Monday, June 1, 2015

Orphan Black, Season 3, Episode 7: Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate

To Mexico where Helena and Sarah are on the run from the Castor base and Helena is… Helena. It’s a Sestra holiday trip, though Helena realises that Sarah is upset about Paul. They’re also relying on S’s people to get them out which is going to be a problem because Helena intends to kill S. The bar tender also brings Helena water not beer because she knows she’s pregnant – though Helena doesn’t know how. Wondering can wait because S arrives which means Helena goes to killing mode.

Killing is delayed for talking (explanations and threats anyway, sort of talking). Creepy bar tender also knows enough to take sharp objects off Helena. Can someone please pay attention to/explain this woman? Bar tender tells Sarah to leave Helena and S to talk it out (Helena will eat first, then they fight. Because Helena) being cryptic and wise and definitely creepy.

Having eaten, Helena wants to fight. S refuses (citing Helena’s pregnancy with a brief diversion as to what Helena’s plans are) and Helena hits her. S responds that Helena can’t have Sarah without the rest of her family – and Helena hits her again. S appeals that they’re family. And Helena hits her again – this time S hits back then instantly regrets it, and hugs Helena. Helena struggles but S hugs her into submission while apologising.
Shay and Cosima are enjoying some quality naked time when Delphine arrives. Awkward. Delphine and Shay are icy, Cosima and Delphine are snarly with a side of icy and Delphine tries to be uber professional (while Shay doesn’t reassure me that she’s not evil by eaves dropping from the shower). She wants to do more testing of Cosima because of the Leda/Castor defect/disease/nastiness and her last results which suggest Cosima is not yet out of the woods.

Cosima also calls Scott so she can arrive late for work – despite him being worried about her illness as well, and wanting her to see if she can get Rachel to decode Ethan’s book (Rachel scares him. And rightly so) – and just to confirm the rift, Cosima insists Scott not show Delphine the book.

Over to Allison, her plot lurking in the outer reaches of this show and still barely connected to everything – but this week free from underwear clad dancing. Allison is preparing her campaign, while doing so Donnie is still monitoring Allison for Dyad which is peculiar but at least with her knowledge. She’s as ever, super busy with campaigning and drug dealing and organising their legitimate front for the business.

Step 1 of this is to see Connie, Allison’s mother, and convince her to sign over her shop. She wants to retire, she also makes several arch little knife-digs at both of them – she even has a campaign poster for Marci, Allison’s competition. Allison becomes much more understandable.

Still mummy delays which means a minor wrench in the drug dealing plans when they meet Jason (jealous Donnie pulls a “MAH WOMAN!” move which is rapidly getting old). Scott goes with Jason with money while Allison goes to the school to campaign

And Felix joins her. Of course he does. The chances of Felix remotely caring about this election are less than none, but while Sarah’s in Mexico and Cosima’s got a date and Grace seems to be holding her own, it’s Allison’s turn with the Gay Best Friend. The set up the booth, Felix on side to be a good little servant and Marci drops in to be nasty in that oh-so-polite way. Then not-so-polite homophobia.

There’s other dramas –like Cosima wanting Allison’s urine (add it to the to-do list) and Connie calling saying she’s having heart attack. Allison is unconcerned, apparently this is a habit of her mother’s but she still has to leave Felix in charge of her stall while she goes to sort her mother out.

When she arrives at her mother’s she’s recovered from her panic attack – but she can’t sell the soap shop. After a big airing of a whole load of issues, Allison leaves.

But she doesn’t get back to the school in time for the election photo-op – but Cosima happens to be there to collect a urine sample from Allison. Time for Cosima’s turn to play the other clone (and to remind us all that Tatiana Maslany is, of course, an acting mutant) with Felix to handle wardrobe. Cosima’s actually there fore Allison’s urine because she wants to give it to Delphine instead of her own – because she doesn’t trust Dyad (which seems to include Scott now)

Speaking of – he and his friends are hitting maximum geekdom (I approve) when Delphine arrives being the most intimidating person in the room. Until Rachel follows her in. Scott is duly terrified of her when they prepare to do tests on her. She spots her painting that Scott took and Scott subtly shows her Ethan’s book. Rachel definitely wants in so fakes an interest in Scott’s board game.

And he actually does teach her how to play. Rachel just exists to suffer. But they do, eventually, get to Rachel telling Scott her father and hers secret language (and the painful knowledge that he didn’t leave his notes for her). Rachel insists she tells the code to Sarah

On to Donnie and Jason doing a drug deal which all goes a little wrong because Donnie has Allison’s signatures and Allison has Donnie’s big wadge of cash. Oops. Jason has to go swap the envelopes while Donnie stays and plays hostage

Back at the school, Cosima is not the best clone-pretending-to-be-a-clone because, apart from anything else, she can’t see without her glasses. Allison arrives in time for Jason to hand over the envelope and point out her envelope of signatures if about to be opened and reveal a big wadge of cash. Crisis! Time to call Felix (of course) who is busy managing Cosima’s photoshoot. Then her mother arrives – who absolutely has to speak to her right now to tell her that her father wasn’t actually her biological father.

