Orphan Black: Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done

Posted on June 16, 2014

Orphan-Black-Season-2-Episode-9-Review-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLOTatiana Maslany in BBC America’s “Orphan Black”

 

Just as the show threatened to collapse under the weight of its various storylines (as it did last week with the highly botched introduction of Tony), we got just what we didn’t realize we needed with this episode; a couple of fist pump moments for an unlikely duo of characters: Donnie and Helena.

Donnie got to vent all his frustrations and get a little of his mojo back (insofar as he ever even had mojo). It was a really enjoyable scene capped off with the perfectly delivered “Have a shitty day.” We sincerely hope this brings to a close the suburban satire the show’s been indulging in with the Hendrix family, though. They’ve wrung everything out of their family dysfunction they possibly can. It’s time to give Donnie and Alison something to do other than patch up their marriage and occasionally kill people accidentally. We guarantee Angela’s not going to back off harassing them, though. And given just how much time and energy was devoted to dealing with Leakie’s body, we can also pretty much guarantee we haven’t seen the last of it. The prospect of the Hendrixes spending all their story time hiding the dead body in their garage from a snooping Angela does not excite us in the slightest.

And Helena? Well, we probably should feel a little more disturbed by her revenge rape scene, but we keep coming back to something we wrote earlier in the season:

“Never have we wanted this character to go on a bloody killing spree more than now. We hope she recuperates quickly and then finds creative and entertaining ways to turn that entire creepy ranch into a graveyard.”

Can’t say she didn’t give us what we wanted. But with the destruction of the Prolethian fertility cult, we wonder whether it had a story purpose other than to get Helena pregnant in the most fucked-up manner imaginable. It is destroyed, right? There’s no way Henrik survived that …um… “procedure,” and with Mark and Grace fleeing the coop (with Helena’s full permission to Grace to terminate her pregnancy) and a fire that doesn’t look like it had many survivors (although apparently there’s a deleted scene of Helena freeing the children from the burning compound, according to the creators), they’d pretty much have to create an entire new set of characters to keep that cult running. Then again, if Henrik’s wife survived, the story may just have generated yet another female villain to add to the mix. In fact, the more we think about it, the more we kind of like that idea. She’d make a wonderful counterpoint to Rachel and Marion’s tight skirts and stilettos, while furthering the show’s obsessions with motherhood themes.

Rachel, it seems, has all her considerable evil rooted in the same motivations that drive Sarah, Helena, and Alison: the need for family. Her own concept of family was blown apart and corrupted by forces outside her control and she has spent most of the rest of her life building a wall around herself, gaining power, and underneath it all, yearning for a home life. When Marion coldly and breezily informed her that Sarah was her new “favorite,” and that all of Rachel’s control and sacrifice have not yielded her anything but pain, that’s when she snapped. Another pseudo-parent rejected her and she reacted by stealing the favored sister’s daughter. It’s almost like a fairy tale or parable.

As an aside, we predicted last week that the show was going to offer us a “clone impersonating a clone” scene and not make it as obvious as they had in the past. They nailed it with Rachel impersonating Sarah. On a second viewing, you can see the ways in which they signaled it (the wig was off and her speech was just a little too calm and clipped), but it was a shock the first time we saw her plunge that needle in Felix’s neck.

And while it’s perhaps a bit reductive to have motherhood and fertility issues be the centerpiece of such a feminist genre story, we recall that Lost managed to wring out several highly discussable, highly watched and highly awarded seasons based on an endless series of people with epic daddy issues. Sometimes the best stories revolve around the simplest of concepts. And sometimes writers can find something new to say if the concept has the stench of cliche all over it. We haven’t quite had a moment to convince us that they’ve found a fresh take on psycho-maternity themes, but we can’t say we mind the exploration of them; especially when they go hand in hand with the other major, and we would argue more important and prominent theme of the series: the agency of women and society’s constant need to police and attempt to own their bodies. It’s not a small thing that the major conversations surrounding Kira’s bone marrow came down to the idea of consent and the heartbreaking question Sarah asked Felix: “What kind of mother does this?” Even if the story occasionally gets muddled and goes off in directions that tend to end abruptly, we have to admire how committed and consistent the show is about its central themes

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA]

    • Rottenwood

      Now the site can begin its Orphan Black fashion report.

      “A hoodie: who wears it better, Sarah or Rachel? Vote below!”

