Orphan Black brings Krystal (Tatiana Maslany) back for episode 6 “Manacled Slim Wrists.” She’s hilarious, steals every scene she’s anywhere near, and learns some helpful info. The rest of the episode is less humorous and more inflammatory. Continue reading “Orphan Black S5 E6 Manacled Slim Wrists”
The final episode of season 3 of The Fall is “Their Solitary Way.” The story did not end the way Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) wanted. It didn’t end well for Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) either. Everyone Paul Spector came into contact with was damaged by knowing him. Beware the spoilers. Continue reading “The Fall S3 E6 Their Solitary Way”
Happy Valley S2 E6 resolves all the crime stories in this series, but it leaves us with Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) in emotional tatters. This brief review will have spoilers. I’ve tried to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but my American readers will find the series on Netflix starting March 16, so the need to avoid spoilers is lessened. Continue reading “Happy Valley S2 E6: Kindness to Strangers”
The season 3 finale of Last Tango in Halifax takes place on Gillian (Nicola Walker) and Robbie’s (Dean Andrews) wedding day. The day is mainly a series of comic disasters overlaid with the faint aroma of horse shit.
There are spoilers. Continue reading “Last Tango in Halifax: S3 E6”
The Fall ends season 2 with a 90 minute episode. Whether this is really the end is up for debate in the last few seconds of the episode. Until then we have a very satisfactory accumulation of evidence for putting Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) in prison forever.
Major spoilers ahead.
Rose Stagg (Valene Kane) was not in the burned out car they found at the end of the last episode, but the car was close enough to the abandoned house on Sally Ann Spector’s (Bronagh Waugh) parents’ property that the police finally went to look at it. There Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) finds the location where Spector filmed Rose Stagg begging for her life.
James Tyler (Brian Milligan) gets a call about where his wife Liz (Séainín Brennan) is in a women’s shelter.
There’s a reporter nosing around the Spector house as the police search it. The neighbors are talking about how Sally Ann was arrested.
James Tyler shows up at the Spector’s house because he still wants to beat the crap out of Paul Spector. He knows the reporter. Tyler takes the reporter’s car and heads off to the women’s shelter where his wife is.
In the police station, Stella Gibson watches the video from the babysitter Katie’s (Aisling Franciosi) phone of the night Katie and Paul were having Skype sex. It makes Stella wonder if the story Katie has been telling and the things she wrote in her diary are actually pure fabrication.
In a very calculated decision, Stella sends Tom Anderson (Colin Morgan) to interrogate Katie. Stella says she’s doing it because he looks a bit like Spector and Katie is obsessed with Spector. Katie sticks to her lies and does not tell the truth. Even when Tom Anderson explains to her that she will go to jail for protecting a murderer, she continues to lie. She’s in love. She’s an idiot.
The police find thousands of recordings of hotel guests on the desk clerk’s computer. One of them is Katie being tied up on the bed and left like that. That was the same night when Paul called Stella from Rose Stagg’s phone.
Next it’s Sally Ann Spector’s turn to answer questions. She tells the truth. She recognizes the necklace that Paul gave their daughter Olivia (Sarah Beattie). When the police finally explain the charges against Paul to her. Sally Ann calmly looks down and says, “I’m bleeding.” They take her to the hospital where she miscarries.
Stella tries the look-alike trick on Paul Spector. She did this the last episode and she’s trying it again. She sends a nervous Officer McNally (Bronagh Taggart) to question him.
Spector just laughs at McNally, looks right into the camera and says cheap tricks with a cop who looks like Annie Brawley won’t work. He says nothing more.
Back on the James and Liz front, James bursts into the women’s shelter. He shoves everyone who gets in his way, tries to strangle his wife, and pulls her around by the hair. In a fit of anger, Liz tells him she did have great sex with Paul Spector. Rule number one for abused women: don’t tell your abuser the lie he already believes. He won’t get the sarcasm.
James waves a gun around but leaves when he hears sirens approaching.
The little Spector girl is questioned. She lies. She tells the officer that she can’t tell things because they are secret. When the officer asks her what would happen if she told the secrets, she says her daddy would go to prison.
The case against Spector gets stronger when bits of unburned material from the car they found are analyzed by forensics. Paul’s now tied by evidence to other murders. Hurrah!
With the new evidence, they are finally able to bring charges against Spector for all the murders. When he hears what they have against him, he asks for Stella. He says he will only talk to her.
Burns (John Lynch), whose only purpose in life seems to be to tell Stella she can’t do things, tries to tell her she can’t question Spector. Spector’s a monster. Stella says he’s just a man like any other. Men like Spector are all too human. Then she reminds him that he attacked her in her hotel room the other night and clearly crossed the line himself.
Stella Gibson begins her interrogation of Paul Spector. It’s a very long scene with just the two of them. The pacing in this show is so deliberate, so careful. There’s space around every line, every glance. You can almost see brains whirring inside people’s heads. This long scene is the ultimate example of what the whole series does with pacing. It drives up the tension unbearably.
She asks him questions going back to his youth, to when he first began stalking women. She acts interested in everything about his evolution into a serial killer.
He confesses everything. Every one of the murders he’s charged with. He gloats over them. He talks about how godlike he feels. The camera circles them, closes in on faces, eyes, mouths, then moves back out. They talk quietly. Stella shows no emotion. Stella remains calm during the interrogation. She calls Spector a rapist and a murderer to his face without showing any emotion. He tells her everything.
When she asks where Rose Stagg is, he stops talking.
Stella steps out of the interrogation room. Burns tells her, “Well done.” She looks as if she might toss her cookies at the remark and walks off without a word. Then she goes into the room where all the murder boards are and stares at photos of Rose Stagg.
That night, we see Stella writing out her remarks for the press conference she’s expecting to lead the next day. They have Spector for sure now. She stands up and we see Detective Anderson sleeping in her bed. Next morning over breakfast in bed, he asks her if she wanted him there because of his resemblance to Paul Spector.
Stella tells him the story about how the thing men fear most about women is that they will laugh at them. The thing women fear most about men is that they will kill them. She concludes by saying she hates Paul Spector with every fiber of her being.
