Ah, but how to solve a problem like Rachel…? Would Siobhan be able to keep her on the side of the angels, or would Rachel’s reunion with Ferdinand make her backslide to her villainous ways? My absolute favorite part of writing this script was getting to delve deeper into Rachel and Ferdinand’s relationship. Though the S&M aspects are often played for humor, we wanted this episode to make one thing unequivocally clear: Ferdinand is the only man who ever truly loved Rachel. In fact, he worships her, or rather, he worships the version of her that is as ruthless and power-hungry as he is. It is his inability to understand her desire to change, and his unwillingness to accept it that ultimately leads to his downfall. Bringing this subtext across was no mean feat, but obviously Tatiana Maslany and James Frain are phenomenal. Their chemistry and the level of craft displayed in each of their scenes together blew me away. Ferdinand is one of my favorite TV villains, and I’m glad we were able to send him off with such a resounding bang!
Here I am on set with James and Maria minutes before their big showdown.
With this episode, we really wanted to give Mrs. S, our series matriarch, the send-off she deserved. and Maria Doyle Kennedy was instrumental in that process. Orphan Black has always celebrated “the outsiders”, and Maria wanted to share a message of hope with the oppressed and disenfranchised. She wanted to encourage viewers to keep fighting for justice and equality, no matter how futile it may seem. This is reflected in Siobhan’s parting words to a despondent Rachel after she hands over the damning evidence (my favorite line from the episode): “We do what we can, each of us, in our own way. Chipping at the devil till he’s done.”
Being on set for this episode was honestly a treat, and I have to give a shout-out to our stellar cast and crew for making this newbie writer feel so welcome.
Here I am with our Script Supervisor Louise Hall (middle) and her Assistant Amber Niles (right). These two were my lifeline on set. They also made sure I didn’t trip over any cables and had an endless supply of gum.
Major props to superstar Director and DP Aaron Morton for his gorgeous visuals, and for being so open and collaborative throughout the entire process. There’s nothing better than watching Aaron roll around on the floor in production meetings to illustrate his vision for action sequences.
To the I writing staff (Jeremy Boxen, Greg Nelson, Alex Levine, Jenn Engels, David Bezmozgis, Renee St. Cyr, and Natalia Guled), John Fawcett, and producers Kerry Appleyard, Mackenzie Donaldson, and Claire Welland, thank you for being so incredibly supportive throughout my transition from story coordinator to writer. I’ll miss our days spent in the trenches and I’m so glad to count you all as friends.
To my mentor and co-writer Graeme Manson, this episode was the best Christmas gift I have ever received. Wish I could have spent a little more time crawling around in that crazy-cool writer brain of yours. I’ve learned so so much.
Here are some pics of boss-man and I on set.
Finally, a big shout-out to the Mrs. S in my own life – my mother Thelma Porter (pictured below) who was visiting Toronto all the way from Jamaica while I worked on this episode.
Thanks for putting up with my (many) writer tantrums, and for believing in me always. Love you!Read More