Episode 7 takes on a Walking Dead tone as Yorick, 355 and Allison start on their road trip for real, then immediately take a side trip to a newly formed, slightly sinister community. Jennifer receives a surprise visitor at the Pentagon. Captain Nguyen’s official report after her encounter with Yorick and friends at the church in episode 6 has unexpected ramifications for Kim and Marla.
The episode begins with a slice of life in No Men Land- Amp crawls past dead human and animal bodies. 355 (Ashley Romans) inhales gasoline out of a hose in an attempt to siphon gas from a truck’s tank for the gang’s recently acquired RV. And Allison (Diana Bang) uses a flashlight to examine Yorick’s (Ben Schnetzer) physical health while he worries about how badly they hurt 355’s feelings when they tried to ditch her in episode 6. Yorick wants to apologize to 355, but Allison isn’t sorry, since 355 lied to and endangered them before they tried to run out on her. Allison sees their choices as tough love.
When 355 brings her pilfered gas to the RV, Yorick over praises the effort instead of apologizing. She stays stonefaced, but tells him and Allison they can ride in the back of the camper. Allison sarcastically tells Yorick that his “apology” worked.
They drive through a gorgeous pine forest and cross a river, passing a sign facing in the other direction which says “Notice: Do Not Stop For Hitchhikers”. Oops. That means there’s a prison in the area and hitchhikers are most likely escaped criminals. But prisons also make the best post-apocalyptic bunkers, so it’s only fitting that the show go there sooner rather than later.
355 drives, obviously, sitting up front by herself, while in the back Yorick teaches Allison about escape artistry. He’s thought through his philosophy as a performer and explains to her that the audience will take relatable circumstances more seriously than life and death jeopardy, since no one believes you’re risking your life for a routine magic show.
“Life and death is too theoretical…” It’s not as theoretical now as it used to be, in the Y world or ours.
Yorick has Allison tie a rope around his wrists so he can escape from it. Meanwhile, 355 dozes off in the drivers seat, driving straight into a tree. Darn it. The RV seemed like such a great find and it gave me such warm The Walking Dead: The Early Years vibes.
All 3 humans are knocked out. Allison wakes up first. She checks on Yorick as Amp chatters at her. His crate protected him. Yorick is alive, but stays unconscious. 355 has already wandered off, probably in a semiconscious state. Several jeeps pull up, blinding Allison with their bright headlights. She’s happy to see them, until the soldiers point guns at her.
At the Pentagon, Captain Nguyen (Marianna Phung) gives her report on the mission to track down 355 and her companions. Jennifer (Diane Lane), Regina (Jennifer Wigmore), Christine (Jess Salgueiro) and General Peggy Reed (Yanna McIntosh) all sit in on the meeting. 355 left her knife in Nguyen’s leg, which she shows to her superiors, guessing its origin is either CIA or foreign. She tells them that the soldiers in Boston said 355 was looking for Allison and that the third man in the church was a literal man, as in, she’s sure he had a Y chromosome.
Jennifer questions how she could identify the person in question’s chromosomes from 10 feet away. There’s also the suggestion that Nguyen’s memory is unreliable, since she was drugged and knocked unconscious. Plus, the man could conceivably have been trans and it was dark, though they don’t mention that. Neither of the other women on Nguyen’s team saw Yorick, adding to the confusion. Nguyen is certain of what she saw and feels Yorick’s Y chromosome explains why 355 would protect him and seek out a geneticist.
Jennifer cautions Nguyen to be certain of what she saw before she starts rumors that they can’t control, since they’re already in a volatile situation, referring to the protesters camped outside the building. To prove her case, Nguyen describes the man she saw. She adds that he had a monkey on his shoulder, which makes her story sound even less likely, unless you know it’s true. Jennifer ends the meeting, privately telling Christine to reassign Nguyen and her team so they can’t cause anymore damage. Jennifer is secretly thrilled to get confirmation that Yorick is alive, but tries to hide her emotions. General Peggy looks thoughtful.
As Jennifer prepares to give a speech to the crowd outside the Pentagon, she asks for Christine’s advice on her outfit. Christine assures her that she’s found the right balance. A woman walks purposefully through the crowd outside.
