Season 3, Episode 7: “Community of Dreadful Fear & Hate”
Grudges are settled, favors are called upon, and promises are made.
This is what you call a “fun” episode. Taking a break from Project Castor, the focal point of this episode is the Hendrix family. Donnie is given an odd chance to shine as he attends their first big league drug meeting, alone. He’s doing pretty well for himself too, until he discovers that the envelope of drug money he brought is full of signatures for Alison’s election, not drug money. Remember that nasty character who cut off Vic’s finger in season 1? Yep, same guy. Same practices, too. It has to be said, the man is an extremely effective negotiator. He says very little, preferring to let his thoughts known through the application of his paper cutter. It cuts through language barriers just as easily as it cuts through appendages.
Alison’s mother gves a formal introduction. She’s terrible. You will love to hate her. She will use any means to get what she wants, including condescension, pity, leverage, and a stalwart refusal to accept reality. A lot of Alison makes sense now; the insecurity, constant projections of stability, explosive underlying instability, as well as some of her more rebellious (and kinky) quirks. No one is good enough for Connie Hendrix. Her daughter isn’t good enough, her daughter’s boyfriends aren’t good enough, her own husband wasn’t good enough; you get the feeling this woman uses an incinerator for a trash can. But the worst part is the way she masks it all with that delightful smile and “gentle old woman” demeanor. That unbearable sense of misplaced self-assurance that excuses such behavior makes you start itching for something to knock her off that high horse.
These are but a couple of the issues hanging over Alison as she prepares for the School Trustee election. There’s also Cosima, who comes calling for some of Alison’s pee…and ends up subbing in for Alison during photo ops and her opening statement. Things we learned about Cosima: she is not skilled at public speaking, or assuming the identity of any of her sisters. She may have sorta come out to the entire Bailey Downs community as Alison. Also, without her glasses, she is legally blind. Not just “can’t read” blind, not “can’t safely operate a motor vehicle” blind, this is Scooby-Doo “Velma crawling around on the ground” blind. These kinds of hijinks have been sorely missed this season. We get a reminder of how much fun this wacky Clone Club life can be.
On the serious side of things is Helena swearing to Sarah that she will murder Mrs. S., who then happens to walk in. There comes a moment when the bartender takes away a fork so that Helena can’t kill Siobhan with it, but leaves a spoon. In that moment, the mind wonders, “could she do it with the spoon?”. A fair amount of the sequence shows Helena in her most entertaining element, bonding with her sister while casually making a scene.
There is also the return of Rachel, who seems much more like her old self from last week. Remember when we were afraid of Rachel? Now we’re starting to remember why. It’s that calculated calm before the storm, when you can tell she’s storing things for another time. It’s the little things. Like Scott’s part in letting Felix get to her. Like explaining the limitations for not having children in a board game. Like making her spell out the secrets she was denied…with a pencil. There’s hints that Scott may be the scapegoat for a lot of punishment. Whatever’s going on, it promises to be good.
Clone of the Week: Cosima Niehaus
The episode may seem to center around Alison, but Cosima proves to be a surprise dark horse. The clone who has always seemed so open about herself now feels like a mystery. She hides from her work, her commitments, her coworkers, her friends, her sisters; something is very different about Cosima. This person who could always be relied upon for an explanation has cut herself off from everyone and won’t say why. Cosima has become a stranger to the people who love her most. All she seems interested in these days is having crazy lesbian sex with Shay until the morning’s fairly established light. What is going on in that brilliant brain of hers?
Episode Score: 8.9