Sophy says: A;EFH;LKJG;LEJK. LOOK AT MY LITTLE TWIN FLAMES ALL DELICATELY CURLED IN THEIR LIGHTBULB TENT LIKE A PAIR OF SHINY SHOES IN A SHINY BOX.
I know Sarah snuggled down round the other way because Helena’s face was doing those Helena things at her and how is anyone supposed to sleep under those circumstances? I know she moved because she was suddenly and extremely uncomfortable with the intimacy of looking into her sister’s eyes in bed in the middle of the night like how maybe they would have done hundreds times if they had grown up together – to the point where it wasn’t uncomfortable at all. I know that she’s cringeing from Helena when she chooses to be sleepy-time friends with her feet rather than her face. But even the rejection of the move is kind of sweet in its admission that enough is enough for one day, that Sarah can only take so much of how easy it is to love this lunatic who murdered her birth mother a couple of weeks ago. Because that’s got to be disturbing, right? It’s got to freak you out that you can be this natural with a murderer.
And the thing that kills me is that Helena is trying so hard to be normal. She is trying so hard to be the sister she might otherwise have been. She only eats half the can of beans – and we know how she feels about consuming all available food. She tells Sarah she’s a good mother. She makes goodnight shadowpuppets (MORE ON THAT LATER). She tells Sarah not to let the bedbugs bite – a silly phrase – a childhood relic she has learned from other people’s lives.
Helena is trying so hard to belong. She wants so badly to be loved. And this makes it so stark to me that she has never belonged and that she has never been loved. Sarah didn’t have an easy childhood but I think it’s pretty clear by now that Helena didn’t have one at all. She had a place of screams.
So when she acts like a kid like this – when she takes pleasure in the little things – when she’s so keen to share – food, information, games, personal space – it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that she was abused. It breaks my heart that she was made into a monster.
And I think if Sarah stopped to analyze what she’s feeling when she turns around – but when does Sarah ever stop to analyze what she’s feeling – she would know that part of the reason she flees those wide green eyes that are just the same as hers and completely different too – shadowed where hers are bright – encircled with neglect… she would know that part of the reason she can’t gaze into them for longer than a beat or two is because it breaks her heart as much as it breaks mine.
If I feel sympathy for Helena – if I feel the pain of her being cheated out of her whole life – if I get these terrible chest spasms watching her try to reclaim what should have been hers so eagerly and so clumsily… then it stands to reason that Sarah does too, right? Even if she doesn’t write thousands of words a week about it.
And yeah, so, this scene was really pretty and reminiscent of good things such as…
Remember when you used to talk more than me, Rin?
Rin says: No.
(But also they’re twins in the womb. You can tell they’ve been waiting all this time to get that perfect shot.)
Sophy says: YOU GUYS. DO YOU KNOW HOW EXCITED I WAS TO SEE VIC AGAIN? I MAY HAVE FLAILED SOMEWHAT. As always there is a lot to choose from in the biggest LOL category, with Alison’s face alone providing us with several options per episode, but this was just the best. Vic Less Of A Dick But Now A Spy spouts some zen anger management tips at Donnie and then bows. Donnie Still A Massive Dick And A Useless Spy bows back either because he is phenomenally lame and out of his depth or pretending to be phenomenally lame and out of his depth or both. Alison smacks his hands down because she is the greatest and this bowing thing really vexes her.
AND THEN DONNIE TRIES TO GO IN FOR A KISS AND SHE IS HAVING NONE OF IT AND CAN WE LOOK AT THEIR FACES, CAN WE?
I’ll also take this opportunity to comment on Vic’s return more generally. Although I always expected him to be back, I didn’t see this coming – this thing where he has gone from being both a villain and a comedy dunce – pretty much what Donnie is at this point – to being an actual human being with actual feelings and maybe he’s still funny but he’s not funny Ha ha in the way where you point.
And I guess it makes sense. I mean, we all know what addiction does to a person, right? It makes them into a joke – a bad joke, but a joke nonetheless. There’s no such thing as having layers for a person with addiction. There’s no such thing as being morally grey because there’s no such thing as being morally anything. Addicts are cut-outs. They are all the same kind of sad and the same kind of ridiculous, because given enough time, all they are is their addiction, nothing more.
