Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method
Can people be both trustworthy and untrustworthy? How many traps can be laid without the Ledas noticing? How many people can survive a grenade explosion? These are just a few questions we must ask this week. My head is spinning, which I guess is the point, but these plotlines seem to be moving and multiplying and veering so quickly that I’m constantly wondering when the Proletheans or the police or Cal and Kira are about to randomly get thrown into the mix again. This week’s episode overflows with foreshadowing and shifty maneuvers — all super clever, all hopefully leading to something huge.
Finally we get back to Crystal Godrich, that Leda clone we just brought up in the season premiere and promptly forgot about. It turns out she’s the Elle Woods of Leda clones: blonde, bubbly, and a lot smarter than she lets on (“I’m not super smart, but I’m not super stupid either”). We first meet her at her place of business, where Delphine is observing her “disguised” as a family doctor. She blabs to her “client” all about her near-Castor-kidnapping experience. Delphine meets with Nealon to report back on Crystal (“very naïve”) and to stress that Rachel needs to be gotten rid of. Not to worry, Nealon has quite a Machiavellian plan up his gross Fagin-chic sleeve …
Cut to the cantina, where Coady, who of course is still alive (what a horrible way that would have been to get rid of a whole season’s worth of antagonists), is meeting with David, the shady government director who seems to know way more than anyone else in this game and who arrived too late to save all that exploded Castor data. Coady tells David that Rudy* is “in the field,” and David responds by dropping two bombs: One, he’s got a plant in Project Leda (my money is on Shay, but more on that later), and two, he doesn’t respond when Coady asks who’s really in charge, and if there are more than just two clone projects. I guess that would make sense — referring back to the myth, we haven’t heard anything about Pollux …
Cosima and Sarah have a really lovely video chat, before Shay comes home and cuts their moment short. The two of them have a particularly special bond: genuine concern for one another’s emotional well-being, determination to solve their collective problem rather than avoid it, and most of all, respect for one another’s privacy. Cosima tells Sarah not to worry about her scary-yet-supposedly-predictable illness, and Sarah says she can’t lose any more of them, which sounds like foreshadowing, but let’s pretend it’s not, shall we?
At Cosima’s suggestion, Sarah video-chats Scott, who shows her Duncan’s book and reveals the bit about Rachel holding the key hostage until she can speak with Sarah. Reluctantly, Sarah agrees. Once again behind Delphine’s back, Scott hooks the Dread Pirate Rachel up, and she and Sarah (and Siobhan) Skype (seriously, no one Skypes this much, guys). To prove she knows the code, she translates the first page:
We all fell down,
And Castor woke from slumber.
Sounds pretty straightforward — could it mean the Duncans’ London-based team screwed Leda up and the government took their research to start a supersoldier project called Castor? — but it’s a mystery to everyone onscreen. Rachel insists that Duncan gave “her” book to Kira so the two women would cooperate (yeah, sure) and says she’ll translate the rest if Sarah can steal Crystal Godrich’s identity for her so she can escape to Taiwan (??). S. of course doesn’t trust Rachel, while Sarah would prefer to risk that and ruin this poor Barbie clone’s life in exchange for cracking the code that could save Cosima and give them the upper hand with Topside, Dyad, and the United States government. Meanwhile, Gracie Guess who wins? Sarah recruits Felix (who has magically appeared) and off they go on a nail-salon road trip.
Safely back in Canada, Helena — and her cryogenically frozen eggs, which Felix has been keeping safe for her — needs to stay somewhere … and it’s the Hendrixes’ turn. After much hemming and hawing from Donnie (and a really adorable upstairs exchange between Blonde Beast Girl and Alison’s daughter Gemma), Helena comes downstairs in full Allison getup. Gracie isn’t the only new Bubbles employee!
