“You should not threaten babies.” – Orphan Black Recap

Orphan Black, Season 3 Episode 9
“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”
Posted by Kayti

On this week’s Orphan Black, old habits die hard. For Gracie, that habit is loving Mark (at the expense of her new clone family). For Mrs. S., that habit is everything that used to be her world and social circle in London — the singing, the camaraderie, the “necessary” killing (or at least planning to kill). And, oh yeah, the homicidal mother. For Helena, that habit is straight-up murdering people. Here’s everything that went down in Season 3, Episode 9 (“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”).

The “S” family discovers the clones’ unlikely origin. Mrs. Sadler, Felix, and Sarah returned to London this week, and it was awesome. Mrs. S. sang. Everyone spoke with very British and/or Irish accents. And there were London taxicabs! Basically, this episode had both “BBC” and “America,” and that is my favorite type of programming. It was nice to see Mrs. S. in her element, Felix and Sarah back in a place where they aren’t the audible outsiders, and for the entire “S” family to take a breath and remember the good times. (And, by good times, I mean that time Mrs. S.’s friends smuggled little Sarah out of wherever it is she came from and to relative safety.)

But it wasn’t all fun and games in ye olde England. Soon, the gang got down to business: finding the Castor original, whom Mrs. S. is set on promptly murdering. Why, you may ask? This is not very well explained. Though S. tells Sarah that they need to kill the Castor original so that Castor will stop sterilizing women, this seems like a convoluted way to go about it — not to mention hella dark. Sure, if all of the Castor clones die out, then I guess they won’t go around sterilizing women anymore, but there have got to be other alternatives, right? Not in S.’s world.

Things get complicated when we discover that the Castor original is not only Mrs. S.’s estranged mother, but also the Leda original. Apparently, Grandma S. (whose name is actually Kendall Malone) has two separate cell lines, thanks to the male twin she absorbed in utero. Or something. When she was in prison for killing Mrs. Sadler’s husband (he was no good for Siobhan, OK?!), Professor Duncan found her as a source for both projects. Trippy!

Though this is kind of a cool reveal, it is also an incestuous one. How did Mrs. S., the daughter of the Castor and Leda Original, end up with Sarah? This has to have been more than a coincidence, right? If it’s a coincidence, I don’t think I can handle it. Clones: yes. This level of coincidence: nope.

Despite her unexpected connection to the Castor/Leda Original, Mrs. S. is still ready to move forward with the original plan: kill the Castor original. She makes moves to shoot her ma and blow up the house, destroying any and all DNA evidence, but Sarah protests. If Kendall is the Leda Original, they need her to cure the Leda clones. They need her to cure Cosima.

Cosima sics Delphine on Shay. Speaking of Cosima, Delphine has finally convinced her that Shay is a spy sent from Castor. How else would Rudy have found out about the book in the previous episode? How else, indeed. Cosima asks Delphine for help, and you can kind of tell that Delphine secretly loves it.

She tells Cosima to leave the problem with her, then hightails it over to Shay’s house with two goons to threaten Shay’s metatarsal veins. Guys, Delphine is super scary. And of course she went to boarding school. This explains so much.

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“We do terrible things for the people we love.” – Orphan Black Recap

Orphan Black Season 3, Episode 6
“Certain Agony of the Battlefield”
Posted by Kayti

Orphan Black took a risk in its sixth episode of the season, taking a relative breather to draw a long-deceased clone back into the fold: Beth Childs. No, we’re not getting Zombie!Beth, but rather a version of the deceased clone in Sarah’s fever-induced hallucinations. This Beth appearance could have been an awkward, convoluted plot device, but it was actually pretty awesome. We never really had a chance to get to know Beth. She jumped in front of a train in the opening scene of the series. However, she has been an integral part of the story, a presence shaped by her abrupt absence and in the thoughts of the people she left behind.

For Art, she was the partner he loved and the reason he stays so committed to helping Sarah and the other clones. For Cosima and Alison, she was a sister and friend. For Sarah, she was the first step to Sarah figuring out who she is and starting to face that, rather than run away from it. For the show, she was the mystery who propelled this entire plot into the overdrive state it has remained in since its opening moments. She is the inciting incident and a character I didn’t even realize I wanted to reflect upon until Orphan Black gave us that opportunity.