Kim (Amber Tamblyn) complains about the housekeeping service in her post-apocalyptic bunker as she goes through her closet searching for clothes that Christine could use as maternity clothes. “Moths in the Pentagon!” Marla (Paris Jefferson) continues to rewatch old episodes of MASH and mostly ignore Kim. She does tell her daughter that her pillows are not available for use by Christine, Kim’s new project, and that her husband, the former president, agreed with Jennifer in thinking that Regina is a nut case. Kim gets frustrated with her mother and tries to turn the TV off, which leads to Marla lashing out at her. Marla suggests that Kim doesn’t feel much over her children’s deaths. Kim insists she’ll see them again. Marla replies, “Yeah, when you’re dead.” Kim is speechless.
Yorick is naked and in bed with a strange woman. Wait, the nice lady who put an ice pack on his head and relieved him of those constricting garments is Kristen Gotoskie, who played Beth on The Handmaid’s Tale and Katie in Containment. You lucked out, Yorick.
Yorick is a good dad. His first thought when he wakes up in a strange bed, naked, with a strange woman, is his monkey. He picks up a couple of pillows for camouflage and goes looking for Amp.
Marla and Yorick have some weird things in common- they’re both devoted to their pillows and cuddling, their hobbies, their children/loved ones and their partners, even in the face of adversity and when it goes against common sense. They both have strong emotional intelligence and empathy underneath what appears to be a lack of practicality, but is actually a different set of priorities from most people.
It’s hard out here for a Hufflepuff.
Yorick finds some clothes to put on as he wanders the house, then follows Amp’s chattering to the kitchen, where several women and a (trans) man are cooking and talking. They take Yorick outside for twenty questions and a family style meal around a big table. He has abrasions and bruising on his wrists from the ropes Allison had just tied when the RV crashed. Turns out the women who found him assumed 355 and Allison were holding him hostage. They reassure him that he’s safe now and there’s a whole thing with him trying to convince them he’s not a prisoner, in addition to them having seen the evidence that he has a Y chromosome.
Yorick is VERY excited to see toast- must have been a while since he had a civilized meal with some nice warm bread. He’s not a terribly linear or pessimistic thinker, so it takes a minute for him to catch up to where the new characters are. Then he gets scared for Allison and 355.
355 wakes up on the ground, a ways from the RV, her forehead dripping blood. When she turns back toward the crash site, a burned out station wagon has replaced the camper. The bodies of a man and a woman hang out of the doors. 355 walks closer and stares at the bodies. She focuses on the woman’s necklace, which is similar to or might be the necklace that was in her Culper Ring box? She clutches at her neckline, then looks at her hands as if she expects them to be bloody, but they’re clean. The car’s blinker is still flashing red. It reflects in 355’s eye.
I think we’re meant to assume that was a car crash on initial viewing, but the woman’s neck looked like it could have been garroted by the necklace. The combination of the postures of the bodies and the burned out look of the car make me think this was a murder/lynching staged to pass as a crash.
355 wakes up from the nightmare/hallucination/memory in a prison cell. Allison, who never accepts anything quietly, is already banging on the door and yelling for someone to let them out. She tells 355 what happened. 355 sits up, stands up and lurches across the room. Since this is me every morning from my chronic dizziness, I feel confident in saying she has a concussion. Nevertheless, she starts to work the case (also me every morning 😉). Allison dutifully answers her questions about the facility and personnel, but it devolves into the argument they need to have to resolve their issues.
Allison is clearly worried about 355 and ready to do whatever is necessary as part of the team, though she’s not ready to completely trust 355 and expects that her intelligence will be respected. 355 has clearly been screwed over too many times to trust anyone, possibly ever. She prefers to work alone, preferably with explosives involved. Gun powder is a girl’s best friend, y’all. But it’s nice they have this time alone together to get to know each other better without Yorick getting in the way. 😉
Jennifer makes a speech outside the Pentagon encouraging the protesters to take advantage of the camps the Feds have set up some distance away which will provide food, shelter, medical care, etc. Buses are waiting to take everyone there who wants to go. She barely finishes her sentence when she sees a woman she recognizes in the crowd and rushes to the fence, telling them to let the woman through- it’s Yorick’s ex-girlfriend, Beth (Juliana Canfield).