Allison tells Felix about the money and confused he finally says what I’ve wanted him to say for 3 seasons! “I quit!” Alas no. He grabs Cosima (who only came there for a urine sample! Never again will she enter Allison’s world) to make Allison’s speech since she is busy handing over the money to the dealers saving Donnie from having his nose cut off.

Cosima’s speech isn’t exactly ideal for Allison, especially since she comes out as a Lesbian in front of the whole crowd as she’s talking about family values. She then starts choking because she IS actually ill and IS actually dying. At least the coughing fit gives Allison chance to tag in. Which means it’s Cosima Jason finds and kisses… Nope on many levels Jason.

Allison makes a speech and in classic-but-still-good style she throws out her cards and makes an awesome speech about family (montage time – including S and Sarah accepting Helena as family and then them both catching up)

Afterwards Cosima and Allison recap as Cosima finally gets the urine sample from Allison. But Allison draws a line – she’s still reporting her health statistics to Donnie because they, the clones, need Dyad when it comes to their health and Cosima is clearly still sick.

The great speech also convinced Allison’s mother to both vote for her – and sign over her shop. Of course she does so believing one day Allison will kick Donnie out. Allison is done so introduces her mother to Cosima (poor Cosima is up to her neck in Allison drama). So he can tell her mother that they’re clones and, no, Connie didn’t trick her dad at the IVF clinic, they were both tricked and she was implanted with a clone.

This goes out the window because Connie declared Cosima “mulatto” based on her hair style. Orphan Black you have waaaaay too few POC to enter this realm. Instead Connie has decided that the IVF clinic gave multiple mothers the same donor.

At home Cosima tells Shay that she’s sick – and begins bleeding profusely.

S hugging Helena into submission… could Helena have gutted her horribly? Possibly – but then don’t underestimate Mrs. S. But isn’t S also playing on exactly what Helena wants, a family? It’s the same reason she latched onto her sestra Sarah, it’s why having a child means so much to her – she’s always yearned for a family. I want to see how S and Helena develop after this, it could be interesting

Cosima’s storyline is overwhelmed with deception – and I’m kind of sad that even Shay, her new relationship, seems to be just an extension of that deception. While Sarah and Allison certainly had deception in their relationships with Donnie and Paul, both managed to move past it in various ways. I really hope Cosima may be able to do the same, I hope we can figure out exactly who Shay is and who she is working for and I hope Cosima and Delphine can sit down and address how Delphine has hurt Cosima – hurt her to such a degree that she is actively harming her own health because she simply cannot trust Dyad. Allison was very clear and very right – they do rely on Dyad for their health and are almost forced to deal with them, despite the betrayal. It’s a terrible place to be in – and I think they really should have made more of Connie being implanted with a clone without her knowing as an example of how untrustworthy Dyad is – rather than her violation being a kind of come back from Allison

Can we also not use the idea of terrible-person-says-terrible-things as some kind of challenge to the terribleness? It isn’t.

Donnie’s jealousy over Allison and Jason is tiresome, but somewhat redeemed by the fact I think the show expects us to see it as ridiculous and annoying as it is actually is with even Jason pointing out how ridiculous he is. Kind of because I think the show expects everyone Donnie does to be ridiculous and annoying. Of course, that leads to the problem of the fat-man-clown trope that Donnie embodies. And don’t tell me they didn’t pick the name “Chubbs” to play on that

It is interesting to learn that Donnie took Allison’s name. And while I think it was throwaway line to show how we’re not to like Connie, there’s a lot behind her both insisting Donnie taking Allison’s name – but then looking down on him for doing so, regarding it as a weakness that he didn’t fight her for a more “traditional” naming convention.

On Cosima’s odd ad-lib – she’s making a speech about “family values” to a crowd where one person has already emphasised their conservativeness with a whole lot of homophobia. Even if she didn’t want to make a point, I can see why her mind went there.

Felix… what more do I even have to say? Every episode of every season, if Felix appears it’s because he’s in service to one of the clones. I think they actually have a rota to see who gets the GBF this week – his whole portrayal is a terrible, mess of gay service tropes: because gay men don’t have lives, they’re accessories and side-kicks to women.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Allison’s storyline is fun and quirky and SO UTTERLY OUT OF PLACE. Cosima is in another suspicious love interest/monitor situation as well as pursuing science for sciency reasons about the plague. S, Helena and Sarah are trying to get out of Mexico. We have all this Castor/Leda/science stuff that everyone is involved in – except Allison, out here on her own playing Soccer Mom Walter White with her pet clown and extra comedy. It’s not that her storyline is awful or isn’t amusing – because it’s neither of the – but it is horrendously in the way and wasting time especially in this episode where there’s far too much: I spent most of this episode questioning why anyone would care. Seriously Helena, Sarah and S are having monumental issues in Mexico and I get to watch the whacky hijinks of Allison? This should have been a web special or something

Someone also needs to explain the psychic bartender to me