A Look at House of Lies- Season 5, Episode 8: “Tragedy of the Commons”

Have you ever wondered about the internal strife that often plagues boy bands and threatens to tear them apart until the inevitable reunion tour?  Me neither, but perhaps Marty and the pod will see what it’s like as they take on a hot tween sensation group to make sure both sides end up with the most money possible.  This is “Tragedy of the Commons.”

Tragedy of the Commons- Marty and Ron discuss D'Ream Out Loud

The episode begins with Ron and Marty discussing the boy band called D’ream Out Loud (not a typo)- the biggest band since One Direction.  Celestial Music Group is having a hard time getting the group to resign, so Ron pitched K&A as closers.  It helps that they have the Dushkin twins deal under their belt.

Marty is skeptical about babysitting the Backstreet Boys, despite the promise of endless afterwork.  However, Ron points out that Monica is racking up media properties, but K&A is media-lite.

Tragedy of the Commons- Jeannie at a photo op with Seth

At Logan’s Diner, Seth has Jeannie pose with him in photo-ops, but she’s got to get to work.  They’ll meet up this evening for a fundraiser.  Jeannie is just…not ecstatic about this.

Tragedy of the Commons- Doug tells Clyde about his new Twitter followers

Back at K&A, Doug reads some Tweets from his new TED Talk fans, some of whom call him an inspiration.  Just to clarify, prior to this Talk, Doug had 125 followers.  Now, he has 136.  Doug tells Clyde that it’s about quality, not quantity.  Not to mention some of the fans are women that show some cleavage.  The pressures of fame are many.

Apparently, Tess understands that Doug is a lot of women’s hall passes, even though there was no reason for him to remove his shirt.  But it doesn’t help that Tess and Doug haven’t had much time to talk since the TED Talk.

Jeannie enters and tells the two that the meet and greet went well.  Clyde was still nervous, but he’s fine now.  After all, the electorate has responded well to Jeannie at these campaign events.

Tragedy of the Commons- Marty and JR brief the pod on D'Ream Out Loud

The three enter Marty’s office, where our fearless leader briefs them on their boy band assignment.  JR plays a bit from one of the group’s songs.  Clyde knows the lyrics.  The video itself is as generic as you’d expect from a boy band, but I imagine that’s the point.  And I don’t even know that much about boy bands.

JR continues: D’Ream Out Loud has racked up $50 million in record sales, plenty of #1 records, and a shit ton of revenue in concert sales.  The star of the group is Conner Sanders- the shinier version of Harry Styles.  That’s One Direction, right?  The group’s new contracts have been sitting on their lawyer’s desk for two months.

Why?  The group is sitting out their current deal so they can be free to do whatever the fuck they want.  D’Ream Out Loud may literally and figuratively sound like bullshit, Marty figures, but the pod will go after them like any other client.  Jeannie then slips into a fourth grade memory when someone ripped down her poster of Jordan Knight.

Tragedy of the Commons- Girls mob boy band D'Ream Out Loud

We cut to Dave & Buster’s, where the group is greeted by denizens of teenage girls…until Conner steps out and the majority of the girls flock to him.  Thus, leaving the remaining three members with next to no one.  For Marty, though, if you take down the alpha, the rest shall follow.

Tragedy of the Commons- Marty speaks with Conner, played by Rhys Wakefield, about his future with or without the band

Inside, Marty speaks privately with Conner, who confirms that he plans to go solo. Conner wants to skip the consulting bullshit, so Marty doesn’t talk business.  After all, sounds like Conner has made up his mind, so Marty toasts to Conner’s last two weeks of financial security.  You see, Marty looked at Conner’s financials.  Despite that, he says that Conner is fine.

Tragedy of the Commons- Doug and Clyde play air hockey with two band members

Back to the pod and remaining three members.  While Sam gets Jeannie a necklace, Doug and Clyde play air hockey with Ryder and Hunter about taking such a big risk. There are internal problems, though: Conner gets paid more when there should be equal pay.

Tragedy of the Commons- Conner tells Marty that he'll be fine, according to his business manager

Conner tells Marty that he has nothing to worry about, according to his business manager, Joel, even if he never sells a single solo album.  Conner figures that Marty is trying to scare him, like he’s a boogeyman.  So what does the boogeyman see?  A kid who spends $650,000 a month on expenses.  Holy fuck.

So maybe Conner should ask Joel about his private, offshore account and how it keeps growing.  Marty’s guess is that Joel isn’t paying Conner’s taxes.  Also, if Conner doesn’t resign, he has a six month non-compete clause.  Teenage girls probably won’t wait that long.  Btu hey, nothing scares Conner, right?  Except maybe Marty.

Tragedy of the Commons- Sam, played by Noah Reid, talks with Jeannie

Outside, Sam manages to get Jeannie a necklace that he won on his 15th try.  A personal best.  Sam claims that it’s not about the money.  He never even wanted to be part of the band until Conner convinced him to join.

But then, Conner went full-asshole.  Jeannie tells Sam that he’d be walking away from a lot of money, but Sam wonders what the point of money is if he’s not happy.  That’s oddly profound for someone in a boy band.  She then watches a new segment about Seth, who mentions that he’s dating a single mother, Jeannie, who works hard to provide for her daughter.

Sort of a dick move, since now, Jeannie is the poster child for single motherhood.  Sam sympathizes with Jeannie, as he knows what it’s like to be a part of a story you didn’t write.  Sam would treat Jeannie like a queen. She responds with a kiss, but no tongue. Then Doug shows up and tells Jeannie that Marty wants to talk.

Tragedy of the Commons- Pod meets in the women's restroom to discuss the band

The pod meets in the women’s restroom so the band members can’t get follow them.  I get the logic, but still an odd choice.  Marty feels that he’s got Conner, but he needs a push. Hunter and Ryder want parity, but Sam feels that Conner is an asshole and is dead set on leaving.

Jeannie suggests getting Conner to agree to parity, which should be good for CMG, but no.  Fuck that.  So Marty goes to Conner and advises him to listen.

Tragedy of the Commons- Clyde tells Jeannie to talk with Seth

Since Jeannie won’t answer Seth’s calls, Seth calls Clyde instead.  When Clyde hands over his phone, Jeannie dips it into his glass of beer.  Apparently, Jeannie is ghosting Seth: breaking up with someone by never talking to them again.  I thought that was just breaking up, but whatever.

Doug asks how long you go without talking to someone before it’s ghosting, and that’s maybe five or six days.  It’s been eight days since he and Tess talked.

Tragedy of the Commons- Band reunites

Marty and Conner arrive, with Conner telling the band that yes, he’s been an asshole.  He wants to get things back to the way things were.  The band is back together.

Tragedy of the Commons- Jeannie smells the bullshit

Sounds like all is well in boy band land, but Jeannie sniffs the bullshit.  The pod is just fucking over the backup dancers.  Since Jeannie is being a contrarian, Doug and Clyde bring up her kiss with Sam.

Tragedy of the Commons- Seth catches up with Jeannie

The next day, Seth catches up with Jeannie and asks why she hasn’t returned his calls. Okay, I’m no relationship expert, but if a conversation starts out like this, it’s bound to end badly. Obviously, Jeannie is still miffed about Seth’s words and has every reason to be, so she elects to break up with Seth.  She just doesn’t like Seth enough.

Seth thinks that Jeannie doesn’t know how she feels, and that leads her to head inside. The boy band arrives and Sam, like an idiot, brings up his kiss with Jeannie.  This leads to a fight that the paparazzi are lucky enough to capture.

Tragedy of the Commons- Tess tells Doug that she wants to be dungeon master

Upstairs, Doug finds a pissed Tess waiting for him.  She lays into Doug, saying he was a jerk at the TED Talk, despite all the support she gave him leading up to the talk.  Tess breaks up with Doug, which sucks, but Doug is more concerned with whether K&A still has her business.  She’ll keep doing business, but only if Doug makes her Dungeon Master.

Tragedy of the Commons- Doug tells pod that they have lost Tess' business

Smash cut to Doug telling Clyde, Marty, and Jeannie that K&A is no longer doing business with Tess.  No explanation why, though.  There will be time to destroy Doug later.  Right now, focus on the boy band.

Tragedy of the Commons- Pod presents five year plan to band

The two groups meet, with CMG’s exec congratulating the boy band for resigning for five years.  Clyde kicks off a presentation showing the baseline pro forma if the band continues.  This could lead to $120 million. Dope, but Marty wants to do better.

First, Conner will announce that he’s leaving the band.  Then, the band will announce that it’s doing a ‘Goodbye Conner’ tour, which would raise Year 1 NPV to $170 million.  Conner will then record a solo album, featuring a duet with Katy Perry, and a tour.  After a year of great revenue, Conner will realize that he misses the band.

As such, there will be a reunion tour that will be a global event with premium tier pricing. The group is looking at a mid-range five year of $320 million, three times the baseline.  Sam feels that Conner’s nice words were bullshit, but then Marty mentions that the remaining group members will have parity. In other words, equal pay.

Tragedy of the Commons- Band reacts to potential new deal

Conner will have a separate solo contract, but the group is still equal. Everyone is happy about this arrangement except for Sam, who feels that Jeannie played him.  Also, Marty calls Doug into his office.

Tragedy of the Commons- Marty and Jeannie talk

Later, Jeannie tells Marty that they made a shitty move.  Besides, Marty reminds Jeannie that they all have done much worse than this.  Jeannie knows that they screw people over all the time.  When it’s to build the business up, that’s fine, but if they’re handing over K&A to Skip Galweather, what’s the point?  As Marty puts it, the point is money.

Jeannie, remembering Sam’s words, says that more money won’t make them happy. True as that may be, winning will make him happy.  Then Clyde enters and shows footage of Seth’s fight with the band.

Tragedy of the Commons- Marty and Ron talk about how to win over Skip

That evening, Ron congratulates Marty on his work.  They got CMG, but Skip told Ron that he and the Kohl brothers are going with Monica, so in the end, they lost.  Marty still sees a play.  Until the paperwork is signed, there’s time to bring something huge to the Kohl brothers.  And not by signing a company.  What about a country?

After all, Ron still has connections in Cuba.  If Cuba isn’t ready for the Kohl brothers, it’s time to change that.

Truly, money is the root of all evil.  Whether intentional or by accident, “Tragedy of the Commons” presented the pod with an interesting client: itself.  What I mean is that the band members, with their goals, aspirations, and problems with the group as a whole, mirror what the pod has endured and has become vocal about in the past two seasons.

Tragedy of the Commons- Conner and Sam

Conner is the leader who gets most of the glory, Sam is outspoken and is more concerned with the leader’s decisions to the point that he’s willing to walk away, while Hunter and Ryder are just along for the ride, but feel they deserve equal representation for their work.

Tragedy of the Commons- Band learns how much money they'll make in five years

Much like “Above Board Metrics,” it’s a good way to draw attention to the pod’s interpersonal and internal turmoil, but through the perspective of another group that’s on the verge of breaking apart.  And while the pod isn’t about to split again, they still don’t always see on one accord.

Tragedy of the Commons- Jeannie reacts to Sam blowing her off

Jeannie is the biggest outlier in the pod.  Throughout the season, we’ve seen her struggle with becoming a better person and responsible mother, despite her flaws.  Even though she’s done her fair share of bad things, Sam’s words do strike a chord, even if I find this to be a bit blatant.  He already seems to already believe that money doesn’t equal happiness.

Tragedy of the Commons- Jeannie with Sam as he talks about money and happiness

It’s like Jeannie had this sudden epiphany that, I feel, she could have figured out on her own.  Or maybe I’m looking into this too deeply and Jeannie is thinking more about happiness because Marty is about to sell the company.  She’s all for serving her own interests if it betters the company, but she doesn’t see the need to make underhanded deals if she’s not happy or doesn’t have the same authority she has now.

Tragedy of the Commons- Jeannie wonders what good money is if she's not happy

I imagine part of the reason Jeannie is so outspoken is because she’s not trying to let the company or someone else define who she is.  She doesn’t want to be portrayed as another slimy consultant.  And she also won’t let Seth define her as a struggling, single mother.  In essence, Jeannie doesn’t want to be seen as a prop.

Tragedy of the Commons- Marty tells Jeannie that the point is money

She’s more like Marty’s moral compass since, unlike Jeannie, Marty is more concerned not just with money, but winning.  If he’s about to hand over the reins of K&A to Skip, he may as well end on a high note.  And so far, he’s done well with the Dushkin twins, D’Ream Out Loud, got big tobacco to sign with Kush Vista, and he has Tess’ business.  Well, unsure about that last one right now.  But his goal is to defeat Monica.

