holding up society to scrutiny and asking why we aren’t doing better.
The infiltration of the Pentagon is more than a little reminiscent of the January 6 attacks on the Capitol. We’ve gotten to know these women throughout the season, and seeing them moving through dark halls where violent protestors destroy a government building was deeply unsettling.
The show is careful not to paint these revolutionaries as villains, but their actions are motivated by desperation. Tensions are high, but Regina’s death still came as a horrific shock.
This is a woman who has concerns about fluoride. She’s not a serious person.
Regina was a terrific foil for President Brown, and in her final act, she proved she was desperate enough to give away the government’s biggest secret. Jennifer Wigmore gave us Regina’s charisma and confidence as well as her unhinged vulnerability. You may not have liked Secretary Oliver as a person, but she sure moved the plot along.
Y: The Last Man captured the reaction to Regina’s death so well. It’s not taken lightly as kill-shots of villains are often seen in action movies. The killer, Malika, is physically sick. The witnesses are all in shock. The camera lingers on Regina’s twitching body.
It’s not for the faint of heart — but then, the faint of heart have probably not made it eight and a half episodes into this show.
Beth and Malika were both visibly shaken. Beth questioned the necessity for murder, but Malika made a good point — what did Beth think would happen? Beth must now grapple with having provided the intel that led to these events. It’s clear she cares about President Brown, but their situation grows increasingly bleak.
Lisa (Laura de Carteret) was swiftly and mercilessly executed, trying to surrender, and the entire Presidential cabinet separated in panic and chaos. Kimberly and Christine managed to stay together, as well as Beth and President Brown.
By the end, Beth got the truth about Yorick confirmed, but by then, the President seemed resigned to the hopelessness of the situation — what did it matter that he was alive if they had no way to find him or contact him? With the government descending into anarchy, their chances of finding him are slim at best.
Kimberly will always have a purpose as long as she is with Christine. It seems like Christine just wants to stay alive, and somehow on a deep level, she must know that Kimberly would willingly take a bullet for her — at least for her baby.
There are no false notes in Amber Tamblyn’s Kimberly — she’s a furious, deeply loving “mama bear,” unhinged from grief and trauma. Now her world is literally crumbling, so she’s developed a savior complex.
Kimberly repeated “I got you” to Christine, the same phrase she uttered in Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episode 5 when they thought Christine was having a miscarriage. It’s a stark callback to one of the most moving scenes of the show, a reminder that they are just two women trying to survive the horrors the world is putting them through.
Though Christine is complicit in President Brown’s lies, one could argue that she never had a choice. Kimberly didn’t begrudge Christine this — when it came down to it, she would stab a woman with a nail file to keep Christine’s baby safe. That’s more than friendship — that’s a mother’s love.
Scriptwriter Katie Edgerton has a dark sense of humor about how she uses foreshadowing. Yorick downplays — let’s face it, he mansplains — how women are generally less violent and therefore should not be as much of a concern.
Yes, I know, women are people and people are awful, but I’m just saying statistically you are, like, less likely to start shit.
The rest of the episode is mostly a showcase of women being violent towards one another — the attack on the Pentagon and the Amazon raid on the man-memorial marketplace.
However, it makes sense Yorick sees the world as more rose-colored. He’s with a large group of women, several of who may want to sleep with him. Sexual tension is rife in Marrisville.
Yorick convinced Agent 355 to dance with him, showcasing their chemistry. TLC’s “No Scrubs” was the perfect song choice since, let’s face it, Yorick is something of a scrub. Dr. Mann confronted Dominique but later confessed to Agent 355 that she wouldn’t mind some action with the convicted getaway driver. Does that make 355 jealous? Hard to say.
Sonia made a not-so-subtle move on Yorick, giving him a “manicure” that amounted to some very sensual hand-rubbing (I couldn’t help but think of this song). It’s all lovely and light-hearted, a pleasant contrast to the heaviness of the other plotlines.
Sonia: Your hands are disgusting.
Yorick: Yeah, it’s the apocalypse.
Finally, we learned a little more about Agent 355 and the mysterious Fran, who trained her.
Fran got to Agent 355 young. She instilled the idea of the training as a gift — a privilege — that would help her throughout her life. But for all these skills, she gave up her freedom to be beholden to this agency.
Did she truly believe in what she was committed to, or was she brainwashed?
It seems like 355 is rethinking her whole identity. Either that or she’s afraid of what might happen if her tracking device is activated. If Fran is alive, it could lead her straight to 355. June Carryl’s Fran is intimidating, empowering, and mysterious all in one. Their relationship is fascinating, and I hope we learn more about it.
Nora finds herself the only sane person amongst a gang of angry pillagers. The Amazons don’t seem to care about supplies — they’ve gotten so used to having everything they need, they feel justified in destroying food and wasting water.
Laura! Don’t touch the fucking corn pops!
Nora is practical, but she has to meet her companions where they’re at, in a way that doesn’t seem sycophantic — and she’s getting better at it. Nora has worked under so many domineering men that she doesn’t have much practice interacting with women on an honest, human level.
Again, Marin Ireland masterfully weaved her way through Nora’s thought processes, giving us just enough to hint at what she’s got planned but keeping us guessing. Look how much passed between Hero and Nora in their long moment of silence — sympathy, judgment, frustration, vulnerability, shame, and acceptance.
With the wealth of talent in this show, Olivia Thirlby’s Hero doesn’t get as much notice as she deserves. Hero is not the most likable character, but Thirlby finds her heart in those mournful stares and desperate, rage-filled outbursts.
Hero longs for the acceptance she never got from her mother — and here are women who revere her for what she deems her most despicable act.
Nora’s anecdote about the emotional labor of women struck a chord. Men don’t even realize how much they ask of women because they’re so used to it just being done. And women do it because it’s easier than making a big deal about the little things — but the little things add up and keep perfection from being attainable.
It’s still rampant everywhere in the real world. Women are held to higher standards — even by other women. Look at politics, look at the film industry, look at any professional setting. No wonder so many women are so angry.
This show is about ordinary women coping with extraordinary circumstances, surviving in any way they can. It’s no longer about looking perfect for men.
It asks an essential question of women — who are you when released from the expectations men have of you?
I am what I am. I’m angry. It’s what kept me alive.
Roxanne’s answer is, of course, vengeance. Since there are no men left, she must take revenge on the women still mourning their losses.
These women built a shrine to men. They are mourning a world that hurt us. That has consequences. And we are those consequences.
However, one woman claimed to have seen a real man and described Yorick to Nora. That is where things get interesting. Did Nora recognize Yorick the same way she did Hero? Did she see his picture on the phone, or was she going by the sketch?
Nora is shrewd. She hones in on the description of Marrisville and sees the potential — not only as a way of life but maybe to reunite Hero and Yorick.
It’s hard to know what Nora’s hoping to achieve. Perhaps she sees Yorick as her ticket back to DC (not knowing yet that the Pentagon has fallen). Maybe Nora hopes it will drive a wedge between Roxanne and Hero. Or perhaps she doesn’t recognize him at all, though that seems unlikely.
What does the finale hold for the characters of Y: The Last Man? What will become of Kimberly, Christine, President Brown, and any other Pentagon survivors? Will we see Sam again?
It feels like war is on the horizon. The Amazons and the Marrisville plotlines may merge for an explosive showdown. Hero and Yorick could reunite at last. Will there be peace for anyone?
There is only one episode remaining in this season. Though FX has not renewed the series, there is already a strong campaign to find it a home on another network or streaming platform. You can support them by signing this petition.
What do you think the season finale has in store? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.