Tuesday, June 16, 2015

RECAP: Orphan Black 3x08 - Precious Cinnamon Bun Too Pure


For those of you who don't get that reference in the title, I guess I just have to say that you clearly spend less time on the internet than I do and that's probably to your benefit. But for those of you who do understand the title of this recap, allow me to say that Crystal Goderich is undoubtedly the person that article had to be referring to and nothing can convince me otherwise.

Okay. On with the recap.

After the high stakes comedy that was last episode, with Helena and Sarah and Mrs. S squaring off in a cantina while Cosima and Alison played dual roles in a production of "Help I'm running for school trustee and also trying to make deals with drug lords", this episode was kind of a breather. In a good way. Just about everyone is back in Toronto now, with the whole family sort of regrouping and trying to figure out what to do next.

Castor is still alive and still a threat, but all of their leads went up in the explosion at the lab. Helena is a one-woman wrecking crew, sure, but she's also pregnant and they want to give her a break. And Cosima is smart and all, but she's a tiny bit distracted by how she's apparently still dying.

Actually, this episode could best be explained as everyone on the show dealing with their own distractions. Sarah is still in a weird mood over her vision of Beth and her belief that she "failed her", and Alison wants to help out but just has so much going on of her own. So it's pretty much left to Felix and Mrs. S and Donnie and Delphine, all the back bench players, to get us going again. Thankfully, they do.

First we have to figure out where to put everyone. Since Alison announced in her speech last episode that she didn't mind having family staying in her house, it's only fitting that this episode saw her hosting not just Gracie, but Helena too, much to Donnie's dismay. Like, he gets that they need to help out and that this is his wife's family. Donnie's been much more understanding about this than I think any of us predicted. But Helena is a terrifying Ukrainian assassin and he doesn't really want her around his kids.

Which is silly, because Helena is freaking great with kids. And Felix and Alison point this out to him. So that's how we end up with Helena playing with Gemma, making soap with Donnie and telling him how handsome he is (can't explain further, but it's gold), and generally inserting herself into Alison's life. She even wears Alison's clothes, because she has none of her own, and the cognitive dissonance is high. Oh, and we finally find out what is in that nitrogen container that Helena left in Felix's loft last season: her eggs. I guess she salvaged all of her frozen eggs from the Prolethean farm before she torched it. Smart.

Mostly, though, we can see this plotline as being a moment where Donnie and Alison realize how incredibly hard it is to hide their drugdealing when there are two very intelligent women staying in their house with them. Hijinks ensue. Also sweetness. Because Gracie is still conflicted about losing the baby, and she wants Helena's forgiveness. Helena gives it, and tells Gracie that she is will be "aunty to my baby." Which is so cute I need a minute.

Also, Donnie and Alison are still dealing with the thing where Jason kissed Alison at the school open house. Alison has been very open and up front about telling Donnie, but she seems to think it's not a big deal. Or she does before she calls Jason over to the shop to talk about it and he decides this is an invitation to kiss her some more. And while Alison will flirt with the idea of marital infidelity, she won't act on it any more, not since she and Donnie turned their miserable marriage into an actual real partnership.

So Donnie takes things into his own hands and it's the worst idea ever. He confronts Jason in the back room at Bubbles, tries to fight him, and fails miserably. Donnie gets the crap kicked out of him and ends up passed out on the floor, covered in bruises and cuts and generally wishing her were never born. Poor Donnie.

Meanwhile, back in civilization, everyone wants to find a way to cure Cosima and to figure out what the next step is against Castor, but no one is really talking to anyone else. Delphine is feeling the strain and you can tell how paranoid it's making her. She goes off to check on one of the few unaware clones left, Crystal Goderich, to see if she remembers much about being kidnapped by Castor, and she makes some vague threats at Rachel, but it's clear Delphine is at loose ends. No one is making a move and she needs them to make a move so she can react!

So, thankfully, someone makes a move. Rachel had stated that she could decode Duncan's book but that she would only do it if she could talk to Sarah. Well, Scott can make that happen. Under the pretense of playing Agricola, the weird board game, he and Rachel skype Sarah and set up a deal. Rachel will translate the book - the whole book - on the condition that Sarah helps get her out of DYAD and then out of the country. She can't do that as Rachel Duncan. She needs a new identity. A clean one.

And since Rachel is, as it happens, a clone, then one of her clone sisters will do. Specifically Crystal, who as the only self-unaware clone we know of is the only one who DYAD isn't looking for.