Now that Vic is in recovery he is actually a character as opposed to a comedic plot device. And I really, really enjoyed him in this episode. I really, really enjoyed watching him develop a relationship with Alison – helping her be honest about her situation and reach out for companionship. I nearly teared up a little when Alison teared up a little when he said they had one good hand between them.
SO I GUESS I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT HE WAS MANIPULATING HER ALL ALONG BECAUSE THIS IS ORPHAN BLACK AND CLONES CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.
I love it though. I love that Vic’s return is not random or shoe-horned. I love that Angie hasn’t just conveniently disappeared for the time being while we follow up other plots. And at the same time I hate Angie, because she is seriously compromising Vic’s recovery by forcing him into behaving this way with a fellow addict – to say nothing of the damage she could wind up doing to Alison’s mental health. I hate that Vic escaped one set of assholes grinding him down into the hole he’d already dug for himself and promptly gets used by another asshole who’s gonna grind him down into the hole he’s already dug for himself. There is no climbing out.
And let me clarify that maybe Vic made a deal with Angie to spy on Alison in exchange for criminal charges against him being dropped and maybe that makes him the dick again. But he did look uncomfortable about it. He did look sad. To the point where Angie felt the need to tell him that he wasn’t allowed to have second thoughts.
He doesn’t like what he’s doing here. And to me that means he’s not much different from Sarah when she took over Beth’s life. They both made desperate choices that were wrong and that they regret on some level. Neither of them has the option of backing out now.
It’s interesting seeing the two of them paralleled like this – both doing immoral and unkind things to escape their shared history. I recognize that as a character Vic is expendable, so he could well end up dead by the end of the season or even by the end of the next episode. But I hope we get some interaction between him and Sarah now that he’s an actual person and now that he’s making choices she would be totally disgusted by… and totally identify with. I also hope we get more development of his relationship with Alison and some insight into how much of their chemistry is sincere.
Because you guys noticed that, right? I’m not necessarily saying it’s a romantic chemistry but Vic has definite chemistry with Alison in a way he never did with Sarah. Let’s award another gold star to Tatiana Maslany. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE LET’S MAKE HER EAT THEM.
Rin says: CLONES CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. Should be on a tshirt.
I adored having Vic back and I also never expected him to be back in this sort of capacity. It was really clever of them to make Vic’s return come at a point when he has developed — to the point where he’s no longer just that throwaway character you laughed at, because in this episode I felt a lot of things for him? To the point where I want him to stay forever, not get in trouble or DIE, and possibly head off into the sunset with Alison? I can already see Vic breaking my heart further down the road because of what he’ll have to do and the ways in which it might destroy his recovery, and all of the betrayal Alison will feel after FINALLY thinking she’s found someone she can trust. Someone who might genuinely care about her as a person and not a clone.
I think at best we’re going to get a bittersweet ending for Vic, with him possibly giving himself up for the sake of Alison. AND IT PAINS ME TO EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT AND I WILL CRY AND CRY AND CRY. But it would be glorious.
And I know Angie just thinks she’s doing her job and whatever, but seriously woman. GET OUT.
…I haven’t at all talked about the category at hand have I.
I really have to applaud the actor who plays Donnie for excelling at being spectacularly lame and pathetic. Best.
ONE GOOD HAND BETWEEN THEM LET ME DIE. SHE NEEDED HELP DOING CRAFTS. CAN’T YOU JUST SEEM THEM CUTTING UP PIECES OF PAPER TOGETHER AND BEING HORRIBLE AT IT AND PEOPLE WILL BE LIKE ‘OH WOW, DID YOUR KIDS DO THESE?’ AND THEY WILL LOOK AT EACH OTHER AND SHARE A LAUGH AND THE BYSTANDER WON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON AND YOU HAD TO BE THERE OH MY GOD BYSTANDER DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO ALISON AND VIC ARE.
Sophy says: ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC ALISON AND VIC TBH
“I want my boyfriend.”
Sophy says: Helena and her boyfriend for a day might be one of the saddest stories ever told. Also the funniest. Also the sweetest. Also the creepiest (especially with Paul and Whatshisname keeping score.)
When we found Helena in a bar with a row of colourful drinks I’m sure we all expected things to come to fisticuffs of some kind. Honestly, Helena could walk into a yogalates class and I’d expect things to come to fisticuffs, so that was pretty much a given. Nothing could have been more predictable than that a burly asswipe would try to crack onto her and that she would, in return, crack some bones for him.