In so many ways, this episode belonged to Paul, which is why the focus on Beth made so much sense — especially in retrospective after knowing Paul’s fate. For Paul, Beth was the person he carried with him for the ways in which he failed her. Though Paul has never been my favorite character, I was so into this episode’s exploration of him because it gave us this larger rumination on the beginnings of this mess. Paul was one of those characters who did more with his death episode than he ever could have done continuing on this show. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he has been one of the weakest characters in this admittedly ridiculously strong ensemble (that mainly consists of characters played by Tatiana Maslany). That was why I was so shocked when his death hit so hard. I wasn’t devastated to see him go, but Hot Paul was given something in his death that he never had as a living, breathing character: clarity.

 

From the beginning, Sarah has never really known where Paul’s loyalties lie — and neither have we. (Frankly, I’m not even sure Paul entirely knew where Paul’s loyalties lay.) In his final actions, Paul is a hero. He saves Sarah. He tries to stop the illegal experiments Dr. Coady is conducting. He destroys research that could help Dr. Coady (and some shady government fellow) create a weapon. Oh, and he professes his love for Sarah. For a show that sometimes kills off characters with an awkward, accidental gunshot to the head by a bumbling Donnie, this is quite the heroic goodbye. Good for you, Hot Paul. (Also, the actor is going to be on Heroes: Reborn, so he will be OK.)

Paul’s death is also a defining moment for Dr. Coady’s character. She has been another ambiguous character in a sea of ambiguous characters. In the last few episodes, we’ve gotten some major answers about how far she will go for science — and the answer is way too far. Way too far. She will perform experiments on the men she calls her sons. She will conduct secret human trials that result in the sterilization of girls who have no idea what they are signing up for — that is when they are actually “signing up” in that they actually agree to have sex with one of the Castor clones. As we know from Rudy’s exploits, the sex is not always consensual, adding an even grosser level to an already gross experiment. Dr. Coady seems to be trying to create some kind of weapon using the Castor clones’ sexually-transmitted illness as the source. Her theory? We could end wars by sterilizing the female half of the enemy population and killing the brains of the male half of the enemy population. This is a horrific aim, made even more horrific by the manner in which Dr. Coady is going about developing this weapon. One also has to wonder how much she even cares about curing the Castor clones or if that is just a cover to get their cooperation. Is this all about creating a weapon or does she also care about what happens to her boys? Based on the way in which she sawed open Parson’s skull, I have my doubts about her commitment to these men — another way in which her loyalty to this project differed from Paul’s misguided, but somewhat noble motivations.

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“Is everyone else’s life this chaotic?” – Orphan Black Recap

Orphan Black Season 3, Episode 4
“Newer Elements of Our Defense” 

Posted by Kayti

Orphan Black embraces the ickiness in Season 3, Episode 4 (“Newer Elements of Our Defense”). Seriously, I spent this entire episode flinching and/or hiding behind my hands. In itself, this is neither a compliment nor an insult — at least from me. I don’t seek out unsettling gore in TV, but I am also not turned off by it. For me, it’s all about how this viscerality is treated, i.e. how it’s being used to tell a larger story and, in that context, Orphan Black gets full marks.

“I know you don’t trust me, but I’m all you got.”

Yay, Mark is alive! And he and Sarah teamed up! And by “teamed up,” I mean Sarah and Mark bonded over DIY surgery — aka Sarah sticking her fingers into Mark’s bullet wound to try to feel the bullet. Though Sarah seems to have some kind of familial sympathy for Mark, she doesn’t do this for nothing either. She barters her steady hands for answers about Helena’s whereabouts. ( This is why Sarah is the most effective clone.)

 
This is the second week in a row where we’ve gotten Sarah leveraging some definition of family to get information out of someone. Last week, it was Gracie and the fact that she was carrying a Leda clone. This week, it’s Mark and the fact that their genetic donors were brother and sister. I mused that this reveal didn’t mean much to me; it largely only affected the narrative in how much it affected these individual Leda and Castor clones. After watching this episode, it seems to mean something to both Mark and Sarah. It kept Sarah from letting Mark die in that cornfield and it kept Mark from letting Rudy kill Sarah in the final moments of the episode. Sure, it looks like now Sarah will be the Castors’ prisoner, but that’s arguably better than being dead — especially at Rudy’s hands.

“Oh my god. Is everyone else’s life this chaotic?”

