Friday, January 28, 2022

Y: The Last Man: Where Season 2 Could Go

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SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Victoria,” the Season 1 finale of Y: The Last Man.

Y: The Last Man‘s Season 1 finale forged new paths for many of its characters. After Marrisville’s bloody showdown between its ex-con residents and the Daughters of the Amazons, Yorick was forced to flee with 355 and Allison Mann in tow, only to run right into the Culper Ring’s plans for them. The Daughters of the Amazons retreated to lick their wounds and installed a new leader by force: Nora, now going by her birth name Victoria. Meanwhile, the President’s pregnant aide Christine and the former President’s daughter Kimberly went on the run together to escape the rioters at the Pentagon. That’s a lot of loose threads — but showrunner Eliza Clark knows exactly how she wants to tie them up.

Speaking to CBR, Clark offered a glimpse of what’s to come in Y: The Last Man Season 2, should the series be picked up at another network following its cancellation by FX. She teased answers about the Culper Ring’s intentions and machinations, as well as Allison’s research and its possible ties to the event that killed off everything with a Y chromosome. She explained how Kimberly’s sex dream sets her up to find a new religion in Season 2 and why Christine “better run” as far away from her as she can. She also discussed Sam’s “long-term” story on the show, the latest update on her search for a home for Season 2 and more.

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CBR: Allison Mann was in the middle of her experiments when we found her, and now she’s beginning to show some doubt about the path she’s chosen. Would you say that has always existed for Allison? How will she continue to explore this?

Eliza Clark: Yeah, I think Allison’s bravado is — like for many people who have that kind of bravado — it is hovering over imposter syndrome. I think we’re gonna find out a lot more about the experimentation that she has been doing on herself and her family and how her research may or may not have contributed to the event.

I think she has a lot of secrets for somebody who claims to be like, “I tell it like it is!” I think that Alison is actually hiding quite a bit and for her, as she’s sort of starting to fall for 355, I think that that is opening her up to this vulnerability, the same way it is for 355. I think relationships, romance, all of this stuff kind of starts to crack you open. I think it’s ultimately a good thing! I mean, Season 2, I think, is going to explore a lot of what has happened for Allison and get at the question of whether or not she can actually save the world.

Yorick and Agent 355 find Dr. Mann in Y: The Last Man

I feel like we’re also getting a softer, more vulnerable 355, in the most 355 way possible. How will the show continue to peel those layers back? And where is that relationship with Allison headed?

At the end of Season 1, they have coordinates to go to the Culper Ring, and we know — the audience knows — that the Culper Ring is in possession of Beth, Sam and Jennifer. So I think what’s exciting about 355, in this version — you know, in Episode 9, she’s broken her tracer and basically said, “I’m leaving this part of my life behind,” but in Episode 10, it’s not going away and they’re calling her in. When you have Allison say, at the very end of the episode, “They’re like your family, right?” and that sort of uncertainty for 355…

I think she, over the course of this season, has really been questioning whether she’s been a force for good or for evil in this world. Essentially, at the beginning of Season 2, she’s on her way home, to the only home she’s ever known since she was 12 years old. I think that will crack some things open for her. I think it’ll create some new complications.

I also think that her relationship — the romance with Alison — and her new friendship with Yorick, where she’s actually starting to see their value beyond just what they can do for the mission, but just their value as human beings, I think is opening her up in ways that are both exciting and terrifying for her.

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Now that Jennifer, Beth and Sam are being held captive by the Culper Ring, how worried should we be for them?

I mean, I think you should be worried. We’ll see. The second season will explore what the Culper Ring is, what they do and what they want. I think, if Season 1 is people surviving this event, Season 2 becomes living with it and the new world really beginning. The Culper Ring is an interesting — obviously, they have a bunch of our major characters colliding. It’s going to be exciting. I don’t want to give anything away!

With Sam, who is a new character in the Y: The Last Man canon, what did you consider most important for him to bring to the series? What did you know he needed to have as you were crafting his character?