EXCEPT IT WAS ONLY A SPRAIN YOU GUYS. DON’T BE BABY.
We knew that this would happen. But did anyone expect some random to intervene on her behalf? If you said yes, you probably expected it to be one of those ‘Reptile Boy’ deals, right? Where Buffy gets saved from slimeballs by a psychopathic demon worshipping killer???
Not so. Hat-Boy, as I shall affectionately refer to him, was a genuinely nice guy whose fingers Helena did not break. And hey I went back to check what his name actually was and it turns out it’s written on the hat which makes Hat-Boy a rather ironic nickname but it is what it is. JESSE WHO?
I seem to remember a few recaps back making some statement to the effect that Helena would never willingly allow anyone to put a penis in her, and I stand by that for the time being. Helena is far too broken for sex. She is far too scarred to trust that much.
But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want it. That certainly doesn’t mean she doesn’t want all the other aspects of particular and exclusive intimacy with another human being – the dates and dancing, the compliments and disclosures, somebody’s rapt attention, a person she can call mine.
Helena has many of the same desires your average Joe has. She just has no hope of fulfilling those desires – or she hasn’t had until now.
Before she was an orphan. Before she was an evil angel. But now she is a sister. Now she is her sister’s saviour.
For Helena, being accepted by Sarah is a giant door opening. It’s all the doors in a five storey building opening. Now that she has a little bit of what should always have been hers she is able to connect to the idea that she should have had all sorts of other things too – a first crush, a first kiss – a date to prom – someone to tell her she has pretty eyes.
And the thing is that this guy likes her a lot and in such a non-threatening and worshipful way. And the thing is that she’s bored and feeling lonely in beautiful, confusing she never felt lonely before she had family. The thing is that she’s been drinking and she’s been thinking about the normal lives all those girls who look like normal versions of her have had.
So she makes herself up out of them. She builds Hat-Boy’s sweet, mysterious, slightly terrifying and madly desirable Eastern-European blonde out of parts of the clones. She’s a police officer. She’s a brilliant scientist. She’s a stay at home mom who wound up in rehab with a marriage on the rocks. On the one hand these lies are adorable. On the other hand it’s kind of agonizing to recognize that there is nothing Helena can tell this man that is true – not if she doesn’t want to go from slightly terrifying to EVERYBODY THERE’S A BOMB IN THE BAR! Even worse is the realization that there’s very little Helena could even tell herself about her life. When Hat-Boy remarked that she sure had led a life I kind of wanted to cry because of all the ways she hasn’t. Helena could have actually been a police officer or a scientist or a soccer mom, but nobody gave her those options. Nobody even told her she got to choose anything.
The silver lining, of course, is that in concluding her dazzlingly implausible life story, Helena tells Hat-Boy that she is now with her sestra, having adventures.
You guys, she is herself.
Do you see how stunning this is? In a few comedic lines of dialogue Helena told us that there was no life before Sarah – that she was not Helena until she was her Helena.
I THINK I HAVE A THUNDERSTORM IN MY EYE.
And then they arm-wrestled okay and Helena won and in any other circumstance you’d assume the guy let a tiny waif from the Ukraine win BUT NOT THIS TINY WAIF FROM THE UKRAINE. And the writing is just magical, you guys, as we lead into the arm-wrestling off Hat-Boy asking what a guy like him would have to do to keep a girl like her in a town like this and she tells him he’d have to be very strong. The line itself is brilliant in the way it evokes for the viewer Helena’s entire history of being contained by others, whether physically or psychologically – in the way it reminds us of the violence-prone Houdini that has made of her. Does she even know that this man doesn’t literally want to keep her here? That he is anticipating her choice to leave, not seeking to block it? Is she making a joke when she says he’d have to be strong or is she simply letting him know what it takes to hold her prisoner? Or maybe she just really feels like arm-wrestling and is looking for a lead-in.
OR ALL OF THE ABOVE AT THE SAME TIME?
So they arm-wrestle. And then of course she wins, twice, because there’s nothing simple Jesse can do to keep complicated Helena whether by force or otherwise. But when he drops his last shot to prove his strength and dances with her instead he makes her want to stay.
At this point can I put in a quick shout-out to Helena’s maniacal laughter, her unabashed glee in how much tougher she is than him and ALL FACES SHE MAKES DURING THIS SCENE?
