“Until Sarah comes to heel, Cosima will suffer.” – Rachel Duncan
The Hive Writers’ Notes – Tony Elliot
When we started breaking this episode we had a lot of balls in the air but we had one character that we particularly wanted to dig into: Rachel.
Rachel is enigmatic, threatening — intriguing. But who is she really? What makes her tick? Rachel’s closest confidants are men: Dr. Leekie, Daniel, and now Paul, Sarah’s — and Beth’s — off-again-on-again boy-toy. We learn that Rachel is, in a way, a bird in a gilded cage — she calls the shots but yet she has a monitor. Had a monitor. The decision to kill Daniel was all about Rachel. Killing off Daniel was an attempt for us to rattle Rachel’s cage, really learn who she was in the face of loss and danger. Seeing what Rachel would do in response would show audiences who she really is.
Rachel’s machinations against the clones, especially Sarah, become intensely personal with Daniel’s death. We come to realize that the Ice Queen Clone is a real person with real feelings. Rachel has warm memories of her childhood, a uniquely complicated relationship with Leekie, and mourns Daniel — in her own way. Rachel also reveals her true colours: she’s a sexual masochist with Paul, doesn’t hesitate to take down Felix, and is willing to let Cosima become the next fatal casualty in her war against Sarah.
“You don’t need to see this.” – Dr. Leekie
“I demanded to. Now move.” – Rachel Duncan
We learn so much about Rachel in this episode and a lot of that came from working with Tatiana on the character. For instance, the slap Rachel gives Paul was the director Helen Shaver’s idea, and after discussing it with Tatiana, Graeme, John and myself, we figured out when it would happen, and why the character would do that. Tat and Dylan were up for anything that was truthful to character. It was a tough scene and they brought it.
We can’t overlook the other enigmatic, threatening and intriguing clone — mad-eyed Helena. Despite having her heart literally on the wrong side, Helena proves to Sarah that her heart is indeed in the right place: she attempts to kill Rachel to keep sister Sarah and the clones safe. But Sarah stops Helena not because killing is wrong, but because she’s playing the long game against Rachel and Dyad.
When we began breaking the story, bringing back ‘assassin Helena’ was not in our plans. When we break story it all boils down to character. We wondered that if Rachel was personally hurt/attacked by Sarah (Daniel’s death), how would she retaliate (she goes after Felix and Cosima). And with Helena suddenly in Sarah’s immediate life, how would she react to Rachel coming after her twin sister and the clones? Given that Helena is a trained assassin, it seemed only natural that she’d try to kill Rachel. Sarah stopped Helena from killing Rachel because it’s is only a short-term solution to a long-term problem — but also because it’s morally wrong, and Rachel, despite what she’s done, is still one of them.
That moment of Sarah talking Helena down, literally and figuratively, was so moving. We shot it at about 4am in the morning. It literally brought myself and Helen Shaver to tears. Previously the affections have been one-way, with Helena loving Sarah. But I think in this episode Sarah comes a step closer to feeling love for her sister too, and Tatiana did such a beautiful job with this moment.
“You make me cry seestra.” – Helena
Sarah isn’t the only one playing the long game — so are Rachel and Leekie, but they don’t seem to be working together. Leekie directly disobeys Rachel’s orders and gives Cosima medical treatment, and wants Paul to report to him behind Rachel’s back. And what of the new man in Rachel’s life, Paul? Has Rachel used her power and prowess to finally turn him against Sarah? Is Paul being played by Leekie in a move against Rachel? Or is he playing them both for Sarah’s sake? Maybe Paul’s just a selfish bastard out for himself.
Who is Paul really working for?
There’s another cloud forming that both Sarah and Rachel don’t yet realize is a coming storm — the Proletheans and their nasty sewing kits. With human reproduction hanging in the mix, the Proletheans may be playing the longest game of all.
All the best,
Tony ElliottRead More