The phone rings. Spector has given up a location for Rose Stagg. Stella and Anderson go to the police station in her car – raising a couple of eyebrows in the process. The police make all sorts of logistical plans to take Spector to the location in the forest he mentioned.
After a night in Stella’s bed, Det. Anderson thinks he can express his opinions about Stella’s decisions. She cuts him off at the knees and tells him to follow orders. He says, “Yes, ma’am,” like a petulant child.
Stella has horrible taste in men. There are so many of them waiting to fall into her bed. You’d think she could find at least one who wouldn’t be an ass afterwards.
While the police prepare to go to the forest, the reporter gets a call from his police informant that Spector is on the move. He calls Tyler and asks for his car back. When Tyler arrives, he insists on following Spector to the forest too.
Stella walks into the woods alone. Behind her Spector and Anderson are cuffed together. Other police officers stand guard. An ambulance and a cruiser trail after Stella. A helicopter is overhead.
Eventually, Stella finds Rose Stagg’s car. An officer brings a crowbar so they can look in the trunk.
Rose is alive, but barely. When Stella radios that Rose is alive, Paul is surprised. They load Rose into the ambulance and take her away.
Stella starts back to where Spector is just as they get a call from the helicopter above them. Unidentified people are on the road. As Stella approaches, James Tyler rushes up and shoots Paul and Tom Anderson. The police shoot Tyler.
Stella runs to Paul. She tries to stop his bleeding. She’s shouting for help. She yells, “We’re losing him. We’re losing him.” Paul lays in her arms looking up at her blissfully like it’s just the place he’s always wanted to be.
Aaaaannnnnd . . . cliffhanger.
It’s over. The end. We don’t know if Paul dies. We don’t know if Paul makes it to the hospital and then escapes, thus creating a reason for a 3rd season of The Fall. We don’t know if Tom Anderson and James Tyler are dead or alive. Season 2 ends at that moment with Paul bleeding in Stella’s arms.
The cliffhanger ending was intentional. Allan Cubitt recently said that there will probably be a 3rd season. More Stella Gibson can only be a good thing.
I know The Fall been criticized as an extended rape fantasy – especially season 1 when we were watching Paul Spector plan and commit his crimes. I don’t see it that way. I see a man who thinks it is his right to harm women in a world where men harm women every day. I see a woman who has the power and means to fight back and to bring him to justice. To stop him. That’s the message I see and support in The Fall.
I’ve said it again and again: Gillian Anderson is fabulous as Stella Gibson. In Gillian Anderson’s hands, Stella is calm and cool and brilliant. She’s in command, she’s effective and self-confident.
Jamie Dornan is also superb, but I don’t necessarily want to see his character still able to operate in the free world. Although – who knows what might happen next with this open-ended finale for season 2.
There were enough shots of Jamie Dornan bare-chested in The Fall for me to predict that he’s going to be a huge hit in 50 Shades of Grey. Maybe some of the fans of 50 Shades of Grey will go looking for more Jamie Dornan and find their way to this excellent series.
This series is full of excruciating suspense. It uses dialog-free scenes, music, careful pacing of action and reflection, and superb acting. So different from the big explosion filled action blockbusters, and so much better!
The Fall belongs on every “Year’s Best” list there is. Writing, directing, acting, music, sets, costumes: awards are in order for all of it.
Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes are responsible for the nerve-wracking music.
In particular, and at the very least, there should be an award for the way Gillian Anderson looks in those silk blouses! Maggie Donnelly deserves the credit for costumes. Go, Maggie!
Lost Girl episode 6 of season 5 is “Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts.” The title is a tribute to a beloved favorite, Friday Night Lights. Look out, college football, here come Tamsin and Bo!
Bo (Anna Silk) dreams about the jack-in-the-box. Lauren (Zoie Palmer) cranks the handle slowly. She turns and smiles. Bo jerks awake.
There’s a blonde in Bo’s bed but it isn’t Lauren. The blonde is Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten). Tamsin give Bo an unsolicited good morning kiss. Bo goes off to make breakfast just the way Tamsin likes it because “that’s what roomies are for.”
The case of the week begins when Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) is sent to a crime scene at a football stadium. Mark (Luke Bilyk) is with him. The only thing you need to know about Mark in this episode is that he makes a juvenile, sexist, stupid, asshole remark every time he has a line.
Blood next to the dead football player makes the triple spiral Dyson’s been chasing around lately. He wipes it up and it reforms.
Dyson meets Lauren, Tamsin and Bo at the Dal. He tells them he thinks the murder is tied in with the Fae cult he’s tracking. Tamsin and Bo decide to go undercover as cheerleaders. Dyson says Tamsin doesn’t exactly scream perky. Lauren makes an award-winning, hilarious face at the idea of a perky Tamsin, which she wipes off when Tamsin gives her a look.
Tamsin and Bo don cheerleader costumes and strut across the football field in their little outfits. They’re supposed to be leading tryouts. About halfway there, Tamsin trips. Pratfalls are not beyond us, apparently.
Tamsin immediately has a run in with cheerleading team captain Brinkley White (Anna Hopkins). To show her stuff, Tamsin does a series of handsprings and tucks. When Brinkley’s ready for her turn to demo her tumbling skills, Tamsin throws the whammy on her. Girl doesn’t play fair in dance competitions, either. Bo nods sadly: Tamsin fails at perky.
Bo talks to a male cheerleader, Derek (Aren Buchholz), who is there representing tired, gay stereotypes. Bo gets a few ideas from him about who the murderer could be. Hint, her initials are B.W. He says the murdered guy was a bully, especially to the quarterback, Clay (Dwain Murphy). Just then Clay gets smacked to the ground on the field. Everyone thinks he’s out cold but he hops back up. Not human? Tamsin will check him out.
Clay wants to know why Tamsin thinks he would hurt his best receiver. He doesn’t tell her much.
Cassie (Vanessa Matsui) wakes up muttering about rain and floods and coming storms. I didn’t get a screen grab of him, but Lauren’s new assistant is played by Gabe Gray, who was the doctor in Bomb Girls. A tidbit of irrelevant info because I’m pretty sure Lost Girl fan are also Bomb Girls fans.