Once inside, Beth asks about Hero and Jennifer asks about Beth’s mom. Her mom had cancer and died shortly after The Event. The doctors were so busy they didn’t have time to take care of cancer patients. Beth didn’t make it to Ohio in time. She says she was riding her bike when The Event happened. She woke up in the hospital but wasn’t badly injured, so she walked back to her apartment building. When she got there, she couldn’t bring herself to go inside and look at Yorick in that condition. Jennifer cheerfully offers to have some food sent up and they marvel that she’s the President.
Yorick’s (assumed) death is brushed aside. No tears are shed by either woman. This isn’t normal behavior for a mother or a girlfriend/almost fiance.
Kim and Regina meet in the Campbell-Cunningham rooms for a political strategy session. Regina isn’t biting on any of Kim’s conspiracy theories. She wants Jennifer out of office, but she seems to have been freed from certain beliefs and obligations by the death of the men, while Kim can’t let go of them. Kim wants to go after Jennifer for the deaths of the helicopter pilots, but Regina doesn’t think there’s any proof that Jennifer ordered the hit.
Kim asks what the soldiers said happened when they tried to apprehend 355. Regina explains that the soldiers were tranquilized and confused. None of the descriptions fit Hero, but one soldier described seeing a man with a monkey on his shoulder. Marla, who is also in the room, drops her glass when she hears this, since the description fits the time she saw Yorick in the Pentagon in episode 3. At the time, Jennifer and others convinced Marla that she was seeing things, contributing to the former First Lady’s downward mental slide.
Yorick continues to argue that he wasn’t a prisoner. The women who are currently holding him insist that they aren’t holding him, but they can’t let him make decisions for himself, either, so he’s not allowed to leave. In their community, decisions are made as a group, so his decisions will be made for him by the group. As will Allison and 355’s.
Yorick tells them that he’s not valuable, in case they’re thinking of selling or trading him, a scenario he encountered in episode 2 in the dry cleaners. They mock him for thinking he’s special, since they already have at least one man on site.
Guessing that man, masculine though he may be, can’t father children the old fashioned way. I find it hard to believe that a few women wouldn’t take advantage of their only remaining shot at getting pregnant and keeping their community alive for a few more decades while scientists attempt to save humanity.
As they’re debating, Sonia asks who Beth is, explaining he said her name in his sleep. Yorick counters by asking why he woke up naked.
Yeah, Sonia may have already had her way with him. Janis (Mimi Kuzyk), the informal group leader, also wonders why Yorick was naked, so the group hasn’t already voted to rape him for baby making purposes. Sonia explains that he was a dirty, dirty boy. She couldn’t help but strip him naked. So she could do his laundry, obviously.
Yorick answers all of their questions fully and honestly, then another group arrives, referred to as the welcoming committee.
355 removes her shoelace to use as a garrote. Allison can’t figure out how this would be of any use, so 355 walks her through some logic. The building doesn’t smell, which means it’s a women’s rather than a men’s prison, so the inmates escaped rather than dying in their cells. That means they are probably being held by career criminals, who could be dangerous. Allison still thinks it’s pointless for one concussed agent with a shoelace to even try fighting whoever is on the other side of the door.
Which is funny when you realize that they’re on their way to San Francisco for Allison to save the world by herself in a lab that might not exist anymore. Allison believes in the power of the scientific brain to overcome overwhelming odds, but not in the strategic power of the warrior brain. As Yorick already instinctively knows, there’s power in holding the right hostage or the right weapon, no matter the size of the armies involved. And there’s power in persistence.
355 strikes back by telling Allison that there were plenty of other geneticists on the list before her name came up. Allison is insulted and starts in on an anti-government rant. 355 holds up her hand- she doesn’t care about Allison’s funding struggles. She just needs the scientist to take a step back and let her do her part of the mission in relative peace, without the second guessing and in fighting. When they get to San Francisco, Allison can be queen of the lab while 355 quietly stands guard.
Allison still won’t admit to influencing Yorick. I don’t think 355 cares about an apology, she just wants Allison’s cooperation in the future. Plus it’ll be an unduly stressful mission for Yorick if he’s running interference between the two of them the whole time, the way he was early in the episode.
After the yelling, 355’s concussion headache nearly makes her pass out. Allison finally shows a little compassion, rushing over to check on her. There’s nothing she can do, so instead she asks about 355’s family. 355 says they’re all dead. They died in a car accident when she was 12.