    • M_E_S

      I’m not terribly concerned with the show basing itself around the idea of motherhood and still being feminist. So much of what society makes of women is tied up in the idea of us being able to reproduce, it’s an area full of complications and ready to be explored. I just hope that if/when Cosima gets better, she doesn’t then become obsessed with having a child herself. I’d like for at least one of the clones not to have her identity tied up in her ability to have kids.

    • M_E_S

      Also, apparently the Prolethean midwife was played by Kathryne Alexandre, who is Tatiana Maslany’s body double in all the scenes where the clones interact. Glad to see her getting her own lines!

      • Suzanne Moore

        Ooh, thanks for the tip. I need to go back and re-watch, to see Kathryne Alexandre…and for the scene where Rachael impersonated Sarah. I didn’t have a clue, it was a clone impersonating another clone until the syringe met Felix’s neck, lol.

    • Kerri

      I LOVED all the Donnie and Allison stuff in this episode. Donnie was amazing and I totally agree that “Have a shitty day!” was the best line of the episode.

    • lvogt

      I loved the whole Helena / Frankenstein reference. Henrik is telling the Frankenstein story to the kids as Helena walks in… Helena, the unloved creation, later kills the mad scientist with his own tools while laughing maniacally and from the hilltop views the burning village below. Pure gothic horror. Wow!

      • decormaven

        Good catch!

      • asympt

        Henrik tried to give Frankenstein an unearned, cuddly happy ending. No such luck! You can’t just mouth nice words to the creature while still treating her as a monster with no agency.

        • smayper

          Yeah, that made me laugh out loud. Frankenstein and the monster have ice cream together…told by a cult leader to mass-produced children. Isn’t it creepy that he doesn’t even have sex with the women — just implants them? I mean, I know why it has to happen that way, but it still adds a special level of twistedness.

    • Almut Weidenprinzessin

      Where is Paul though?

      • Twigg

        Rachel probably has him tied to a bed naked somewhere.

        • Eric J.

          No, as of last week Rachel specifically did not know where Paul was.

          • Twigg

            You’re absolutely right (I loved the line about his absence being irksome) but I still like my idea.

      • kimmeister

        Or the guy cop? Or Kira’s dad?

      • Guest

        The chat Mark and Henrik were having at the start made me think that he was also involved in whatever happened in Afghanistan with Paul and Tony’s monitor… I’m now wondering if Mark and Paul will turn up together next week!

    • MilaXX

      The Donnie & Allison scenes were hysterical, complete with make up sex. I did gasp at the syringe in Felix’s throat. I too had to rewatch to pick up that it was Rachel masquerading as Sarah. I have a feeling we’ll see Gracie & Mark again. I’m not sure if Gracie will terminate the pregnancy.

      • Violina23

        I was thinking that the accent wasn’t quite right… and by the time the thought came together, there was the syringe…

        • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

          I was in the same position as you – I thought Tatiana’s performance was slipping and then dismissed it. And the, syringe! An amazing performance in hindsight once you take in what just happened!

    • RussellH88

      I think using motherhood in the storyline works, because so much of the show is about owning your own biology. So it would make sense that a character like Rachel would have an issue with being designed to be denied a basic part of human life. And given how controlled she is, of course her desired form of family would be to have children (as opposed to father and mother figures where they’re the ones over her)

      • Grumpy Girl

        Especially since all her parental figures have failed her, so she would want to “do it right.”

        • RussellH88

          Yeah, I think the show doesn’t treat motherhood as ideal, just a choice that people have and it’s a choice that Rachel has been deprived of. The characters are strongly defined enough to where their own ideas of motherhood make a great deal of sense based on what we know about them.

        • Badriya Al-Badi’a

          Though she’s doing to Kyra exactly what was done to her–ripping her away from a loving family to bring her up in the sterile cold confines of Dyad.

        • smayper

          And that desire is told so well with the bedroom the designers created. It’s as pink and contrived as Alison, but in a truly horrifying way. More of a prison than the one Henrik locks Gracie in.

    • Glam Dixie

      It was an awesome episode, I have nothing deep or thoughtful to add, only how much I enjoyed it. I’m so bummed that it looks like they are going to leave us with a fucked up cliffhanger surrender by Sarah next week. arg! I hope I’m wrong and they at least wrap some of it up before the ending.

    • somedaysunday

      Though, I *really* didn’t like the whole Tony storyline (random and super contrived), I was really surprised that they didn’t even acknowledge it on the “Previously On…” clips. What do ya’ll think was the purpose of the Tony story? – Just to identify Paul as a “ghost?” or to show us that there are probably many other clones out there? Thoughts/theories?

