Subjects about which I cannot be reasonable: Cophine
(spoilers for anyone not all the way caught up on Orphan Black)
I don’t think any TV show has ever made me worry about its characters like Orphan Black. I’m not saying I’ve never been bothered by anything that befell the characters on Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, the Sopranos, etc., but they never gave me anxiety. I knew bad things were bound to happen to some of them, and I was generally okay with it. OB, however, stresses me the fuck out. It’s a need to know that my precious babies are safe that keeps me watching. Even though, you know, they usually aren’t, hence the aforementioned stress.
I know. I know. Stories need conflict. But I would be so on board with an OB episode where none of the protagonists were in any kind of jeopardy. Hell, wrap up the plot in the season 5 premier, and give us nine episodes of them just living safe, happy lives. It would be dull, sure, but I think dull might be a welcome relief after the unrelenting assault of the past four seasons. It might repair some of the damage this show has done to the lining of my stomach. The Hendrixes slinging soap in the suburbs. Sarah doing mom stuff with Kira. Helena learning the tow truck business with Jesse. Art back to working garden variety homicides. Felix painting and partying. Siobhán…I don’t actually have any idea what a normal life for Siobhán looks like. And of course, Cosima and Delphine making crazy science together.
Which is what I worry about the most. I worry that Orphan Black’s showrunners don’t understand that they are not. Allowed. To fuck. With them.
As a rule, I don’t ship. I’ve always regarded the phenomenon with a certain amount of bewilderment, even before there was a word for it. As an X-Files fan back in the 90’s, I scratched my head at all the fans who were so desperate for Scully and Mulder to hook up. I’ve always been more or less content to let the storyteller put characters together or not as they saw fit. I’ve never understood this compulsion to force them into these romantic pairings. I’m not against it, and I’d never presume to tell anyone else how to be a fan, I just never got it.
The Orphan Black season three premier made me get it. After half an episode of following Delphine around, thinking “When the fuck are you going to go see Cosima? Go see Cosima! Do it now!”, she finally goes to see Cosima…and it’s a devastating sucker-punch to the gut. We get to watch Delphine struggle to keep her shit together as she deliberately breaks the heart of the woman she loves (and her own in the process). We get to watch Cosima’s elation turn to bitter anguish. It’s excruciating, and knowing Delphine has her reasons doesn’t make it any easier. Cosima, squeaking a feeble “I love you” in a last-ditch effort to change her mind. Delphine, leaning against the wall, clutching her stomach and sobbing raggedly when she’s alone again. Jesus fucking Christ.
I just wanted to throw myself at the TV screen and howl, “NOOOOOOO!!! Stay together! I’ll protect you!*” I was not prepared for this shit. I mean, there were plenty of hints that something was amiss in the preceding twenty minutes, but I had willfully, obstinately ignored them. It was like surprise cardiac surgery with a rusty garden spade. I didn’t even cry the first time I watched it because I was too busy trying to remember how to breathe. That’s when I realized that I didn’t just ship these two, I was goddamn UPS.
(I would be remiss if I failed to mention that this scene would not have been the exercise in agony that it is if not for the extraordinary talents of Évelyne Brochu and Tatiana Maslany and the absolutely stellar job they do bringing these characters to life and making them feel so real)
And it aint like things have gotten much better for our ladies in the nineteen episodes since. They get back together for like a fucking minute in the season three finale, and then Delphine gets shot. They’re reunited at the end of the season four finale, and then this creepy old man says eight words to Delphine that make me hate him with an ardent fury I’ve never felt for a fictional character in all my days: “You won’t be allowed to stay with her.” WHAT?!?! AAARRRGGGHHH!!! You won’t be allowed to eat solid food when I’m done with your face, you prick! If you merged Joffrey Baratheon, Dolores Umbridge, and Captain Vidal from Pan’s Labyrinth into a single person, I would loathe that person less than I loathe this motherfucker. After suffering through all of this, I don’t think it’s out of line to suggest that we are owed a happy ending for these two.