And that new employee’s got a crush. “Alison has good taste in men,” Helena says as Donnie teaches her how to stir soap in the backroom. “You have meat on your bones. You are strong like baby ox. This I like.” Donnie is mildly horrified but can never resist a compliment (oh, Donnie). He makes a joke using her accent, and she about dies laughing. The laugh Tatiana Maslany has crafted for Helena is by far one of the greatest laughs on television, like that of a feral, deranged, emotionally stunted adult baby. Which, I guess, describes Helena in a nutshell. Gracie shows up for her first day, too, and the two co-workers reunite for the first time since the elder helped the younger escape with her betrothed by holding her abusive father in a choke hold and subsequently burning down his farm with him inside. It’s cute.
Cosima brings Shay to the lab and introduces her to Scott, who “loves lesbians.” She declines his offer to sequence her genome, explaining that she doesn’t give that information to corporations, which Scott deems “smart” … true, but smart in a super-red-flaggy sort of way. Oh, and then she just happens to discover the Dr. Moreau book wedged among Scott’s board games? Sounds like she could be the aforementioned Leda plant. This woman knows something, for sure, and just judging by the file Delphine shoves off onto Cosima later, not to mention this week’s particularly spoiler-y teaser reel for next week’s episode, we’re going to find out what that is quite soon.
But not now, of course, because Delphine has to talk to Cosima privately right now about some bleak new information she’s gleaned from the DNA of the dead European clones. Apparently the (unnamed) Polish clone’s genome shows that Cosima needs another stem cell treatment or else she’ll die, which is indeed bad news considering how painful it was getting Kira’s stem cells last time.
They’re working together like old times when Delphine gets a call from Scott, who has since gone home … to discover Rudy chilling in his geek lair holding his cat (whose name is Denise, and she has feline asthma? OMG)!! For some sinister reason, he knows about the book and toys with him like a cool kid bullies a nerd on the playground until he gives it up. Conveniently it’s in Scott’s backpack, where it usually never is … but that’s where he stashed it after Shay “discovered” it in the lab. Convenient. Anyway, a psycho has it now.
Let’s swipe Crystal’s identity. In perhaps Felix’s greatest performance yet (doubly so for Jordan Gavaris’s Maslany-grade meta-performance), he disguises himself as a well-groomed, Canadian-accented hetero-douche-bro with a V-neck sweater and a Bluetooth headset. Embarrassingly, this Cousin of Jason Sudeikis’s Two A-Holes SNL character is just Crystal’s type, and instead of barfing the whole time like I did, she’s quite enchanted by his request for a mani-pedi and assurance that “I’m a good listener.”
Felix truly is a WASP-whisperer, because once again she tells her whole story, including, this time, her feeling that something is off in her life — her boyfriends each suddenly bounce after two years, the hotel security guards who saved her from the Castors (and who killed her last “boyfriend” Hector, apparently) have submachine guns, the police dropped her case awfully quickly. Felix would’ve told her right then about Clone Club if it weren’t for Sarah in his Bluetooth reminding him they don’t want to put that burden on her. He wanders into the staff locker room and finds her purse, which contains her wallet, her … vibrator? (Seriously, girl, you brought that to work?), and a notebook that shows she’s investigating her own near-kidnapping. He grabs the wallet and bounces, but not before reassuring her that she’s not alone. Aww! Turns out she’s really not alone, because when she’s closing up, Nealon shows up in his gross Dickensian streetwear to kidnap her. Hooray! Turns out not telling her was the real burden.
After Donnie whines about it (as is his nature), Alison invites Jason to the store after hours to talk about the kiss he gave her-but-really-Cosima. Entitled drug lord that he is, he takes this as an invitation to kiss her again; she stops him, but he’s totally not worried: “We’re all in bed together now.” Donnie doesn’t believe her when she says it’s settled, so he lures Jason to the shop again with a text from Alison’s phone. I really, really love Donnie for this scene. He might be a doughy, suburban whiner, but he puts up a pretty feminist fight when Jason claims that since they work for him, he can have Alison whenever he wants. Sure, his “girl slap” was pretty weak, but not only is he not ashamed to have taken Alison’s name, he also has this amazing line (which does get him knocked out cold and left there unconscious, but hey, anything for love): “I may be a bitch, but I’m Alison’s bitch. And you’re just a stupid dropout!”