      • heybethpdx

        I didn’t love the Tony bit either, and it seems like a LOT of work to deliver a pretty trivial-seeming message. I am wondering if Tony will show up in the finale in some unexpected way.

        • marlie

          Maybe not in the finale, but you’re right – we’ve not seen the last of him. Hopefully if/when he returns, his storyline is a little more well though out.

      • tonyny

        I think Tony will be back next year (assuming there is a next year). I think they needed to get this “Paul is a ghost” message (whatever that means; hopefully we’ll find out next week) delivered somehow, and somewhere along the way they decided to use Tony as the messenger for this. I know from stuff I’ve read that the character of Tony is someone they’ve been working on for a while (apparently Mason and Maslany came up with the idea of a trans clone independently, so they got excited and decided to run with it). I also understand from things Mason and Fawcett have said that they recognize the cultural importance of Tony’s character and that it is important to them that he not be viewed as gratuitous or a token.

        But ultimately, I think they failed. I don’t think the character of Tony is itself random and contrived (and I don’t think you’re saying that either); I just think the way they used him is. Or seems to be so far, anyway. My working theory is that they just thought the idea of Tony was very cool and they saw what they thought was an opportunity to use him, which they’ve been dying to do. They decided this was a way they could fit him into the story.
        Alas, I don’t think it really worked in the narrative. I think it sort of came off as the clone equivalent of stunt casting. Which is a shame, because I think the character himself is compelling and could be very interesting in an appropriate story. This just wasn’t it. It was too flimsy an excuse to bring in a character that really should have a story as thought provoking as the character is.

        But if they didn’t bring the character back and give him more to do next season (hell, maybe even this season), I’d be VERY surprised.

      • Marcy Milliron

        What if the hormone treatments Tony is taking provide a clue to avoiding the tumors?

        • http://BikePretty.com/ Bike Pretty

          seems doubtful that this show would run a storyline about how testosterone is the cure.

          • Marcy Milliron

            Not so farfetched, though. Testosterone is naturally produced by the ovaries, and estrogen suppression (through ovarian ablation or the use of Tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors) is the standard of care for estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. About 75% of all breast cancers are ER+. Estrogen is also a factor in some ovarian and endometrial cancers.

            • http://BikePretty.com/ Bike Pretty

              Orphan Black uses science facts to explore themes. The writers are quite conscious of symbolism. Given all the other motifs in the show, I think it would be unlikely for a hormone that is strongly associated with maleness to emerge as the treatment for the clones lady-problems.

              I saw Tony’s T as a demonstration of how this particular clone uses medical technology as a way to express his own identity. Which is pretty cool considering that the genetic identicals were created in another lab to be just that, identical. It’s a neat little switch-up.

    • muzan-e

      One scene tremendously horrified and disgusted me – and it wasn’t the reciprocal ‘rape':

      Sarah, Mrs S, Felix and every other responsible adult within hearing-range allowed a child to choose whether she would undergo an invasive surgical procedure.

      Sarah, I understand. Sarah has more experience of police stations and subways than she does of children, and an overpowering passion for individual freedom. Felix, sure.

      But MRS. S signed off on this. MRS S – who has always put that child first – abdicated responsibility, allowing a minor with a demonstrated altruistic streak choose to undergo a procedure that was poorly explained to her, and one that she couldn’t possibly have understood even if she were read the documentation. Anyone could see that a child who’ll pull a tooth for a sick person’s sake will give up a great deal more to save that person’s life.

      It’s not just that they are essentially allowing her to be harvested (once is happenstance; twice is a pattern).
      It’s that they abdicated parental responsibility in a moment in which that child needed it most.

      … and then two scenes later, they were bitterly regretting it.

      I have to give the writers enormous credit for setting up that moment and letting those characters fall so very, very hard. They were right to be horrified by what they’d done, it was right that they be tremendously remorseful when they saw the tools go in. Huge applause, for writers who knew exactly what they were doing at every single step of that sequence.

      • TropiCarla

        Agree. My baby’s name is Keira, and my blood ran cold throughout those scenes. In spite of her 20-month toddler squirminess, I clutched her to me for a good hour after that. I was horrified imagining us in that situation, and as with other Kira scenes, I can’t fathom some of the choices they made.