Tragedy of the Commons- Marty talks with Conner

He can’t do that by always thinking about the ethical implications of his decisions, so he plays the businessman role by showing his client which option will bring them the most money.  And he’s dealing with young pop stars who are all about fame and fortune, if real life is any indication, so of course they’ll latch onto a deal that will garner them more money in the long run.

Tragedy of the Commons- Ron and Marty formulate a plan for Cuba

And despite Skip seeming to have chosen Monica, Marty still has a backup plan involving Ron and Cuba, which pays off reports from earlier this year that House of Lies would be the first scripted American program to film in Cuba since the United States restored diplomatic relations with the nation.  So this should be a fun trip.

“Tragedy of the Commons” showed the pod doing what they do best: smooth talking and ensuring their client gets the best deal possible so they get the best payoff possible.  With Skip set to pick Monica over him, Marty doesn’t have much time to put his backup plan into play, and now that Doug has lost Tess’ business, I expect this to come back up and bite both him and the pod in the ass very soon.

A Look at Veep- Season 5, Episode 6: “Cuntgate”

Even if you’re not President of the United States, you’d probably guess that there’s no quick fix solution to the economy.  Worse still, there’s no easy solution.  If you’re Selina Meyer, there’s no way to come out of this looking good, especially when it turns out that someone thinks that she’s a cunt.  And yes, it’s a gate.

This is Cuntgate.

Cuntgate- Mike speaks with the press about the bailout

The episode begins with a press briefing as the Dow continues to drop.  Mike tells the press that bailouts are not on the table, but infusions are possible.  That’s a bailout, Mike.

Cuntgate- Economic crisis team discusses which banks to bail out

Tom James leads the economic response team on which bank to bailout, with three in the running.  However, the administration can only afford to bail out two.  An Illinois bank is in play since that could help win the state, but another bank belongs to Charlie Barid.  Ben tells Selina that she can’t bail out Charlie Baird’s bank because it will look like she’s playing favorites.  But Tom feels that the bank is financially stronger.

Cuntgate- Jonah crashes the focus group discussion

Following this, we get the first Jonah Ryan for Congress ad.  Catherine films a focus team’s response: the folks aren’t a fan of Jonah.  His head, for example, is too big for his body.  The only positive is that the kid is cute.  Jonah bursts in to rant to the Pepperidge Farm ad motherfuckers, as he calls them, but Jeffrey and Richard escort him out.

Cuntgate- Selina reads Politico article about someone calling her a cunt

Selina’s team watches this unfold.  She’s surprised that Catherine hasn’t been around as of recent.  She brings up a Politico article on Gary’s machine about a West Wing staffer that called the President a cunt.  Kent wants to focus on relaunching Jonah’s campaign.  Selina suggests getting Dan’s help, but he turned down the offer, so Ben is interviewing prospectives.  Selina, meanwhile, has Amy find out who called her a cunt.

Cuntgate- Amy asks Dan why he isn't on Jonah's campaign

While Mike tries to get Dan to join in on a GroupOn, Amy asks why he isn’t jumping on board with Jonah’s campaign.  After all, if Jonah loses, no one would blame Dan.  But if Jonah wins, Dan will look like a political genius.  Dan claims that he’s not worried, but soon speeds off to jump on the Jonah train.

Cuntgate- Dan takes Candi's job from underneath her

Dan then interrupts Ben’s meeting with Candi Caruso.  Seconds later, Candi’s position on Jonah’s campaign has been filled.  Candi just can’t catch a break, can she?

Cuntgate- Amy asks Mike if he knows who called Selina a cunt

Amy’s attempt at an investigation doesn’t solve the mystery of the one person who called Selina a cunt because it turns out that both she and Mike have said it on separate occasions.

Cuntgate- Selina decides to bail out Charlie's bank

Selina, meanwhile, decides to bail out Charlie’s bank, regardless of how it will be perceived by the public.  In Selina’s mind, this is good for the country.  That is her final solution.  Phrasing, I know.

Cuntgate- Dan declares himself as Jonah's campaign manager

At the Ryan for Congress HQ in New Hampshire, Jonah speaks dramatically while Catherine records B-roll.  As Director of Communications Richard receives copyright claims from bands featured in Jonah’s ads, Dan shows up enters and declares himself as Jonah’s campaign manager.  He immediately takes charge and tells Jonah that he answers to him, now.  Dan also takes Jonah’s office.

Cuntgate- Charlie and Selina dine

Selina dines with Charlie, who apologizes for their compromised relationship, but he also says that whatever move she makes won’t affect what they have.  They then decide on a quickie.

Cuntgate- Selina asks Amy about her progress with the investigation

Then, at 2 in the morning, Selina calls Amy into her office to ask about the investigation.  Amy suggests pushing it back, but instead, Selina rattles off three employees to be fired because such an article should not have been published.

As Selina lights a cigarette, she tells Amy that people don’t want her to be President because she’s a woman, but she won’t back down.  Amy is no stranger to being called a cunt.  That much I could have guessed.

Cuntgate- Catherine talks to Selina about how she's been since Grandma died

Catherine returns to Washington to talk with Selina about how she’s been since Grandma died.  Also, she’s been thinking about her past relationships.

Cuntgate- Ben and Kent inform Selina that the public dislikes her bailout decision

Before this turn into an actual mother-daughter talk, Ben and Kent enter to explain that approval ratings for bailing out Charlie’s bank are 4.3 percent, even if it’s the right decision.  No one understands the economy.  And a few states in Congress could be lost due to Selina’s decision.  So she later decides to bail out a different bank.

Cuntgate- Mike tries to get Marjorie to join his GroupOn

Mike again tries to offer friends for his GroupOn, but no one is on board.  Not even Sue or Marjorie.

Cuntgate- Jeffrey and Dan dress Jonah up for a meet and greet

Back in New Hampshire at a restaurant, Jeffrey and Dan dress Jonah up like Clark Kent for a meet and greet.  Dan is joined by Bill Ericsson.  His charge was thrown out on appeal.  He’s working for the Sherman campaign.  And yes, he’s still pissed at Selina.  Go figure.

Cuntgate- Tom interrupts Selina's moment with Catherine

Selina’s very brief moment with Catherine is interrupted by Tom James, who, through some smooth talking, gets Selina to change her mind.  She soon says that both Charlie’s bank and another will be bailed out.  However, she then changes her mind again.

Cuntgate- Leon asks Amy about the three firings due to Cuntgate

Leon runs into Amy at a store to talk about three firings due to Cuntgate.  It’s a gate.  Leon warns Amy that she won’t want to be the face of Cuntgate, even though she has the perfect face for it.

Cuntgate- Selina changes her mind again

Selina again meets the economic team and, after meeting with Mike, decides to change her mind yet again.  Ben confronts Mike about this decision.  Turns out it was just about Wendy helping him with student loans, which Mike only has because he’s not good with money.

Cuntgate- Karen gives Selina some form of advice

Code black.  Selina is on an opinion shopping spree.  Ben and Kent can’t meet with Selina because she’s too busy talking with, of all people, Karen.  Fucking Karen!  It’s as useless as you’d expect.  Selina still needs more time, but Tom tells her that a decision is needed.  So Selina will give them a choice tomorrow morning.

Cuntgate- Jonah thanks Dan for his help on the campaign

To help clear her head, Ben suggests tearing into Jonah and Dan.  Selina does just that, but it ends up having the opposite effect.  Both spurned by Selina, the two find common ground.  Jonah even thanks Dan for helping with the campaign.

Cuntgate- Jonah takes the stage and wins the crowd

Jonah soon takes the stage and deals with Bill’s hecklers, but he then attacks Selina’s record.  And that ends up winning over the crowd.  I must admit, it’s a damn fine moment for both Jonah and Dan.

Cuntgate- Mike takes questions about Cuntgate

Mike again deals with economy questions from the press, but then Leon brings up Cuntgate- it’s still a gate.  The other reporters, in turn, focus on the gate.

Cuntgate- Selina makes her decision

Mike and Amy then talk with Ben and admit that they both have called Selina a cunt, but so did Ben.  And Kent.  And Gary, but he called her a crone.  Selina enters and decides to bail out Charlie.  She has more time, but doesn’t need it.  This is the best for the economy.  She goes off to tell Tom.

Gary is happy for Selina’s decision, more so because of the happiness she gets from Charlie.  Selina meets again with her economic team.

Cuntgate- Selina and Charlie at a bookstore

At a bookstore photo op, Selina tells the press of her planned Christmas shopping.  Charlie doesn’t want a book for Christmas.  He already has one.  Tom James soon calls Charlie and is upset about the decision.  Politico was apparently right about her.

Cuntgate- Selina learns that Catherine is in a relationship with Marjorie, somehow

Later, Selina learns of Jonah’s bump in the polls, which is apparently good news.  And Catherine tells Selina that she’s met someone that works with the administration.  It’s…goddamn Marjorie.  How in the actual fuck?  Marjorie will be resigning from Selina’s detail.  Selina and Gary need a moment to process this.  As do I.  At the very least, Selina wishes her mother was alive because this news would have killed her.

Cuntgate- Selina guesses that everyone called her a cunt

As the episode comes to a close, Amy enters just as Selina guesses that everyone called her a cunt, Mike, while trying to reimburse his GroupOn, spots Tom James dining with Sidney Purcell, and Marjorie and Catherine are giddy.  Someone has to be.

Trust the American press to take the focus off of President Meyer’s agenda and focus on something more personal.  “Cuntblock,” like the previous “Thanksgiving,” has Selina focusing on an actual national matter.  Here, she does managed to stay more focused on the economy, but her ego and desire to serve her own agenda get in the way.

Cuntgate- Selina seeks advice from Karen

Selina this week is just as incompetent, indecisive, and inept as ever- hell, she goes to Karen of all people- but there’s more focus on her reputation and how the public perceives her.  She can’t be seen as weak on the economy because that would sink her reelection chances.

But if she’s strong on the economy and bails out Charlie’s bank, then she’s playing favorites.  Furthermore, as Tom indicated earlier in the season, any problems with the economy fall on the face of the person in charge.

Cuntgate- Selina appears to take Gary's words to heart

And it’s fun to watch Selina waver over and over.  At times, like the Families First agenda, we’ve seen shades of a President Meyer that genuinely wants to help the American people.  But then you get this version of Selina that just wants an easy solution where she doesn’t look like the villain.  That’s hard to do because, as Ben said, no one understands the economy.

It wouldn’t matter if Selina made a good decision.  The public would find a way to make her look bad, much as Jonah did during his speech.

Cuntgate- Selina tells Amy that people are after her because she's a woman

But more than the economy, we get more focus on how she feels the public perceives her as a woman.  And there’s some validity to that, but I find a lot of it to be baseless.  Think about how anyone who attacks Hillary Clinton can be twisted into a sexist.  Same with anyone who criticizes this all-female Ghostbusters film.  Are there shades of sexism?  Of course.

In Selina’s case, though, I think it’s less of people belittling her because she’s a woman.  Rather, they belittle her because she’s a less than stellar politician and a horrible person.  It’s all about her record, but as Selina tells Amy, the people can only want her out of office because of sexism, which is bullshit.

Cuntgate- Selina knows that everyone called her a cunt

At the end of the day, though, I think Selina accepts that people are always going to dislike her, but she’s going to keep going forward regardless.  Well, at least there’s some acceptance in that, especially since most of the team has called her a cunt.

Cuntgate- Catherine and Marjorie

What might not be accepted so easily is Catherine’s out-of-nowhere relationship with Marjorie.  It’s a hilarious surprise that I’m curious where Veep will go with this.  Marjorie hasn’t had much to do since her introduction, so this is a good way to keep her involved, even if she’s no longer part of Selina’s detail.

Cuntgate- Catherine tells her mother that she's found someone

Whether this makes Catherine an outright lesbian, a bisexual, or she’s just experimenting, I don’t know.  I’ve never really understood these people, but that’s beside the point.  Why this is such an interesting twist is the fact that Catherine hasn’t had much time to bind with her mother this season.  And one of the first things we learned about Marjorie was how eerily similar she looked to Selina.

Cuntgate- Gary and Selina react to Catherine's news that she's dating Marjorie

Is Marjorie meant to be a surrogate for Selina?  Can Catherine actually say she’s in love?  Either way, I’m interested, if just for the dumbfounded looks on Gary and Selina’s faces.

Cuntgate- Dan preps Jonah for his speech

Equally interesting of a pair was Dan and Jonah.  These two have been at each other’s throats for most of the series, and I get Dan joining the campaign so he can jumpstart his political career.  It makes sense that he’d use Jonah as much as Jeffrey is, but now the two realize they have a common foe in Selina.  While Selina venting to the two helped her relax, it also served to make Jonah a credible threat and potential future Congressman.

