Hello and welcome to Laughing Place’s regular recap of the science-fiction/drama Y: The Last Man. The seventh episode of the series, entitled “My Mother Saw a Monkey,” was released today via FX on Hulu.
“My Mother Saw a Monkey” begins with Ampersand the monkey looking over the dead corpses of a human and a dog, while Agent 355 siphons gas from a car. Dr. Mann gives Yorick a physical examination and he tries to convince her to apologize to Sarah. They take an abandoned RV for their cross-country trip to San Francisco and pass a sign that says “Do Not Stop for Hitchhikers.” Y tells Mann about his magic act, and she challenges him by tying his wrists in a knot. Driving up front, 355 starts to fall asleep and crashes into a tree. After the opening credits, we see Dr. Mann recovering from the crash and finding Yorick unconscious but alive. She exits the RV and sees that Sarah has left the vehicle and disappeared. Mann spots three approaching jeeps and flags them down, but the occupants end up holding her at gunpoint.
At the Pentagon, the stealth team debrief President Brown and Senator Oliver about their mission, claiming that they saw a man. Brown says the person was probably transgender. Considering the soldier was tranquilized, Brown tells her, “Your memory isn’t exactly reliable.” The soldier goes on to say that the man had a monkey on his soldier, and Brown leaves, telling her aides to have the soldiers reassigned. In her mother’s Marla Campbell’s bedroom, Kimberly Cunningham complains about the adulation Jennifer Brown is receiving. “She called daddy a sexist to score some cheap political points, and now she sits in his chair.” The former First Lady says Regina Oliver is a nutjob, and tells Kimberly just to lay on the bed and watch M*A*S*H with her. Yorick wakes up in a strange bed and finds an unknown woman lying next to him. He looks around for Ampersand but can’t find him.
Y goes upstairs and starts hearing Ampersand screeching. He grabs a trophy to use as a weapon, but is stopped before he can attack his captors, who are gathered around a kitchen table with the monkey in its carrier. Later, Yorick is interrogated by these women, and asks if he can remove Ampersand from his cage. He says he doesn’t know how he or the monkey survived the cataclysm, and asks how this group has electricity. “Teamwork,” one of them responds, asking if there are other survivors. “I hope so,” he says. Y asks where 355 and Dr. Mann are, explaining that he was doing a magic trick when they got in the accident. We cut to Sarah waking up in the woods with a head wound and looking around. She discovers a different car, on fire, having crashed after apparently being attacked. She spots a necklace on one of the victims and then reaches up to her own neck to find nothing.
Evidently this turns out to be a dream or a memory, because 355 then wakes up in a locked prison cell with Dr. Mann banging on the door to be let out. Mann explains to Sarah what happened, telling her that Yorick was taken off somewhere unconscious. “Tell me everything you can remember,” says 355. Mann says there were four or five of them, and that they were armed. “They all had guns.” Mann asks what the plan is, but Sarah responds angrily about the last time she came up with a plan. At the Pentagon, President Brown gives a speech outside, saying that buses will be arriving soon to take the protestors outside of the city, but that people are welcome to stay if they wish. She spots someone in the crowd and tells the guards to let her through, calling her “Beth.” Brown brings Beth into her private quarters and they both say they haven’t seen Hero, and Beth tells Brown what happened to her family.
Beth says she was on her bike when the cataclysm hit, and woke up in triage. She made it back to her street but couldn’t bring herself to go into her house. “I can’t believe you’re the president,” Beth says. “Don’t get me started.” Senator Oliver meets with Kimberly and her mother discussing the possibility of taking down President Brown with a coup. When Oliver mentions the soldiers having seen a man with a monkey, Marla drops her glass, shattering it on the ground. At the remote farmhouse, Yorick says he’d really like to see his friends now. “We have not decided what we are going to do with you yet,” responds one of his captors. One of the women asks Y who Beth is, since he said her name in his sleep. “She’s my girlfriend and I don’t know where she is.” More women approach from the woods and Yorick asks who they are. “The welcoming committee,” he’s told.
