The secret is out. Not that Y: The Last Man won’t be picked up for season two by FX on Hulu, though that’s true too. It’s that Yorick Brown is alive and his mom, the president, covered it up. Plus, the Daughters of the Amazon, who got a stellar origin story last week, have an idea he’s around too, though they don’t know the extent of their discovery. All of which is leading to next week’s season one, and maybe series, finale.
Before that though, this week we got the ninth and penultimate episode of the season, “Peppers,” which began to bring all the stories together with that titular Last Man at the center of it all, whether he knows it or not.
The main throughline in the episode is what’s happening at the Pentagon. When last we left it, the former First Lady (Paris Jefferson) had died by suicide and her daughter Kimberly (Amber Tamblyn) had the realization that Yorick (Ben Schnetzer) really is alive. Now she, along with the rightful President Regina Oliver (Jennifer Wigmore), have decided to stage a coup. They reveal to President Brown’s (Diane Lane) staff that Brown has been hiding the fact that her son is alive. It takes some doing but eventually she admits it, and though she truly believes keeping the secret was the right thing to do, no one else agrees. Brown is about to be taken away and stripped of her power when that other storyline from two weeks ago, Yorick’s ex-girlfriend Beth (Juliana Canfield) leading some kind of invasion of the Pentagon, explodes back on the scene. Literally.
The group uses an underground bomb to get into the building and all hell breaks loose. Quickly Beth and her friends find and capture President Brown, Regina, Kim, and the others. However, they weren’t banking on a presidential power struggle happening in the middle of it all. The confusion leads to one of the women killing Regina out of frustration, a consequence Beth and her friends weren’t ready for. And, it’s worth noting, the entire sequence felt very close to home considering the real-world attacks on the U.S. Capitol earlier this year. Eventually, amid even more confusion that involved protestors from outside getting into the building, the military trying to defend it, and the original invaders, more people die, Kimberly knifes a woman to protect the pregnant Christine (Jess Salgueiro) and Beth gets President Brown out… right after Beth finds out Yorick is still alive.
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That’s where the episode ended but plenty more happened along the way. Oddly, the least interesting segment involved Yorick, Agent 355 (Ashley Romans), and Dr. Mann (Diana Bang). They’re still hanging out in the community run by the escaped prisoners and honestly getting along pretty well. Dr. Mann has a crush. Yorick gets a manicure. But 355 keeps having flashbacks to her upbringing; first as a more innocent little girl, later as a grown woman who clearly is having mental health issues despite being told how exceptional she is. We’re certainly meant to think that our main characters feel a little too safe at the moment and everything could go wrong very quickly. Especially with what happened in the Daughters of the Amazon portion of the show.
Their home destroyed, the Daughters of the Amazon decide to invade and raid a small community of women who are choosing to mourn the loss of men. They have an installation with male voices, places to share memories, and drawings of survivors women have reportedly seen. Working off their new alliance revealed last week, Nora (Marin Ireland) tells Roxanne (Missy Pyle) they should use the raid to get supplies. Unfortunately, Roxanne works the women up so much they go in and just destroy everything. The rage and destruction forces Nora and Hero (Olivia Thirlby) to kind of reassess their choices, hence the title of the episode, “Peppers.” Nora tells a story about choosing between peppers not really meaning much—and yet the choices she, and everyone else in the episode, makes are rather crucial. I almost got the sense that Nora sees herself as a green pepper, which could be a bit more timid, while Hero is more a red pepper, which could look more aggressive. Ultimately though, the two are the same on the inside, which is what matters. None of which has a lot to do with the plot of the episode but you have to figure out these titles, right?
Once the Daughters finish their raid, Roxanne decides their next order of business shouldn’t be to find a new home. It should be to hunt down and kill all the men she thinks are still out there. Nora thinks that’s a bad idea until she hears that one of these men is close by. In a town with electricity. And when she unfolds the drawing of this rumored man it’s fairly obvious it’s Yorick and the town they’re going to invade is the one run by heavily armed convicts. Oh crap.
Those were the overall beats of “Peppers,” which was decent all things told, but the best moments were in the little details—like Yorick and 355 dancing to TLC’s “No Scrubs,” Yorick worried that smoking weed will mess with his sperm count, and the Daughters of the Amazon storming the other women like something out of Lord of the Rings. And let’s not forget Kimberly’s evil close-ups. “Peppers” was very much moving all the pieces to a place on the board where Y: The Last Man can have a big, dramatic season finale. What’s very obvious however is the story is not being told at a pace where everything will be wrapped up anytime soon. So, fingers crossed, if next week is the final one, there’s some sense of closure. Just in case.
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