Cuntgate- Jonah compliments Dan

More than this, Jonah acknowledging that Dan proved vital to his image and the two coming together felt earned.  It would be easy for Veep to make this pair a gimmick, but because the two have enemies for so long, for them to join forces over their hatred towards Selina shows that even they can put squabbles aside for a moment to focus on a bigger threat.  That said, I don’t expect this to make them best friends forever.

Either way, between this, the focus group, and the return of Bill Ericsson on the opposing team, I am very much invested in this storyline.  Gosh, imagine the possibilities of Jonah going to Congress.

Cuntgate- Jonah won't back down

Instead of being the awkward fuck we know he is, he appeals to people’s distaste for Washington and makes some credible attacks on Selina’s record.  Though it helps that Selina isn’t what you’d call a good President.  I’ll be honest, as I was laughing at him going on the offensive, I got chills when he managed to not fuck up, but actually captivate the crowd.

Cuntgate- Jonah's salute

But I’ve gotta say, this quick moment here of Jonah waving is interesting.  It almost looks like a Nazi salute.  I could be looking way too into that, but the fact that we got a shot of it makes me wonder if we’ll return to it at any point.

Cuntgate- Amy discusses Cuntgate with Mike and Ben

As far as Cuntgate is concerned, first off, it’s a great name.  Second, it did draw attention to the extra scrutiny that women in power receive, but it also showed how little Selina’s team actually thinks of her once we learn that nearly everyone had called her a cunt.  I imagine Dan has done it least once.  Gary is far too innocent.  That would just leave Sue, who I don’t think has the time to even think of an insult for Selina.

“Cuntgate” was a fun episode that had a great main storyline and equally engaging subplot with potential Congressman Jonah Ryan making his mark.  Despite Selina’s desire to do the right thing on a topic as complex as the economy, she still faces scrutiny, but now she’s got to contend with the fact that people think she’s a cunt, she’s accused of playing favorites with Charlie Baird, and her daughter is dating her now former security lead.

Not a great time to be the President.

Cuntgate- Tom James dines with Sidney Purcell

Oh, and now Mike has seen Tom James dining with Sidney Purcell, meaning he and Dan have an inkling that the two are in cahoots.  Will word of this reach the others?  Even better, will it matter or can this somehow blow up in Mike and Dan’s faces?  Either way, I’m excited to watch it all unfold.

A Look at Orphan Black- Season 4, Episode 7: “The Antisocialism of Sex”

With the death of Kendall Malone and a cure now gone, Clone Club is divided, without hope, and now at a low point in their battle against Neolution.  And that means wild and crazy Sarah is finally free to let loose and spiral out of control.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Susan tells Rachel that she's on the island of Dr. Moreau

The episode begins with Rachel checking her prison after she hears a noise.  She calls out at a set of stairs, but gets no response, so she ends up climbing the stairs.  Gold star for her.  She finally sees outside for what I’m guessing is the first time in awhile.  Also upstairs, she stops upon a book.

Susan arrives, telling Rachel that it’s all over due to the original and chance of a cure now destroyed.  And Rachel finally learns where she is: the island of Dr. Moreau.

The Antisocialism of Sex- S is still upset at Sarah

At the safe house, all is silent.  Sarah checks on Mrs. S, who is still upset that Sarah put Kendall in the line of fire and S in the middle.  Now there’s not even a body to bury.  Though Sarah feels Kendall is her blood, Mrs. S. reminds Sarah that she came to her as an orphan.  Well, Sarah plans to go out, and that’s fine with S, but Kira stays with her.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Cosima talks to Scott about Kendall and Delphine

Cosima, meanwhile, sits in her marijuana tent, unable to shake her final moment with Kendall or Delphine’s death.  Again, we’re still talking about Delphine, so you know this is going somewhere.  Scott checks on Cosima, who feels that she pushed Sarah into making a deal and led everyone into Evie’s trap.  Scott, meanwhile, is going to power up, even though there’s nothing left.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Donnie comforts Alison

Alison tries to write a letter to S, but instead, she falls to her knees and prays to God for hope.  Donnie joins and hugs his wife, telling her to take whatever time she needs for her sisters.  In fact, he wants to cancel Gemma’s slumber party since it’s too soon after a tragedy, but Alison insists that it happen so they appear normal for the kids.  And there are hot dogs in the freezer, so she’s putting her goddamn foot down.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Susan gives Rachel a history lesson on Neolution

Susan talks to Rachel about the true history of Neolution, which dates back to the Victorian age.  Even Darwin helped create a secret scientific society that worked to create a better human.  The facility downstairs was built a century ago.  Susan built on top of that to continue the legacy, but now, Evie Cho builds on top of her.  Rachel wants to take her place, though.  After all, they still need a cure.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Kira tells Felix that Sarah went away

Felix consoles S, though he’s also curious where Sarah’s disappeared to this time.  Kira tells him that Sarah left again.  But no, Felix doesn’t think she does that anymore.  That’s not an option.  Felix promises to find Sarah and tells S that, as much as she may not like it, Sarah is the glue holding them all together.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah has visions of Beth

So Sarah drowns her sorrows in alcohol and has visions of Beth.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Cosima doesn't think of Scott as her lab partner

Scott asks Hell-Wizard if anything can be recovered.  Cosima, though, is pessimistic.  Every test failed, so why would they repeat an experiment.  Scott suggests thinking outside the box, and Hell-Wizard thinks that Cosima should listen to his lab partner.  But then Cosima says that her lab partner died.

Wow, Cosima.  Way to be an asshole.  Anyway, since Cosima doesn’t have a way to make that up, she moves things along by revealing the bot from Sarah’s mouth.  See, told you it would pay off.

The Antisocialism of Sex- S tells Art about Cosima's encounter with Detective Duko

S tells Art about what Cosima said concerning the man who shot Kendall, who Art confirms as is Detective Duko, who also drove Beth to try and kill Susan.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Evie's nasty scar

Meanwhile, at Brightborn, it’s a big day for Evie, who has a nasty scar on her right side.  Shingles.  Therapy has brought her a long way, yes.  The doctor is still proud of how far she’s come.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Rachel and Susan speak with Evie

Following this, Evie speaks with Rachel and Susan to lay out her terms, as Rachel is representing Leda in transition.  Evie’s terms: Neolution is under her control.  Leda will be dismantled for its assets.  No need for a Helsinki event.  Sarah and her sisters are still a threat, so Evie has plans.  Rachel offers her help, as she’s not her sisters, but Evie won’t let a clone take a position of importance.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Dizzy finds and joins Sarah at the bar

Sarah continues to drink her problems away when Dizzy joins her at the bar.  He asks if she found out anything concerning the implant, but Sarah is too focused on her drink.  So much that she doesn’t notice when a woman nearby offers her a drink when she wasn’t looking at her glass.  Sarah goes off to speak with the woman and her friend.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Reverend Mike, played by Ryan Blakely, has a gift

Back with the Hendrix, Alison and Donnie continue party planning.  Donnie wants Alison to be able to talk to someone, even if it isn’t him.  As such, he invited Reverend Mike, played by Ryan Blakely, who comes bearing a gift.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah hits the dance floor

We then return to the bar- why this wasn’t one whole sequence, I don’t know- as Sarah gets more and more sloshed and closer to the two friends.  She heads to the dance floor.  Dizzy though?  He don’t dance.  He just watches Sarah from a distance.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Reverend Mike tells Alison that the stage is free for musical review

Back to the party.  Again, play these scenes together.  For some reason, Gemma is in a foul mood, so Alison sends her upstairs.  Reverend Mike has good news: the pageant is done, so the stage is free for the musical review.  He knows that Alison has been having a difficult time, but Alison doesn’t feel it’s insurmountable.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Felix asks Dizzy if he's seen Sarah

So Sarah heads off with her two new friends.  Felix enters the bar and asks random patrons if they’ve seen Sarah.  Never mind that he has no idea if she’s even been there tonight, but whatever.  He spots Dizzy, who confirms that Sarah was indeed at the bar.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah in a three way

In fact, she’s busy doing lines and getting in a three way.  You know, like Beth.  The doing lines part, I mean.  I have no idea if Beth ever participated in a threesome.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Art beats up Duko

At the police station, Art ambushes Duko with a punch and proceeds to beat the crap out of him for killing Kendall.  Duko takes it well.  He tells Art that he can’t stop Evie Cho.  Plus, Art is being watched.  After all, he’s collaborating with Sarah and planted the cell phone in Maggie Chen’s hand to exonerate Beth from wrongdoing?

The Antisocialism of Sex- Rachel tells Charlotte that they're both going to die

As S arranges a sniper rifle, Rachel and Charlotte paint.  Charlotte is still coughing up blood.  They talk of the island prison they’re on.  Rachel says that they share a problem with Ira: Charlotte is sick.  That’s why Susan is testing her.  And there’s no cure- Charlotte is dying and soon, Rachel will join her in death.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Donnie tells a scary story

Donnie tells a scary story to the girls.  They’re frightened, so he’s accomplished his job.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Dizzy pulls a drunk Sarah out of the bar

Back at the bar, Sarah returns to Dizzy, but Sarah’s new friends start a fight.  Luckily, Dizzy pulls Sarah out of the bar.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah gets on top of Dizzy

So the two head to his place and have even more drinks.  Dizzy brings up M.K. and mentions his friend, Ed, who also had an implant, but was killed.  Sarah’s done with talking.  Instead, she puts Dizzy on the bed and straddles him.

When Sarah puts Dizzy’s thumb in her mouth, he notices that her implant is gone.  He wants to know how, but Sarah is off the clock.  She claims to know nothing about removing the implant and immediately leaves, all while still seeing Beth following her.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Police break up birthday party to arrest Donnie

Just as Donnie’s scary story ends, there’s a knock at the door.  It’s the police, Detective Lindstein among them, who pick the absolute worst time to arrest just Donnie for drug trafficking.  A quickly healed Duko enters and tells Alison that they’ll need to keep in touch while Donnie is taken downtown.  Wait, how come Donnie is the only one arrested?

The Antisocialism of Sex- S checks on Kira

S checks on Kira and asks if S meant it when she said it’s Sarah’s fault that Kendall died.  After all, Sarah thinks that it’s her fault.  S is confident that Sarah will be back, but Kira doesn’t think so.  In fact, Sarah is at a bridge with Beth at her side.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Cosima suggests putting the bot in her mouth

Cosima and Scott examine the bot, comparing Sarah’s DNA pre and post-bot.  In what I think is a very daring, yet stupid move, Cosima is willing to take the risk of implanting the bot into her own mouth.  Food arrives, but Cosima locks the door and heads back downstairs.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah talks to Beth

Sarah tells Beth that she’s trying to buy a train ticket.  Beth offers her credit card.  Ghosts can do that.  She then tells Sarah that tonight is their last night.  Hopefully.

Cosima extracts the bot, even though Scott tells her she has no idea what it will do to her.  Cosima feels that her death, if that happens, could help the other sisters understand the disease.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Beth with Sarah at the bridge

As Sarah rants to herself and a guy who walks past, she tells Beth that life would have been better if they hadn’t crossed paths.  She then asks Beth how smashed you have to be in order to kill yourself.  It’s not that high of a drop, though.  And if Sarah screws this up, she could end up like Rachel.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Felix remembers the news about Delphine

S calls Felix to tell her about what Kira said concerning Sarah following Beth.  Felix then gets a call from Scott, who tells her that she’s about to do something dangerous.  When Scott mentions Delphine, something hits Felix, who then calls Cosima.

But Cosima is too deep into the procedure and starts carving into her mouth.  Just as she’s almost got the bot, she puts Felix on speakerphone.  Felix tells her that Krystal saw someone pick up Delphine after she got shot.  That’s enough to make Cosima stop.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Felix finds Sarah at the bridge

And just to help tie things up even neater, Felix arrives at the bridge just as Sarah is leaning over the edge.  He tells her that this isn’t the way and she has to be stronger than Beth.  At the same time, Beth advises Sarah to bring everyone together.  They need her.  Sarah decides that tonight is not her night to die.

The Antisocialism of Sex- S and Sarah have a quiet moment

The next day, she makes her way into at the safe house just as S is making a hangover breakfast.  Appropriate.  The two say no words.  Just hold hands.  Now see, that’s effective storytelling.