In their cell, Agent 355 removes her shoelace to use as a weapon, deducing that the community outside is made up of escaped convicts. Sarah tells Dr. Mann about the list of scientists made at the Pentagon, and that Mann was disqualified from the list because of her association with the Saudis. “Stay awake from Yorick. Stop putting those ideas in his head.” 355 starts to look faint, and Dr. Mann looks at her head wound. “You need a doctor.” Sarah rolls her eyes. “I’m not that kind of doctor,” Mann says. Mann asks if 355 has anyone who knows her real name like a husband, wife, or family. “Dead,” Sarah responds. “It was a long time ago. I was 12. Car accident.” Suddenly Y is brought into the cell and tells them everything he’s seen at the house. Sarah thinks they’re going to be killed by the convicts, but Yorick disagrees. “At least you’ll die ignorant,” says Dr. Mann.
At the Pentagon, Oliver and Kimberly how they’re going to best utilize the information they now have about Yorick having been there. “There’s an angry mob out there looking for someone to blame,” says Oliver. “We don’t just want the president. We want Yorick,” says Kimberly. “We have to bring him here and we have to use him to bring back men.” Kimberly plans to force President Brown to resign, “and we’ll be a nation of mothers again.” But Marla watches from her bedroom, disapprovingly. In her quarters, Brown asks Beth how she got to D.C. from New York. “I walked,” Beth responds. She asks if Brown knows if there’s anyone responsible for the cataclysm. “I would love somebody to blame,” Brown says. Beth tells Brown that Yorick proposed to her before the event. “I should have said ‘yes.’ He shouldn’t have been alone.” Brown lies that Y hasn’t been found.
President Brown is called away to be told about a new strain of the flu that’s going around, and she tells her aide to stay with Beth. “She doesn’t know.” Christine tells Beth about life in the Pentagon: “There’s not a lot of downtime.” Beth asks if anyone could get in. “No, of course not. It’s the Pentagon,” Christine responds. Marla, still in her nightgown, storms into the briefing room: “You made me think I was crazy,” she says to President Brown. The two argue for a minute and Marla leaves. “Let’s be respectful. Let’s get back to it,” says Brown, trying to regain composure in the room. In the prison cell, Agent 355 continues tying her shoelaces together while Yorick says they probably aren’t going to survive a confrontation because of Sarah’s head wound. He challenges her to a fight so she can prove her skills, and 355 easily takes him down while Dr. Mann looks on, but Sarah ends up vomiting from the exercise.
The cell door opens and a woman asks, “Who puked?” She says they can choose if they want to stay and be looked after by a doctor, or walk out of town. They choose to stay because 355 is sick. At the Pentagon, Kimberly berates Marla for barging into the war room. Marla says they should “go home” and live at their home in Lynchburg, but Kimberly says the dam burst and the whole town is under debris and mud. “I’m sorry; I thought you knew.” Kimberly says there’s hope now, because God has chosen Yorick Brown to bring in the next era of men. “There is no God. What more proof do you need?” the former First Lady responds. “I promise you’re wrong,” says Kimberly, and Marla breaks down crying as Kimberly starts praying. In her bedroom, President Brown lets Beth use her shower and offers her the use of her bed. “I can’t stay,” says Beth. “I just wanted to see you and talk to someone who loved him.”
Beth says she is staying with her friends on Lake Anna and they’ve got well water. Brown tries to give Beth a jacket, but she says she can’t wear something with the presidential seal on it outside. “If you need me, you know where to find me,” Brown says as Beth leaves. At the farmhouse, Yorick helps Agent 355 settle into a bed to rest, and she asks him for a favor: “Keep your mouth shut. Don’t trust anybody.” Sarah promises Y that he won’t have to take care of her like this again. “I promise.” Outside, Yorick finds that the residents are having a cookout down the road, and he is offered to join. The woman he woke up with earlier approaches him and asks him about his career as an escape artist. “You couldn’t get out of that cell?” Y explains that it’s mostly Houdini-type stuff like straitjackets and water tanks. This woman tells Yorick about the women living here and how they wound up in prison.
Other women argue about the decision to let the newcomers stay, when suddenly the lights go out. “Gotta preserve what we have,” explains Yorick’s new friend. At the Pentagon, Marla descends further into depression, while Kimberly walks the halls and finds a photo of Yorick on the memorial board. She tears it down and keeps it, then returns to her mother’s room to find her gone and a note in her place. We cut to the roof, where Marla jumps to her death. Kimberly panics and screams in the hallway, waking everyone up, including President Brown. We see Beth leaving the complex and knocking on the door of a van, which she gets inside. A woman asks what it was like in there. “Food, water, power. It’s like a time machine. But it could all fall apart… it wouldn’t take much.”
New episodes of Y: The Last Man are released Mondays via FX on Hulu.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.