Y: The Last Man recap: To Boston and beyond

·9 min read

Yorick and Agent 355 finally find who they're looking for in Y: The Last Man's fifth installment, "Mann Hunt." Yet the question for them — and for the president, back in Washington — is what to do with individuals who aren't particularly interested in going along with well-established plans.

Driving past an abandoned Fenway Park, Yorick and Agent 355 discover that Boston is a war zone, its streets plastered with anti-government, anti-capitalist flyers labeling Jennifer a "liar" and claiming that the virus is a "hoax." Yorick bets that Dr. Mann is the sort of person who makes a big deal about not owning a television. Agent 355 doesn't care, so long as the geneticist does her job. They hide as a military caravan passes by, announcing a curfew.

The two come upon a military security checkpoint. Agent 355 has Yorick sit beside an alleyway dumpster (with her knife) as she goes to check it out. She approaches the soldiers, pretending to be a member of the Air Force. Her ruse works, and she gets inside. She asks a commander about Mann and hears that the city is constantly beset by rioters, which the military handles with daily doses of tear gas. The bigwig informs Agent 355 that Harvard remains under protection because someone in Washington views it as valuable (for its research, priceless art, and history) and that Mann isn't on their list of scientists. The science center was one of the first places hit by the rioters, and Mann is thus probably gone.

Yorick hears military vehicles approaching. He picks the lock of a door in the alley and sneaks inside. As evidenced by the room's myriad posters and printing press (as well as its copy of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States), this is the HQ of the metropolis' leftist dissidents. A woman named Steph appears inside and confronts Yorick. Their standoff is interrupted by the appearance of other rioters, one of whom has been tear-gassed. Yorick is cajoled into helping this individual wash out her eyes. Steph has Yorick remove his mask and tells him that he can head to her brother's apartment if he needs more testosterone (because, naturally, she thinks he's trans). Referencing the 2013 manhunt for the Boston Marathon bomber, she remarks on her way out, "Nobody can hide forever when the whole world's looking."

Outside in the alley, Agent 355 returns, and Yorick doesn't mention his just-completed encounter. He lies about losing her knife, and they take off together.

In Washington, Jennifer hears that the Israelis have delivered Regina. General Reid wants to talk about the two missing helicopters, which they can track. Jennifer orders her to do so but to keep it quiet. Jennifer promises to welcome Regina back with open arms and to subsequently sit her down and talk about how they want her involved in a senior position (but not as president).

Yorick and Agent 355 arrive at Mann's apartment; it's empty, but, intriguingly, it boasts a crib. They spot numerous photos of Mann at the Union Club of Boston and suspect she's there. They're correct. After breaking in, they head to an upstairs room illuminated by lanterns and a roaring fire, where Mann surprise-attacks Yorick and stabs him in the back shoulder before being subdued. Mann knows right away that Yorick has a Y chromosome and is stunned to hear that Ampersand is also a male since the odds of two survivors being together is astronomical.

Agent 355 tells Mann that they're here to collect her and her research and bring her back to Jennifer to figure this apocalyptic mess out. Mann objects, both because she doesn't like the American government (or want to work for them) and because 15 years of her research has been destroyed. She intends to travel to San Francisco, home to the only lab with the software and (semi-legal) research needed for her to continue her work — which, apparently, has to do with human cloning. As Agent 355 stitches up Yorick, she bickers with Mann for not apologizing sooner, and she tells Mann that because Yorick's existence and whereabouts have to remain classified, they can't get a presidential plane to take them to the West Coast. Agent 355 decries the "lunatics" who are blowing up buildings and screaming conspiracy, and Mann counters by stating that Yorick is living proof that the government was covering something up.

Yorick interrupts this tense exchange (in which Mann rants about evil government weapons, viruses, and AI) by asking if either knows the tuna fish sandwich joke — although he doesn't tell it. Agent 355 goes to use her sat phone to update Jennifer about their progress and then reconsiders and breaks it instead. She informs Yorick that the phone is out of commission and leaves to locate a new one.

Y: The Last Man
Y: The Last Man

Rafy/FX 'Y: The Last Man'

Jennifer is briefed on rioters storming governors' mansions and the nationwide spread of misinformation via word of mouth. She wants to combat this. General Reid announces that a helicopter crash site has been found, along with human remains. Jennifer surreptitiously clutches Christine's hand under a table at the news that, "They're dead, ma'am."

