Monday, September 13, 2021

REVIEW: 'Y: The Last Man' - Jennifer Must Make Difficult Choices to Protect as Many People as She Can in 'Would the World Be Kind'

FX on Hulu's Y: The Last Man - Episode 1.02 "Would the World Be Kind"

After a mass casualty event wipes out every creature with a Y chromosome, President Jennifer Brown responds to the crisis. Yorick fears he may be the only survivor. Hero attempts to right a wrong.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FX on Hulu's Y: The Last Man.

"Would the World Be Kind" was written by Eliza Clark and directed by Louise Friedberg

The son of the President of the United States is alive. That information may only further fuel conspiracy theories about what happened across the globe. People are ready to tear down the White House now as a result of their grief. Jennifer and her team are doing everything they can to save as many lives as they can. She knows that she has to make tough, agonizing decisions. She collides with people whose distrust of the government has only grown more profound in the wake of this tragedy. The people fear that those trusted to lead have to know something more and aren't sharing it. In reality, neither Jennifer nor Agent 355 know if this was the imminent threat the previous President was worried about the days before it happened. That would suggest some internal knowledge somehow. And yet, that's lost to the chaos if it turns out to be true. The government still has vast resources to accomplish so much. A lot of the infrastructure is still able to function. But again, hard choices have to be made. Jennifer doesn't want to divert resources away from helping the nation in order to find Hero. She trusted her daughter to reach out in an act of humanity if she cared about this familial bond. Jennifer and Hero have had a tense past. That has largely been referred to so far. Not a lot of it has actually been explained. Hero presents as a chaotic mess. One that would only be worse if she relapsed in her addictions. Her life wasn't suddenly better because she was sober. In fact, it's incredibly bleak and depressing. She pushes people away. She destroys lives. She acts impulsively without much consideration for others. It's a reckless abandon that can no longer be encouraged. Her friend Sam needs her support right now. He stands by her even when everyone else is willing to walk away. His trauma is profound as well. He was finally living his true self in the world. And now, he has to constantly explain his trans identity to everyone who sees him. It's exhausting and unbearable. It reduces him down to that one detail. He's a man in a world where men no longer exist. People can't immediately rationalize that and understand. It's disappointing and jarring. Having a Y chromosome doesn't make a person a man. Having testosterone doesn't make a person a man either. Sam fears what the future looks like without that hormone though. He is fighting to survive the present. People want to believe in a thriving future. And yet, it's impossible for anyone to look too far in advance. Those issues will become important at some point. The most immediate concerns have to be what's happening right now. That's within everyone's control. It requires everyone to be selfless. That too may be a tall order. Jennifer doesn't willingly push out the people who worked for her predecessor. However, Nora is no longer an essential White House official while Kimberly's advice holds no benefit for the immediate issues. Jennifer is lost in this world too. She has accepted the responsibilities of leading as President. She has done so despite the uncertainty she faces within her own family. She accepts that her husband and Yorick are dead. That's baked into the premise of what this apocalypse was. That's clear at this point. The world at large may not have any more details as to why this happened. They are simply responding to it. Yorick's presence disrupts that premise though. He is eventually reunited with his mother. It's a moment that she didn't think was possible. It's a miracle. But again, it may only fuel more turmoil and uncertainty. It deems this family as special because they have power in this society. Yorick can be used as a bargaining chip. He isn't special though. He just wants to find Beth and save Ampersand from the flooded subway. Those are his simple and immediate goals. Importance has been thrust upon him. As such, he doesn't have the privilege of being oblivious any longer. He leaves the city not knowing anything about Beth or Hero. Those reunions are important to him. He finds peace in another way though. Agent 355 brings him home. It's just a reality where perception has shifted sharply. He has to be aware of that. The show has that responsibility as well, which it awkwardly handles in the pivotal scene with Yorick naked at the dry cleaning business. He is completely exposed in that moment. He can't form a rational thought as to why he is special and unique. He simply is while others who are perceived as male have the added burden of explaining their identity regardless of how their bodies look without clothes.