Last week, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure how long I would enjoy Alison’s story because it was so disconnected from the larger clone plot. I take it back, Orphan Black. Can you ever forgive me for doubting you? Give me more of Alison and Donnie as drug dealers because it is great. This week, the two hit a potential snag when the local drug kingpin contacts them, confiscates their stash, and asks for a meeting. In the kind of genius hyperbolic suburbia twist that Orphan Black is so good at, it turns out that the kingpin is actually Alison’s high school boyfriend.

Jason Kellerman is very impressed with Alison’s marketing skills (soap? genius!). Also, if the long gazes they share are any indication, these two still have some serious chemistry. Also, Alison’s mother gets another mention. We’re ready to meet her now, show.

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“God, is this all we are?” – Orphan Black Recap

Orphan Black Season 3, Episode 3
“Formalized, Complex, and Costly” 

Posted by Kayti

Orphan Black stepped up the Castor clone narrative in Season 3, Episode 3 (“Formalized, Complex, and Costly”), but at what seems to be the cost of Mark’s life. For those keeping track at home, this is the second subsequent episode that a Castor clone was killed. Not cool, Orphan Black. Not cool….

“Please, I love her.” “Not like her mother.”

OK, Mark better be alive! I mean, it wouldn’t be the end of the TV universe or anything if he died, but I am still on the fence about the inclusion of the Castor clones on this series and Mark’s character goes a long way to quelling those fears. Are the Castor clones an unnecessary distraction from the characters and storylines we really care about? Or, conversely, are the clones’ inclusion an exciting, compelling expansion of this fictional world that will pay narrative dividends in the long run? For me, Mark goes a long way towards bridging those two possibilities. He is the Castor clone we have known the longest and arguably the most sympathetic of the lot — at least so far. It is telling that, when Helena meets the other Castor clones, she (awesomely) calls them the “Mark-faced boys.” At first, this is how I saw them, too. Mark is the Sarah of the Castor clones, our way in as a viewer. Sure, he has his flaws (like, a lot of them that sometimes involve torturing farmers to death accidentally), but we still have some kind of connection to him.

I also kind of found myself rooting for the messed up love story between Mark and Gracie just a little bit.

 
At the very least, Mark seems a better option for Gracie’s confidante than her mother. Gracie’s mom is the worst, right? We got to know her last season as the mother who had no problem sewing Gracie’s mouth shut as punishment. This week, she admits to having had reservations about her husband using his own daughter as a surrogate for his baby with another woman (i.e. Helena), but she did nothing to stop it. After last week’s review diatribe about the diverse portrayal of motherhood on this show, I am very OK with Gracie’s mom being terrible. Because there are some IRL terrible moms out there (because moms, too, are people and people are sometimes selfish and horrible). A mother’s relationships with her kids can be destructive and unhealthy, and it’s cool to see Orphan Black include that in its complex spectrum of motherhood.

Anyway, back to Mark. We didn’t actually see him die, so I am still holding out hope that he pops up out of that cornfield in the next episode, joins forces with the Leda clones, and becomes a force to be reckoned with. Then, when he probably eventually dies, at least it will be after his character has had more of a chance to develop and after we’ve made a (fingers crossed) successful transition into this Castor clone-included world. Sure, it will hurt more, but my disappointment over the potential death of this character in this episode was partially informed by the slight affection I have for him, but mostly informed by my belief that his character is a relative linchpin within the context of this narrative.

“The last thing we need is another violent mess.”

However, if I had to choose between keeping Mark or Gracie around, I would choose Gracie. She has a been surprising, strong-willed character ever since we first met her in Season 2. It will be interesting to see if her perspective on the abominations has changed since Helena helped her escape in Season 2, she became impregnating with a clone child, and she inadvertently married a Castor clone. Gracie showed some badass moves in this episode, taking charge and finding a way to retrieve the information from her father’s old friend. If only her independence had lasted through her interaction with her mother. It’s understandable that Gracie would fess up to her mom, especially given the clone bombshell Sarah just dropped on her. But, again, I really don’t want Mark to be dead. I was also intrigued by Sarah’s mention of Gracie as family.

 
Sure, I think it was mainly a manipulation on Sarah’s part to get Gracie to tell her what she wanted to know, but Sarah doesn’t throw the “f” word around without weight. Could Gracie end up joining The Clone Club? Because that would be awesome. It’s little scenes and unexpected interactions like this one that make Orphan Black stand out.