The Antisocialism of Sex- M.K. speaks with Kira

Kira, meanwhile, plays Minecraft when she gets a surprise call from M.K.  Kira calls her the girl in the shadows.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Ira finds Rachel on the floor

Back at the island, Rachel makes her way down the stairs.  She calls out for anyone, but gets no response.  She trips and falls down the stairs when, all of a sudden, she spots a swan.  She asks Ira if she saw it, but whatever it is that Rachel saw, it’s glitching in and out.

Okay, so after the emotional turmoil coming with Kendall’s death, it makes sense that Orphan Black gives the characters a chance to deal with the fallout and let us see how they’ve been impacted.  It would be too much to continue the chase after Evie Cho if we don’t get to process her actions alongside the main characters.  Plus, there was bound to be fallout between Sarah and the others.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah offers a drink to Beth

Sometimes, this proved to be effective storytelling, and far more worked than didn’t, but I’ll get to that later.  First, Sarah’s self-destruction was a change of pace as we watched her go through a whirlwind of emotions.  She’d already detonated her relationship with Felix, and now S blames her for getting Kendall killed.  Rather than accept this and move forward with a plan, Sarah finds herself literally on the edge, as Beth did.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Felix joins Sarah at the bridge

Despite Felix saying that Sarah is what holds everyone together, Sarah herself isn’t someone you’d think of as a good leader.  I wouldn’t, at least.  She’s a strong person, no doubt, but a lot of her strength comes from the bond she has with her family.  Without that, she becomes the evasive person we’d heard of as far back as the first season.  Unwilling to deal with consequences and instead choosing to run.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah and Dizzy

More often than not, Sarah has been willing to take risks in dangerous situations, even when the odds are against her.  But here, she finds solace in alcohol and drugs, mocks a ghost, and tries to solicit sex from Dizzy, who expressed concern when he learned that Sarah no longer had an implant.  Rather than help, Sarah continued to spiral downward.  To be honest, I wish we could have had this version of Sarah for one more episode.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah sees Beth

Since she’s apparently what holds everyone together, it would have been interesting to see how the others operate without her in the mix.  More than that, maybe see where Sarah would have ended up, because I did want to see more of her interacting with Beth.  Maybe give her more time to vent about how she never wanted this life.  But it looks like this might be the last we see of Beth.


And that’s unfortunate, because there was plenty of ground to cover between them both.  In the second season of The Leftovers, for example, Patti appeared to Kevin and followed him for a few episodes.  Only he could see and interact this figment of his imagination and he wouldn’t be rid of her until they did battle.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Beth stands before Sarah

Now obviously, I’m not asking for Beth and Sarah to duel, but in light of this episode, having Beth appear to Sarah would have been an opportunity to deal with her psychology and get into her head.  Does she hold Beth responsible for forcing her into this situation?  We don’t know, and we may not get any more interactions between the two of them.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Felix with Sarah on the bridge

I’ll get to the other clones in a moment, but I want to address Felix right now.  First off, despite Sarah meddling in his relationship with Adele, he remains loyal to Sarah and the rest of his extended family.  It would have been easy for him to be petty and leave Sarah to her own devices, but at the end of the day, he still cares for her.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Felix tells Cosima that Delphine is alive

That said, it’s a little convenient for him to show up right at the moment where Sarah is about to throw her life away, but that’s not my problem.  No, my issue is his sudden remembrance of Delphine.  You can say that he didn’t have a time to speak with Cosima or anyone else as they processed Kendall’s death.  But Delphine is still an ally to the clones.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Art with S

I don’t buy for a minute that Felix wouldn’t have at least told S about what Krystal said.  Hell, Art was with S earlier in the episode to talk about Detective Duko.  Sure, there wouldn’t have been a reason to bring up Krystal, but if there’s some news about Delphine, why wouldn’t he tell her?  You don’t even have to tell Cosima directly, but I’m baffled that neither Art nor Felix brought this up to anyone.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Scott reacts to Cosima only referring to Delphine as her lab partner

Had Scott not said anything, Cosima would have gone through with this risky surgery.  And by the way, good on Scott for stepping up and not letting Cosima walk over him.  He may not be to Cosima what Delphine is, but damn it, he’s proven his worth and loyalty to Cosima and the clone family.  He deserves better treatment from Cosima at this point.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Cosima operates on herself

As for Cosima, I’m glad that she also gets time to grieve, as she pushed for Sarah to make this deal, which soon led to Kendall’s kidnapping and execution.  But she shows major initiative by putting her life at risk when she attempts to put the bot into her mouth.

It’s a bold move that could have killed her, so while not the smartest idea, I appreciate that we see she’s just as willing to put everything on the line for the sake of the clones.  She’s not just the geek of the group.  And while it was plot convenience that Scott jogged Felix’s memory about Delphine, at least Cosima has some semblance of happiness.

History Yet to be Written- Delphine gets shot

But it makes you wonder: if Delphine is alive, who has her?  And has anything happened to her?  Questions for later.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Reverend Mike with Alison

The introduction of Reverend Mike could be interesting for Alison, who, despite not having much of a connection to Kendall- I don’t remember if they ever even met- also grieves for the loss of someone in her extended family.  It’s nice to see her defenses drop for a moment.  She’s less a busybody and more someone in mourning.  Too bad the police had to bust the birthday party.

My issue with the Alison and Donnie is less that we saw them and more in which there scenes were presented.  We kept cutting back and forth between this and Sarah at the bar and I found it very jarring.  Just have the entire scene play out.  By cutting back and forth, there’s some humorous juxtaposition, yes, but the episode felt less focused to me during those moments.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Detective Duko speaks with Alison

It also feels like the only reason we got Alison and Donnie this week was to have them meet Detective Duko, who must have Wolverine’s quick healing factor, given how fine he looked after Art assaulted him.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Rachel paints with Charlotte

Even Rachel faces a setback not just with the death of the original, but because Evie won’t have her meddling in her plans.  And like Seth before her, she’s glitching.  Her chance at a cure is gone and she knows that Charlotte’s not long for this world, based on her illness.  Despite how cold Rachel has been in the past, she’s still not an absolute monster.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Beth watches Sarah spiral downward

All of these emotions from the clones stem back to an impressive performance by Maslany, as she goes through various cycles as different characters and makes it all look effortless.  It’s a good way to tell the story by letting the characters show their emotions, even if sometimes those feelings are spelled out for us.

The Antisocialism of Sex- Sarah and S reconcile

My favorite moment of the episode has to be one of the final scenes.  Sarah and S sit down and reconcile.  We know that they said things they regretted, they’re both reeling from a heavy loss, and everyone they know and love is at a low moment right now.  They know exactly what the other is feeling, but it’s all conveyed without a single word of dialogue.  Just silent acknowledgement.  I love it.

Despite my reservations about some of the editing in the episode, as well as Felix and Art’s sudden forgetfulness concerning Delphine, “The Antisocialism of Sex” was a very good episode that showed Clone Club processing a major defeat and loss of a cure.

Seeing Sarah spiral to the point of near suicide, Cosima attempt to sacrifice herself for a greater good, and Alison grieve were all great moments made strong due to Maslany’s versatility as an actress.

But with news of Delphine possibly being alive, Evie continuing her power play, Donnie’s arrest, and M.K.’s surprise communication with Kira- does she have her own computer?- make for hopefully good payoffs in the episodes to come.

A Look at Gotham- Season 2 Finale: “Wrath of the Villains: Transference”

Okay, so Gotham’s finest are headed for Arkham Asylum.  Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, and Lucius Fox are already in and have been captured in their attempt to take down Hugo Strange.  Meanwhile, Strange receives orders from his superiors to move things along and shut down Indian Hill.  And with a limited window of time, this should make for a pretty hectic and exciting finale.

Not really, but hey, what do I know?

Transference- Clayface tells GCPD to stand down

The episode begins with GCPD arriving at Arkham.  Just as the officers are prepared to blow open the gates, Jim-Clayface walks out and tells the officers to stand down.  Of course, the real Jim is still captured.  Strange sets his detonation device and tells Peabody to prepare the patients for transfer to the upstate facility.

Transference- Nygma still playing games with Bruce and Lucius

Nygma is still playing Life or Death with Bruce and Lucius.  He gives them five minutes to answer one question: who runs Indian Hill?

Transference- Strange gives Gordon an honesty serum

Strange injects Gordon with an honesty serum to find out what Gordon knows.  Gordon now feels vulnerable and naked, as he’s in a helpless situation.  Jim doesn’t understand, but what can he do?  Jim starts talking about his plan to check in with the GCPD, but Strange knows.  Plus, he did check in with the officers.

Transference- Bullock asks fake Jim about Hugo Strange

Back at GCPD, Jim tells Bullock that Arkham was a dead end due to Strange’s connections with strong people that GCPD can’t cross.  Clayface, by the way, has a weird tick in his face that ought to be clue people in that this might not be the real Jim Gordon, but it isn’t.

Transference- Nygma asks Bruce and Lucius about who runs Wayne Enterprises

One minute left and Bruce guesses that Wayne Enterprises runs Indian Hill.  Correct.  Just one more question and five more minutes: if Wayne Enterprises runs Indian Hill, then who runs Wayne Enterprises?

Transference- Fish taunts Peabody

As the patient transfer continues, Fish tries to get her hand on Peabody, but fails.  She tries taunting Peabody and even brings up her mama, but you better not talk about Peabody’s mama.

Transference- Barbara helps Penguin pick a spot for Grace's head

Barbara helps Penguin sets Grace’s head in an appropriate spot at the mansion, but Butch isn’t of any help.  Interior design isn’t his thing.  The news then conveniently reports the raid at Arkham Asylum.

Transference- Strange absolves Gordon of his sins

Strange continues getting secrets out of Jim, such as the guilt for his father’s death and loss of Leslie’s child.  Jim still loves and wants to be with Leslie, but he’s put her through enough pain.  Strange advises Jim to relax and imagine that he is God.  Strange-God absolves Jim of his guilt and takes away his burdens with a tap on the shoulder.  With that, Jim now feels better.

Now that the two are relaxed, Strange asks what Jim knows about Indian Hill.  All Jim knows is that Strange is building monsters, but then Strange asks who owns Wayne Enterprises and runs Gotham behind the scenes?  Jim assumes the rich, but Strange asks if Jim knows about a secret council.

He hasn’t, and that’s good enough for Strange.  And now, time is up.  Strange doesn’t see a future for Jim Gordon.  Instead, he has a few hours.

Transference- Lucius and Bruce guess wrong

Bruce and Lucius, meanwhile, have 30 seconds.  Lucius incorrectly guesses that the Board of Directors run Wayne Enterprises.  The reward is death by poison gas.  That’s worse than losing Plinko.  Lucius and Bruce soon collapse.  Bruce finds himself reliving an abridged version of his storyline leading up to this point.

Transference- Bruce and Lucius awaken next to Jim

The two soon awaken next to Jim, who tells the two that Strange drugged him.  Jim apologizes for making that naïve oath to Bruce.  He was a fool.

Transference- Strange is told to continue the evacuation of subjects

Strange congratulates Nygma on his work.  There’s much to learn from a madman like Nygma, but not right now.  Ed is still insane, so he’s hauled back into his cell.  Strange tells his superior that Bruce and Jim don’t know anything about the secret council.  The superior orders Strange to kill them and continue the evacuation of test subjects.  No more experiments will see the light of day.

Transference- Alfred asks fake Jim about Bruce

Not-Jim Gordon doesn’t give Bullock any information.  Just when it seems like Bullock has uncovered something, Alfred arrives and wants to know Bruce’s whereabouts.  As for Strange, it’s complicated.

Transference- Selina will leave when she's ready

Selina somehow survived long enough to be brought to the holding room to check on Bruce.  She knows that the asylum will be blown up soon.  Bruce wants her to leave and he apologizes for using her.  Selina, though, thinks she has Bruce wrapped around her finger and will leave on her own accord.  It helps that she’ll have Bridgit at her side.  Selina, just go.

Transference- Peabody about to inject Fish

As Peabody is ready to inject Fish, Mooney gets her magic touch and has Peabody under her control.  If Peabody frees Fish, she’ll be her friend.

Transference- Peabody tries to stop Strange from starting the detonation sequence

Strange finds Miss Peabody under Fish’s control.  He finds her power marvelous.  If the subjects appeared in public, it would cause an apocalypse.  Strange pleads for her to stay, but Fish instead sends Mooney after Strange.  Strange starts the detonation sequence and knocks out Peabody in the process.  The security systems activate and Fish isn’t fast enough to slip out.

Transference- Barbara asks fake Jim about Hugo Strange

Jim maintains that Strange is clean, though Alfred finds his behavior weird.  Bullock considers sending Strike Force back to Arkham.  Then Barbara, for whatever reason, strolls into the GCPD to have a word with Gordon about what’s going on at Arkham because her friend is concerned.