Then Yorick gets shoved into the cell, with the door locked behind him. The community wanted him out of the way while they meet to decide what to do with the three visitors, so instead of sending him to a bedroom or for a walk, they locked him in a cell. But he insists that they’re totally benign. Allison sides with 355 on this one- friendly, innocent folk don’t lock up every newcomer.
Kim and Regina are digesting the fact that Yorick is alive and was in the Pentagon, but they don’t have enough evidence to prove it. No one will believe Marla’s story. Kim’s calm, professional facade has been slowly cracking over the course of the season and this revelation finishes the job. “This building is packed with a bunch of atheist, Ivy League *ss kissers. They could be in on it.”
This conspiracy theory is too far, even for “nut case” Regina. She doesn’t believe Jennifer and her inner circle would condone killing the helicopter pilots.
But Kim convinces her to go along with it. After all, everyone else watched their children die horrible deaths, except for Jennifer. Then, in their minds, Jennifer seized the presidency. With this and the deaths of the pilots, they can approach members of the military and Jennifer’s own party to recruit allies. Grief, resentment and the lust for power will do their work for them, just as it did with Regina, who doesn’t believe Jennifer has done anything wrong, but will use the emotional story for her own purposes anyway.
Before long, Regina will probably forget she ever doubted the truth of their Big Lie- the belief that Jennifer contrived to keep her own son alive while all of the other sons died and has murdered anyone who got in her way or discovered her plans.
Regina: “Kim, there’s an angry mob out there looking for someone to blame.”
Kim: “We don’t just want the presidency. We want him. Yorick Brown. He is the key to putting the world back together again. He is the only thing that matters now.”
Regina: “You said he was a beta boy who did magic tricks.”
Kim: “God chose him! It is not up to us to question that. We have to bring him here and then we have to use him to bring back men!”
Regina: “Right. What good is an Alaskan wilderness full of oil if you don’t sink a couple of wells?”
Kim: “We’re gonna get proof. And then we’re gonna back her up against a wall. And she’s gonna be forced to resign. And then she’s gonna lead us to him. That’s the only way. And then all this pain and suffering will finally be over. And we’ll be a nation of mothers again.”
By the end of her speech, Kim is shaking with religious fervor, filled with a new strength. Marla is frozen and brittle, her pain having reached new depths. Regina is trying to keep up with Kim’s crazy zeal (or is it genius?).
Saint Yorick and the Cult of Mothers
This scene is probably one of the most important of the season. Until now, Regina and Kim have been rebels without a cause. Yorick has given them their purpose, their rallying point, both their saint, Yorick, and their sinner, Jennifer.
Regina has gone all shock jock warrior in look and demeanor and sorely misses her radio show now that she’s found the battle she’s meant to fight. Kim is trussed up in her Phyllis Schlafly suit, ready to interpret the signs from above to fit her chosen narrative of God, Country and Motherhood. Marla sinks deeper into sadness and depression in this scene as she watches her daughter’s mind slip away and thinks about everyone else she’s lost. Kim’s grief appears to be turning into psychosis, with delusions that by deposing Jennifer and finding Yorick they can turn back the clock and return to their old ways of life.
Jennifer would normally automatically receive Holy Mother status in their new cult, but Kim NEEDS to bring back men on her own religious terms, not science’s terms, so she intends to usurp the position of Most Holy Mother for herself. In order to seize control of the country, Regina needs to show Jennifer’s duplicity, even if there wasn’t any beyond what was necessary to keep Yorick (or any survivor with a Y chromosome) alive.
These two women intend to take control of Yorick and neither understand or care about science enough to realize that in doing so, they’ll probably doom the human race (and mammals in general). Jennifer’s best course of action might be to let the world know ASAP that Yorick, her beloved son, is alive due to some kind of scientific miracle which they are racing to understand and replicate ASAP and ask for the country’s thoughts, prayers and help in keeping him alive and well on his most sacred mission.