Delphine and Cosima go to Scott’s house, where the writers have shown us mercy: Denise the Asthmatic Cat is unharmed! Whew! But Delphine is heeeeated that no one told her about the Dr. Moreau book. Cosima claims they didn’t make copies … then promptly makes sure the one copy they did make is secretly delivered by one of Scott’s gamer buddies to Siobhan’s door, where Rachel and Sarah are waiting to decode. Oh yeah, did I mention Scott and a nerdy security guard busted Rachel out of Dyad? That was wayyyy too easy, in retrospect.
Cosima is sick of Delphine’s hovering and tries to resign. Delphine claims she needs her to protect her against spies. Cosima drops some realness: “If you’re not gonna be with me, if you’re not gonna switch sides, then let me go.” Earlier, she and Shay had a conversation over a nice reiki session in which Shay said she believed we see the ones we truly love right before we die. Now Cosima tells Delphine about her near-death experience from last season: “I could have slipped away … but I came back for you.” We’re all crying — sorry, I mean they’re both crying, and they kiss. Then Delphine pulls back, and her voice hardens: “You should have trusted me.” Honestly, what exactly does she expect from Cosima — 100 percent honesty? Because that’s worked so well in the past! (Though I must admit, I’m having some serious Paul flashbacks. Can she please reveal her true intentions before she has to die to save them?)
Back at Siobhan’s, Rachel starts translating the book with a pencil (haha). She only gets this far:
We all fell down,
And Castor woke from slumber.
To find the first,
The beast, the curse,
The original has a number.
… before Nealon conveniently shows up with armed Dyad bros. Delphine knew Cosima was lying about having a copy of the book. Rachel flips out, screaming “My book! My father!” and suddenly, coincidentally, dramatically falls out of her chair, having some sort of “seizure.” She’s rushed back to Dyad on a stretcher; Delphine is furious because she assumes Rachel is as good as dead once again, and the book is no good without her decoding. As Nealon gets in the elevator with the stretcher and the doors close, he exchanges a sinister look … WITH RACHEL, WHO IS DEFINITELY NOT UNCONSCIOUS AT ALL.
Later, after “surgery,” Nealon informs Delphine, who has Cosima and Scott waiting in her office, that Rachel is in an induced coma but her brain has swelled so much that she may never recover. Lies! All lies!! Surprise, Delphine is furious once again — so mad that she finally, abruptly accepts Cosima’s resignation on the spot. She accepts Scott’s, too, even though he didn’t tender his. She shoves a file labeled “SHAY” across the table at Cosima. “You might need this when you’re out in the cold,” she spits.
And here we have our maddening cliff-hanger: Nealon is treating a comatose “Rachel” at Dyad, while on the phone with … RACHEL? All the pieces fall into place. This is Crystal, with all her perfectly coiffed blonde hair cut away and her eye patched over (really hope it’s not cut out … ) to make her look like Rachel. On the other end, Rachel is somewhere, presumably in Europe, making a full recovery, getting a brand-new glass eye to go with her brand-new identity. The camera pulls out to reveal the back of another faceless woman, who seems to be overseeing Rachel’s care …
Who do we want to bet this is? I’m putting my money on Susan Duncan. “Dying in a fire” is just too easy a narrative to swallow. And Leekie is supposed to have set it? That sounds as insane as Felix’s a-hole accent.
I’m a little disturbed at how much this week’s next-episode teaser reel reveals, so I’m gonna just ignore those details till next week.
*I was surprised both Rudy and Coady survived, having been so close to Paul’s grenade, but according to hasty Google research, they would have only had to have gotten five meters away from that grenade to survive, 15 to escape injury.