All the way she pounces on that burly asswipe when he has the nerve to try to cut in on her fantasy.
And it is a fantasy, isn’t it? This is the sort of thing lonely and afraid girls dream of that never happens. You don’t walk into a bar and get not-hit on by a man who thinks you are the bee’s fucking knees. Not even if you’re Tatiana Maslany, okay? And by the same token small-town tow-truckers do not clock off and walk into a bar and find a Tatiana Maslany waiting to spend the rest of the day falling in love with then, okay? It just doesn’t happen.
But that’s the whole point. Maybe Jesse will come back and maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll turn out to have been a Prolethean plant all along which, show, you had better not fucking pull that shit because I WILL THUNDERSTORM MY EYES AT YOU. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Jesse is never seen or heard from again nor would I be disappointed. To me, this was a story within a story. It was a fairytale complete with Once Upon A Time and Happily Ever After.
Crazy, you think you can save me…
This was never supposed to make sense. It was never supposed to be real.
Helena never feels like a human being to me so much as the bright remnants of one. And in this episode, dancing slowly with her ordinary boy, she kind of reminded me of Helena Bonham Carter’s Elizabeth Lavenza, when too much was said and done.
Apart from being a really sad fairytale, this also read as symbolic, to me. Helena has nothing but nightmared memories of what the Proletheans did to her. All she knows is that they took something from her. When she is taken away from the bar she will find Gracie and Whatshisname waiting to take her to her babies. It makes sense that she would fall in impossible love as a prelude to having her impossible babies, right? If there is a father in Helena’s mind, I suspect it will always be the nice man in the bar who told everybody she had done nothing wrong.
Or else Whatshisname organized Jesse as his way of handling Helena. In which case the scene remains poignant and serves all the same symbolic purposes but in a REALLY FUCKING HORRIBLE WAY, SHOW, DON’T YOU DARE.
Rin says: Oh my god can you please stop referring to that comment of Helena letting someone put their penis in her, AND THEN TRYING TO PASS IT OFF ALL NONCHALANTLY LIKE IT WAS SOME SERIOUS COMMENTARY AT THE TIME. Just stop. Let sleeping disgusting quotes die.
NO. I refuse to believe Jesse was a plant. I don’t think we’ll see him again (BUT IF WE DO YAYAYYAY) and I do think this was as you said, a story within a story whose whole point was to showcase all the ways in which Helena was hard done by. It was a glimpse into the normal life that Helena will probably never have, and not because I think she’ll die (if she dies so help me god I will unleash hell) but because too much has happened to her. Everything that happened in that bar felt like it was the writers wanting to give Helena a bit of happiness, she got to live in that fantasy for a few hours before being ripped back into reality by the assletheans. I WISH THEY WOULD LEAVE AND NEVER COME BACK.
Isn’t it amazing how each week there is a new favourite clone? I think everybody’s favourite was Helena this week, and it was so fun/DEPRESSING to get to see her away from everyone else and have a moment to be herself. There was violence which was to be expected because it’s like second nature to her, but there was also a gentleness where for a moment she looked like she was just a girl in a bar making a connection with another person. AND THIS IS HELENA YOU GUYS. It’s like watching your child make their first friend.
Also there was a disco ball. A REAL LIVE DISCO BALL.
Sophy says: ASSLETHEANS. I will never call them anything else ever.
What The Dickens?
Don’t tell Cosima Sarah’s baby’s baby teeth might be doing things to her uterus.
Sophy says: Delphine can you please stop lying to Cosima for her own good because it is getting old. Unless of course you’re lying to her for other reasons in which case please walk your pretty face off a cliff.
I’M KIDDING, YOUR FACE CAN STAY EITHER WAY.
In all seriousness though, at this point I can’t see the show pulling the rug out from under Cophine except in terms of what we already know. I’m not saying there are no secrets between them, but I do think it’s pretty clear where Delphine’s allegiance lies at this point. She is firmly on Team Keep Cosima Alive. Which does not necessarily mean being on Team Cosima at all times.
I get that. To a certain extent I respect that. I believe that Delphine has altruistic reasons for keeping this information from Cosima and I suspect they stem from fear that Cosima will stop treatment if she finds out there’s a possibility Sarah’s child has been violated in some way to get it. But there does come a point when you have to trust someone you love enough to let them make their own choices.