She needs to get in front of Kim and Regina’s plans in order to sap the energy out of them, turning the country’s attention to herself as the one with the plan and the power as both Mother and President. The two pilots were a threat to Yorick’s safety and Jennifer didn’t order the kills, but that can never be proven, since the op was off the books. She needs to keep the country’s focus on other matters, namely the importance of recovering from The Event and perpetuating the species, which is possible with 2 living male specimens. Attempting to keep Yorick a secret is only making things worse for Jennifer and Yorick.
Or else Yorick and Amp will need to go even deeper undercover, either with Yorick trying to pass as a woman or neither male poking his head out of their vehicle until they reach their destination. Given Yorick’s gregariousness and Amp’s curiosity, going deeper into hiding seems unlikely to work. Especially since the team already depends on his social skills.
Beth eats a plate of spaghetti while she tells Jennifer that she walked there from NY. She says her memory is patchy, which Jennifer assumes is due to trauma. Other people treat The Event like a natural disaster, but to Beth it feels like it was done with intent. She asks if Jennifer knows anything, but Jennifer deflects.
Beth confesses that Yorick proposed, but she said no. She loves him, but the timing and circumstances felt wrong. Yorick told Jennifer that Beth said yes, so she was about to say how happy she was about their engagement. Instead, Jennifer fumes silently (at Yorick) while Beth tells her about the fight they had the night before The Event. Now Beth wishes she’d said yes. It haunts her that he died alone because she refused to marry him.
Beth asks if his body was ever found in their apartment. Jennifer says he was identified using his drivers license, like most people. She’s the rare politician who’s a bad liar, so there’s a false note to her answer. I’m not sure Beth believed her. It’s felt a bit like Beth was pumping Jennifer for information throughout the conversation, so maybe she already knows Yorick wasn’t in the apartment.
Christine interrupts- Jennifer is needed in the War Room. Beth asks to tag along. When they arrive, an aide informs Jennifer that there’s an outbreak of influenza B in Greece. Jennifer tells her staff to check on their supplies of the flu vaccine. She reassures Beth that so few people are traveling it’s unlikely the outbreak will reach North America.
Then she asks Christine to keep an eye on Beth, warning her assistant that Beth doesn’t know Yorick is alive. Beth asks if they all live in the Pentagon. Christine explains that they turned some of the bullpens into dorms, answering a season-long question for the audience. Then Beth mentions how stressful the circumstances are and Christine tells her all about security at the Pentagon. The Secret Service is at quarter capacity, with many brand new agents. They had to barricade the subway entrance. The staff work constantly, since there are continuous emergencies to handle. But not to worry, they have everything under control!
Which is when Marla chooses to make her entrance, still in her nightgown. She stands in the raised doorway of the War Room, as if she’s on a stage, and says, “You made me think I was crazy.” Jennifer stands close to her and asks to go someplace private. Marla lowers her voice, but that’s it. “You weren’t even a good mother. It should have been Ted. Or my son. Or my grandbabies!”
She shouts the last part, then allows the Secret Service to escort her out. Jennifer turns to the room and tells them to be respectful and get back to work. Anyone who was looking for a sign that Yorick survived just got one. Beth was paying close attention.
Allison makes origami cranes while 355 and Yorick argue over whether 355 is healthy enough to fight. She refuses to do nothing to save herself, even if she is injured. He suggests she prove she’s in fighting shape by practice fighting with him.
She could be in a coma and beat him, so it’s brave of Yorick to offer.
But why does 355 have sexual chemistry with every cast member, even when she’s about to vomit? A mystery for the ages.
She accepts the challenge and tells Yorick she’s going to whip his butt with a shoelace, which is clearly a turn on for our beta boy. He goes down with a light shove, then she gives him the Winter Soldier stare. This only turns Yorick on more. She shoves him across the room. When he comes back for more, she’s in full Winter Soldier activation mode, getting him down on his knees and strangling him with the shoelace far longer and harder than is necessary to prove her point.
After Allison and Yorick yell for her to stop, 355 stumbles away and projectile vomits. Allison punches Yorick for hurting 355. Then 355 hits him for trying to comfort her. They quickly give 355 back the shoelace when Sonia opens the door.
The Yorick assault team is now fully assembled.
Sonia says the community vote is finished and they can stay in town while 355 recovers. Allison isn’t sure she wants to stay, so Sonia says they can drive the gang to the edge of town, but it’s a long walk to anywhere. There’s a doctor in town who’ll examine 355 tomorrow. 355 asks why they’re willing to help. Sonia replies, “Maybe H*ll isn’t other people.”