      • Glam Dixie

        Watching those tools go into her hip almost made me tear up along with Sarah. It was a powerful scene.

      • heybethpdx

        I’m curious how you think they should have handled it? I didn’t look at the scene critically, and I’m not sure what the “right” thing to do would be – say yes and then try to sell it to Kira? Say no and let Cosima take her chances with waiting for an alternative cure? I haven’t been exposed to this ethical dilemma so I’m not sure how else they should have handled it. To me it made sense that they get buy-in from Kira, but you’re right, I was sure she’d say yes based on her earlier behavior with the tooth.

        • muzan-e

          Oh, I have no idea how I’d have chosen, in their position. And I agree absolutely with you that getting a buy-in of some sort from Kira was absolutely essential, and absolutely the right thing to do! *g* Abdicating it to the point of “let the choice be hers”, though, was too much for me. And possibly that’s just my personal bias speaking; I’ve known and worked with children altruistic enough that it was necessary sometimes to step in on their behalf – because they were willing, on request, to give so much as to actually cause them harm.

      • tonyny

        I don’t know, I think Kira has demonstrated herself to be a pretty precocious young lady; I have no problem with them consulting her on whether or not she wants to donate bone marrow. This is a show that deals quite a bit in the ethics of body ownership, and I think this is just another example of that. I suppose there’s an ethical argument to be had here, but for my part, I think I would take up the opposite position to yours, muzan-e.

        I don’t see their deferring of the decision to Kira as an abdication of parental responsibility; rather, I see it as reinforcing Kira’s right to self-determination at a reasonably (but not excessively) early age, a chance to give her a taste of adult decision making in a relatively low-risk situation. If the procedure she were to undergo (bone marrow donorship) were particularly dangerous, maybe I’d think differently, but given the extremely low risk of complication (the biggest risks come from anesthesia, not the procedure itself), I think someone of Kira’s age and apparent intellect could be trusted to handle that choice responsibly, and to learn something from the experience.

        Also, the regret the adults later felt was not because they allowed Kira’s marrow to be harvested, it was because they were tricked by Rachel into allowing her to be kidnapped. Pretty different thing, no?

        • Violina23

          Ha, We posted about the same time, but yeah I read it the same way.

          Although, I think the ‘regret’ being referenced was Sarah sobbing while holding Kira’s hand, feeling guilt for putting her through the procedure (before Rachel kidnapped her). I kinda thought they were laying it on a bit thick, I mean she was donating a substance that the body regenerates, she wasn’t donating a kidney…

          • tonyny

            Ah, you may be right about the regret comment. If so, I apologize for misunderstanding… though I will also say that I’m not sure I would go so far as to term that “regret.” That was, in my opinion, just a parent not wanting her child to suffer pain, even if it’s for a good cause. Anyone’s who has been a parent knows what that feels like, and how natural it is to second guess any decision that causes even an ounce of pain for a child. But second guessing is not the same thing as true regret, I don’t think. On balance, I think Sarah and Siobhan and Kira know they made the right decision.

        • muzan-e

          As I said above: consulting her was absolutely the right thing to do; I completely agree. *g*

          And as Violina23 mentioned below, the regret I mentioned was the sequence during the procedure itself, where she began apologising for it. Of course, everything that happens in the show is up for interpretation; that’s half the fun! *g* And oh, do I ever know the horror of watching a child suffer – even over small things, necessary things. It just felt like more than that, to me” that the sight of what was being done confronted them with the cold realities of it. I think that – in that moment – they were absolutely and without reservation owning the choice they’d made –

          For which I have huge respect, for the characters and for their writers.

          • tonyny

            Yeah, we probably agree more than it seems. :) I guess I would say that Sarah and S would have the first responsibility to say no if they judged the proposed procedure to be too dangerous. But I think basically — and admittedly, I’m reading between the lines here, but I’m pretty sure this was the intent — I think the decision that it was Kira’s choice was actually a tacit admission that they figured it was low risk, but that they also felt that Kira should have a veto right, since it was her body being subjected to the poking and prodding and extracting. So, I took “it’s not our decision” to mean that really it wasn’t their sole decision; that Kira was not their property and thus she had a say in this too. And yes, I agree with Violina23 that a lot of this is a conscious choice to NOT treat Kira the way the DYAD has treated the clones.

            But yes, definitely they did show the consequences of the decision and the doubt that creeps in afterward, and that was very real and very powerful and very well done.

