The season one, but hopefully not series, finale of Y: The Last Man is upon us. By the end, the creators made it fairly obvious who they truly saw as its hero — Nora (Marin Ireland), not 355 or our titular last man. Some background was revealed about the character, who had a huge breakthrough as she and her Daughters of the Amazon invade Marrisville, the town run by convicts where the last man also happens to be.
“Victoria” began in the past with a reunion of the Brown family. There’s soon-to-be President, but current Congresswoman, Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane), her husband Dean (Sam Robards), son Yorick (Ben Schnetzer), his girlfriend Beth (Juliana Canfield), and daughter Hero (Olivia Thirlby). The family is eating at a nice restaurant, placating Yorick’s odd idea for his would-be escape artist performance when Hero starts to drink too much and point out how tough this cis white male whose mother is in Congress must have it. The episode kept coming back to this scene because it was a succinct way to showcase multiple dynamics, most importantly that between Hero, Yorick, and Jennifer. Jennifer obviously has higher standards for Hero than Yorick, which is why she seems so resentful to both of them. We also see how Jennifer and Dean react to Beth’s news of a possible fellowship as opposed to any of Hero’s accomplishments, which further illustrates her inadequacy in her parent’s eyes. Eventually, after revealing she’s seeing a married man, Hero outs her father as a cheater, and the dinner ends abruptly. “I made a mess” Hero tells Sam (Elliot Fletcher) a little too late.
Back in the present, Hero, along with Nora and Roxanne (Missy Pyle) are about to make a mess too when they attempt to invade Marrisville. But first, Hero learns that the Pentagon has been overrun and the President has been shot. What she doesn’t know is that, at that point, her mother wasn’t the President, Regina was, but the revelation forces her to be a bit more introspective than usual. It’s a trait Roxanne could’ve used a bit more of. She leads the Daughters of the Amazon into Marrisville like an invincible warrior, only to very, very quickly be overwhelmed by the highly trained residents. Eventually, after seeing so many of her friends killed and Roxanne in the crosshairs of another gun, Nora surrenders on behalf of the group — and Roxanne is furious. More on that in a bit.
The night before the invasion, Yorick has sex with Sonia (Kristen Gutoskie) — with whom he had been developing quite the relationship — and 355 (Ashley Romans) had a nice night too, sleeping (just sleeping) with Allison (Diana Bang). Well, it was a nice night until she woke up to see the tracking device she thought she smashed in the last episode is back — her handlers have found her just as the Amazons begin to invade. Suddenly in battle mode, 355 orders Sonia to protect Yorick and Allison, and the three of them run off as 355 distracts some of the Amazons, but one woman notices something is wrong: Hero. She hears the trio flee into the woods and follows after them on horseback. She catches up quickly and prepares to fire when she and Yorick lock eyes. They’re both stunned that the other one is alive and Hero tells Yorick the fake news that their mother is dead. As that’s happening, Sonia is murdered by one of the Amazons, whom Hero subsequently kills in return. It’s clear that despite all the history, she still values her family over her new friends — seeing her brother alive probably helped.
After their surrender, Roxanne, Nora, and the rest of the surviving Amazons regroup. Roxanne tries to bully and intimidate Nora because she surrendered but Nora has had it. She goes off, delivering a powerful speech equating Roxanne’s methods of intimidation and mental grooming to the tactics of toxic men. Nora also reveals that what all of the Amazons are doing now — attempting to reinvent themselves while looking up to a powerful leader — is what she’s already done in her life. Here’s where the episode title comes into play; Nora was born “Victoria” but changed her name when she left home. She didn’t like her given name because it reminded her too much of her mother’s expectations. And with that information, along with its parallel to their situation, Nora kills Roxanne. It’s the culmination of Nora’s season-long evolution into a powerful, graceful leader. She tells the Amazons that she won’t treat them like Roxanne did and that they’ll rise to power on their own.
On the other side of the coin, Jennifer has lost all her power. After escaping the Pentagon, she finds herself with Beth at her home in DC, attempting to figure out what’s next. She and Beth have words about the invasion but before anything can happen… Sam shows up. He’s been looking for Jennifer since he left Hero with the Amazons and lets them know a.) Hero is alive and b.) Their house is about to be invaded. The episode hits us with all of that at the beginning and lets the audience almost forget what happens in between, before circling back at the very end. Jennifer, Beth, and Sam have now found themselves in some kind of captivity, held by The Culpa Ring, the group Agent 355 works for. Meanwhile, the mysterious new tracker led 355 to fresh supplies, a car, and an order to come in to regroup. So, with Yorick and Allison in tow, Yorick is going to see his mum and girlfriend, 355 is about to see her bosses, and this journey just got a whole new angle. Unfortunately, that’s where the episode, and thereby the season, ends.
“Victoria” was an excellent episode of Y0 The Last Man, packed with story, reveals, action, and real human emotion. For the most part, the debut season was very hit or miss in terms of great, must-see episodes, but this one certainly was. If we never see what happens next for Yorick and all the women who think he’s the key to the survival of the species, at least the show went out with a super solid episode. With FX on Hulu not picking up Y: the Last Man there’s no guarantee but the creators and actors are pushing to get picked up elsewhere. If that doesn’t happen we also may never learn more about the tragic revelations of how 355 lost her whole family or find out if Kimberly (Amber Tamblyn) finds Yorick, who she sees as the answer to everything.