When Bo calls Lauren to run tests on the players, Tamsin gets jealous. She doesn’t want Bo calling Lauren. Bo looks at Tamsin like what is up with you? Then Tamsin kisses Bo, a lip lock that Bo doesn’t actually return.
Into the Dal walks Elizabeth Helm (Amanda Walsh). She orders an old cocktail that Trick (Rick Howland) hasn’t mixed in 1000 years.
Trick tries to chat her up, find out who she is. He tells her the ancients call this drink the drink of prophecy. She says she thinks he’ll find the ledger because ancient things have a way of turning up.
Lauren shows up wanting either urine samples or blood samples from the football players under the guise of drug testing. If it’s urine, she has to watch the person pee. One player suggests she likes to watch and gives her a view of both his front and back. Lauren shrugs and says, “You really got the wrong girl.”
Dyson and Mark are at the gym, where Dyson has constructed a murder board. He pins up the image of the triskelion of blood.
A woman comes in with a request for Dyson. Her name is Alyssha (Lisa Marcos). She says she saw her dead husband walking in the street. He didn’t even recognize her.
She shows Dyson a photo. It’s Heratio (Noam Jenkins). Note the Capital Sports logo behind him. Dyson says he’ll check it out.
Lauren shows Bo test tubes full of science stuff. First she ogles Bo’s outfit, proving she’s human first and a scientist second. From Trick on speaker phone, we learn one of the guys appears to be a Heraclid. Heraclids are descendants of Hercules, the son of Zeus. Human but strong, fast and resilient. Also listening to this conversation at the Dal is Elizabeth Helm. Oh, oh.
Dyson talks to Clay, the quarterback. Clay doesn’t know what the triple curve shape is or what a Heraclid is. But he does have a secret.
Bo and Dyson talk about Clay not knowing who he is. Bo lets it slip that she’d be better off not knowing who her father is. When Dyson picks up on that, she deflects, changes the subject. They decide to chat with the gossipy cheerleader, Derek. While they are talking with him, Dyson smells blood. In Derek’s locker is the bloody jersey of the dead guy. Dyson takes Derek to the station.
Iris (Shanice Banton) shows up at the gym. She checks out the murder board and draws a triple curve on Mark’s arm using his sweat. Her fingers make rainbows in the sweat. Iris says something bad is going to happen at the football game.
At a press conference, Tamsin decides Brinkley ought to be considered a suspect. Clay sits down at the mic. The questions turn to the murder.
Clay says that Derek couldn’t be the murderer because he was home in bed with him the night of the murder. Oops, the quarterback came out.
Derek takes Bo to see Clay. Clay says his PR Reps, Capital Sports, told him he couldn’t come out.
At the Dal, Bo tells Dyson about Capital Sports. Dyson connects the dots to Kevin Brown from the elevator and Heratio55 who dated Cassie and Bo. They decide to go to the game.
Tamsin suits up and heads for the field. Get outta her way.
Bo goes to the press box and finds the 3 elevator people together. A regular family. They call Iris their daughter and seem to take great pleasure in stroking her arms. Elizabeth also says Clay is like family. The more success Clay has, the better for the family. They admit to the murder of the football player.
Bo realizes they are feeding off the crowd and threatens to throw the game. Elizabeth zaps her with a thunderbolt to get her out of the press box. Yep, a thunderbolt came right out of her hand. Hmm, Zeus could throw thunderbolts. Zeus was married to Hera. We’ve got Heraclids and Heratios running around in this episode. What the Hera?
Tamsin makes a touchdown in the last seconds of the game by catching a 40 yard pass.
Elizabeth glows with delight.
In the clubhouse, Bo examines a scar on her shoulder from the lightning bolt. Bo says she’s never felt anything like it. Tamsin can’t heal it.
Bo wants to go see Trick. Tamsin wants to run her a bath first because that’s what girlfriends are for. Bo watches Tamsin walk away and sighs. She realizes she has to do something about the girlfriend thing. She does not feel that way and has to break it to Tamsin.
Everyone is at the Dal. Trick talks about an ancient order that channeled their children’s energy to gain power, like proud parents. They talk about Zeus, the father of Hercules. Trick says the ancients have many names. Bo says, “What if they’re back?”
The Fae family of the week looks at the signature by Bo Dennis in Trick’s ledger and say, “So she’s the one.” Elizabeth says they have to act fast. Then they create a thunderstorm, which they enjoy watching together.
Zeus is the Father of All the Gods, god of the sky and ruler of Mount Olympus. Hades is King of the Underworld. Both are the children of Cronus and Rhea – in other words, brothers (or in the Lost Girl universe, brother and sister). The plot seems to be inching toward some sort of showdown between these two with Bo right in the middle of it.
Except for clearing up some details about the arrival of the ancients on the scene, this episode didn’t move the plot forward very much.
There is the clear statement that Valkubus isn’t going to be a thing. Much as Tamsin wants it, Bo does not.
Did I overlook any other big developments in this episode?
Everything goes to hell in Catherine’s life and work in the season finale of Happy Valley. Hang on for the ride! There are spoilers everywhere.
The final episode of season 2 of Last Tango in Halifax lurches to a grim beginning and works its way through a lot of laughs to a mostly happy season conclusion.
On the farm, the morning after her confession to Caroline (Sarah Lancashire), Gillian (Nicola Walker) prods Caroline awake.
Caroline struggles to sit up. Gillian asks immediately, before Caroline is even upright, if she is going to turn her in to the police.
They are both wrecked, hungover, puffy. They look beautiful: real and honest. They conduct a raw, open discussion of the humiliations Eddie did to Gillian. Gillian says, “If I hadn’t done it to him, Caroline, he would have done it to me.”
Celia (Anne Reid) and Alan (Derek Jacobi) spent the night at Muriel’s (Gemma Jones). They’re having breakfast when Murial suggests she’d like to do some sort of hen party for Celia the night before the wedding.