Cosima is a great character in that she is The Smart One but also The Fool For Love. She is the kind of person who can understand and operate on a logical level most of us can only peep up at, but that doesn’t mean that she has half the sense of self-preservation Sarah does. Cosima is intelligent but she is not necessarily emotionally intelligent – she’d be mortified if she made basic rookie mistakes with her work, but when she makes basic rookie mistakes with her relationships? She won’t apologize for her heart.
This means that even if she recognizes that these injections may save her life she is also capable of throwing caution to the wind because what’s going into her was stolen from a little girl – and not just any little girl – Sarah’s little girl – Sarah who, she finds, has become her friend.
Because we all noticed that, right? Cosima’s condition being revealed to Sarah has caused Sarah to realize how much she values this particular clone – and not just as a “geek monkey” – not just as a person who happens to share her face – as a sane and kind human being who deserves to live. Sarah likes Cosima and who wouldn’t?
(SERIOUSLY HOW DO YOU NOT LIKE COSIMA? SHE IS MADE OF PICNICS AND NEW SHOES.)
Cosima likes Sarah too, mostly because Cosima likes people. She cares about her and about Kira just like Alison and Helena do because they are the creepiest and most amazing Aunties ever and one day they will all try to buy her a car and put her through college and she will just have to have three cars and go to college three times and Sarah will put her feet up because she loves her kid and all but who needs a fourth car and a fourth go around at college, okay? I can see this happening. Like, as long as they all make it out of this alive, you know this will happen. (Alison’s kids will totally hate Kira’s guts.)
Um. Tangent. Okay. So I think the extent to which Cosima has bonded to Sarah and the extent to which she is a fucking A+ person was shown in the fact that when Sarah finds out about her life-threatening illness Cosima doesn’t even take like, a day to bask in the shocked sympathy (I would take at least ten). Cosima’s focus is not on herself. It’s on the fear she knows Sarah now has, for herself and for her daughter. She finds herself putting on a brave face and lying about her prognosis purely for them – purely so that they don’t lose their own hope.
This is what family, do. That and they tease each other, right? In the last episode Helena was meathead. In this episode a repeat of ‘Geek monkey’ made it official for Cosima.
A CLONE FAMILY IS THE BEST FAMILY OF ALL THE FAMILIES? Proven.
But I’ve gone way off track here and also kind of not. All of the foregoing was my way of explaining why I think Delphine wants to keep this information from Cosima. Because these stem cells could have been sourced from any number of unknown clone relatives, sure, but the chances are that they were sourced from the one relative they know of who has recently had baby teeth: Kira.
If this is the case it means that one way or another Sarah has been being monitored and Kira too. It means that tests and procedures have been run on this little girl, whether with Mrs S’s permission or without – whether in service of a positive agenda or a negative one.
It means Aldous Leekie is dodgy as fuck.
So I get what Delphine is scared of here. There’s a strong possibility that Cosima, who was seriously reluctant to trust Leekie in the first place, might refuse to have anything further to do with him or his needles on discovering this information. And she needs this treatment. Because this treatment might work.
Kira survived impossible physical trauma. If the stem cells are hers then miracles are possible for Cosima – as long as Delphine doesn’t let her have a say in it.
So I get it, okay. I don’t exactly blame Delphine. I’m pretty certain I would do the same thing. But at the same time… I’m getting so tired of Cosima being kept in the dark like she’s some kind of doofus who’s completely incapable of running her life to the point where her girlfriend needs to run it for her.
AND OKAY SHE IS KIND OF A DOOFUS. But still. I’m uncomfortable with Delphine lying to Cosima for her own good because there was a time when she lied to her for no other reason than her own career advancement/to please Dr Leekie, which, by the way, that boot is still on its way and I am scared. It will only fall harder if other lies fall with it – however well-intentioned they may be.
Rin says: I had to watch this scene a few times to understand what was even going on and why Delphine was so freaked out. I dropped physics in high school so I would never had to deal with science again okay?
I guess that’s why the writers have to drop massive anvil hints about the clones having a relative like a niece of EVEN A DAUGHTER?! …for dummies like me who don’t get it on the first go. But yeah, it all adds up especially when you take into account the earlier Cophine scene where Cosima was all ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU FOUND A MATCH’ and Delphine saying they only had to look through a thousand samples or so before they found one and they were lucky. BUT IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT LUCK IS IT.
