Monday, September 13, 2021

REVIEW: 'Y: The Last Man' - Jennifer Assigns Yorick and Agent 355 to a Critical Mission That Can Potentially Save the World in 'Neil'

FX on Hulu's Y: The Last Man - Episode 1.03 "Neil"

With Jennifer and Yorick reunited, Agent 355 pitches a plan for what comes next. The dead President's daughter, Kimberly, circles Jennifer's secret. Nora Brady and her daughter Mack say goodbye to home.

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.

"Neil" was written by Katie Edgerton and directed by Daisy Von Scherler Mayer

Both Jennifer and Agent 355 offer inspirational speeches in the hopes of motivating people to put aside their concerns and grief in order to serve a mission much greater than themselves. Jennifer is sincere and heartfelt in her approach. She needs to convince one of the only female nuclear scientists in the New England region to act in order to avoid a meltdown as well as provide power to the thousands in the region who need it. Her speech is effective in that objective. She succeeds by offering a personal connection. She too understands this loss. The world believes that Jennifer has lost everything as well. She is the President leading the nation through this crisis. She is also a woman who lost her husband and son while her daughter's fate remains unknown. Of course, the audience knows just how deceitful that narrative actually is. She only lost her husband in the event and he was already leaving her anyway. Yorick and Hero are still alive. Hero isn't seen here but she is supposedly making her way back to her mother. Meanwhile, Yorick is actually reunited with his mother in this compound where the most consequential decisions are being made. Everyone is susceptible to the idea that the government is hiding something. It fuels the growing crowds outside the compound. They demand answers. They want their political leaders to be honest with them. When Jennifer shows up to calm rising tensions, she knows how to do so expertly. And yet, people can still easily get whipped up into a frenzy. Kim can immediately rally the troops by her side in support of Regina's newly discovered claim to the presidency. The government believed that everyone in the line of succession was killed by this event. The only women serving died from accidents caused by all the men suddenly dying off. That's not true. Regina is found alive in Israel. She has survived incredible odds to heal from this ordeal. She isn't out of the woods just yet. A political war is brewing. Kim feels the urgency to have her voice represented and respected in the room. She knows so much of the intricate details of how this operation works. She forms those personal connections. She also expresses her grief as being on a different magnitude than others suffering in this world. She lost her father, husband and children. She was a conservative activist with power previously. And now, that may be the only detail that's left to define her. As such, she represents a thorn in Jennifer's side who knows exactly how to unearth the secrets that are being kept in this government. Yorick isn't safe in this building. Nor does he want to be the special savior who can revive the world to what it once was. He just wants to be with Beth. That remains steadfast in his heart. He doesn't want this responsibility. It's his whether he likes it or not. He has to accept it. He doesn't have the privilege of being in denial. He is different for some reason. That must be discovered as quickly as possible. His presence remains a potent secret though. It's one that Agent 355 feels the need to protect above all else. She loyally serves the President. She leads this mission. She protects Yorick. But it's also perfectly reasonable to assume that she sabotages a helicopter to kill the pilots who are also aware of this secret. She inspired them to take up this cause by playing to their ambitions of something greater in service of their country. They are easily manipulated because they had to have bought into that sense of patriotism at some point in order to enlist in the military. Agent 355 is different entirely from the people who traditionally fill this power space. Yorick picks up on that right away. She too represents a secret that only the President is trusted to know. That's a ton of power that now resides in Jennifer. She is trusted to use it responsibly. The show makes the argument that she is worthy of that. All of this could easily be corroded based on the power dynamics influx at all times. The world may only survive if Jennifer leads the charge. And yet, she must also be held accountable for her actions in the wake of criticisms. She has navigated it all well so far. The task is getting increasingly harder because it's become clear that her family is special and others will begrudge her for that. Hope and inspiration come in many forms. Hearing a song on the radio for a few seconds is enough for Nora and her daughter. It takes much more to establish and build on trust. That's even more perilous in a world trying to maintain order when so many divisions still exist.