Barbara is surprised that Jim likes her again and is apparently over Leslie, which gives away that this Jim is a fake.  With one slap, Clayface is exposed.

Transference- Mr. Freeze versus Firefly

Strange orders Victor to kill the others, starting with Selina, but Bridgit stands in Victor’s way.  So, looks like Bridgit has her memory back.  There’s an interesting face-off: Firefly versus Mr. Freeze.  So Selina slips out to help Bruce, Jim, and Lucius escape.  15 minutes left until detonation.  Strange, for whatever reason, runs right in the crosshairs of Victor and Bridgit’s streams.

Transference- Barbara calls Penguin

As Bullock assembles Strike Force yet again, Barbara fills in Penguin on Hugo Strange.  He and Butch head for Arkham.

Transference- Strange tells Jim about the bomb

Apparently, being frozen and burned did nothing to Hugo Strange, as he’s not dead.  Within 10 minutes, the building will explode and Strange didn’t use this window of time to remove the radioactive material.  He doesn’t want to release what’s down there or risk the possibility of a radioactive cloud.  Strange would rather die.  Luckily, Nygma knows a way down there.

Transference- Jim orders Nygma to show him the entrance to Indian Hill

As Jim orders Bruce and Selina to leave, he then instructs Nygma to unlock the secret entrance to Indian Hill.  He triggers the security system, which also gives Fish an opportunity to escape that she doesn’t take just yet.  Instead, she swipes the bus because she always wanted to drive one.

Transference- Jim defuses a bomb with some water

Jim and Lucius arrive in Indian Hill and locate the bomb.  Despite having never diffused one, the two try to stop it when Peabody awakens and mentions water.  Jim pours some water into the core and short circuits the bomb with one second to go.  Oh, and Peabody needs some water.

I can’t believe it was actually that easy.

Transference- Jim tells Bullock about Indian Hill's monsters

While the bomb is diffused, Nygma is still stuck and Strange is carted away.  Gordon tells Bullock that Strange’s monsters in Indian Hill have escaped.  Luckily, GCPD is in pursuit of Fish and her getaway bus.  Bullock instructs all officers to converge on the bus.

Transference- Fish surprises Penguin

Fish soon finds herself surrounded, but she hits the gas and drives towards a police cruiser.  That’s when Butch, Penguin, and their posse unloads with machine guns, causing the bus to jump two cruisers and crash.  Penguin thinks that he’ll be facing Strange, but Fish touches and knocks him out instead.  Butch retreats.  He’s seen enough crazy shit.

Transference- Bruce tells Alfred that he wants to find out more about this secret council

Jim tells Bruce that he has to leave Gotham so he can find Leslie.  He then tells Bruce to say goodbye to Bullock, who is in the middle of giving orders to the police.  With that, Jim leaves.  Alfred tells Bruce that this is the end of his adventures with the police, but Bruce wants to know about this secret council that wants him dead.

Transference- Bullock stops Jim

Bullock catches up to Jim, who isn’t about to stay in Gotham.  Instead, Jim reminds Bullock that he is in charge of the GCPD right now.  Good friend that he is, Jim takes off in Bullock’s car.

Transference- Woman about to free subjects from bus

A woman walks up to the bus and unlocks the hatch on the bus, letting loose the crazies from Indian Hill.  Why have no police secured or searched the bus?  Anyway, one of the subjects thanks the woman as the experimentations head into the city as the second season of Gotham comes to a close.

Oh, if you listen carefully, you can hear Jerome’s laugh.  Not a new one- just one the show spliced in from “The Blind Fortune Teller.”

So, this was a season.  This was an episode where everything and everyone converged on Indian Hill.  Hugo Strange had already released some of his creations on Gotham City and others are now free to roam the city at their leisure.  The once dead Fish Mooney now lives to potentially reclaim her spot in Gotham’s crime elite.  And both Jim and Bruce are aware of a secret society running things behind the scenes.

Transference- Court of Owls woman tells Strange to kill the others

So where’s the sense of urgency or real care for any of this?  This finale felt like it was in such a rush to wrap up plotlines and set up things that will have a payoff in Season Three.  That’s hard to do when Gotham juggles so many storylines and events that it’s hard to grow attached to any of them.

Transference- Strange asks Jim if he knows who runs Gotham

It didn’t help that we’ve got villains doing stupid things.  Why would both Strange and Nygma bring up an organization that runs Wayne Enterprises and tip off Gordon and Bruce that there’s an even bigger threat?  Sure, the Court of Owls was coming anyway, but Strange and Nygma showed their hand when they revealed this.

Transference- Bruce has a mystery to solve

But then, I guess Bruce has to have something to occupy his time since it seems like he’ll be uncovering new information about the death of his parents long after he finally becomes Batman.

Transference- Jim has to find Leslie

And Jim isn’t even interested because his sights are set on Leslie.  Admirable for him to care for her still, but this storyline dropped off once Jim went to prison.  All we’ve heard about Leslie since then has come from other people and there’s still the fact that she apparently lost her baby off-screen.  Jim’s just been focused on clearing his name and helping Bullock and Bruce.

Why now does he decide to find Leslie?  The timing just feels odd.  He tells Strange that he’s put Leslie through enough pain, so then why not just let her go?  She’s questioned Jim’s morality several times and figured out that he lied to her.  Does Jim even deserve to have Leslie’s trust right now?  Because this relationship took a back seat to other storylines, it’s hard to feel invested after being thrown back into it.

Transference- Clayface

As long as I’m talking about Jim, I may as well get Clayface out of the way.  Not the most subtle performance, this Clayface.  The mannerisms, verbal cues, and how he didn’t know certain things about Jim Gordon should have tipped off Bullock, given how long he’s known Jim.

Transference- Barbara realizes that she's not talking to the real Jim

And yet, it’s only because Barbara brought up Leslie that she figures out that this is not the Jim she knew.  Okay, that’s some good foresight, and shows that Clayface needs work on his impersonations, but I have one question: how can Barbara just waltz into the GCPD with no problem?  Even if she claims that Strange rehabilitated her, no one gives it a second thought that she enters the precinct specifically to find Jim.

Transference- Strange wants to leave

You’d think that Strange would be more willing to listen to his superiors and move faster when GCPD was right outside Arkham’s gates.  But he took his sweet-ass time with that bomb and curled into a ball.  Forget removing the radioactive material when he had the chance or starting the detonation earlier.

Transference- Strange would rather die

All of a sudden, he didn’t want to release what was in Indian Hill?  He’d already unleashed Azrael and Mr. Freeze, not to mention letting Firefly have a test run now that she’s been brought back.  Now he’s worried about the monsters?  Seems like a stretch that he’d be fearful of some creations, but not be worried at all that someone like Azrael would draw suspicion to him, which he did.

He’s less calm and collected than he’s been since his introduction.  And that irks me because his situation didn’t seem as dire as he made it out to be.  Maybe if he hadn’t spent so much time stalling, he wouldn’t have fallen apart.  But he’s alive by episode’s end, so Hugo Strange is still a player in Gotham right now.

Transference- Fish tells Penguin that nothing is impossible

As is Fish Mooney, and make of that what you will.  Okay, so she has this ability.  What’s she going to do now?  Is she going back to being a crime lord?  Who knows?  Frankly, I don’t care.  I expected her to take Penguin with her, but she left him on the ground.  Is he under her control or just knocked out?

Transference- Penguin, Butch, and the wrecking crew

Hell, Penguin was only here to get back at Hugo Strange.  That rocket launcher Butch used on Galavan would have been handy, but I suppose a gatling gun will do.

Transference- Jim gets lucky

Oh, and how Lucius and Jim defused the bomb with water.  Okay, that’s just plain cartoony.  At least when Gordon threw water at The Electrocutioner, that was at least somewhat plausible.  Here, the two are in a dire situation and only through miscommunication do they attempt to use water, only to learn that they got lucky.  What the hell, Gotham?  What hell?

Transference- Peabody clashes with Fish Mooney, bitch

Side-note, Miss Peabody is an original character I would love to see return, if just for her dry, sarcastic tone.

Again, there was no urgency with this finale, despite Gotham wanting me to feel that there was.  With Fish Mooney back on the scene, the Court of Owls now on Bruce Wayne’s radar, and some of Strange’s creations let loose, it’s clear that the villains are still rising in Gotham City.  This season started on a high note and I do consider it an improvement from Season One, if just for the serialized approach.

While I think this season of Gotham had a better time finding its voice and identity, problems still linger with tone, writing, and making me care about some of these characters.  Both this season and this finale are improvements from the first season, so hopefully Gotham continues this approach and works out its kinks as we look ahead to Season Three.

A Look at House of Lies- Season 5, Episode 7: “One-Eighty”

If there’s a life-lesson to take from this experienced episode, it’s that marijuana has more than just medicinal benefits.  It can turn you into a better, more confident speaker and negotiator, more so when it’s crunch time.  But enough of my talk.  Let’s get right to the weed.

One-Eighty- Talking about Ganja Wal Mart

The episode begins with the pod on the road as Marty asks the team about guys who sold them weed in college.  Surprisingly, they all have examples of dealers.  The pod will be dealing with some Washington state weed slingers that are like Ganja Wal-Mart.  Wall Street is taking notice of this growing market that grossed $3 billion in revenue last year.  I instantly approve of the pod taking this approach.

One-Eighty- Arriving at Kush Vista

When the pod arrives at their destination, Kush Vista, they’re stopped by guards and asked to show identification by guards with weapons.  Doug won’t be partaking of this green, and when no one asks why, he simply tells them: he’s keeping his temple pristine for his TED Talk in two days.  He even marked it in everyone’s calendars.  Marty uses this to as an opportunity to remind Jeannie to keep her mind temple pristine.

Jeannie says that she’s fine when high, if not chatty, but the pod disagrees.  Hell, Doug would rather get high with Anne Hathaway.  Is that all?  Soon, Marty is asked to step out of the vehicle, but it’s just to sign some paperwork.

One-Eighty- Kush clients Max, played by Zachary Knighton, and Joy, played by Riki Lindhome

The pod soon meets their clients: Max, played by Zachary Knighton, and Joy, played by Riki Lindhome, and they’re not fans of the system.  Amen to that.  See, based on federal law, this pot reserve is criminal.  People want salvation, but the law can’t catch up.  Max and Joy don’t even take cards or checks- all payment is through cash.  Unlike the situation in Ohio, these two have the power of the plant on their side.

Last year, they sold crops and edibles by the ton.  Humanity is changing, but it takes time to change hearts and minds.  Clyde directs Marty’s attention to some bags of money.

One-Eighty- Taking in a whiff of weed

Inside, the pod gets a whiff of pot that smells more like civil rights than money.  It represents those who died in the War on Drugs, but it has almost made millions for Max and Joy.  Capitalism leads to drugs.  Also, nothing is more beautiful than a kite in the sky.  Max gets a bit weepy eyed at this.  Okay.

One-Eighty- Max and Joy show the pod some edibles

Joy and Max then show the pod some of their products that they supply to vendors around the state and, hopefully, around the country.  This includes gourmet edibles.  Jeannie picks up one of the Mindbomb Truffles, which are the most potent of the products.  Clyde snatches it from Jeannie and dangles it in front of Doug, who recoils.

See, Doug has one shot with this TED Talk.  If he nails this TED Talk, it will be downloaded and shared on Facebook.  He could become legendary.  If Clyde wants to dangle a Mindbomb Truffle in front of someone, he could just give it to me.

One-Eighty- Max explains that he and Joy are changing the world

Max explains to Marty that, in the beginning, he and Joy were just trying to help cancer patients or people suffering from epilepsy, but now, they’re changing the world.  Time to talk business, though.  The pod will look tighten up the valuations and modeling, but will then return to present their findings.

One-Eighty- Marty's plan is to persuade Joy to accept big tobacco

Of course, in this instance, tightening up the valuations means trying all the marijuana they want.  Buzzkill Doug worries that if they partake of the Mary Jane samples, they could be delayed for days and Doug could miss his TED Talk.  True, but they can’t take it on the plane and it would be wasteful to not try this special goodness now.

They noticed that Joy in particular wants to make money.  Ron Zobel has been working himself to get into the pockets of tobacco giant MRJ.  They’ve been looking for a big player.  Marty tells Clyde to call Zobel and tell him that they’ll land MRJ and land Kush at the same time.  Sounds nuts, given the clash between weed and big tobacco.

Plus, Kush seems very committed.  Yes, but remember that in any partnership, one partner is more swayed by greed than the other.  Marty’s strategy is, with the right argument, to get Joy to come off of her husband’s pot altar and support the biggest play possible: big tobacco.  It’s time to go in for the touchdown.