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“You’re gonna be okay.” – Orphan Black Recap

 
Orphan Black Season 3, Episode 2
“Transitory Sacrifices of Crises”
Posted by Kayti

Can we take a minute to talk about Orphan Black’s badass, nuanced, complex depiction of motherhood? Thanks. This feminist drama has always been a refreshing, revolutionary representation of what it means to be a mother on TV (i.e. you can be a mother and still get to be, you know, a person), but Season 3 is stepping it up with its diverse depictions of motherhood. Season 3, Episode 2 “Transitory Sacrifices of Crises” doubled down on this theme, showing us motherhood in some of its many forms…

Sarah is allowed to be both a mother and a badass protagonist. In this week’s episode, Sarah ultimately sends Kira away with father Cal so that she will be safe while she stays behind to a) get Helena back from the Castor clones, b) take down Dyad, and c) be a badass protagonist.

It is so, so heartbreaking to watch Sarah say goodbye to her daughter, the most important thing in the world to her, but — in watching this scene — I couldn’t stop obsessing about how great and rare it is to see a mother as the chief protagonist of a show, let alone a representation of a mother as badass as Sarah Manning.

 
 
Sarah’s decision to send Kira away is a storyline you almost always see told with the opposite gender roles: i.e. the father as protector stays behind to fight the evil men/corporation/whatever, while the mother as caregiver hides with the child. Like many tropes, there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this scenario — caregiving is an important, heroic role. It’s when the trope becomes an all-consuming pattern, the only conflated representation of a specific type (in this case: mother) to move through the world, that it becomes problematic. Orphan Black just straight up refuses to reinforce this strict gender narrative, allowing Sarah to be both the mother and the hero, both the caregiver and the protector.

This is kind of amazing because, forget badass action hero, women on television hardly ever get to be both a mother and the freaking protagonist. In Orphan Black, however, motherhood isn’t something that weakens or sidelines Sarah. On the contrary, she is all the stronger for it. Furthermore, she is allowed to have identities outside of her role as mother and not be judged for them. She is allowed to sometimes make mistakes as a mom and not be narratively punished because she is a complex, flawed human being who is just trying her best in a crazy, messed up situation. You know, just like action hero fathers are portrayed. All. The. Time.

 
I’m sure (read: hope) there are other TV examples of mother characters allowed to have action-oriented identities outside of their roles as mother, while still being portrayed as a good mother, but the only ones that come to mind right now are Farscape’s Aeryn Sun and The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ Sarah Connor.

Man, do I ever want these three fictional characters to start a support group. Except none of them would ever go. A drinks night, maybe? They can drink Bourbon and polish their guns and trade stories about their scars — some of which have been earned in battle, and some of which have been earned through the ordinary, mundane realities of motherhood. Make it happen, Internet.

 

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“Hey, I love you guys.” – Orphan Black Recap

Orphan Black Season 3, Episode 1
“The Weight of This Combination”
Posted by Kayti

Editor’s Note: We’re thrilled to welcome back Kayti Burt to recap Orphan Black after she did a terrific job recapping Agent Carter this season.  Be sure to subscribe to her newly launched site TV Feels which is “dedicated to the exploration and celebration of character-driven, youth-geared television and the feels-oriented fan culture that surrounds it.”

The Clone Club is back, baby! Orphan Black launched its third season last night with “The Weight of This Combination,” and it was so nice to be hanging out with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), Alison (Tatiana Maslany), Helena (Tatiana Maslany), Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and their loved ones (aka the characters not played by Tatiana Maslany). Heck, I was even willing to go along with the Helena-Chats-With-Scorpion storyline this episode was peddling at me, so happy was I to see the faces of my favorite clones (and Rachel) again.

So how did the Season 3 premiere measure up? Well, much like the Season 2 premiere, I approached this season opener with tentative excitement. Orphan Black is a show that, so far, has managed to maintain its breakneck plot speed while also staying grounded in realistic character development and emotional beats. Frankly, most of the time, I can’t believe this show exists. It is too perfect. A show that takes on the monumental task of exploring the theme of the ownership and co-opting of women’s bodies and does it well? It’s a TV unicorn! I keep waiting to wake up from this feminist television watcher’s dream to discover that Orphan Black never really existed, that it was just a figment of my ambitious, optimistic, overactive imagination of what life as a feminist TV fan could be like without the qualifier — i.e. I really love Awesome Show, I just wish its representation of female characters was a bit, er, better.