And maybe Delphine has known all along, maybe she’s so worried because glasses boy has figured it out and if he tells Cosima she’ll confront Delphine about it and she will have nowhere to hide. Or maybe Delphine never knew about Kira being the sample, and she is really just afraid of what Cosima will do or won’t do if she finds out the truth.
But I agree with Sophy.. I don’t exactly blame Delphine for trying to cover it up because maybe she also wants to confirm her suspicions before jumping to conclusions (I DIDN’T JUMP! I TOOK A TINY STEP AND THERE CONCLUSIONS WERE!). There just has to come a point at which they stop trying to protect Cosima, and treating her with kiddy gloves. It would be way more acceptable if this was the first time Delphine has acted like this around Cosima, but it’s kind of becoming a theme now and it really isn’t fair to Cosima that she can’t get the truth from the one person she should always expect it from.
AND PLEASE. I’M NOT HATING ON DELHPINE. I love Delphine. I just wish she knew how to handle things a little better that didn’t involve Cosima and their relationship getting hurt.
We’re Not All Tatiana Maslany
“If you think you’re taking Sarah back, you’ll have to kill me. And if you think you’re gonna take Duncan back, the only man alive who can give Sarah and her sisters what they need, then you’ll have to kill us both. But you don’t want to do that. Or Afghanistan would all have been for naught.”
“What would you know about that?”
Sophy says: This is kind of a ‘What The Dickens?’ in that WHAT exactly is Mrs S referring to re: Afghanistan and it being for naught if Paul killed her and Sarah? It would seem to imply that the friendly fire incident wasn’t a random catalyst to Paul becoming involved with DYAD so much as something that happened in relation to his involvement with DYAD – or with any one of the many factions that are as clone-obsessed as we are. So what exactly the dickens is going on? Is the show about to pull the rug out? Is Paul even more inscrutable than he seems? Did Mrs S know who he was not by sight or description or probability but by having known him long before Sarah did? Long before Beth did, even?
I’m going to stop speculating at this point because I have no idea what the eff is going on. But I want to say first of all that Mrs S is pretty much a permanent MVP and she knows it and I love that. “I’ll take care of it. I always do,” she says as she leaves Sarah and Duncan to emote about little girls (which NGGGHHH.) while she goes outside and gets shit done with the all too familiar spy who has been following Sarah this whole time without her having so much as an inkling. I think my favourite part was the fact that Mrs S looked through the blinds all matter-of-fact while Paul was gazing all stealthy at the house. Best.
I also have to give Dylan Bruce props for his acting in this scene in particular and in general. I’ve gone back and looked very hard at these scenes – in video form and in cap form – and I cannot for the life of me figure out what kind of a person Paul really is. I believe he is immensely invested in Sarah in a way that might be like love. I believe he is trying to do the right thing as he sees it. But then, aren’t a whole bunch of these jerks trying to do the right thing as they see it?
What I’m saying is, I have a lot of feelings about Paul and yet at the same time I’m not sure I even know who Paul is. One minute he looks smug, the next angry, the next hurt, the next afraid, the next longing. He is totally in control and then he is lost. He is a very grown man and then he’s a baby nobody ever loved?
For better or worse, I’d like to find out more about him – and I don’t just mean Afghanistan. I want to know who Paul was before all of this and before all of that – before becoming a soldier even. I want to know where his parents are – his brothers and sisters – his friends. He must have these people in his life or he must have had them at some point. And his life hasn’t always been this fucking ridiculous, right? RIGHT?
Looking forward to the back-story this scene heralds. Revelling in the throwback to Paul not poisoning Sarah with the bottle.
Rin says: Yeah totally! That’s the thing, we thought we had an inkling of who Paul was by the end of series one and as it turns out the longer we spend time with him it seems the less we know. He’s an enigma that we can’t quite place our finger on or know where he stands. We like to think he’s always on Sarah’s side and in a way everything that he does, bad or not, is a way to justify the means to an end.
I WISH WE’D KNOW FOR SURE THOUGH I don’t like how unsettling he is and the way he feels like a loose canon and at any point could go off the rails.
