This week in television began with a conclusion, as Game of Thrones wrapped up an excellent fourth season with its greatest finale yet. Monday’s episode of The Bachelorette provided plenty of drama of its own, as accusations of racism and jealousy plagued an episode that featured my favorite suitor (Josh) getting his first one-on-one date. After a slow Tuesday night, Wednesday was quite eventful: more auditions on So You Think You Can Dance, a wedding on Melissa & Joey, big moves and almost-kisses on Baby Daddy, and one of the greatest episodes for Donna and Louis in the history of Suits. The week ended with another finale, as Saturday’s episode of Orphan Black closed the book on the show’s sophomore season with enough twists to keep viewers on the edge of our collective seat until Season Three (hopefully) airs.
I’ll be writing much more about this when I grade it (hopefully tomorrow!), but nothing on TV this week—not even a very strong Game of Thrones finale—could compare to Saturday’s Orphan Black finale. Off the top of my head, I could pick about five different moments that would qualify as the best thing I saw on TV in almost any given week. However, since I want to save some opinions for my full analysis of the episode, I’m going to pick the moment that brought me the most joy and also reminded me just how brilliant everyone involved with this show is: the Clone Club dance party.
I loved the fact that—in this breathless finale, filled with twists and crazy plot revelations from start to finish—the creators were brave enough to include a scene that had nothing to do with moving the plot forward. Its purpose was simply to show the dysfunctional but beautiful little family that has formed between these sisters, Kira, and Felix over the last two seasons. Watching all of these characters let off some steam and enjoy each other’s company by dancing together was everything I never knew I always wanted.
What impressed me the most in this scene was the totally unique movements Tatiana Maslany gave to each of the clones. Each dance style reflected each clone perfectly, and it was yet another moment where I completely forgot I was watching the same actress work her magic as so many different women. But upon reflection, I find myself even more in awe of this scene because of the technical work that had to go into shooting it. This scene demanded nothing less than complete dedication from the cast and the crew, but it ended up looking so effortlessly fun. That’s the mark of a great work of art—it takes a hell of a lot of work but looks like the most natural thing in the world.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?
The main thing that kept me from fully enjoying this scene is the fact that I was too distracted thinking about how they did it. Up until this moment I have never been distracted by the whole “wait, how are of these clones in the the same room?” I think this time it was just a little TOO ambitious for me. Is it impressive? Yes, very. But its so technically impressive it took me out of the “moment”.
That said, my favorite moment was when Helena got to meet Cosmina and Alison. Helena has definitely gone from a character I found annoying at the beginning to one that I love. I want good things for that crazy clone.
You make a really interesting point because I was actually surprised that I wasn’t taken out of the scene at all by the technical aspects of it. I wonder if it’s because I’m such a sucker for a good dance scene that I can get completely sucked into a scene like that no matter what else I know about it. 😉
I’m going to write a painfully long analysis of why Helena meeting Cosima and Alison (and seeing Kira again) was so wonderful as soon as I get the chance (darn all these busy workdays!). The dichotomy between Helena as an almost feral killer and a gentle woman just looking for a family shouldn’t work, but it works so well.
I think it’s interesting that you guys fall on opposite sides of this because I was very in the moment when it happened and really marveled at Maslany’s technical brilliance in second (OK, and 3rd and 4th) viewings. For me, I was so captivated by Cosima and Helena’s meeting. Her immediate embrace and warmth that was so appropriate because Cosima is the most at ease and accepting that she is a clone really got to me. Helena’s response to the one person who embraces her immediately rather than recoiling, manipulating and/or attacking her was so powerful to me. It set the tone for the entire sequence and was beautifully bookended with her reuniting with Kira. That sweep of interaction kept me in the moment as they rolled into the dance sequence. It was a great break from the tension and a moment I didn’t know I wanted until I was actually watching it.
Then to rewatch Maslany’s mannerisms and smart choices for the ticks/quirks of each of these women was so very impressive.
And because homage must be paid – just when I thought Felix wasn’t going to get better than “Helena, did you burn down the fish people’s ranch?” He has the line of the night in: “Oh, hello, steamy potatoes.”
I LOVED everything you had to say about Helena meeting Cosima and seeing Kira again. That was the real heart of the episode for me, and it’s something I just finished writing extensively about for my review of the finale. 😉 It was a brilliant reminder of the warmth that has drawn me to Cosima from the beginning.
And thank you for naming two of the best lines in the episode. Nobody delivers a memorable line like Felix.
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