The Castor boys are back to their rowdy ways, but not for long. Scarface (Rudy) and Mustache (Seth) kick off this week’s episode by surprise-double-teaming another woman that Scarface has picked up and brought back to their hotel room. As a normal person, she’s not too jazzed about being tricked into a threesome; fortunately, they let her go, but, as we learn later when she reports the incident (coincidentally to Art’s precinct), not before they force her to give them all of her contact information as well as a chunk of her hair? Could be a sex offender M.O. thing, but probably something more … scientific. We also find out that they both – or, presumably, all – have the same tattoo: a two-headed horse, a black-ops insignia, and an artistic reference to the Castor and Pollux Greek myth. (See side notes below.)
Everyone’s favorite DILF Cal is back, too, and true to form, he’s done something especially DILF-y: got an amazing, sun-drenched loft in the city where he, Sarah, and Kira can live happily ever after, but only if Sarah wants to. For a lumberjack, getting a city pad is a huge deal! Later there’s a heart-attackingly adorable montage where the trio plays field hockey around the empty apartment, and Sarah and Cal make out, all of which is pretty cruel considering the odds of these three ever actually getting to be a normal, happy family. Still, though, what a fantastic dad. Did I mention also hot?
Back at the hotel, it’s the morning after, and the Castors — whose power dynamic emerges: Scarface as the sociopathic, single-minded, and protective; Mustache as the insecure, pathos-riddled and completely unstable — get a visit from their boss, Paul. He gives them a fancy lie-detector test that involves rapid-fire LSAT questions, pupil dilation, and what appears to be The Matrix’s answer to Google Glass. Or something. Just a guess, but this probably has something to do with their seemingly “glitching” emotional instability! Mustache falters on a logic puzzle, and Paul orders them to retreat and return to base, which means they can’t continue their search for “the original sample” (presumably DNA, or something, from these women they keep failing to collect). They mention “Mother,” a.k.a. the leathery smoking lady who has Helena right now. (More on her in a minute.) Being certifiably unpredictable and extremely desperate, though, the bros secretly stay behind, to finish the job they were originally assigned in hopes of fixing Mustache: to get the originals’ tissue samples, which they believe Duncan gave to the Leda clones when he escaped. Not unlike the Ledas’ quest to save Cosima last season, I might add. If it weren’t for the whole cold-blooded-murderer-slash-kidnapper-slash-rapist thing, I would feel kind of sorry for them.
Felix and Scott share a giggle-worthy meet-cute at the former’s loft door when the latter comes to check on Cosima, whose condition has mysteriously improved, possibly from new stem cells (or just DNA — scientists, help us out) from one of Kira’s teeth, though there’s no telling whether the toothstuff is what’s actually causing it.
Later, Cosima and Scott go on a fact-finding mission to see Dr. Nealon, who, our girl Danielle was right, looks exactly like a Guess Who? character. They cleverly ask whether Dyad has the original genome, which of course they don’t, but just in case … (as far as we know, it only exists inside the pages of The Island of Dr. Moreau). Eventually, he spills a few key points — whether they’re true, of course, is up for debate:
- Leda, and presumably Castor, too, started as a military experiment under [the Duncans’] guidance. Duh.
- Dyad recruited them when the military jettisoned their project. They brought the Leda genome with them, but not the Castor one, for some reason.
- The Duncans allegedly took the identity of the source donors to their graves.
This week, a sober Alison doubles down on her efforts to beat out that other mom for school trustee by successfully buying a retiring, college-bound Ramón’s entire pill business for $32,000 cash in order to ingratiate herself with all the Xanny-gnashin’ soccer moms. I don’t know, this might be heresy, but I’m not particularly enthused by Alison’s Weeds-y plot line thus far this season. Such a bummer — unless the banality of it all results in another corpse, that is.
Recently reinstated Art calls Sarah to tell her about the woman who escaped the Castors, which prompts her (as he should have well known, being a detective and all) to flout his orders and come down to the precinct to impersonate Beth Childs again and ask her about her experience herself. The show’s solid chain of great feminist moments continues when Art calls the incident “assault”: the woman snaps back, “Yeah, but I consented to the first guy, so that’s not rape, right?” Clear eyes, full hearts, etc.