BUT MRS S. MUST HAVE KNOWN PAUL FROM BEFORE. Somehow. Maybe. I don’t know. It’s all rather mind-boggling but I love how Mrs S is way more menacing with a flash of tea than Paul is with a gun.
Sophy says: Mrs S would be scarier than Paul if Paul had Buffy’s bazooka and Mrs S was in a straight jacket AND DEAD.
“Jesus, you’re the best date I’ve had in ages.”
Sophy says: CAN WE JUST? In the space of one episode two entirely Tatiana-free relationships have been revealed/developed. Paul and Mrs S was brilliant on a plot level, but Art and Fe… that was just straight up entertaining and adorable.
DID FELIX ALWAYS CALL ART ARTHUR? Maybe I just never noticed it until they were being an adorable odd-couple that was worthy of several whiskers of that Tatiana/Tatiana thing that is Sarah/Helena. Seriously though. In one episode we had giggles, groping, grumpy face, coffee in the morning and a confession that Art is the best date Fe has had in ages. I ship it more than I ship Art/his sexuality. Just saying.
Rin says: HAHAHAHA. DRUNK FELIX/ART FOREVER.
After all, Felix is an artist.
HI I’M HERE ALL DAY AND NIGHT. THANK YOU.
Sophy says: I’m picturing a crowd full of people eating peanuts and me just clapping my hands raw.
Fuck you sestra, I’m going to the bar.
Sophy says: Obviously the stand-out ‘Up Yours’ from this episode was Helena up-yoursing that burly asswipe all over the place, but we’ve already dealt with that, and this, though more subtle, was as powerful as a near-gouging incident – in a really cute hands-behind-the-back ‘Who me?’ kind of way.
Basically Sarah was the mom who tried to tell her kid to stay in the car and her kid was like Nuh-uh and fucked off to go get drunk with her friends. And it was glorious.
Less glorious: the fact that Helena had to be left in the car in the first place. I fully understand why. It would be kind of disastrous to be clandestinely investigating crazy clone science with your clone, right? It makes you kind of conspicuous. And it’s not as though Sarah and Helena could get away with just saying they’re twins with a mutual interest. This is the truth, of course, but the truth would cause people like that guardian of the archives to ask why one twin is from the Ukraine and has severe malnutrition and/or vitamin D deficiency and the other is not and does not.
Sarah doesn’t leave Helena in the car because she’s Helena in the sense of being a loose cannon. She leaves her in the car because the two of them together are basically a neon sign saying HELLO DYAD. Helena may have been well behaved in that church. She may have even been useful in a pinch – let’s face it, if you have a ludicrously strong and canny homicidal maniac for a friend, they’re gonna be useful in a pinch. Helena is not left behind because of the ways the Assletheans fucked her up. She’s left behind because of the person she should have been – Sarah’s sister – Cosima and Alison’s family. That’s what really hurts. The fact that the reason Helena is separated from Helena is exactly the reason she belongs with her.
Meanwhile was anyone else a little devastated that Sarah didn’t go rescue Helena when she got herself into trouble? I mean, sure, she was being arrested and therefore going into custody and maybe Sarah could be forgiven for thinking that was the safest place Helena could be for the time being. And to be fair, she did call Art to get him to check up on her.
But she still left. She still looked her sestra right in the eye and left. A few days after Helena saved her single-handedly from death.
And look, you guys, it hurts. It really does. But I was impressed that the show let it happen. Sarah may be our protagonist, but she is a flawed individual. She is selfish and single-minded. She is a little too good at cutting other people’s losses. But this is why we love her, right? This is why we believe her as a decent woman in constant crisis. Sarah isn’t a saint. Her best isn’t always good enough. And as much as she is beginning to feel things she absolutely cannot feel for Helena, her mind is on the mission and the mission is a safe home for her daughter – at any and all cost.
Rin says: Sarah should have cracked open a window and turned on the child-safety lock.
I figure Sarah not rushing to Helena’s aid was exactly like that time she stumbled upon the police at Felix’s place. She has to stay under the radar at all costs, because if she gets herself into trouble that really doesn’t help anyone out. So as much as it hurts Helena to see Sarah watch her go, it wasn’t so much as Sarah being selfish than being smart. She has no pull or sway, but she can call someone who does and that was her best shot at helping Helena out. And to be fair, Sarah told her to stay in the car — and when she comes back it’s all getting arrested? I’d be rolling my eyes a little too.
