The Day Before
Episode 1 of Y: The Last Man begins with the world ravaged. Cars litter the streets, the deceased lie face-down on the floor while the entire city has ground to a halt. We’re three weeks after a deadly event that’s decimated the male population and a monkey happens to be scavenging for gear.
As a helicopter plunges to the ground, Yorick – our central character – bursts out and saves the animal before it’s too late. This is the last male left on the planet, and his presence is about to change everything.
Before we find out though, we jump back to the day before this big incident. Yorick practices magic with his friend Fred, although him leaving for magic camp throws a big spanner in the works.
Yorick heads off to Brooklyn to see his sister Hero, needing cash. She begrudgingly hands it over, but warns the guy away from proposing to Beth, his girlfriend. Given he’s struggling to afford rent, this doesn’t seem like a very sound plan!
Over in Washington, Yorick’s Mum Jennifer happens to be working in the government as a congresswoman. She’s pretty well-respected, although her life is about to change forever.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, the first signs of this plague starts to manifest itself. With a dead deer lying on the ground ominously next to the road, a young woman known simply as Agent 355 works as an assassin. She blows up her target inside their own house, before being given an urgent new assignment. She’s going to Washington.
Meanwhile, we get our first taste of Yorick’s girlfriend, Beth. She berates her students and swears relentlessly, along with talking with her mouth full. Anyway, Yorick sits with her and proposes.
As he drops to his knees, retorting “f*cking marry me” (very romantic) the pair end up fighting as Beth refuses to let him come to Australia with her.
After all, with Yorick dead-set on progressing his magic career, jet-setting halfway across the globe isn’t exactly a great step forward for him. Yorick ends up whining and berating how much effort he put into this proposal, with Beth taking the opportunity to make a quick getaway.
Speaking of getaways, a whole plague of rats come scurrying through the streets, showing an ominous sign of things to come. While this is going on, we jump over to Brooklyn to catch up with Hero. She comes to blows with her lover, Mike, who hasn’t exactly been forthcoming about his relationship with her.
As the pair argue in the back of the ambulance (given they’re both EMTs) she throws a fire extinguisher at his head, causing a fatal wound across the man’s neck.
While Mike bleeds out, we finally arrive at “The Morning Of.” Agent 355 prepares to go after her target, blending into the offices and posing as a security officer. In the same room happens to be the President and Jennifer, along with many other important figures. Before our assassin can strike though, all hell breaks loose.
News of a mass casualty event in Israel is followed by New York suffering from the exact same thing. Every male drops to the ground, bleeding from their orifices and causing mass hysteria. As we jump across to our various different female characters, the only male left happens to be Yorick. With screams outside, Yorick looks out with wide-eyed shock at what’s befallen the world.
The Episode Review
Admittedly I haven’t read the source material so I can’t comment on how well this handles the apocalypse but so far the show does a good job adding a sense of dread and a ticking clock countdown to this disaster. Quite how and why this has struck remains to be seen but already we’ve got a political slant in this.
There seems to be a trend in Hollywood to portray many male characters in an unflattering light and it’s something that’s evident here too. Hopefully with all of them dead now, it should go some way to alleviate this in the upcoming episodes.
Still, the show does have some heavy-handed themes that it plays with, along with a pretty unlikable protagonist. I mean if Yorick is the final male left alive in this future, god help us. Still, with three episodes available to watch, let’s jump straight into the next!