Celia and Alan tease Muriel about wanting a wild night – in Amsterdam – with strippers and lap dancers and pole dancing. Muriel says she doesn’t mind going to Amsterdam for the art galleries. Alan and Celia have a hilarious conversation at Muriel’s expense.
Caroline and Gillian move to the table – nursing their hangovers with tea – still processing Gillian’s confession. Caroline thinks Gillian told her because she needed to tell someone.
Caroline asks if Gillian wants her to turn her in. “No. No.” Gillian says, “Now I’ve buggered everything up.”
Caroline says, “I’m not going to turn you in.”
Celia and Alan drive away from Muriel’s. In spite of their teasing, they like the idea of a stag night for Alan and a hen night for Celia. Celia even plans to invite Muriel.
Caroline and Gillian drive to the hotel where they left the Land Rover and Caroline’s phone the night before.
Kate (Nina Sosayna) arrives at Caroline’s house with Lawrence (Louis Greatorex) in tow. He called Kate the night before when John (Tony Gardner) disappeared on him. Kate says he left messages for his mother about where he was but refused to call John.
John offers lame excuses for why he went out, leaving Lawrence alone. The home phone rings.
Caroline shouts, “Where’s Lawrence!” John says he’s fine, minimizes the whole event and shuts the door in Kate’s face. Kate stares at the door, says, “No problem. Anytime.”
Caroline calls John an idiot. He tells her that Lawrence slept at Kate’s, an idea suggested by William.
Caroline hangs up. Before she leaves the hotel, she turns to Gillian. “I think you’re right about you and Robbie.”
“Yeah, I really like him,” Gillian answers.
“No. You said it could never be a good idea – you and him. Move on. You’re a nice person, you’re a good mother, you work hard. Something appalling happened. Move on. If I’m keeping a secret for you, you need to stay away from him. Surely you can see that.”
When Caroline reaches her home in Harrogate, John is still hanging about fixing soup for Lawrence. John tells her that Judith (Ronni Ancona) won’t get rid of the baby. Caroline says, “You’ll be divorced. You could marry her.” John says that won’t be happening.
Caroline gets cleaned up and takes flowers to Kate, to say thank you about Lawrence. Caroline asks Kate if she can come in.
She asks if Kate has a birthing partner (yes, her mum) and if Kate has anyone (no).
Caroline wanders nervously through a story approximating what she did the previous night and why she didn’t respond to Lawrence until she gets to her real point. Caroline and Kate had something really nice between them, Caroline says, and asks one more time for Kate to take her back. She promises to do better.
“No. Thank you.” Kate answers gently. From my seat, I don’t see how she can resist the painful pleading in Caroline’s eyes, but she is firm in her refusal. Kate’s breaking Caroline’s heart and mine, too.
Alan and Harry (Paul Copley) explain an elaborate plan for Alan’s stag night involving an overnight trip on Harry’s boat which will bring them to the hotel by 10 AM. Harry’s boat needs a lot of work before then.
Celia tells them that her party with Caroline, Gillian and Muriel will be paintballing. She’s not serious, but Harry wants to go to her party.
Later, Caroline and her mom are in the kitchen at Harrogate. Celia suggests maybe John could walk her down the aisle – give her away. Caroline gives all the reasons why that can’t be. She mentions all the tricks Celia has played on John over the years.
Celia has a good laugh remembering the time John snapped all the tendons in his ankle, the time she let all the air out of his tires, and some other wonderful memories which eventually prove to her that John wouldn’t be the best choice for walking her down the aisle.
Harry and Alan are in Halifax, figuring out their speeches for the wedding and what stories Harry is permitted to tell about Alan.
Gillian enters and says she wants to go to the cemetery tomorrow for her mum’s birthday.
Next day Alan and Gillian sit on a bench at the cemetery with little Calamity in a carrier. Alan admits that when his renters didn’t have enough money to buy his house, he didn’t have the heart to toss them out to put the house on the market. That’s why the deal on the bungalow fell through. Gillian thinks he’s always been too kind for his own good.
Gillian goes off to the grave of an uncle who was killed in the war. Alan has a graveside chat with his dead wife and says he hopes she approves of him getting wed again. Why didn’t he do this months ago, if it needed doing?
Like a blessing, a gust of wind blows flowers from a tree where Alan is standing. They rain around him like snow. He catches one blossom in his hand and takes it as a sign.
A montage covering several months shows us Harry and Alan working on the boat with Celia’s assistance, shows us Caroline alone and lonely, shows us Gillian alone and lonely, and finally a boat that is ready for use.
Near Christmas, Caroline learns that Kate’s gone to the hospital with some bleeding. Caroline rushes off to be with her. She finds Kate sitting alone in the waiting room. Caroline sits down beside her. They don’t touch.
Caroline assures Kate that she’s fine. She’s 20+ weeks now. However, four miscarriages would make anybody jumpy and Kate is scared. When they call Kate back she allows Caroline to go with her.
Kate clutches Caroline’s hand as they begin the ultrasound. As Caroline looks at the ultrasound readout with Kate’s hand in hers, we see a light in Caroline’s eyes for the first time in months. Kate’s fine. The baby is fine. Kate asks about sex and learns the baby is female. As Kate relaxes from her fears, she realizes she’s holding Caroline’s hand and drops it, saying, “Sorry.” Out goes the light in Caroline’s eyes.
Caroline, Lawrence, Alan and Celia have dinner in Harrogate. Alan explains that his brother Ted can’t make the wedding because he broke a leg.
Celia wants Caroline to call Kate about the wedding because she offered to play “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” for it. Caroline tells Celia to call Kate herself.
William arrives home from Oxford, with his laundry, and sits down at the table. William’s looking very grown up with a new hair cut. He has a girlfriend he wants to bring to the wedding.
Lawrence says, “Does she know you’re a puff?” and William says “I’ve been meaning to break this to you, and I know you’ll be disappointed, but I’m not gay.”
Alan, Lawrence and William whisper some secret plan when the woman are clearing the table. Ted (Timothy West) calls and Alan talks to him about the weather as Gillian sneaks him in Caroline’s door.