Aaaaaand as expected, here comes the waterboarding! Some men, including a Castor, are torturing Helena — a “stress test”? Could they not have just put her on a treadmill? — when Smoking Woman, now introduced as Dr. Virginia Cody, swoops in with the news that she’s pregnant. She suddenly acts very motherly, eventually taking Helena outside into what appears to be a Middle East military outpost and feeding her (smart!) after subjecting her to the Google Glass logic puzzle about cheap mangoes. (The attentions of Helena and her adorable, imaginary scorpion friend, of course, lie elsewhere: “Where are these mangoes?”) Dr. Cody tells Helena that her sisters sold her out and that if she stays they’ll help her figure out where she came from. I don’t blame Cody, honestly — if I had to deal with “more [boy clones] than I can count” in the middle of the desert, I’d do anything to snag a daughter, too.
Mrs. S is still very sad, but Felix, crisis-counselor-in-chief, insists she suck it up and use a new, clean iPhone for “contacting [her] dodgy friends, scheming, and maneuvering.” Later, Cosima convinces Sarah to ask S for help in tracking down Paul, which of course she can’t do; instead, she begs Sarah to run away with Kira.
Speaking of leaving … Since we’re not allowed to have nice things, Paul shows up with a gun at Cal’s place that night to do us the honors: Cal apparently was a “war profiteer” who designed weapons for the military once upon a time. Paul reminds him of the deal Mrs. S made when they took Helena — that Sarah would get more “time and space” — and tells him to get Sarah (and Kira, presumably) far away.
When Paul leaves, Cal immediately calls her, but she doesn’t pick up — she’s running a bath at Felix’s for Kira, while Kira is in the other room getting taken hostage by Scarface. She emerges to find him holding her, having donned creepy lipstick Xs over his eyes for no reason and demanding the originals’ tissue samples he believes Duncan gave her, or at least told her about. She of course knows nothing about samples, but tells him Duncan did show her the genome.
Meanwhile, Cal, ever the white (if now darkened) knight, has shown up at Felix’s building to check on her and finds Mustache at the bottom of the stairs posing as a junkie. Seth pulls out a knife and starts threatening him; Cal manages to grab a pipe, but before he has to hit him, Seth starts glitching. Hard. Verbally flitting from that doctor puzzle he got wrong to the time he ate some yogurt in Turkey, he is totally distracted until he blows a neuro-fuse and collapses. Upstairs, Scarface hears his screams and rushes down, gun in hand, ready to kill Cal, when he realizes what’s happening. Then he abruptly turns downward and shoots Seth twice in the chest, immediately proving that whatever is going wrong with the Castors, it’s fatal and painful enough to elicit a mercy killing from one’s own brother. He tells him he loves him and to give up, then runs away, leaving Seth’s unmoving body behind.
Now Sarah takes Siobhan’s advice, but instead she sends Kira out of the country with Cal so she can stay behind and get Helena back, through the one Castor clone they know: the Prolethean guy, Mark. He and Gracie are staying overnight at a motel, where in the middle of the night, he’s in the bathroom running the shower and burning off his Castor tattoo with a blowtorch. We get the privilege of watching his flesh sizzle beneath the blue heat as he screams into a rolled-up washcloth between his teeth.
I mean, all things considered, at least this defection kind of bodes well for the Ledas?
Some of you pointed out in the comments last week that Sarah was ovulating, not menstruating. This is correct, of course, and I was mistaken — nevertheless, my adoration for the “woman uses her bodily functions to throw off men” routine still stands.
How do we feel about the Cal backstory twist? It seems entirely cruel and nonsensical to me — a forced, a misanthropic writing move made to insist that everyone is a bad person in some way or another. Just watch, down the line we’ll find out that Kira wasn’t a passion-fueled, happy accident after all, and Cal was just another part of the experiment. Minus a whole star for this. (Note I don’t actually watch ahead, so this theory could be complete tripe.)
Quick, nerdy history review: The twin brothers Castor and Pollux, both the sons of mortal queen Leda, were known for their horsemanship (hence the tattoos). Despite being twins, they also were said (allegorically, if not plausibly) to have had different fathers — Castor’s Leda’s legitimate husband, the mortal Spartan king, and Pollux’s Zeus (who, remember, disguised himself as a swan to essentially rape Leda — note the strong theme of bodily autonomy). The boys also had twin sisters, Clytemnestra and Helen(a?!) (later of Troy), who, according to some versions of the story, were born with them. Still no sign of the “Pollux” or “Zeus” characters in the OB universe, but I’m guessing that, since we’ve already gone and brought in male clones, they’ll show up eventually.
We really covered a lot of truly political ground this week, from sexual assault to torture to PTSD (see: Seth’s tragic end). I know these are global issues, but it did feel awfully American, especially for a Canadian show produced by a British network.