In a bathroom that features a clothesline, Kimberley spills her purse, which is full of kids' stuff (crayons, dominos). Christine comes in and uses a stall. Kimberley says it's clear that Jennifer knows something about the missing helicopters and pilots; she assumes the president sent them to retrieve Hero. Now that this mission has ended in death, however, "it's very, very bad." Christine snipes that Kimberley can blackmail her some other time as she wipes up blood on the floor. Kimberley changes her tune and becomes sympathetic, tending to Christine, who announces that she thinks she's having a miscarriage. Kimberley helps wipe up her legs and gets her to a nurse, who performs an ultrasound. The unborn child is fine (and therefore obviously a girl), and everyone gets choked up at the sound of a new heartbeat.

Agent 355 drives to 72 Warren Street — the address written on the note she retrieved at the Culper Ring office. She goes inside and is accosted by another woman. A fight ensues, ending in a standoff. Her adversary is Agent 525, who's at the house looking for the same person as Agent 355: a shadowy figure named Fran who apparently recruited them both. Like Agent 355, Agent 525 was also pulled out of an undercover mission and sent to Washington (in her case, the State Department) on the very day the apocalypse took place, suggesting that the Culper Ring knew something cataclysmic was going to take place. Agent 525 lets Agent 355 keep the grenade that she found under Fran's bed and says that her plan is to find Fran, demand answers, and then put a bullet between her eyes.

Agent 525 guesses that Agent 355 was recruited after being in foster care and juvie. This seems spot-on, but Agent 355 denies it. Agent 355 takes a baton and is told by Agent 525 that she should ditch this secret-agent line of work and live her life.

As Mann puts on a new shirt, we see she has suspicious scars (surgical marks?) on her stomach. Yorick comments on her phallic defacement of old photos of illustrious men. After hearing that Mann teaches because she has to earn a living (she hates kids but despises the idea of working for the government or Big Pharma even more), he declares that he's a teacher too — of magic. Mann's shocked expression indicates that she can't believe this is the last man on Earth. Yorick confesses that Agent 355 often disappears on secret missions. He also thinks there's more to Mann's interest in San Francisco than she's letting on. Mann reveals that only two people know about the San Francisco lab's covert material and that she's gay. She mocks him for looking older than 27.

Jennifer is nervous about dealing with Regina and panicked about Yorick's safety. Suspecting that Agent 355 may have killed the two pilots (on the incorrect assumption that Jennifer wanted her to), Jennifer orders Christine to get data analysts to encrypt Agent 355's Culper Ring files. She notices something's up with Christine, but the latter brushes it off.

Regina arrives in a wheelchair and has a prickly first hallway encounter with Jennifer. Shortly after, Kimberley visits Regina, who reminds the conservative firebrand that she once called her "strident" on The View. Kimberley admits that this is true but that "this place is a Rachel Maddow fever dream," and they have to stick together. Regina asks Kimberley for some hair dye and states that despite Kimberley's dad winning in a landslide, the socialists are now in charge. Kimberley says people will have to pick sides and that Regina has friends here.

Jennifer interrupts this meeting. Regina knows the new president isn't keen on giving up control. She also badmouths hummus, presumably because it's Middle Eastern.

Over drinks, Yorick asks Mann about her apartment's crib, and Mann — who's going on and on about infinite biological variations of men and women — denies having a child. She hammers home to Yorick the bleakness of their situation; even if she can figure out how he survived and then replicate him, that still won't bring back the billions of lost lives. She also laments the rare women who died during the apocalypse because they had a Y chromosome, as well as all the animals. "I don't envy you," she tells Yorick. "You won't have much of a life from now on, will you?" This hits him hard.

Agent 355 returns and announces that they have to go; she lies and claims Jennifer authorized the trip to San Francisco. Yorick tells Mann that Jennifer is his mother and not as vanilla as she assumes. Yorick asks Agent 355 about her new facial bruises, and she refuses to answer. She has a blinking tracker in her bag, implying that she's now on the hunt for Fran.

Post-Men Dispatches:

  • Y: The Last Man has slowly developed into a show about characters attempting to hold the center in a world now increasingly split between radicals on the left and right.

  • Kimberley's kindness to Christine may be genuine, but she'll no doubt use knowledge of the woman's pregnancy as leverage in the near future.

  • The skirmish between Agent 355 and Agent 525 could have used some better fight choreography.

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