Alan jumps up in surprise, hugs his brother. They laugh about how surprised and happy they are that he made it. Ted hugs Celia and grabs her ass. “Always a handful!”
Alan, Ted, Harry, Raff (Josh Bolt) and Robbie (Dean Andrews) share drinks at Alan’s stag party. As they laugh at silly jokes, Alan suggests to Robbie that he and Gillian should get back together. Raff agrees.
The hen party is more elegant but just as funny. It includes Celia, Muriel, Caroline and Gillian.
I’ve been waiting for a serious scene between the formidable duo of Anne Reid and Gemma Jones. We finally get it when Caroline and Gillian go off to the restroom together.
Celia tells her sister how miserable her marriage was. Muriel knows that Celia has never forgiven her for Frank but she’s truly glad that Celia is happy now. It might be the first honest conversation Celia’s had with Muriel in years.
The wedding scenes begin with a shot of Kate’s fingers on a piano keyboard. Celia looks lovely but I don’t like what Caroline and Gillian are wearing. (Nicola Walker didn’t like the dress either.) Caroline walks her mom down the aisle.
As Alan and Celia recite their vows (which Anne Reid does with extraordinary meaning, I must say) we see everyone’s reactions to the words. Gillian looks troubled, Caroline is stealing glances at Kate, Kate is stealing glances at Caroline, Robbie’s date looks hopeful while Robbie steals glances at Gillian. Kate plays them out with a ragtime tune and the party begins.
At the party, Caroline gives a beautiful speech that reflects my thoughts about Celia and Alan’s story exactly. Harry gives a charming speech. When it’s Alan’s turn to speak, he takes the microphone and leaves the table. No one knows what he’s doing.
Alan performs a song and dance, complete with backup dancers and singers attired in kilts. The lyrics are “If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?” The song is perfect – funny and embarrassing – and the party is off to a great start.
Time to dance! Alan and Celia dance every dance. They do dance beautifully together, don’t they?
Kate comes up to Caroline and says she’s going. Kate says, “Have a nice Christmas.”
“How likely is that?” Caroline asks, then immediately regrets it. “Sorry. You . . . you have a nice Christmas, too.” Kate leaves the party.
Caroline and Gillian sit at a table, partnerless. It’s a beautiful party, but it’s passing them by. Gillian decides to cut in on Robbie for a dance. “Not Robbie,” says Caroline, but Gillian does it. A brief conversation and Robbie pulls her close.
Roberta Flack’s romantic version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” plays and everyone snuggles in a slow dance.
Kate returns. She marches across the dance floor to stand in front of a surprised Caroline. “I got in, shut the door and turned round and came straight back. Do you want to dance?”
Their situations reversed, Caroline is the insecure one now. She wants to know if this is “forever” and Kate quips, “forever’s a mighty long time.”
The moment they’re close and touching, they kiss. A long, lingering, very public kiss. Lawrence covers his eyes, Gillian smiles, William beams, Muriel isn’t appalled, Alan is happy, and Celia groans. Caroline and Kate are oblivious to anything but each other.
There’s a beautiful exterior shot of the hotel, laced with snow early the next morning – Christmas day – and a room tour of the still snoozing guests.
Alan and Celia hold hands as they spoon.
Caroline and Kate finally shared a room at the hotel.
Cut for a beat to John and Judith, who are passed out on Judith’s couch with empty bottles littering the table in front of them.
Gillian wakes up in the hotel with Robbie and wonders what fresh hell she’s gotten herself into now.
Season 2 closes with smiles, some story lines tied up with gaily colored ribbons, and a few tempting issues to make us eager for season 3.
Bravo. Bravo to the cast and crew. Bravo to Sally Wainwright for her wonderful storytelling. Bravo!
The “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings” episode of Orphan Black brings Sarah some answers, but everyone is still suspect and no one can be trusted.
Sarah and Helena (Tatiana Maslany squared) are in a pickup on their way to Cold River. Helena refuses to tell Sarah where it is, because she knows Sarah won’t need her if she does. The scenes between Sarah and Helena grow more and more charming as Helena is revealed in greater depth. They spend the night in a tent and Helena asks Sarah about Kira – she wonders if she could have children, too. She says, “I am very good with children.”
Sarah wants to know what the Prolethians took from Helena, but Helena claims she doesn’t know. When they turn out the lantern for the night, we see Paul (Dylan Bruce) lurking in the dark outside their camp.
There’s a hilarious scene of Sarah and Helena driving. “Sugar Sugar” comes on the radio. Helena sings along with enthusiasm. Sugar is her thing, indeed.
What Tatiana Maslany does with Helena in this episode is masterful. Her uninhibited off key singing, her playfulness in the tent, her vulnerability when she asks about babies, her growl of a laugh later in a bar scene, her unbridled sexuality when she’s attracted to a man, her brutality when threatened – Tatiana’s bringing Helena into personhood with so much affection and skill. That Tatiana Maslany can do that with Sarah, Allison and Cosima still floating in her head is just amazing.
Allison is still in rehab. She’s reluctant to participate in group. The door opens and into group walks Victor (Michael Mando). You remember Victor: Sarah’s former boyfriend who got his finger chopped off for a drug debt and who Allison maced in a parking lot. Yeah, that Victor. He’s all Zen now, full of the wisdom of recovery. When Allison threatens Donnie’s (Kristian Bruun) privates because he failed to bring the kids to visit her, Victor steps in to defuse the argument. Later we learn that Victor is actually in cahoots with Detective DeAngelis (Inga Cadranel). She promised he won’t go to jail for his crimes if he rats on Allison.
Allison, incidentally, can handle a basketball with one arm in a sling.
Cosima gets injections from Delphine (Evelyne Brochu). The injections may or may not be helping her. Delphine hired Scott (Josh Vokey) to come to Dyad to do gene sequencing. I haven’t previously mentioned Josh Vokey, who is fabulous as a naive geek, because the character wasn’t central, but he takes a central role in this episode. He reveals that he knows the samples he’s been given are clones, but he doesn’t realize that Cosima is a clone. He figures out that the stem cell injections Cosima is getting came not from a clone but a female relative. Perhaps a daughter. Is that daughter spelled K-I-R-A? We don’t know. Dephine makes Scott swear not to tell Cosima this news.