Sophy says: Yes, indeed. Whilst it would have been nice to have Sarah waiting round the corner to make sure Helena wasn’t taken away by those creepers again, the reality is that she had no idea this was anything but another one of her crazy sestra’s capers. She didn’t know Gracie would be waiting with tales of babies. And given what she knows of Helena, it would be fair for her to assume she would be able to handle herself.
Still. STILL. The fact that Helena has repeatedly said that Sarah just wants to use her, that she would leave her behind if she could…. AHHHH IT HURTS MAKE IT STOP.
Head In Hands
Shadow puppet kisses.
Sophy says: I’M SORRY BUT???
WRONG WAY GO BACK????????
So. Rin tweeted me when she was watching this episode – literally the first time we haven’t watched together – and told me to brace myself for the opening because it was the cutest thing she has ever seen in her life. All I can say is TRUTH IN ADVERTISING.
I’ve discussed above the ways that Helena is trying so hard to be a sister – a child – an innocent entertainment and an encouragement – a comfort when the chips are down. But seriously, didn’t you guys feel like all of your bodily contents could become bodily contents ON THE FLOOR when this happened?
Because the innocence of it. The charm. The way even serious-pants Sarah can’t help but laugh and play along?
If I loved it less I might be able to talk about it more.
Rin says: I had to warn you. I wouldn’t have been able to call myself a good friend if I didn’t warn you.
Yes this was the cutest thing in the entire world but also…
SUGAR SUGAR. YOU ARE MY CANDY GIRL.
SUPER SUNSHINE HIT.
It was one of those scenes where you didn’t know how or why this was happening to you but you weren’t going to question it or make a sound because if you reacted it might make them stop and the last thing in the world you wanted was for Helena and Sarah to stop.
Also I was about to make a comment wondering if Helena’s singing voice was Tatiana’s and how it would make sense she couldn’t sing because one person couldn’t possibly be that talented anyway and then I remembered that time Alison was in a fucking musical and she did just fine.
Sophy says: Sugar Honey Honey is still stuck in my head. In Tatiana Maslany’s Helena voice.
“You’re the puppy.”
Sophy says: So basically this was like ASWD come to life for me. With Cophine playing Faberry. I’ll take it.
Seriously though, isn’t Delphine being a puppy a thing fandom came up with? If so, then all my kudos goes to the writers for working in a little shout-out to the shippers. I may have my issues when it comes to fan-pandering (OUAT writers, I am looking at you) but considering the fans, enjoying their fangirling, showing them in little ways that it counts and that you care about their passion? That’s fucking amazing.
Rin says: I remember there was that Q&A with Evelyne where they asked her what kind of dog she would be and she was all COCKER SPANIEL BECAUSE OF THE CURLY/FLUFFY EARS AND THEY PUT UP A PICTURE OF A PUPPY NEXT TO HER AND IT WAS SO TRUE. She totally is a lovesick puppy that will stay loyal to Cosima for as long as she lives.
How come it was like ASWD coming to life? WHICH PART OR IS IT IN SOME UNWRITTEN SCENE THAT I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YET?!?!
Sophy says: It’s like you don’t even care at all.
Rin says: I will flail myself every day until I know ASWD off by heart.
Sophy says: WHAT CAN I POSSIBLY SAY TO THIS? LOOK AT HER.
Rin says: THESE TWO CAPS ARE THE BEST CAPS TO EVER CAP. Look at her. MID-AIR. WITH HER LITTLE SWISH ARM FOLLOW THROUGH. VIC ON THE FLOOR WITH HIS MONK MAT.
Everything about this is head in hands. Also you just know they were both trying really hard to make those baskets. They probably kept screwing up their lines on purpose just to get more chances at it.
Sophy says: If I were in a movie with Tatiana Maslany I would screw up all my lines on purpose just to get more chances at it. And cry every night.
Sophy says: Helena trick-or-treating aggressively is a thing that needs to happen.
Meanwhile, I can’t believe Sarah didn’t even have any car-lollies for the road trip. That’s just wrong.
Rin says: I REALLY CAN’T WITH THE SECOND LAST CAP THOUGH. LOOK AT HOW PATHETICALLY EFFY-ESQUE SARAH LOOKS. SUCH A HAPPY LAME-O. And the best part is, is that she’s MAKING HERSELF LAUGH.