One-Eighty- Infused dinner

Dinner is served with infused butter, so Doug sets his plate aside.  Marty checks Jeannie to make sure she knows that edibles are more potent than the smoke.  No problem for Joy and Max, as they’ve seen every kind of high imaginable.  Hell, they embrace it and look forward to experience the pod’s bliss.

One-Eighty- Jeannie wonders what would happen if everyone blinked at the same time

Jeannie’s bliss, though, involves her becoming very talkative, but this is Level One.  Marty, meanwhile, gets real with Joy and Max, while Jeannie wonders what if everyone in the world blinked at the exact same time.  Doug, meanwhile, says what Joy and Max do is similar to the third commandment of TED Talk: thou shalt reveal thy curiosity and thy passion.  Joy just wants Doug to shut the fuck up.

One-Eighty- Marty talks business with Joy and Max

Back to Marty: the banks won’t touch Kush.  A lot of investors will back small businesses.  The important thing is that Kush’s integrity and mission remain.  Joy asks for coffee and Marty offers to help.  He brings up his real play of big tobacco.  It’s a big fucking monster with large sums of money that Joy could ever want.  As in $100 million minimum.  And Joy can be hands on with the expansion.

One-Eighty- Jeannie wants a guitar

Jeannie thinks that Doug and Clyde are the real love story.  They just want to fill the holes where love goes.  Also, Jeannie want a guitar.

One-Eighty- Joy is open to Marty's suggestion about big tobacco

Marty continues trying to prod Joy, telling her that she’ll have the biggest voice to push legislation in Congress.  Big tobacco has the infrastructure, but Kush has the street cred and culture.  They’d be the Starbucks of pot.

One-Eighty- Max and Clyde talk about desires

Max talks with Clyde about his desires.  Clyde, though, doesn’t feel that he’s happy.  He asks Max to show him the path to salvation, starting with Chapter One.  Max then tells Clyde and Doug that history’s greatest thinkers got high.  The best innovations, like hemp and Bible pages, come from pot.

Joy feels that she’s giving into everything she fought against, but Marty tells her to avoid letting her feelings dictate her decisions.  You can’t let feelings make business decisions.  It’s smart, not greed.  Max, meanwhile, spots Marty talking with Joy and figures that Doug and Clyde are distracting him.

One-Eighty- Max and Joy debate their next move

The seed has been planted, though, and Jeannie almost ate a dog because it asked her to do so.  Funny.  My food never told me to eat it.  Joy asks Max if they’re ready to lose their lives.  Mom and Pop businesses like theirs have been erased, so the two should open their minds and use the system to beat the system.

One-Eighty- Ron tells Marty that MRJ is confirmed for a meeting

Back at K&A, Doug got a few seats for the pod at his TED Talk.  That’s the good news, as apparently the crowd will be full.  Ron Zobel reports that MRJ has confirmed for tomorrow morning.  Good to know, as this will be about timing.  Marty doesn’t want to this window.  Ron assures Marty that his guys will follow his lead.

One-Eighty- Marty pops some Mindbomb Truffles

Okay, so it’s time for Doug’s TED Talk.  Marty pops some Mindbomb Truffles and prepares for the greatest TED Talk ever.

One-Eighty- Tess checks on Doug before his TED Talk

Backstage, Tess notes Doug’s nervousness and high voice, as he is a bit freaked out.  She assures him that he’ll be amazing.  After all, he’s a dungeon master and genius.  But what if he’s a misunderstood genius, like Carrot Top?

One-Eighty- Doug's TED Talk

Doug finally takes the stage and asks how many people in the audience think about orcs.  No response.  He tries again- this time with his eyes closed- and some folks do raise their hands, but that’s about it.  Today, Doug will talk about embracing your authentic self by defeating the doubt that lives inside each of us.

So Doug’s presentation is a bit all over the place.  No, that’s a lie.  It’s fucking weird and is very all over the place.  So, in closing, he leaves the audience with one thought: in the quest to find your authentic self, merge your powers with an orc instead of fighting it.  The crowd seemed to like it.  Tess is ready to head for her dinner reservation with Doug, but he wants to spend time talking to some of the crew.

One-Eighty- Clyde tells Marty that he needs to meet with MRJ tonight

Clyde gets an update from Ron: the meeting has to move up.  The MRJ executives are leaving on a Red Eye to go to Hong Kong, so this meeting has to happen now.  Otherwise, the next window is in eight months.  Marty is spaced out of his fucking mind.

One-Eighty- Marty proposes a compromise between marijuana and big tobacco

So much that he’s still spaced during the meeting with tobacco and MRJ.  The sides war with each other, but Marty calls things to attention.  He doesn’t get how both sides think they don’t need each other.  Remember Blockbuster?  They refused to adapt to the new reality.  Now, legal weed is spreading in the states and cigarettes are being banned.  Young folks are hip to the cigarette ads.

Oh, but Marty isn’t sparing the Kush folks.  Their psychedelic fantasies won’t let them survive without big tobacco.  Tobacco can give them a seat at the table with lobbyists.  If Kush wants to change the world, they need to play along.  It’s not about David versus Goliath, but David with Goliath.  And is Marty high as fuck right now?  Yes.  And is he making complete total sense right now?

One-Eighty- Marty pauses

There’s a long-ass pause before Marty eventually answers that yes, he is making sense.  At the end of the day, big tobacco and marijuana need to, as a wise man once said, merge their powers with an orc instead of fighting it.  The tobacco executives are ready to open their checkbooks and make it rain.  Doug is at least flattered.

One-Eighty- Marty did a good thing

Jeannie congratulates Marty on a job just well done, but he has no idea what the fuck just happened.  When Jeannie brings him up to speed, Marty just thinks that’s cool.  He rests his head on Jeannie’s head as the episode comes to a close.

So that’s how you negotiate: under the influence.  “One-Eighty” is a very fun episode that manages to mix both business and pleasure while still giving all of the pod something to do in the face of their holistic client.

One-Eighty- Marty and big tobacco

And there’s a bit of social commentary at play here with the battle between the marijuana industry and big tobacco.  As more people and countries grow more open and accepting of the ganja, medicinal or otherwise, the marijuana crowd is growing more vocal and demanding.

One-Eighty- Marty tells Joy that she isn't being greedy

But, as Marty points out, there’s still plenty of folks in the Old Guard that believe in Reefer Madness and don’t want children’s minds poisoned by weed.  Whatever.  Outdated as that notion is now, big tobacco is still a money maker and has a seat at the big kids table that marijuana needs and, in my mind, deserves.

One-Eighty- Smelling some weed

I’m getting very close to veering off topic, so let’s get back to the episode.  It’s always fun to see the pod goof around.  Between “Above Board Metrics” and “Holocracy,” we’ve watched them enter the spirit realm with ayahuasca and have drunken misadventures on a cruise ship.  And yet, they still got shit done because they’re good consultants.

One-Eighty- Jeannie thinks that Doug and Clyde should fill each other's holes

So it was a treat to watch them experienced on the finest marijuana.  I was jealous, I’ll admit.  Seeing Jeannie reach various levels of high to the point that she wanted a guitar, thought of everyone blinking at the same time, and almost ate a dog showed, in my mind, how good Kristen Bell is at comedic material.  She always has been in regards to this show, but this was one of her funnier performances.

One-Eighty- Doug cries during his TED Talk

At the same time, Doug finally delivered his TED Talk.  Whether he was just very passionate about the topic or got a bit of ganja in his system, I don’t know, but damn it if he didn’t manage to dazzle the crowd and make an impact on Marty to the point that it helped his presentation.  And he had a point.  Rather than draw out an endless battle, compromise by merging your powers with an orc.

One-Eighty- Marty adapts Doug's words to close a deal between marijuana and tobacco

From an outsider perspective, it doesn’t make much sense, but this philosophy served as the linchpin to consolidate marijuana and big tobacco to ensure a major payoff.  And Marty is a smart enough strategist and talker, high or otherwise, to dictate this to the two warring sides.  If marijuana helped seal this kind of deal, imagine what the pod could get done if they got high all the time?

Plus, on top of that, in very short notice, Marty convinced both tobacco and marijuana representatives to do a one-eighty on their way of thinking to find common ground.  That’s hard to do when there’s so much animosity between the two sides.  Despite the opposition and possible handicap through weed, K&A made a deal.  So right now, they’re looking good.

A Look at Veep- Season 5, Episode 5: “Thanksgiving”

You would think that anyone would want to take a brief leave of absence after the death of a loved one.  Well, given the ongoing recount, that might not apply to Selina Meyer.  But even though she’s committed to winning this race, on Thanksgiving of all days, the country is less interested in Selina’s desire to win the race and more her opinion on the salmonella outbreak.  It’s important to prioritize.  This is “Thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving- Selina pardons two turkeys

The episode begins the day before Thanksgiving, as Selina pardons two turkeys, named Drumstick and Cranberry, from the dinner table and tax evasion.  That’s a bargain.

Thanksgiving- Ben tells Dan that he'll be working for Tom James

Dan, meanwhile, has been greened, so Ben sends him to work with Tom James since he’s understaffed anyway.

Thanksgiving- Sue apparently has a family

Selina asks Marjorie how she’ll be spending Thanksgiving.  It will be in Maryland.  At the White House, Selina gives Sue a few days off, and that’s good, as she’ll be having Thanksgiving dinner with her husband and family.  Last year, in fact, she had 250 people over- no one from work.  Of course.

Catherine will be meeting her father and Monica.  Dinner will be held at Grandma’s house- the first one since her death- but Selina has to stay at the White House to call Congressmen.  The calls can only be done in the Oval Office.  It makes a big difference to know she’s calling from there.

Thanksgiving- Jonah shows his mother around the White House

Jonah shows his mother around the White House when he spots Dan without his badge.  He uses this as an opportunity to gloat, but Dan hopes that Jonah dies a horrible death choking on a dog dick.  It wouldn’t be the first time.  Richard will be joining Jonah for Thanksgiving dinner.  Jonah is only mad that he didn’t invite Richard first.  He then does just that.

Thanksgiving- Selina visits Dr. Abernathy for her operation

Thanksgiving morning and Ben reports on a North Korean military exercise.  The South Korean Prime Minister wants a few minutes, but Selina will call her later this afternoon. Her day is booked with a visit to Dr. Abernathy a de-bagging of Selina’s face.

All cuts will be internal, behind the eyelids, which will lead to a bit of bruising.  That’s not a problem for an actual doctor.  Not like Gary, who is pushed out.  At the very least, Selina will be all healed by Monday.

Thanksgiving- Tom James presents Dan with a badge

Back at the West Wing, Kent watches news about the salmonella outbreak.  Ben wants Tom James sent out to deal with this.  But Tom is busy making friends with Dan, so much so that he was able to fast-track a badge for him.  As far as treating his staff, Tom values openness and straight talk.

Thanksgiving- Mike has Dr. Weinburg field questions about the salmonella outbreak

The press bombards Mike with questions about the salmonella outbreak.  Instead, he brings up Dr. Robert Weinburg from the CDC.  Wendy, meanwhile, is pissed, as she’s stuck at home with both pairs of relatives.

Thanksgiving- Selina's new look

Back to the procedure, Selina looks fucking awful, but Kent and Ben arrive to discuss the salmonella outbreak.  Selina wants to make a statement, but Kent doesn’t want anyone to see her.  She should stay hidden.  Good idea.  They suggest Tom James make a statement, but Selina maintains that she’s the young face of the administration.  Vice President Doyle can give a statement, but he can’t be told why.

Thanksgiving- Tom sends Dan to get coffee

After Tom James has a segment on MSNBC about Thanksgiving, he sends Dan to get him some coffee.

Thanksgiving- Ben asks Doyle to give a statement in Selina's place

Ben then meets with Doyle and asks him to make a statement about the outbreak.  Ben’s excuse is that Selina’s mouth is swollen from dental surgery, so she’s not fully capacitated.

Thanksgiving- Doyle speaks to the press about the salmonella outbreak

Doyle does indeed give a statement while also fielding questions about Thanksgiving.  Mike, meanwhile, learns that the surrogate is on board.

Thanksgiving- Selina makes congressional calls

Selina, meanwhile, is all ready to make calls to various Congressmen.  Bill Jaeger is first on her list, but he’s trying to work out things with his wife and thinks that Selina is calling about salmonella.  More than that, he thinks that Selina should talk about the outbreak.  If the American people hear it from her, she can get away with anything.  Right.  So next up is Congressman Coffey.