Sarah and Helena arrive in front of a church. It’s the church in the photo of Ethan Duncan, the Swan Man. Sarah instructs Helena to wait in the truck while she goes inside to investigate. Sarah finds photos of a building. The church deacon (Jane Spidell) tells her it was the Cold River Institute. Cold River is closed and all the records are in the church basement. The deacon also identifies the photo of Ethan Duncan as “Mr. Peckham” and mentions that Maggie Chen was also digging about in the old records. Sarah finds lots of info about the clones, but nothing about Andrew Peckham in the records.
Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) emptied Helena’s locker and took all the contents to Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment for help digging through it. A phone call from Sarah gets them looking for someone named Peckham, and they give Sarah an address.
Helena, of course, did not wait obediently in the truck while Sarah was doing this. She goes into a bar, starts drinking, almost breaks the finger of an asshole who thinks he can have her just because he wants her, and takes a liking to Jesse (Patrick J. Adams) who is nice to her. Both Paul and the Prolethian errand boy Mark (Ari Millen) watch her every move in the bar.
When Helena and Jesse start kissing, asshole breaks in and wants a turn. Helena beans Mr. Asshole with a pool ball, tosses him on the pool table and climbs on with the intention of poking out his eyes. Helena gets arrested for smashing heads in the bar. In the police station she asks for her boyfriend. She’s told she’s been released and can leave with her sister.
When Helena looks up to see her sister, it’s Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison), hiding her inflamed suture marks from the police with a hand over her mouth. Gracie and Mark tell Helena they have her babies and she agrees to go with them. Mark gives her Jesse’s baseball cap. I think he gives it to her to try to gain her trust, but it has the name of Jesse’s business on it, which may come in handy later.
Sarah leaves Helena to the cops and goes to Peckham’s house. Who opens the door but Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Good heavens, is there anything Mrs. S doesn’t know? She’s wearing a Pussy Riot shirt. Someone who wants to hurt Sarah wouldn’t wear a Pussy Riot shirt, would she?
Mrs. S is trying to get Andrew Peckham (Andrew Gillies) out of his hoarder’s horror of a house, off to somewhere to do her mysterious bidding. When Peckham sees Sarah he looks her over with great interest, decides she isn’t Rachel, and asks to be taken to Rachel.
He cannot be taken to Rachel, however. He’s been hiding from Dyad for 20 years because Aldous Leekie killed his wife Susan and took over the LEDA project for Dyad.
Sarah wants to know what Project LEDA was all about. Peckham/Duncan tells her it was a proof of concept experiment to see if they could actually clone a human and because they “wanted girl babies.”
While Sarah and Peckham/Duncan are talking, Siobhan goes outside and confronts Paul. Yes, she knows who Paul is. Everything Mrs. S does in this episode is so momentous, we have to go to commercial immediately after. Her every line of dialog is a bomb dropping. She tells Paul that the hoarder inside in his filthy kitchen talking to Sarah is the only hope that any of the clones have and that Paul better back off and let them go.
Kudos to Kathryn Alexandre and the Faces We Never See
Kathryn Alexandre is Tatiana Maslany’s acting double. She plays whatever clone is opposite Tatiana in a scene. When we see Helena and Sarah in a scene together in a truck or a tent, we have to remember that it was filmed twice. When we see Sarah in the driver’s seat of the truck, the actor beside her doing Helena is Kathryn Alexandre. They film it again with Tatiana in the passenger seat doing Helena while Kathryn Alexandre sits in the driver’s seat and plays Sarah. In the finished version, we never see Kathryn’s face.
It’s time to acknowledge how important Kathryn Alexandre is to Orphan Black. When we see chemistry, warmth, and closeness between Helena and Sarah, it’s actually something happening with Tatiana and Kathryn. Not just the warm fuzzy scenes, but the fight scenes, the dangerous scenes, the funny scenes. If they have to film it 2 times, 3 times, 4 times, to get all the clones in a scene together, Kathryn is there giving Tatiana a partner to act with and react to.
Much of what we see in Orphan Black is illusion, built from brilliant editing, brilliant makeup and brilliant acting. When we see it as a finished piece it is so perfectly executed it’s hard to remember how it was created. Let’s step back from the illusion and look behind the curtain to praise the hidden people who build the show. Here’s to Kathryn Alexandre and everyone else we don’t see in Orphan Black. You are all awesome!
The quote from Francis Bacon for this episode comes from the 1623 De Augmentis Scientiarum:
For you have but to hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able when you like to lead and drive her afterwards to the same place again.
Some images from IMDB © Jan Thijs 2013. Some screen shots from BBC America.
Lost Girl continues to confound our expectations in “Of all the Gin Joints” by using opera to restore bits of Bo’s lost memory and by putting Lauren in the middle of a plot we don’t yet understand.
Episode 6 begins with a woman (Lara Jean Chorostaki) singing an aria to an audience of one. She wears a white dress covered with feathers. After her song ends, she tries to run away. A man stops her in her tracks with a whistle that does to people what Hale’s siren song does – it brings her to her knees in submission. It also makes me hold my ears at home while reaching for the volume control. She recovers enough to continue running.
At a certain familiar gin joint, Bo (Anna Silk) and Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) conduct parallel disconnected monologues. Kenzi’s is about reading a note from Tamsin about how she has to go somewhere. (Again with the missing cast members in season 4.) Bo’s monologue is about witness signatures on dark contracts and really knowing yourself. When they finish their unrelated speeches, the say how glad they are to have each other to talk to again.
In walks the opera singer, who collapses at their feet. Yeah, of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, she stumbled into this one. They get her into a booth. When the singer sees Bo she says, “You,” and mutters a whole string of excited Russian, which Kenzi translates to I found you and I came just like you told me to. Bo claims never to have seen her before.
Trick (Rick Howland) installs the singer in his lair and brings her things to help her get better. Bo wants to talk to her but Trick says she needs to rest and heal. Ianka is an alchemist, a rare descendant of bird people.
