Y:THE LAST MAN – Season 1 Episode 8 – SPOILERS
This episode is a side trip into the story of the Daughters of the Amazons, another point of significant departure from the comics. In the comics the Daughters are led by a feminist intellectual named Victoria. She is replaced in the TV version by Roxanne (Missy Pyle), who claims to be a former homicide detective, and about whom we learn a great deal in this episode. Previously, we saw how Yorick’s sister Hero (Olivia Thirlby) was persuaded to join Roxanne’s cult. This time it’s Nora (Marin Ireland), the former press liaison for the deceased President Cunningham, who has membership issues.
In the first episode, we saw the pre-Event President taking target practice and insisting that Nora take a few shots even though he knows she’s never held a gun in her life. In this episode, Hero’s best friend Sam (Elliot Fletcher) is confronted with a similar situation when Roxanne insists he take target practice with the rest of the group. He accedes reluctantly, but leaves the group that evening. (Sam is all right, though. He happens upon an abandoned school and Principal Hetty Blackwell (Nicky Lawrence), an unreasonably optimistic person who maintains the school, convinced that someday the children will return.)
Nora stayed with President Cunningham, whose values she clearly did not share, all the way up until his death, and we might therefore expect her to remain similarly loyal to Roxanne. Nora’s last name is Brady, and this brings to mind James Brady, the assistant to Ronald Regan after whom the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was named.
Director Karena Evena makes adroit use of flashbacks throughout the episode, and through those flashbacks we learn about Roxanne’s past history and how the Daughters of the Amazon came to be. We find out that she once stole a boxed set of LAW & ORDER DVDs. (Coincidentally, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, who co-wrote this episode with Tian Jun, appeared in the 2010 LAW & ORDER episode “Immortal” as Delia Snow.) Roxanne, who spent most of her working life at PriceMax in one capacity or another, seems to have gotten her considerable talent for psychological manipulation from watching cop shows on television.
A slip of the tongue by Nicole (Sydney Meyer) lets Nora know she is soon to be expelled from the group. She tries to make an alliance with Sam, who is also alienated, but he declines, saying he doesn’t trust her. Her daughter doesn’t want to leave, and so, faced with a dire situation, Nora waits until the group is passed out after a night of drinking (around a campfire which was conveniently left burning) and sets fire to the PriceMax warehouse. Everyone gets out in time (hopefully including the horse) but the building and all the supplies it contains is completely destroyed.
The next morning, Nora happens to walk to the nearby river and comes upon a half-submerged state police car. In it she finds a dead trooper and Roxanne’s old ID, and discovers that Roxanne was actually assistant manager of the PriceMax and had been taken into custody just before The Event. After making Roxanne an offer she can’t refuse, Nora becomes her speechwriter in return for a spot in Roxanne’s inner circle and dibs on food for herself and her daughter whenever a shortage arises. At episode’s end, Roxanne delivers a rousing speech and the Daughters of the Amazon are reinvigorated.
Showrunner Eliza Clark tweeted on 17 October: “We have learned that we will not be moving forward with FX on HULU for Season 2 of Y:THE LAST MAN. I have never before in my life been more committed to a story, and there is so much more left to tell…We are committed to finding Y its next home”
A petition has been launched to “Renew and save Y: The Last Man for a season 2 and above“.