Sarah and Felix don't like it, but they agree. They'll help Rachel out in exchange for the answers they so desperately want. Which means that Sarah and Felix are off on a roadtrip to meet the most precious cinnamon bun, too pure for this world. 

I'm referring here to Crystal, who we quickly find is a genuinely beautiful human being. A little shallow and not particularly ambitious, but she's very kind and sweet. You may recall that her biggest trauma right now is that earlier in the season, Rudy and Seth tried to shove her into the back of a van (presumably to take her back to Castor headquarters for testing), and that they killed her monitor and made her miserable. Crystal is understandably still dealing with that, but since her "boyfriend" - monitor - is dead and she has no other close friends or family, she's mostly externally processing it out loud at work. Where she is a manicurist.

So Felix goes in for a manicure. He and Sarah are practiced hustlers, so all they really need to do is ask her a couple seemingly innocuous questions that will reveal the answers to her security questions and then steal her wallet. Felix does an American accent, lightly hits on her, and that should be that. Only it turns out to be way harder than that, because Crystal is a wonderful girl. Instead, it turns into Sarah and Felix covertly arguing over whether or not to tell Crystal the truth about herself.

It's not like Crystal doesn't wonder about things. She knows there's something weird going on but she can't put her finger on it. Why are her boyfriends basically on a two year rotation? Why were those guys after her in the first place? What the hell is going on?!

Felix doesn't tell her, though he wants to, because Sarah insists that it's genuinely much safer for Crystal not to know. And it's a really interesting turn around to see Sarah, who fought so hard to get the truth for herself, then turning around and deciding who deserves to know. I'm not sure if it's supposed to play like that, but there was something kind of weird and paternalistic in Sarah deciding that Crystal doesn't need the answers she so desperately wants.

At any rate, Felix does steal her wallet, but he lapses back into his real accent in order to also give Crystal some home truths. Namely that there is no one else in the world like her and she is special and wonderful just as she is. Crystal cries a little (so do we) and Felix hurries off to forget about how dirty he feels for scamming such a wonderful girl.

Meanwhile, back in Toronto, Cosima brings Shay into the lab to show her around, which immediately turns into Scott being awkward and Delphine appearing out of nowhere. But before she goes, Shay stumbles on their copy of the book, which means Cosima has to, as casually as she can, snatch it away again. Awkward.

Suspicious too, because when Scott goes home - and this is the first time we've seen his apartment  - he's not alone. Rudy is there. I mean, we knew from earlier in the episode that Rudy and Dr. Coady were still alive and evil, but it's a shock to the system to see him sitting in Scott's armchair, cuddling his cat.

Rudy threatens and wheedles and generally terrifies poor Scott, before straight up threatening the cat and demanding Scott turn over his copy of the book. Which he does, because Scott is not an idiot and has a healthy self-preservation instinct.

Of course this means that all hell breaks loose. Delphine is beyond furious that Cosima and Scott were doing all this behind her back and that they didn't even make copies of the book so now Castor has the only copy, while Sarah and Mrs. S and Felix are trying to figure out what to do. Only it turns out that this wasn't the only copy. Cosima made a copy because she's not dumb, so their plan with Rachel is still on. But first they have to sneak her out of DYAD, which means Cosima has to go distract Delphine.

The scene is hard, with Cosima resigning from DYAD and telling Delphine about her near death experience. It looks for a second like they'll reconcile, but then they don't. Too much has happened, and Cosima isn't sure she can trust Delphine anymore. And vice versa, honestly.

Rachel is sneaked out of DYAD and arrives at Mrs. S' house where she translates a whole page, but the page is basically a weird nursery rhyme, and then DYAD bursts in. It seems that Delphine really really really doesn't trust Scott and Cosima anymore and straight up planned for this eventuality. So the second book copy is confiscated by Dr. Nealon and Rachel collapses to the floor in a seizure. Crap.

Back at DYAD, Dr. Nealon tells Delphine that the stress was too much for Rachel and she's gone back into a coma. But then Rachel's eyes open and we see that this is not true. She's not even sick. Nope, it was all a ruse to get Rachel out of DYAD for good, with Delphine thinking she's still there. Dr. Nealon kidnapped poor Crystal and has her lying in a medically induced coma pretending to be Rachel, while Rachel gets a prosthetic eye and goes off to sow more evil.

Rachel is the worst.