Trick says, “The alchemist’s song evokes powerful memories.”
Bo wants to know what kind of memories since she’s been looking for a few of those lately. Trick says some of the memories can take life.
Disco music, packing boxes, Lauren’s apartment: a happy Lauren (Zoie Palmer) moves her hips to the beat as she fills boxes. The door is wide open as usual. In walks Evony (Emmanuelle Vaugier) bearing pizza and beer. Pizza and beer have an effect on Dr. Lewis, as I recall.
Evony wants to help her move – wants Lauren to party while packing with Dark Belch beer from Evony’s own microbrewery – wants Lauren to call her Evony. In a shout out to Words with Friends fans, Evony calls the pizza za and plops it down on a cardboard box labeled “mini electron microscope.” For some reason, I find this cardboard box to the coolest thing in Lauren’s whole apartment.
Evony slides a box out of her way and Lauren tells her to be careful. It holds her entire Star Trek DVD collection and her Khan collectible action figures. I think this makes Lauren super cool in her special nerdy way, but Evony thinks she has something even cooler. She hands Lauren some old journals.
Bo finds Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) in the Dal. He informs her that Lauren has gone with the dark. Bo says, guess what – me, too. She says her hand was forced by The Wanderer or Raynor or whoever the bastard is. Dyson wants to fix it. Bo wants sex. Dyson says it’s forbidden between dark and light.
That argument stops Bo for not even a millesecond. She drags Dyson to a back room and starts tearing off his clothes. Trick finds them and says, “What’s wrong with you. Get your brains out of each others pants.” Bo is unconvinced that giving up her quickie is a good idea until she hears that Ianka’s awake.
From Ianka, Bo learns that Ianka sang for her when they met before. Bo made Ianka promise to find her.
She sings. It takes Bo back to running in the woods in the white nightgown, to the train, but the memory is vague. Bo wants her to sing more, but Ianka says they had a deal. She’d sing and Bo would help her get her freedom.
Ianka says she needs to sing her special aria for an audience to feed, but she’s only been allowed to sing for a powerful dude called Bamber. Ianka says Bo knew she would not remember their deal, and that she should look in the handle of her knife.
Bo finds a paper in her knife. It says, “Ianka, you will sing for me and I will bring you freedom.” Bo recognizes her own handwriting on the note.
From upstairs, a loud guy yells for Ianka. He says he owns her. Bo goes upstairs and makes a “nobody owns her” speech about Ianka. Bamber (Alex Karzis) says she’s been in his family for centuries. He’s wearing a beaded and embroidered outfit that would make Liberace jealous of his wardrobe.
Bo mentions the Emancipation Proclamation. He mentions the GPS in Ianka’s necklace. Bo says that the famous aria needs to be sung. She appeals to his ego and convinces him he’s generous enough to make this happen.
Lauren learns the journals are by famous scientists. You know, Einstein, Curie – like that. Evony implies that they were Fae and says she has a whole vault full of them and tosses a few more into Lauren’s lap.
Lauren reads aloud from one, an entry about experimenting with tuberculosis on humans. She immediately thinks it was a dark Fae doctor writing the journal, but Evony tells her the doctor was human. They have an ethical discussion about scientific research. Weird.
Evony wants Lauren to feel free. Lauren says if she agrees to work with the dark Fae, it will have to be on her own terms. Evony says, “Fine. Scout’s honor.” Golly, I believe her, don’t you?
Trick and Kenzi talk at the Dal. Trick wants her to leave because an alchemist’s song can hurt humans. Hale (K.C. Collins) walks in and Kenzi goes all twitterpated. She smooths her hair and looks at Hale with expectation.
Hale walks right past Kenzi and hugs Ianka. Ianka squeals and hugs Hale like an old friend.
As everyone gathers to hear the famous aria, Kenzi – who might be a tad jealous – catalogs to Bo all of Ianka’s failings and says singer means whore in Russian. Well, not really. Bo, who isn’t really paying attention to Kenzi in this conversation either, says Ianka is the key to her finding Raynor.
Ianka sings and Bo remembers more about the train. She remembers finding a crown with the name Isabeau inscribed on the inside. She remembers being angry at seeing the crown.
A tall bald guy, Marcus, (Colin Lawrence) enters and stops the song. (Gee, he looks a lot like Kit Porter’s son.) Marcus says the singer is wired to explode. He’s got a gizmo in his hand that will detonate the necklace.
Marcus and Bamber are ready to start a war over possession of the alchemist.
Trick tells them to cool it because unrest will bring the Una Mens. Ianka gets taken to Trick’s lair once again, to heal and rest. Bo wants to take a closer look at the crystals in her necklace. Trick tells her that liquid volcanic argon can freeze the crystals so they won’t explore.
Bo sends Kenzi off to the volcanic liquid argon store. I’m not making this shit up, people.
Evony and Lauren are laughing, flirtatious. Lauren starts a Doctor’s Log Star Date journal entry about being on the couch with Evony. She’s letting her inner Trekkie out in front of Evony. It feels intimate and more open than she’s been with anyone lately. Lauren notices that the beer they are drinking is 25% alcohol. Oops. She’s tipsy.
Kenzi, who’s come in through the ever-open door, sees their behavior and asks the alternate reality Lauren to go get the real Lauren for her.
Ianka likes seeing Hale’s face. He likes seeing hers. They smile, hug, kiss. Bo happens to see the kissing. Oh oh.
Lauren reaches into her cabinet for a canister of liquid volcanic argon. What, you don’t keep a few vials in your pantry?
Lauren explains that Evony (Evony? says Kenzi) is helping her find a new place. Kenzi sniffs the beer bottle and says, “Hmm, this doesn’t smell like Kool Aid.” Lauren gives her a serious I’m-not-really-drinking-the-kool-aid look and asks how Bo is. Kenzi says, “She misses you. We all do.”
Lauren clicks into scientist mode and realizes something about the clear quartz Kenzi mentioned.