Why am I going on this ramble? Well, aside from it giving me the chance to extol my love of Orphan Black, it also allows me to place what is to follow in a context. For me, the beginning of Orphan Black seasons tend to be a lot of set-up with not as much payoff. This isn’t a design flaw, nor does it make for boring television. Orphan Black trusts its viewers an incredible amount, and therefore spends its season openers throwing a heck of a lot of information at us. This can make for disorienting watching, but Orphan Black has rewarded my patience before so I will give it the benefit of the doubt again. I am willing to believe that what we learn in this first episode will pay off exponentially as the season progresses. That being said, I could have done with a wee bit more grounding in this episode. Here’s everything that went down.

Sarah. It’s amazing to see how far the clones have come in their relationships with one another. When Sarah first discovered the existence of her “sisters,” she didn’t see them as family, but rather potential threats to her existing family — i.e. Kira, Felix, and maybe Mrs. S. Now, Sarah would do pretty much anything to protect all of them, and they feel the same way. This intense loyalty manifested itself in the season opener in Sarah’s willingness to pretend to be Rachel so that she could convince the Dyad Group to help find and save Helena, who has been taken by the Castor clones led by Major Dearden (aka Hot Paul!!!). When Mrs. S. confesses that she made the deal to turn Helena over in exchange for Kira and Sarah’s safe return from the Dyad, Sarah tells her “You’re not my people.” Though I think Sarah still does consider Mrs. S. family, it says a lot about Sarah’s relationship with Helena (someone she once shot through the chest) that she does openly claim Helena as one of her people.

Sidenote: Mrs. S. was rocking a total Katniss braid in this episode, which led me to realize that she and Katniss are kind of the same person.

 
The big takeaway from this storyline is that Rachel was planning on killing all of her sister-clones following the extraction of Sarah’s ovaries. Harsh. Rachel definitely got her comeuppance when Sarah sent that pencil through her eye last season. The premiere sees her hospital bed ridden with brain damage and, if it wasn’t obvious, only one eye. I’m guessing this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Rachel as a formidable force against the rest of the clones, but this show does manage to surprise me. Maybe brain damage has changed Rachel’s allegiances and she will join the Clone Club… Or not.

 
 
My favorite part of this A Plot came in the subtle exploration of Delphine’s character, who has now taken over leadership of the Dyad Institute while Rachel is out of commission. Well, Topside doesn’t know this. They think Rachel is still being her cool corporate self, but we know better. Like many of the other female characters on this show, Orphan Black refuses to make Delphine either a hero or a villain. She is something in-between. She obviously cares for Cosima and, by extension, her sister-clones, but she is still not completely trustworthy — something we are reminded of again and again by Sarah and Felix’s chilly treatment of her. After all, Delphine was introduced to all of us as someone who was willing to knowingly deceive Cosima, as someone who understood much of what Project Leda was about and wanted to be a part of it. That’s hard for viewers to forget and it’s hard for Sarah to forgive. Still, the two end the episode in a reluctant alliance. Delphine promises to help Sarah get Helena back and Sarah promises not to cause any more trouble. (Yeah right.)

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“I know my value.” – Agent Carter Recap

Agent Carter Season One, Episode Eight

“Valediction” 

Posted by Kayti

Agent Carter wrapped up its first season on Tuesday night with “Valediction” — an episode title that means “the action of saying farewell.” Let’s just hope that title doesn’t develop a meta meaning — a farewell to this sometimes flawed, but always important and usually thoroughly entertaining series rather than just to its first eight-episode season. Agent Carter was announced as a “limited series,” but everyone knows that — if ABC and Marvel want to bring it back — they can. Given the mediocre-to-poor ratings, Agent Carter’s future is uncertain. What is certain? That, despite its habit of getting distracted by the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in this final episode, Agent Carter was something special.

There is no universe where I will not be moved by Peggy tearfully dumping a vial of Steve’s blood into the Hudson while “The Way You Look Tonight” plays in the background. That’s just a fact.

However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the focus Peggy’s grief got in this ending. In watching this episode, it felt a bit like the showrunners (or, perhaps, it was interference from Marvel?) thought I cared more about Peggy’s grief over Steve and Agent Carter’s place in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe than I actually did.