      • Violina23

        They have always painted Kira as being wise beyond her years — I didn’t have trouble believing she could understand what the procedure entailed and that it could save a life. I mean, I have a friend who donated marrow before and I don’t recall it being risky as much as just being somewhat uncomfortable. I took it as them trying to give Kira the chance to choose for herself, in contrast to the clone club members, who had been manipulated since birth and were being treated by DYAD as, quite literally, property.

        • muzan-e

          … I love that perspective: that they’re allowing her the sort of choice that they’ve been denied all along. That’s powerful, and it feels absolutely right to me. And I agree that all this time, they’ve been painting her as a very bright and empathetic young lady, resilient as heck and singularly level-headed. And it’s not as if they were asking her to volunteer something irreplaceable –

          But I strongly suspect Kira would have agreed to that sort of procedure, too. Too easily, when you describe something like that to a child so young – “We have a chance to save her from dying if you make this small sacrifice”, their mind translates it into “She will die if you don’t”. Heck, adults do that too.

          But consulting her, I agree, was absolutely essential.

          • aesteve212

            Totally agree. In real life – no way would I ask a 5/6 year old to make that decision (with a death of an aunt in the balance!), but in this show where the women have been and continue to be treated like the science experiments they essentially are, it made total sense that Sarah would ask Kira to consent.

            • tonyny

              Just as an aside, do we know how old Kira is? I was thinking she was something like 8 or 9; you’re saying 5 or 6. That’s actually a pretty big difference, developmentally. I would trust an 8 or 9 year old to evaluate all the implications of that decision much more than I would a 5 or 6 year old, even a really smart one. Hmm.

            • Guest

              The actress is around 8, so my guess is Kira is 7 or 8.
              As for letting Kira make such a major decision – I guess I would argue that Sarah had already made her choice, simply by bringing the choice to her daughter. Sure, she said they would have to let Kira decide but at that point Sarah had made her decision to let Kira make the bone marrow donation – she just consulted Kira, who I believe could have made the decision not to do it. Sarah may say that she would let Kira decide, but in effect, she’d already ok’d the bone marrow procedure.
              It’s not nearly on the same scale, but I don’t ask my four-year-old if she wants to go to the park, or have ice cream, or cut four inches off her hair, or whatever, unless I’ve already decided that those things are acceptable, kwim? So I may be letting her have the final say, but only when I’ve already decided that either option is okay with me.

            • tonyny

              Yeah, I agree with that reasoning; think I said more or less the same thing upthread a bit. Sarah and S had basically decided it was OK with them, provided it was also OK with Kira. Kira had a veto right, basically. But if Sarah or Mrs. S thought for one minute that Kira was in any actual danger, then I don’t think the option would ever have been presented to her.

    • heybethpdx

      The cult-mother definitely survived the inferno – Gracie said she was currently out west looking for more brood mares (girls to impregnate), so we may not have seen the last of the cult, though I’m over that storyline. I don’t really get their greater purpose, so if they do come back I hope we get some clarity there.

      Also, Helena escaped with what looked like a container full of embryos that are half-Helena, half-Prolethian dude. I don’t know if that will come into play but it seems like it’s got plotline potential!

      When will we hear if there’s going to be a season three?!

    • a_liking

      did I catch a little bit that Mark (?? is that his name? the young Prolethian) is ex-military as well? maybe I’m way off base but that automatically makes me think about Paul, Cal, and the other “ghosts”. wonder if there’s any connection there – if nothing else, there’s definitely something going on with the military in the background.

      what exactly did Helena do to Mr. Prolethian? I assumed she just sodomized him with the giant syringe, but it seems like maybe there was something more.

      • Twigg

        You’re right, there was a line about him serving in the military.

        We only saw Helena and the syringe, but I would bet she did more to him. Leaving him bound to a chair in a burning house would have killed him no matter what she did after the syringe.

      • heybethpdx

        Yes, the conversation between Mark and Henrik revealed that Mark is 19, is AWOL from the military, and whatever he did while serving gives him recurring nightmares. When he and Paul crossed paths in the bar, Paul asked what type of military background Mark had, but he just said Boy Scouts instead of actually telling his story.

      • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

        Yep, caught that too. I wonder if there’s another faction which trained Paul, Mark and Tony’s monitor – although only Paul and Tony know each other judging by the Mark/Paul conversation in the bar (unless that was all a ruse and they do know each other!)