Yeah, I mean, the gender diversity of the show, and what’s interesting is both Sam and Yorick are less angry characters than the women in the show. I would say that the men are — I mean, Sam gets to the point of anger, but he has to really be pushed by Hero.

The gender diversity of the show was one of the things I was most interested in doing with the adaptation. I never wanted to make anything that was essentialist. I think, if we get a Season 2, somewhere else, you’ll see that pushed even further. I’ll just say I don’t think that any story… that is talking about womanhood should not include trans women. So you’ll see! To be continued!

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But with regards to Sam, it was really important to me to have this character, but also for his story to not be defined by being trans. There’s a long game for Sam in the story and the long-term storytelling of the series. I don’t want to give away where he’s gonna go, but I think that being a visible man in this world is one part of his story.

Another big part of his story is, “What does it look like to be an artist?” He’s in his mid-20s, and he has just gotten to a place where he feels like maybe he could make a life as an artist when the world ends. I think, for him, it’s like, “Is there even art in this world? And if there isn’t, then who am I? Who will I become? How will I find a way to express myself?”

Elliot Fletcher is just an incredible actor, who can kind of do anything. So, there will be — like with all the characters — I think, major transformations on the horizon. I think Sam, in this season, has finally stood up for himself and has finally tapped into the anger that he feels at Hero. I think that will put him in a new place in Season 2.

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The season finale leaves Christine and Kim stranded outside the Pentagon. What’s in store for this odd couple, now that they’ve been stripped of the comforts of the Pentagon?

That’s a Season 2 firestorm! Very exciting. Christine, I think, is terrified. She’s pregnant, she’s not even sure — you know, I think she’s not sure what motherhood can look like in this new world. I think, by the time she talks to Jennifer in Episode 9, she has decided that maybe she does want to be a mom. But also there’s an ambivalence about the pregnancy that, I think, is scary for her. Then this woman who has been up in her business for the entire season and who she basically hates has now killed somebody to save her life. I think that that creates a bond between them, but it’s a tenuous bond.

And Kimberly, I love the moment in Episode 10 where she has the sex dream about Yorick, and I don’t think Kimberly has ever had a dream like that before. I think that, even in her dreams prior to the event, she was probably a little bit more chaste. This is an sex dream where she’s in charge and there’s… almost a violence to it. I think, when she wakes up, she’s so stirred by it, that she’s going to interpret that as a sign from God.

So I think what we will see in Season 2 is Kimberly’s interpretation of God’s message that she is going to be the woman who brings men back. I think it’s her idea that Yorick is going to give her a baby and I think you’ll see Kimberly’s trajectory going away from Christianity and towards a new kind of religion that maybe centers her and the idea that if Christine’s baby is Eve, maybe Kimberly and Yorick will have Adam.

Christine has her work cut out for her!

Yeah, Christine better run! [laughs]

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What do you hope viewers take away from Season 1?

I mean, I hope that people enjoyed the ride. I hope that people want to see more. I think that the show is, first and foremost, about these interesting and complicated characters and people grappling with who they are, who they were and who they’re going to become.

But I think ultimately, the show does have an optimistic point of view that, that the world can actually change. Right now, I think we’re seeing that it’s changing in bad ways, but I think a place like Marrisville offers the hope that communal living and community is possible. Yeah, I just hope people are excited for the adventures to come. I mean, it’s a road trip, and it’s sort of a journey into what a new world could look like.

Y: The Last Man was canceled before Season 1 wrapped, but you’ve expressed interest in shopping the show around to other networks in hopes of landing a Season 2. Has there been any progress on that front?

Not anything that I can talk about yet, but I am very hopeful and optimistic. I think that when you watch the back half of the season in particular, and especially the last four episodes, don’t you definitely want to see what comes next? That’s how I feel! I feel like this show will go somewhere else, and I’m hopeful about it.

All ten episodes of Y: The Last Man Season 1 are now streaming on Hulu.

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