Marla barely hears Kim’s rant after her visit to the War Room. She just wants to get out of the Pentagon and go home to Lynchburg. She tells Kim they could be pioneer women and live on their family land. Kim is still annoyed and blurts out that they can’t go home. The dam burst and buried the house, land and whole town in mud and debris. Marla’s home is gone.
Kim assumed someone else had told Marla. Marla asks who else would have told her? She sinks down, defeated. Kim insists she cheer up, because Yorick Brown is their new hope and proof that God has a plan for them. Marla tells her there is no God. “What more proof do you need?”
I’m not clear on whether she’s referring to the choice of Yorick as the sole surviving man as the proof that there is no God, or just the overall situation. Either way, she’s done. Kim prays for Yorick and attempts to get her mother to join in, but Marla silently cries instead.
Beth takes a hot shower, since she hasn’t had one in months. When she gets out, she asks about Marla. Jennifer tells her that Kim’s sons were lying in bed with Marla, watching a movie, the morning they died. It’s been difficult for her to move past.
Jennifer made up her own bed for Beth and offers to sleep in the next room, but Beth doesn’t intend to stay. She just wanted to talk to Yorick’s mom. And she doesn’t want to take up a dorm spot in the Pentagon, since she’s not actually family. Jennifer points out that Beth is currently the closest thing she’s got to family, but Beth doesn’t want to stay. She says she’s staying with her friend Sidney on Lake Anna in a house with well water. Beth refuses the offer of one of Jennifer’s warm coats because it has a government insignia on it that might attract negative attention. Then she says a quick goodbye and leaves.
You’d think Beth would at least want to stay for a few days to eat some more hot meals, take another shower and do some laundry before she leaves. What’s the rush?
Yorick gently tucks 355 into bed. He lives for this stuff. As he’s pulling up the covers, she asks for a favor. He bends down, eager to promise her whatever she wants. She tells him to keep his mouth shut and don’t trust anybody, especially “that girl”. Oops, too late on all 3 counts. Then 355 promises that he’ll never have to take care of her again.
Oh, the damage that implies. These two. She doesn’t know how to trust or depend on anyone, even when her life depends on it. He trusts and takes care of everyone as if his life depends on it. I’m imagining little Yorick being very sweet and entertaining to stop his parents from arguing and Hero from getting into more trouble. 355 was likely taught that she’s more machine than person and weakness equals death.
Allison stands just outside the bedroom door. I’m not sure if 355 was referring to Allison or Sonia as “that girl”, but she doesn’t want him to trust anyone other than her, so it doesn’t really matter.
Yorick gets invited over to the community’s celebration, with live music, beer, food and twinkle lights. He and Sonia pair off right away- just to talk. She tells him that Janis is a good cook and good at lots of other things. She’s a murderer, but harmless now. She reads the work of activist Angela Davis.
The community vote was close, so Yorick decides to stay out of trouble. We’ll see how long that lasts. One of the residents, Dom (Mercedes Morris), gives Janis a hard time about letting them stay, even calling Janis stupid. She’s sure someone is chasing them and will bring trouble to Marrisville. Janis figures someone is looking for Yorick.
The lights go out in Marrisville at 9:00. Sonia says they need to preserve what they have.
Kim visits the Hall of Heroes and takes down a photo. Yorick’s? Marla slowly walks to the edge of the roof. Kim trades for peaches and excitedly tries to tell her mother about them. Marla jumps. Kim realizes something is wrong and runs into the main hall. She collapses, screaming.
Outside the Pentagon, Beth is picked up by several women in a van. She reports on conditions inside the Pentagon, telling them it wouldn’t take much to offset the equilibrium.
Priorities-Yorick looks for Amp first, then 355 and Allison. 355 looks for Yorick first. Allison only cares about the science, though she’s warming up to the other two by the end of the episode. She stays behind to look after 355 while Yorick goes to the party. Kim wants to replace the men she lost, thus restoring her position in society. To Marla, her lost loved ones are irreplaceable. Regina only cares about power and revenge. Though Jennifer feels the tragedy of the situation, it’s not clear that she lost anything or anyone near and dear to her. She’s shown so much strength post-Event that the resentment of others is understandable when you consider that both of her children survived (except she isn’t sure about Hero yet) and she got a big career boost to the highest office possible.