I do care about these aspects of Agent Carter, but I have loved this story and its main character for the way it moved beyond its MCU context. Because of this narrative tie-back to the MCU, many of the themes addressed in this episode felt somewhat incongruous to those chiefly explored in the rest of the season. Sure, Peggy’s grief over Steve’s death has been visceral at times, but it has never felt like her primary motivator or this show’s main theme. For me, Agent Carter’s main theme was the complexity of Peggy’s struggle to transition into a post-war world where she is seen as nothing more than a secretary. That is the thematic, emotional journey I have become most invested in, even if it hasn’t been the only reason I watch this show. (Because there are so, so many reasons to watch this show.)

  

  

  

(The first eight on that list are Peggy Carter.)

“Valediction” felt like an endnote to an alternate reality first season of Agent Carter. Sure, it had all of our favorite characters, but rather than center the emotional climax around Peggy, it was Howard who found resolution through the suspenseful climax.

 

 

Peggy was integral to that resolution, but her emotional lesson felt shoehorned into Howard’s, rather than organic to this character’s Season 1 story arc. Peggy was made to verbally express a need to let go of Steve and move past his apparent death. I would have been more than happy to go along with this thematic through line for the entire season — it is less ambitious in many ways than the one Agent Carter actually set about exploring, but still worth watching. As the season stands, however, I never really thought of Peggy’s grief as an obstacle. And that’s what it needed to be if Agent Carter was going to sell me on this ending. For me, Peggy’s grief is a part of her, but works as a motivation rather than something to move past. Her grief is something that reminds her of the sort of person she wants to be when it might be easier (or, at least, less tiring) to accept rigid identity of the role society is constantly trying to force upon her.

For a show that was trying to make a point on both a thematic and meta level about the necessity and validity of women in the world and in our media representations of the world, this finale gave men the spotlight.

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“I’m not playing a game. I never was.” – Agent Carter Recap

 

 

Agent Carter Season 1, Episode 7

“Snafu” 

Posted by Kayti

Television is a serialized art form. The best shows work well as standalone episodes, but also fit together to craft a larger story that can only be completely seen (and judged) once a story arc, season, or even series is finished. For me, this is what makes television so much fun and, at times, frustrating to write about. Television criticism grew out of film criticism so it observes many of the same rules, but television and film are decidedly different mediums. And the episode-by-episode recap can only get you so far because a television show’s narrative power goes well beyond an episode’s boundaries. It lies in the story and character arcs that stretch across many episodes, across an entire season.

I’m rambling about the differences between TV and film criticism because Agent Carter’s latest excellent episode, “Snafu,” succeeded not only because it was suspenseful, funny, and heartbreaking in its own right, but because it put the previous few episodes in a context that made them better as well: the mark of a truly great television experience.

I have been somewhat critical of the Dr. Ivchenko storyline in the past two episodes. The trip to Russia where the S.S.R. retrieved Ivchenko felt like a narrative distraction, and Ivchenko’s nefarious purposes seemed obvious given the circumstances of his “rescue.” In the last episode, Ivchenko’s hypnosis of first Dooley than Yauch also felt like more distraction from the larger issues at play — namely, Peggy’s run from the S.S.R. Though I am still not completely sold on the way these storylines played out — I could have done without some of the one-off characters we have met along the way in favor of more character development for those people we already know — it all came together in “Snafu.” And, I have to admit, it was worth the wait. Ivchenko is scary in a slow, dreadful kind of way. And Dooley’s story arc came to a heartbreaking conclusion when he jumped out the window to save his co-workers from the bomb he had become.

Though the story of the family Dooley would never be able to see again seriously played at the heartstrings, it was actually his relationship with Peggy that really hit me in the feels. In his final moments, Dooley gave his final command as head of the S.S.R. to Peggy. Not to Thompson or Sousa or even the S.S.R. agents as a group. To Peggy. The woman he had only just started to trust with following up leads. After episode upon episode of lunch runs and files organization, Dooley entrusted Peggy with the most important mission yet: stopping Leviathan and avenging his death.

 

 

 

Gah. Peggy finally earns the respect of her co-workers and her boss, but it comes at a heavy, heavy price. First, it came at the expense of breaking their trust in some pretty major ways just so she could show what she can do.

Secondly, it came at the expense of understanding just how dangerous their enemies could be, at the expense of death. Yauch, Krzeminski, Dooley, and that random guy in the stairwell all had to die before the S.S.R. trusted Peggy. Guys, that’s a problem. This outcome is tragic not only for its inherent, you know, tragedy, but for the way in which it all (or, at least, partially) could have been avoided if anyone had listened to Peggy. Or, more accurately, if she were not part of a system in which she was afraid to speak up.

 

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