Season 3, Episode 8: “Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method”
It’s a time for family; families working together, families coming back together, and new additions to the family.
Every now & then, a show can get a little too caught up in being dark and forget to be warm. Drama and plot twists run amok, sending both the characters and the audience on a crazy roller coaster of emotion. Every now & then, it’s nice to have a break to reflect on the things that really matter. Family and friends, those are what get you through the tough times. This episode is the TV equivalent of a hug.
This is definitely what Helena needed. She and S have made up and S is going to be a grandma again! Donnie and Alison have reluctantly accepted Helena into their home, but she’s nestled into suburban life with startling quickness. She’s always had a soft spot for kids, which is on wide display here, but more than anything, having a family and a place to call home is doing wonders for her. Seeing her in one of Alison’s sweaters might seem like an attempt to be funny, but the look on her face feels oddly fulfilling. It’s like Helena is finally at peace with herself.
Donnie has taken over the spotlight from Alison as he looks into her old flame/new drug dealer business partner Jason (Justin Chatwin). Jason bears, in both appearance and occupation, a surprising resemblance to Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. And like Jesse, he stands as a reminder that people in the drug trade end up as one of two things; a kingpin or a corpse. There’s no way this group can dip into the drug underworld and come out scott-free. Someone’s gonna end up dead. Right now, it’s looking like Donnie or Jason. Jason’s advantages: he’s been in this business much longer than Donnie. Donnie’s advantages: he’s married to Alison. Oddly, it feels very one-sided (in Donnie’s favor).
Then there’s Cosima and Delphine. For the first time since the season began, it really feels like there might be a chance for Cosima and Delphine again. This is not to say all’s been forgiven and their back on each other’s side, but we’re actually seeing both of them trying to address their problems. It’s the first time they’ve done something besides take a step backwards. It may not be a step forward yet, but there’s a glimmer of hope shining through. As for Shay, there may be more to her than has been let on. Dear God, Delphine in all her cold, ruthless, Rachel-like fury may have been right all along. That paints a scary picture of the world.
Castor shows itself after last week’s hiatus, and who better to shock us back into its dangers than Rudy? Ari Millen’s gotten a lot of flack for the whole male clone thing this season, but he’s really become a fantastic part of the show. Whether we’re rooting for Mark or reeling in fear from Rudy, Ari has become a big part of what makes this show good. Castor’s been getting picked off with frightening speed this season, and unlike the Leda sisters, there seems to be a very finite number of them. Given they were raised together instead of spread throughout the globe like Leda, there aren’t that many surprise clones that can be out there. Rudy and Mark may well be the last of the program.
And then there’s Krystal. The new clone. The Miley Cyrus clone. The clueless clone. The utterly, utterly clueless clone. The very last thing you’d think of when you heard the word “innocent”. Three sides are at war for her, and she doesn’t have any idea. Rudy and Castor have already revealed themselves to her directly, Delphine has scouted her out, and Rachel has eyed her for an escape route. Krystal just thinks she’s having weird luck lately. Her priorities remain fixated on nails, boys, and getting lucky. But by the end of her scenes, there’s a sense that she could be welcomed into the Clone Club just as warmly as anyone of the others. Like any of them, she just wants to live a normal life. Her version of normal is just different than others’.
Felix reveals a surprising side of himself, a straight-talking (and straight-acting) bachelor with attractive confidence and no giveaways that he is anything other than what he is playing at that moment. He’s like a completely different person. It’s as startling a transformation as any of Tatiana’s.
Clone of the Week: Rachel Duncan
The real shocker this week comes from Rachel though. In one move, she has asserted herself back on the top of the Threat List, even higher than Castor. It comes completely out of nowhere, however, as this is also the episode where Rachel feels like a member of the Clone Club for the first time. She’s talking better, interacting with others more, her cutthroat tendencies are notably absent, this is a person you could see in a family. Being damaged has brought her down to a relatable level, and she’s starting to realize she needs other people. Not just functionally, but emotionally. But the episode ends on a shocking note that reminds us exactly what Rachel is capable of, and exactly how far gone she is. At the end of the day, Rachel is still Rachel. She doesn’t want friends, she wants control.
Episode Score: 9.4