Music starts to play as 355 dozes off while driving. Is she a jazz singer/dancer in all of her most relaxed dreams?
Don’t know if it will ever come up again, but something to keep in mind as the breadcrumbs about 355’s past drop: In episode 5, Agent 525 (the 2nd agent at the house) wanted to kill the woman who was their mentor. It’s possible that when the Culper Ring found children with potential, they eliminated any ties to the outside world, such as their families. 355 is working through something in her subconscious. This realization may be part of it. Or this could be an innocent couple from another mission, or the random car crash her parents died in, as we’re meant to believe.
In the War Room, Marla didn’t outright reveal that Yorick is alive and that Jennifer is lying, but what she said will be enough to start rumors. She didn’t take Jennifer down, but she helped lay the groundwork for Kim and Regina to do so. Kim may even get some mileage from claiming that Jennifer made Marla think she was crazy, which helped drive her to suicide.
Marla had a warm, loving side, but Kim insisted that her mother was a savvy political strategist. That side showed in the way she staged the War Room encounter- loud, public, with herself as the pathetic victim and Good Woman, Wife And Mother. Jennifer insulted her husband the day before he died and made Marla think she was crazy before she killed herself. That’s how the legend will go. Standing there in her flowing white gown, the picture of the Lost Cause, the last official First Lady gave people permission to think of Jennifer as a cold, evil witch instead of a strong, competent woman.
Kim wants to believe that Regina will be loyal to her family, but it doesn’t appear that there’s any basis for that belief. Her appointment to the Cabinet was purely political, to keep the extremist wing of the Party happy. Ted and Regina both understood this. It’s odd that Kim doesn’t, but she needs her fantasies as much as Marla did. The niche she carved out for herself was in being the perfect mother who understood what little boys need. She needs to serve men and motherhood again to hold onto some form of her identity.
It seems that Kim is working toward an extremist position that she and/or the Conservatives are the only ones who want to restore normal reproduction or the only ones who respect the sanctity of reproduction enough to accomplish it. She won’t want to trust the Godless Liberals with re-establishing reproduction. Regina, on the other hand, has made it clear that she’s simply a spoiler who opposes whatever the other side is in favor of and remembers slights and grudges forever. Kim is the one with the potential to become a cult leader.
The cracks in Kim’s facade have been evident since the pilot, but she finally stops pretending in this episode and let’s all of her desperation and delusion out. She’s always measured her self worth according to the males she was attached to. Without men, or at least a small child to mother, she doesn’t exist to herself. Marla has also lived a life that’s secondary to the men in her life, but she’s still a person. She’s just deeply depressed because she’s lost almost everyone she cares about and she’s too old and tired to start over. If she’d had granddaughters who survived and were with her, she probably would have had a different outcome.
Neither Beth nor Jennifer cries or acts very sad that Yorick is (supposedly) dead. As it turns out, both are lying throughout their visit. Jennifer is so busy covering up her own lie that she doesn’t notice how stilted Beth’s emotions are. Maybe Beth is just supposed to be numb at this point, but my guess is that she knows Yorick is alive. He was leaving notes for her all over their neighborhood while traveling with a monkey. Then he was a cis man traveling with a monkey in Western Mass, Pennsylvania and Boston. He’s not terribly stealth if you already know him (or even if you don’t). Rumors would spread.
Beth is either a covert agent or with a resistance group who are most likely connected to the resistance Yorick met up with in Boston. Her conversations with Jennifer seemed to focus on confirming Yorick and Hero’s whereabouts, then Christine gave her the Pentagon security information she needed, almost without being prompted. Almost as if Christine is part of the resistance. Or maybe sympathetic to it.
Like 355, Christine was new to her job when The Event happened and conveniently placed near Jennifer. She could be another covert agent or she could be a resistance plant. Beth could have been monitoring Hero, Yorick and Amp, then pulled from the assignment for The Event. If whoever planned The Event also intended for Jennifer to become president, they may have had covert agents watching her and her family for some time prior. It could also be that the Culper Ring is regrouping and Beth and Christine were collecting intelligence for them in this episode.
Images courtesy of Hulu.