    • Lattis

      Only one more episode of Orphan Black? Game of Thrones is kaput for awhile. Thank god the Doctor is coming back in August. What the hell am I going to do with all that free time til then? : )

    • http://SkyDancingBlog.com/ Minkoff Minx

      As for the Prolethean mothers, I assumed they all were “virgin mothers” carrying Henrik’s “divine” seed? Ooof, the whole premise of that cult gives me the creeps.

      • Violina23

        My husband and I are still kinda confused as to what the primary goal of the Proletheans is in the first place — when they were first introduced, we thought “religious nuts who are anti-cloning for ethical reasons”, but then they started all this IVF crap– I mean why do they care about Helena and her genetics? Why do they care that she “defies science”

        • tonyny

          I wondered this as well. My theory is that Henrik basically likes the idea of being the father (literally) of some sort of master race. That this doesn’t particularly jive with the dogma of the “old world” Proletheans like Tomas is, I think, not accidental. I think Henrik has essentially hijacked the Prolethean cult and tried to bend its philosophy, such as it is, to his advantage. And like other cult leaders before him, it’s not really so much about how much sense he makes as it is about how compelling and charismatic he can be, and Henrik apparently has (had?) those attributes in spades.

    • marlie

      After this episode, I’m on “Team Donnie” all the way. LOVED him in this ep. I have to admit, I rewinded to the scene with Rachel impersonating Sarah too, just to see if there were any clues that I hadn’t paid attention to. There were a couple of subtle mannerisms, but nothing really glaring. Great acting on Maslany’s part. I totally agree about the Officer Angela (and Vic) storyline… I’m ready to say goodbye to them. Vic has consistently been one of the least interesting or compelling characters, so I’m ready to be done with him.

      • Violina23

        I agree about Vic, but him putting up the fingers for the cell phone pic made me laugh aloud though… :)

    • Laurie Young

      Did they ever explain why Sarah or Allison, or any other clone could not be the stem cell donor? Wouldn’t they have the same stem cells/bone marrow match as Kira?

      • Suzanne Moore

        Good question. Why is Kira the only possible donor? For the drama?

        • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

          Probably, and because they had her tooth which contained stem cells that they knew worked. I’m not quite into gene therapy so I’m not sure if there’s a reason why a child would be a better donor that an adult…

      • heybethpdx

        That’s a great question! I don’t get a lot of the science we’ve been exposed to in this show and I’ve really appreciated some of the Bitter Kittens who chime in with helpful information. If there’s a logical science explanation I hope someone can fill us in!

      • Eric J.

        My understanding has been that most of the clones are unsuitable because they’ve got the sterility sequence that’s causing all the problems, but Sarah doesn’t – so her stem cell should work. (Possibly Helena as well, depending on whether she an Sarah are identical or fraternal (sestranal?) twins. Or maybe Sarah does have the sequence, but it’s just not expressing in her for some reason. And the sequence was artificially inserted, so maybe it’s not replicated in their gametes, meaning it can’t have been passed on to Kira.

    • asympt

      Handy for Alison that not only is she compulsively overachieving at domestic skills, but she’d just been in a musical that revolved around cleaning up a messy death scene. Couldn’t have been more natural to her to clean up Leakie’s!

      • kimmeister

        Good point!

    • Badriya Al-Badi’a

      I liked the contrast in this episode between the two most psychologically damaged clones, Helena and Rachel. Helena might be capable of horrific violence and incapable of filtering between her thoughts and her mouth/actions but she also has a huge heart, evidenced in her defense of the little girl and her offer to Gracie, as heartbreaking to Helena herself as it must have been, to accept Gracie’s aborting of Helena’s babies, if that was what Gracie wanted to do.* Rachel, on the other hand, seems to have had the capacity for love betrayed and burnt out of her, to the point where she can’t even go to the little girl that she stole away to be her own child to comfort her, or as we saw with Paul can’t accept a lover’s caress.

      *That was one of my favorite moments of the episode, and I think Gracie and Helena will end up strong allies, if not friends, just because they will have the interests of their babies in common. Gracie could be a powerful tool against the absent Prolethian mother.

      • Grumpy Girl

        Great point. And I thought it was telling that Kira actually looked frightened when she was with Rachel. She wasn’t scared by Helena (!) or other women who looked scary-like her mother, didn’t give up Alison pretending to be her mom, and accepted Paul and Cal. Given her precociousness, that scares me more than anything else–what is Kira sensing about Rachel’s inner void? What has Dyad really screwed up in Rachel, and is it in any way fixable?