And Delphine understandably fires Scott and Cosima for being pretty much the worst employees ever. She even gives Cosima a final blow by handing over the file on Shay, which reveals that sweet nice Shay used to be in the military. So she's probably the Castor mole. Well crap.

Finally, with the tiny bit of information they did get decoded, Sarah, Mrs. S, and Felix have the only real clue any of them can go on: the Castor original is in London, or at least came from London, so that's where they need to go. 

Man, things are really ramping up for the season finale. Why did I call this a slow episode?

Some cute and sweet, which we all need right now...

4 comments:

  1. [Helena] even wears Alison's clothes, because she has none of her own, and the cognitive dissonance is high.

    Oh, please let that grabby theatre director mistake Helena for Alison.

    Oh, and we finally find out what is in that nitrogen container that Helena left in Felix's loft last season: her eggs.

    Did everyone not already know that?

    Because Gracie is still conflicted about losing the baby, and she wants Helena's forgiveness. Helena gives it, and tells Gracie that she is will be "aunty to my baby." Which is so cute I need a minute.

    Aw. But not at all surprising, which is kinda wonderful. And it brings Gracie all the way into the sisterhood.

    She goes off to check on one of the few unaware clones left, Crystal Goderich

    Does Delphine say Crystal is one of the few left? Because that would be one of the first indications we have of numbers.

    I'm referring here to Crystal, who we quickly find is a genuinely beautiful human being.

    And judging by that picture up top, has a total light-up-your-heart smile. (Try as I might, I can't picture that expression on the face of any of the others, not even Cosima. Which is another testament to Tatiana Maslany: one still picture and Crystal's already distinct).

    Why are her boyfriends basically on a two year rotation?

    That's a bummer. Jennifer's boyfriend seemed to be one of those monitors who'd grown genuinely devoted, nursing her right to the end (not that excuses not telling her, but I do believe he had real feelings for her). But two-year rotations sound like Crystal's are just doing a job on her. Which is...

    I'm not sure if it's supposed to play like that, but there was something kind of weird and paternalistic in Sarah deciding that Crystal doesn't need the answers she so desperately wants.

    ... a weird thing for Sarah to choose to become complicit in. But maybe she was being *ma*ternal rather than *pa*ternal. Crystal must be pretty easy to see as sort-of-younger than the others with all they've had to deal with, and sublimated Kira feelings might make Sarah want to "protect" her from knowing painful things (the way she and Felix were sad at Kira knowing why they might ditch credit cards). I get that on one level, because the truth has brought all of the Clone Club a lot of pain, danger, and misery. But it's also brought them family they'd never dreamed of, love, healing, and reconciliation. I don't think a single one of them would say it's not been worth it. Either way, Crystal deserves to know.

    And if Sarah was thinking that as things are, DYAD would be protecting Crystal rather than using her...

    Dr. Nealon kidnapped poor Crystal and has her lying in a medically induced coma pretending to be Rachel

    ... well, that's proved wrong. Bad call as well as bad form, Sarah. Also, to reiterate, if and when someone does Dr Nealon in, I *really* hope it's one of the clones.

    I suppose the Doylist reason is that there aren't enough hours in the day for Tatiana Maslany to add a sixth regular clone to the roster. Though we end up with Crystal replacing Rachel whether or not Rachel escapes.

    Sarah, Mrs. S, and Felix have the only real clue any of them can go on: the Castor original is in London, or at least came from London, so that's where they need to go.

    Way back in season 1, S's London contacts did seem to be scared, "as if something were going on there too."

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    Replies
    1. I wish wish wish that had happened.

      And I don't know. Maybe we did know what was in the tank all along? I did not. I spent the season finale last year baffled by its presence, and only just now found out what it was for. But it's entirely possible I just wasn't paying attention.

      Team Gracie for adoptive sister!

      That is a good point - we still really don't know how many Leda clones are out there. We've gotten a much better idea of the Castor numbers, but Leda is still largely an unknown. Also we haven't seen Tony again...

      I do agree that Sarah was thinking of what she was doing as maternal, but it still feels sad to leave Crystal out of the loop on this, especially since it very demonstrably doesn't make her safer. Sadness.

      And yes, it probably really does come down to the fact that Tatiana Maslany has to sleep sometime. Also probably the reason we don't get more of Tony.

      I'd completely forgotten about S' London contacts, but that's a very good point.

      Delete
    2. I suppose I just assumed that was what was in the tank rather than knowing it per se.

      Maybe there'll be time to bring Crystal back later on, even if it's not for good.

      Delete
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