Thanksgiving- Wendy learns from Mike that their surrogate is on board

More cases of salmonella are reported- including New Hampshire Congressman Harry Sherman.  Mike tells Wendy that surrogate Debra-Lee is on board.  He wants to celebrate with a quickie and will sext the hotel room number to Wendy.

Thanksgiving- Dan is Gary

Dan does more grunt work for Tom James.  In the worst indication of where he may be headed in the future, he runs right into Gary, who is preparing a dish for Selina.

Thanksgiving- Selina learns that Congressman Sherman has died

Selina continues to field calls when Kent and Ben yet again barge in on her to report that Congressman Sherman has died.  It could be the best thing that happened, as Sherman was an O’Brien diehard.  New Hampshire could give Selina the election.  Ben makes a call to the kingmaker of New Hampshire.  However, O’Brien is offering condolences, so Selina wants someone from her team to give a statement.

Thanksgiving- Ben asks Doyle to give another statement in Selina's place

Ben tells Doyle to deliver another statement, but Doyle is still skeptical of Selina’s condition.  As such, he wants to see Selina for himself.

Thanksgiving- Dan tries and fails to find out what Tom James has planned

Dan has spent a lot of time in Tom James’ junk mail and noticed some mentions of Sidney Purcell.  Dan wants into whatever Tom’s endgame is, but Tom mentions Dan’s breakdown and stress that must be due to losing Nevada.  It would be a shame if Tom mentioned that Dan is having more mental problems.

Thanksgiving- Doyle tells Selina that he wants to be Secretary of State

That evening, Kent tells Selina that she has to be nice to Tom.  Doyle enters, sees Selina’s horrifying face, and tells Selina to cut the shit.  He’ll give a statement, but in return, he wants to be considered for Secretary of State.

Selina finds it funny, but it’s the job that Doyle wanted.  As a woman of her word, Selina indeed gives her word.  I don’t think he should take Selina’s word, but I’m not on politics.  Doyle addresses the press on Sherman’s death.

Thanksgiving- Dan shares his theory about Tom James with Ben and Kent

Dan tells Kent and Ben that he thinks Tom James is up to something with Sidney Purcell.  Ben doesn’t think that Tom is that stupid.  It’s possible that Dan is indeed crazy.

Thanksgiving- Mike and Wendy try to have their quickie, but they smell something

At the Willard Hotel, Wendy needs Mike to be really quick, but then they smell something….off in the room.

Thanksgiving- Dan shows up at Amy's place and gets invited to Thanksgiving dinner

Amy’s Thanksgiving dinner goes as awful as you’d expect.  Dan shows up and is welcomed inside.  After all, it’s Thanksgiving.  I’m sure that will at least please Sophie.

Thanksgiving- Jeffrey, played by Peter MacNicol, talks about the special election

Ben and Kent meet with Jonah’s uncle, Jeffrey, played by Peter MacNicol, who tells them that there will be a special election for Sherman’s seat.  Sherman’s widow plans to announce a run.  Jeffrey wants his nephew, Ezra, to run, but he’s currently serving in Afghanistan.  To beat a widow, you’ll have to fight dirty.  You need a spectacular dumbass who will sacrifice their name and reputation.  There’s only one name on Jeffrey’s mind.

Thanksgiving- Amy's father, played by Jim O’Heir, thinks Dan wants to have sex with his wife

We then cut to Dan and Amy watching Tom James on ABC.  Amy’s father, played by Jim O’Heir from Parks and Recreation, tells Dan to leave.  After all, he has had sex with both Amy and Sophie.

Thanksgiving- Jeffrey tells Jonah that he is his puppet

Richard has dinner with Jonah’s family.  Jeffrey tells Jonah about the special election and how he wants him to run.  Jonah is overwhelmed by the news to the point that he actually prays to totally rock this shit.  But he learns that the race is for one term and he is just a placeholder term.

Jonah is confident that once he’s in, he’s in, not just holding the spot for Ezra.  But Jeffrey tells his son that he’s just a puppet.  Jonah at least makes Richard his Chief of Staff.

Thanksgiving- Selina wears sunglasses

As Mike once again fields questions on the salmonella crisis, Selina, now wearing sunglasses, meets with sailors and marines on the South China sea.  Also, Marjorie still isn’t one for conversations.  There’s a text from Ben- folks are liking the trip.  But then, as Selina serves food, she and Gary are horrified to learn that Jonah is running for Congress.

After the turmoil of losing a loved one, as well as a mother, Selina mostly takes a backseat in this week’s “Thanksgiving.”  That’s fine, as the strength of Veep comes just as much from its cast as it does the central character.  And even if Selina isn’t the focus, people are still vying for her attention.

Thanksgiving- Selina at first wants to give a statement

Just not for the reasons that she’d like.  With the election recount still ongoing, Selina’s priorities are in the right place, for once, but her staff won’t permit her to make a public appearance.  Given her look, it’s understandable.

John Kerry's black eyes

Remember when John Kerry got injured and still made television appearances, despite his black eyes?  A gruesome sight, but Kerry didn’t just shrink from the public light.

Thanksgiving- Selina makes calls

And to be fair, neither is Selina.  In fact, it could be a bit of social commentary on the amount of pressure placed on women for their appearance.  They’re put on pedestals and expected to look, act, and sound perfect.  That’s hard to do, even more so when you’re President Selina Meyer.

At the very least, the injury isn’t the cause of some comical fuck-up during the procedure.  Selina just hasn’t had proper time to heal.  Despite that, she’s more than willing to put herself out there.  Now granted, this had the potential to be an error in waiting, and it wouldn’t be the first time Selina went out in public with a screwy appearance.

Thanksgiving- Kent and Ben see Selina's face after her operation

So, in some odd way, I guess this made her responsible enough that she wanted to address the crisis herself?  That’s a major stretch, since this is still Selina we’re talking about here.  But Kent and Ben, much more protective of Selina’s horrifying appearance, weren’t about to let her take that risk.  That or they don’t want the American people to go blind from Selina’s face.

Thanksgiving- Tom James isn't having any of Dan's crap

Since Selina isn’t the central focus this week, we spend a fair amount of time with other characters.  Dan thinking that Tom James is up to something does hold water.  After all, Tom knew there was the possibility that he could win the Presidency over Selina.  For all his good-mannerisms and supposed naiveté, he’s not stupid.

Thanksgiving- Dan reacts to Tom asking if he had a nervous breakdown

On the flip side of that argument, Dan has been known to go off the deep end more than once, especially in the past two seasons, so it’s possible that he’s 100 percent wrong about Tom.  Is it a stretch to think that Tom has something else planned that could trip up Selina?  Maybe, but right now, it will be fun to watch Dan try and figure this out, especially if it turns out to be nothing.

Thanksgiving- Gary and Dan

Plus, I loved the horror on his face upon realizing that he’s becoming as much of a lackey to Tom as Gary is to Selina.  The difference being that Gary, more often than not, seems to like what he does.

Thanksgiving- Jonah understands that he will just be a puppet

But then we get the surprise of the week with Jeffrey wanting Jonah to run for the now vacant House seat.  This has the possibility to go wrong in every way, but what’s great is not just that Jeffrey knows how incompetent Jonah is, but that Jonah actually wants to win and hold onto that seat.  He’s a lackey, for sure, but if the past is any indication, he’s also power hungry, so I am very much looking forward to the Jonah Ryan campaign.

Thanksgiving- Jeffrey yells at Jonah

And it was nice to finally put a face to this Jonah’s uncle, who has been talked about since the third season and is a powerful man in New Hampshire.

Thanksgiving- Sue had a dinner with no coworkers

Of the core characters, it looks like the only people who got to celebrate Thanksgiving proper were Amy, Catherine, and Sue.  And Sue just happens to be more meticulous and careful to not invite anyone from work to her personal affairs.

While still a busy episode, “Thanksgiving” gave Selina and company a bit of breathing room.  And yet, few of them appeared to be thankful for anything on this day of all days.  Hell, they can’t even prioritize the election with the country more focused on the salmonella outbreak.  The one time Selina tries to get serious work done and people want her take on food poisoning.  Go figure.

But there’s still a fair bit of setup in this episode.  Dan suspicious of Tom James’ intentions, Doyle’s desire to be Secretary of State, and the launch of Jonah Ryan’s congressional campaign will make for some interesting scenarios going forward through the second half of the season.

A Look at Orphan Black- Season 4, Episode 6: “The Scandal of Altruism”

Some huge happenings on this episode of Orphan Black, as the chase for the original continues while we dig more into Beth’s story before her tragic end.  But by episode’s end, she won’t be the only clone going through a tragedy.

The Scandal of Altruism- Beth spots Susan Duncan talking with Evie Cho

The episode begins in the past with Beth and her stupid wig entering a fancy looking nightclub.  She’s still popping pills.  In the distance, she spots Susan Duncan and Evie Cho talking.  As Beth approaches, she bumps into a waiter, causing the drink to spill onto Susan.

The Scandal of Altruism- Beth confronts Susan Duncan

As Susan washes up, Beth approaches and points her gun at Susan, saying she knows everything.

The Scandal of Altruism- Ira thinks that Susan is testing him

In the present, as Ira and Susan reminisce, Ira realizes that Susan is testing him for glitching.  It’s been a few months since his cognitive exam, so Ira wants to be tested, but Susan is confident that he’ll never have to be tested again if Sarah Manning listens to reason.

The Scandal of Altruism- Cosima and Sarah discuss potentially handing over Kendall to Neolution

Cosima tells Sarah about potentially handing over Kendall for research in exchange for the bot being removed from Sarah’s mouth.  Plus, the two sides can collaborate on a cure since Scott and Cosima’s research hasn’t isn’t going well.  Sarah knows that S will say no, so they’ll have to set it up first.  After all, this is their decision.

However, Sarah doesn’t want to help kill Castor.  If Neolution gets Kendall’s genome, then they’ll have the sterilizing pathogen again.  Cosima may have a workaround for that.

The Scandal of Altruism- Art speaks with Krystal

At the police station, Art spots Krystal asking for protective custody.  He distracts Detective Duko from noticing her and thanks him for the information about Alison’s drug dealing.  Once Duko leaves, Art speaks with Krystal.

She tells him about her adventures in Brightborn and how she feels that she’s being targeted because she’s a beauty professional.  Okay, sure.  Art asks Krystal if Leda means anything- Krystal just likes their eyeliner.

The Scandal of Altruism- Sarah makes a deal with Susan and Evie

So Sarah shows up at Brightborn and tells Evie that she’s got an army outside waiting in case something goes wrong.  Sarah is brought before Susan Duncan and Ira, who assures Sarah that he’s not a Castor clone, but a Libra.  Susan tells Sarah that she’s safe here.  Before talking, Sarah wants to know about the device.  Evie says that they differ, depending on the subject.  Sarah’s is making her sick.  Sarah is immune to the disease.

By activating specific genes, Susan hopes to isolate the illness.  It hasn’t flicked off the right switch yet because Sarah is still alive.  The bot can removed and work can begin on a cure, but only if Sarah shares Kendall.  Only her unique biology makes cloning possible.  But Sarah knows that the cells could give Sarah the Castor pathogen.  Sarah says that Kendall, though, has cancer.

The Scandal of Altruism- S learns that Kendall has cancer

At the same time, Kendall shares this news with S, who wants to get help, but Kendall says that it’s too late.  Plus, it’s not up to S.  Cosima then shares that Kendall’s cancer might save them.  Half her cells are Castor, the other half Leda.

No way to differentiate until now.  One of her white blood cells multiply like crazy, and all of those are clones of the original.  The first one is the Leda genome.  If those leukemia cells are isolated, Brightborn only gets Leda, not Castor.

Ira figures this out at the same time, but Susan still appears to be open to this.  She agrees to the terms, but wants to be present during the transfer and wants Cosima’s disease research to be transferred to her hard drive.  Ira tells Sarah that she’s not the first Leda to make it this far.  Beth made it this far, Susan says, but she was wrong about her potential enemy

The Scandal of Altruism- Beth still pointing her gun at Susan

The episode then flashes back to Beth still pointing her gun at Susan, who says that she is her creator and investor.  Susan brings up Beth’s family history and how much her mother wanted a baby.  Susan guided the clones, not manipulated them.

Beth forces Susan to her knees.  If she kills her, it’s over.  But if Susan dies, she can’t protect the clones from her own mistakes.  Whatever Beth thinks she knows, she must believe that Susan has devoted her life to sustaining hers.  Beth orders Susan to close her eyes.  After a moment, nothing happens.  Susan turns to see that Beth has fled.