In Trick’s basement, Marcus is planning to take Ianka and go. Bo confronts him, but leaves when he threatens to blow up the crystals with his gizmo. (Not that gizmo. The gizmo in his hand. Oh, never mind.)
Upstairs. Dyson has made a receiver, which they use to listen to a conversation between Marcus and Ianka. They all hit the floor because they think he pressed the detonator. Nothing goes boom.
Kenzi arrives to tell them that the detonator didn’t detonate anything because of the transparency of the necklace, which of course, she learned from Dr. Lauren.
How is Lauren, asks Bo. Kenzi says, “Good, in a general alone sense.” Such a liar. Kenzi asks where Hale is. Bo says he’s around probably. Such a liar. Their conversations may be disconnected, but they still protect each other in matters of the heart.
Marcus and Ianka are gone. Bo finds out where using her succubus charms on Bamber, who claims Marcus is a radical bent on hatred.
Dyson does something that makes Bo say, “I love the sight of you.” This makes her realize that Ianka and Marcus are in love. She thinks Ianka and Marcus are going to use songs to kill all the bambers.
Kenzi says, “Hale’s gone and I haven’t even told him that I . . .”
Bo and Kenzi arrive to tell Ianka not to sing. She denies the song will be a death note. Instead it will tell her and Marcus’ families about their love.
Marcus lets the pretty girl in the feathered dress down by telling her some things are bigger than love. He blows his horrible whistle thing to make her sing a death song, but Hale shows up and sirens Marcus. Marcus aims his big gun at Hale. Bo gets between Hale and the gun. Marcus aims his big gun at Bo. Ianka gets between Bo and the gun. Marcus aims his big gun at Ianka. They’re lined up like soul train.
Marcus makes the mistake of calling Ianka a bitch and she sings a death knell that kills him. Take that, buster. The song hurts Kenzi and Hale, but not Bo for some reason. Hale picks up the suffering Kenzi and carries her off.
The song weakens Ianka so much she collapses. Bo holds her and promises her freedom. Ianka will die to be free. She says stories of the unaligned succubus made her believe she could be free. Bo says I’m not unaligned any more. Ianka says, “Your heart is what you want it to be.”
Ianka puts something in Bo’s hand, says, “For you. As you wished,” and dies in Bo’s lap.
On a bench, Kenzi is moaning about the pain in her ears. Hale sits beside her. “You’re finally here.”
Hale’s remark must make sense to Kenzi. She says I’ve always been here and kisses Hale. It’s a sweet, tender kiss, unlike Bo’s kissing of late. The exact opposite of Bo, in fact. Bo’s been all wham bam thank you wolfie for a while. Hale and Kenzi cuddle on the bench. Hale’s ears are bleeding, but he doesn’t let Kenzi know it.
In her bedroom, Bo opens the thing Ianka gave her. It glows and creates music that takes her back to the train. She sits in front of a mirror. A light colored hand print appears at her throat, makes Bo stand up and say, “No. I can’t do this.” Bo puts the lid back on the thing. Dyson comes into the room, sees Bo looking upset. He says, “Bo.” She just looks at him. She’s confused, stunned.
Evony gives Lauren the key to the dark science facility and the key to Lauren’s new condo. Lauren says, “I’ll never trust you.”
I wouldn’t respect you if you did, answers Evony. She tells Lauren, “This was fun.”
Lauren kisses Evony. Yes, she really does.
Evony says, “This could be the beginning of a beautiful . . . something.” She doesn’t say friendship as the nods in this episode to Casablanca would require. She comments that she knows Lauren has really gone dark because she can taste it.
The second Evony leaves, Lauren digs out a mirror and some tweezers. She pulls a layer of something off her lip and puts it in a petri dish. A little sample of Evony in a petri dish – what’s Lauren going to do with that? She looks very satisfied with her sample. She raises her beer bottle and toasts, “To it beginning.”
Bo deals with her problems the only ways she knows how. With sex. Rough and impersonal sex.
Dyson keeps telling her to look at him but she won’t. She keeps her eyes firmly closed. Finally she clamps a hand over his mouth to shut him up so she can get on with it. “Don’t tell me what to do.”
They pull apart. “It’s okay.” Dyson says, “No one owns you.”
She’s afraid she’ll become like Marcus, bitter and choking on thoughts of revenge. She says she doesn’t even know the other Bo. The Bo who spent a month on a train hatching a plan and who joined the dark, willingly.
She kneels in front of the mirror. We see a hand print at her throat.
He marked me! Who, asks Dyson. The Wanderer. Raynor. He might be my father.
Three of The Una Mens appear in the room, complaining that the codex of laws have been broken. By Dyson. He responds with wolf growls.
The Una Mens can growl, too. The episode ends with snarling.
- Lauren is up to something, but I’m afraid to predict what it might be. There’s no predicting season 4 of Lost Girl. No predicting.
- Bo’s Fae Alzheimers is is causing havoc. And dragging on. And on.
- Kenzi and Hale are acting like they’re a thing now. That’s actually sweet and charming and hopelessly romantic.
- Inappropriate as it was, devious as it was, I really enjoyed the light-hearted exchanges, near flirting, and laughter between Lauren and Evony.
- The Bo and Dyson sex scenes this season have been strictly sex with no feelings – something Bo boasted about to Lauren earlier, but now are reality. She seems to be using him without regard for his feelings, and he’s letting it happen!
- Speaking of sex, since Bo learned 3+ seasons ago that she was Fae and a succubus, her sexual nature has been the one thing about her identity that she was able to comprehend and master. But now even that part of her is turning hellish and torturous. Our Bo is in deep trouble.
- Bo was supposed to be babysitting Vex but he’s nowhere around. Where’s Tamsin, what’s up with Bruce, and will we ever find out what happened to Crystal? What happened to Bo on the train? Will Bo ever be the Bo we love again? Who is Bo’s father? Did Bo and Lauren break up while they were frantically kissing in the last episode and not tell us? The never ending tension in every single story line is killing me. Can’t we resolve at least one of them?
- If they were going to make references to Casablanca, couldn’t they have found a reason to include “As Time Goes By” in the soundtrack as well?