Locking Helena away from her sisters and the viewers for the last few episodes seemed a curious decision, making me wonder if the show runners were trying to take some of the emphasis off this wild card clone. Thankfully however, that is not the case and in “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” Helena is back in all her glory, showing once again there is much more to her than just her…well, insanity.
At the beginning of the episode we see Helena in her now all too familiar cell inside the military base, whose location is still a mystery at this point. However, she has a new neighbor in the next cell, none other than her ‘sestra’ Sarah. While Sarah initially sees this as a wonderful thing, not being locked up but finding Helena, she soon discovers Helena blames her for selling her out and putting her here, putting a damper on the happy reunion.
The back and forth between Helena and Sarah were definitely the high point of the episode and once again showed off the incredible talent and range of Tatiana Maslany. These two characters are far from simple or clear cut and this episode shows that in great detail. Both Sarah and Helena go through emotional ups and downs and they make discoveries about their situation and each other, making it very interesting to watch.
On a lighter side, but still holding important clues to what’s going on, Cosima goes on her Sapphire date with Shay (Ksenia Solo) which could have been nothing but fluff and comic relief but a few hidden camera shots later, we know it is not really that simple.
Also on the humorous plot line with meaning bandwagon are Mrs. S and Felix, taking in Gracie thanks to big hearted Art but not really knowing what to do with her or how they can even trust her. After a bit of alcohol and dancing, things seem to be moving toward the big hug all around stage until Gracie hits the floor in obvious pain and when the medical team arrives they make a rather shocking discovery.
The weirdest part of this episode was the peak under the hood if you will on the relationship between Paul and Virginia. While Dr. Cody seems quite determined and driven to save the Castor boys at any cost, Paul has begun to show a few cracks in his armor concerning what lengths the good doctor is willing to go, especially when Sarah is now directly in the crosshairs.
That sound you hear in the background is my slow clap, applauding the writers for the increasingly difficult job they have of spreading the story around to so many great characters and actors. With only a few exceptions, the strange use or lack thereof of Paul for example, they have managed to keep most everyone involved and that is no small feat.
While these smaller story arcs are important, the Helena/Sarah dance in detention was the central focus of the episode. Sure, there were a few convenient things about the escape plan but not enough to make it ridiculous in fact, it came off as quite plausible. Still, the dynamic between these two was great to watch and after what happened I will be very curious to the ripple effect it has on many characters and plot lines.
- The Helena/Sarah moments were very real and quite important
- Tatiana Maslany once again nailed it, bringing home some great performances
- Nice balance of humor and drama, another key to the success of this show
- The continued confusion of just what to do with the character of Paul.