The Scandal of Altruism- S upset that Sarah bartered behind her back

Back in the present, S is livid that Sarah made a deal behind her back, even if Kendall agreed.  After all, S just reunited with her mother.  S will do her part, but still feels that Sarah is putting everyone at risk.

The Scandal of Altruism- Scott and Cosima ready to hand over their work

Scott and Cosima gather their data, but Cosima is unsure whether giving up the information is a win or surrender.  Scott is confident that the two would have found a solution with more time.

The Scandal of Altruism- Susan promises to find a way for Ira

Ira knows that Susan needs the clones to build a better human, but he’s apparently expendable.  He wants to be with Susan, so she promises to find a way for him as well.

The Scandal of Altruism- Art tells Sarah that Krystal is still investigating

Sarah talks with Art about the footage.  They’re uncertain why Beth had blood on her hands if she didn’t kill Susan.  After Art mentions Krystal, Sarah offers to bring in Felix for help.  Art warns Sarah to watch her back.

The Scandal of Altruism- Felix tells S that Adele went home

To my surprise, Felix is willing to help out, even though he’s still miffed about Sarah prying into his bonding with Adele, who has gone home.  S wants to make things right by having Adele return with the rest of the family and be there for Kendall.

The Scandal of Altruism- Scott works on Kendall

It’s time for the transfer to begin.  Susan is brought in and meets Kendall, who Susan calls a true anomaly and the most valuable person in the world right now.

The Scandal of Altruism- Evie and Cosima work on Sarah's mouth

At the same time, Sarah and Cosima meet with Evie for the bot extraction.  Cosima is supervising just because, while Evie talks about the implant’s features.  However, Evie soon finds herself unable to extract without potentially releasing the toxin.  With a careful touch, Cosima and Evie manage to pull out the bot.

Scott aspirates the cancer cells.  Sarah updates S while Susan thanks Kendall for giving everyone a better future.  Kendall is whisked out, but soon, someone approaches with a knife.

The Scandal of Altruism- Felix Holmes helps Art with Krystal

Art is still playing babysitter to Krystal, but he soon gets backup from Inspector Felix Holmes.  Krystal instantly recognizes him as the man who stole her wallet, which is true.  Felix reminds her that she’s not alone, but she still maces him anyway.  Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have mace.

The Scandal of Altruism- Sarah and S believe that Susan took Kendall

Sarah returns, but she spots the pack of cigarettes and a trail of blood.  She rushes upstairs and bleaches everything, believing Susan to be the culprit.  But Susan maintains that she played no part in whatever happened to Kendall.

The Scandal of Altruism- Cosima asks Evie about Delphine

Cosima, still at Brightborn, is in the middle of listening to Evie talk about the bot.  Cosima is about to hand over her research, but first, she wants to know what happened to Delphine.  Since that’s Dyad, Evie isn’t all that familiar outside of Delphine’s dedication to Cosima.  Cosima hands over the hard drive, but also swipes the bot.  And then she gets a call just as Evie learns that Susan has gone dark.

The Scandal of Altruism- Art works on Felix's eyes

Back to Art and Felix, who tells Krystal that there is indeed a big war waged against stem cell technology.  Such a war is being orchestrated by the cosmetic companies.  While the case is open, Krystal needs to live her life.  Krystal then mentions smacking a French doctor at the Dyad institute.  Felix identifies the doctor as Dr. Cormier.  As for what she can say, Krystal saw Delphine get shot.

The Scandal of Altruism- Sarah asks Susan if Ira would betray her to save himself

S demands to know where Susan is, though Sarah realizes that Ira would have a reason to betray Susan to save himself.  Susan surrenders her key card, so Sarah and Benjamin head off to find him.

The Scandal of Altruism- Sarah finds Ira overdosed in a tub

In no time at all, they arrive at a hotel room and find Ira glitching and overdosing in the tub.

The Scandal of Altruism- Detective Duko with Kendall

As for Kendall, she’s brought to a remote location by none other than Detective Duko, who is at least kind enough to offer her a cigarette.  Duko’s explanation is that he’s in over his head.  Kendall offers to hide him since her daughter is good at hiding people, but look where that got her now.

The Scandal of Altruism- Susan realizes that Evie has betrayed her

While Benjamin watches Ira at the hospital, S’s temper flares.  Scott, meanwhile, unplugs everything and cuts the power because all of the research, data, and all information has been wiped.  Sarah figures it’s a coup.  Whoever did this just wants Leda destroyed.  Susan guesses that it was the engineer and Sarah realizes that Evie gave Beth the gun to try and kill Susan.

Evie Cho soon arrives with Cosima at the secluded spot.

The Scandal of Altruism- Beth confronts Evie

We flash back again with Evie telling Duko that Beth didn’t kill Susan.  Beth soon confronts Evie, saying that Evie only wants to take Susan’s place.  Evie tells Beth that she knows too much.  If she runs, she won’t be able to protect the people she loves, so she should use the gun on herself.  But Beth isn’t afraid of anything right now- even death.  So she pistol whips Evie.

The Scandal of Altruism- Evie gives Cosima a moment to say goodbye to Kendall

In the present, Evie tells Cosima that she doesn’t see what Susan saw in the clones. They’re obsolete, like Betamax.  The baseline isn’t needed.  Cosima counters that no one can know what perfection is, but Evie will do just that.  She’ll be a pioneer.  Cosima pleads for Evie not to do this, but Evie gives Cosima a chance to say goodbye.  Kendall wants Cosima to tell S that she’s always done right and she is proud to have been a part of this.

As Cosima turns around, Duko finishes off Kendall with a single bullet and torches the van.  Evie tells Cosima that Delphine was shot dead.  She leaves a phone and gives Cosima some instructions: tell Susan that the original is dead and tell Sarah that this is over.  Otherwise, Beth died for nothing.

Again, no one thinks to finish off Cosima.  But then, that would make sense, and you’ve got to leave someone alive to deliver the message, right?

The Scandal of Altruism- Duko finds Beth with Evie

As Evie remembers being pistol whipped by Beth, Duko confronts her.  She asks if her sisters will die because of what she knows.  When asked about her play, Beth doesn’t answer.  Instead, she slips out and flees.  She returns home, blood on her hands, and tells M.K. that they can’t fight this anymore.  As we get a replay of her telling M.K. to keep the others safe, in the present, Cosima calls Sarah and gives her the bad news.

The episode comes to a close with Beth heading for the train station.

Well, shit.  That was a game-changer if I ever saw one.  Another aptly named episode, “The Scandal of Altruism” had its fair share of backstabbing and surprise reveals for our clones.  All moments that lead them to what might be their lowest moment yet.  In the face of a cure, not only have they been tripped up by an unexpected source in Evie, they’ve lost that original altogether.

The Scandal of Altruism- Beth asks Duko if her sisters will die because of what she knows

But we’ll get to that in a minute.  Let’s address Beth first, since I would wager this is the last time we’ll see her in flashbacks, based on how the episode ends.  Beth is embodying altruism in an extreme form here.  In addition to filling in the blanks on how she had blood on her hands, we see that she’s put herself at harm’s way by confronting both Susan and Evie.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Beth gives M.K. her gun

By having this take place before the scene we already saw of Beth bidding M.K. farewell, we see how she arrived at the point of doing what she felt was necessary to protect her sisters and all those close to her.  But it wasn’t enough.  Her increasing desperation and rage as she pistol whipped Evie showed that she had to be near her end.  It’s some nice, nonlinear storytelling that I appreciate.

All Beth wanted to do was uncover the truth and put this turmoil behind her, but like Krystal, she was in danger of getting too close.  In Beth’s case, she was at the point of no return.  She had to make the sacrificial play in the name of protecting her sisters.  She couldn’t eliminate Evie, but she could at least ensure her sisters’ safety.  Or so she hoped.

The Scandal of Altruism- Evie gives Cosima a message for Susan and Sarah

And this is my issue with the reveal of Evie being the supposed mastermind behind this.  So Evie had to remove Beth from the equation.  Okay, Mission Accomplished.  But if she’s been at both Leekie and Susan’s side this entire time, she had to know at least of Sarah’s existence.  More so when Sarah stepped into Beth’s shoes during the first season.  So why not follow up and get rid of the other clones?  Especially one as proactive as Sarah.

The Scandal of Altruism- Beth and Evie

There were bound to be some issues when the show gave us a pre-Season One story with Beth, but this makes it seem like Evie just dropped everything after Beth.  Okay, maybe it took some time for Evie to come to the conclusion that the clones were obsolete.  And maybe Evie couldn’t locate Sarah or Kendall, if not for M.K. tracking her.

The Scandal of Altruism- Evie not afraid to die

But she tells Beth that she’d find a way to take Susan’s place and that the clones were done.  She didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that Beth almost killed her because Neolution would have finished the job of eliminating everyone close to Beth.  Why didn’t Evie just take the chance and do that when she found out that Beth killed herself?  Alison and Cosima didn’t seem to know as much, so they wouldn’t have done any snooping.

Just seems like the clear thing to do would be eliminate the other clones.  It’s another of those instance, I feel, where the villain has a clear chance to eliminate the opposition, but prefers to wait.

The Scandal of Altruism- Cosima after Kendall is killed

This extends to letting Cosima live.  I thought Duko would have just offed her, and it would have made perfect sense: she’s a witness and can at least identify Evie being at Kendall’s execution.  At the very least, Evie could let Cosima deliver that final message, and then kill her.

The Scandal of Altruism- Cosima is given one last moment with Kendall

Look, I’m not saying that I want Cosima to die, but if Evie feels the clones are so outdated, why keep Cosima alive?  Plus, she’s the clone who came closest to a cure through her research.  You kill her and you’ve given the clones another major setback.

The Scandal of Altruism- Kendall's final moment with Cosima

But then, they’re already at a low point.  I gotta say, killing off Kendall was a ballsy move that I appreciate.  She hasn’t even been around for a full season or had much to do, so she’s savored her time with the family.  However, as the key to it all, she ended up being expendable to Evie, who wants to focus on the perfect human being.  Even in the fact of death, Kendall’s resolve never wavered, which I like.

The Scandal of Altruism- Kendall and S

She was already dying, so there’d be no reason for her to become weak-willed, even when giving up a sample to Susan.  And killing her off hurts the clones and S, who was getting used to having her mother around in her life.  Kendall’s death, I’m sure, will spur S and Sarah into doing something drastic.

The Scandal of Altruism- Susan learns that Evie has betrayed her

That could potentially mean teaming with Susan Duncan, as she was as unaware as they were of Evie’s true goal.  Plus, they both want the same thing in a cure for the clones.  She’s not interested in the perfect human being, as far as I can tell.  Though a conversation or two between her and Evie would have helped set up that Evie planned a power play to topple Susan.  More so when Sarah was ready to pin the blame on Ira.

The Scandal of Altruism- Beth holds a gun to Susan's head

From her conversation with Beth, Susan had the clones’ best interests at heart.  She knew that her successor wouldn’t care for them like she did, but she didn’t count on Evie wanting to eliminate them altogether.  If I wanted to stretch, I’d say that Susan has just been a pawn in Evie’s long term plan to rise in power.  So now, her chance at justice may come in working with the clones.

The Scandal of Altruism- Cosima is not sure about giving up the data

A bit on Cosima, as she plays a more important role this episode.  I have to wonder, first off, if she and Scott didn’t take extra measure to safeguard and back up their data.  But also, she learns about Delphine’s apparent death.

The Scandal of Altruism- Krystal asks if Delphine is involved

I say apparent for two reasons: one, Delphine is still being brought up.  Two, Krystal asks if Delphine is involved in all of this, not was.  She says that she saw Delphine get shot, but not shot and killed.  It’s possible that Krystal went to help her, or I could be wrong and Delphine is still, in fact, dead, but the show keeps dancing around Delphine like it’s leading up to something.

The Scandal of Altruism- Krystal, Felix, and Art

Sticking with Krystal for a second, I’m glad that the scenes with her, Art, and Felix are kept to a minimum.  For a pretty serious episode, you need some humor, yes, but too much of it can take away from what else is happening.

To my delight, we don’t spend a ton of time with Krystal, but I’m glad that Felix is again trying to keep her safe and away from Clone Club.  That way, she can live her own life, free of this drama.  That and we don’t have a pointless appearance by Donnie or Alison, as they weren’t really needed.

While I have some issues with Evie’s actions, or lack thereof, “The Scandal of Altruism” is a very strong episode that put the Clone Club at a low point with Kendall’s death and the loss of Cosima and Scott’s research.  Though Cosima has that bot, so I’m expecting that to play a part down the line.   Evie is now center stage as the main antagonist as she sets out to create the perfect human being, leaving the clones without Kendall or a cure.