Maybe I’m worrying over nothing. My concerns aren’t actually based on anything John Fawcett and Graeme Manson have said or done. They have, on at least one occasion, assured the fandom that we’ll be happy with how their story ends. But it’s really fucking hard for me to take that the way I want to take it for two reasons:
Fawcett and Manson have been trying to soften us up for the possibility that Évelyne Brochu might just barely be in season five due to scheduling conflicts (come on, guys, you gotta lock this stuff down. Do they not have contracts in Canada, or are they just considered rude up there?)
The purveyors of hour-long television dramas are apparently unaware that woman/woman relationships can end any way other than tragically (just google “bury your gays” or “dead lesbian syndrome” if you think I’m exaggerating)
I used to snicker at my wife every time she vowed to renounce The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones if they ever dared to kill off Daryl Dixon or Jon Snow. Not anymore; I get it now. Cophine is my dealbreaker. Orphan Black is high up on the short list of my all-time favorite shows, but so help me, if Cosima and Delphine don’t get their happily-ever-after, I will recant every kind word I’ve ever said about it.
*I did not do this because I was watching it with my wife, and frankly, she thinks I’m weird enough as it is. I don’t need her finding how how weird I really am. God, I hope she doesn’t read this.
I’m sorry this is going to be such a long post but I just want to express how lucky I am to have my friends and, I suppose, process all that’s gone on all this time just for my own sake. Haha.
For years I did this: *obviously crushing on Natalie Dormer, love heart eyes and all whether at home or with friends* Natalie has amazing hair! Also she keeps playing my favourite minor characters somehow. I just utterly adore her. She’s so smart, advocates for history and gender equality. Natalie, Natalie, Natalie. LOOK AT HER HAIR (AND FACE). *it doesn’t even occur to me what’s going on*
Everyone (proabably): Awww, Angie’s crushing.
Me: *At Mockingjay, totally catches my heart racing and butterflies as she finally appears on screen.* I. just. adore. her. so. much. (I do legitimately idolise her though for the reasons I already mentioned)
About 3 years ago: *a text fight occurred amongst my closest friends at the time and it was over equal marriage. For a few days I went utterly silent ‘cause I was so upset because I didn’t/don’t see an issue with it at all. Then managed to sit said friend down and point out how she could be hurting people in that position ‘cause Love is Love and it’s no different who ever it is. Thought I was just coming at it as an ally though I was aware I was hurt because “what if I were?”*
Two years ago: *watching Orphan Black* *unconsciously throwing love heart eyes at Delphine* That bisexuality line… that’s so profound to me. I relate to that. She’s a fantastic character. Evelyne’s just stunning.
Last Year at the Smoking Panda in Sydney: *In the bathroom’s I have a “OMG I LOVE DELPHINE SO MUCH” moment with C who is a OB fan as well. Then later walking back to the station I run up to be arm in arm with her quietly saying how much I really do adore her but I can’t say that before the others when they’re not up to date and only talking about Paul. C: You know Ange, I’ve always wondered about you. ;P *mumbles that I don’t know! I don’t know. worrying that the others will overhear*
Meanwhile in text form with Best Friend J she jokingly drops lines like this all the time: I know your type. Blonde and French. Nothing new. Don’t worry you’re not phasing me with all your concerns for Delphine. I’m used to your ladies loves affairs. ;P (lol, Jass didn’t trust Delphine, I was always telling her she can be trusted!)
Meanwhile on tumblr: *is slowly becoming aware. It occurs to me that hey, anyone who only knew me through tumblr must think I come across a certain way. Huh? lol
This year my other best friend M: *witnessed me almost fall of the sofa just because THE FRENCH DOCTOR was finally mentioned mid way through season 4. ~MENTIONED~
Me: I JUST MISS DELPHINE. SHE HAS TO BE ALIVE.
Meanwhile in real life back in July: *grows conscious of the fact that she really wants to ask her friends something but doesn’t know what. How do you define a crush? No. That’s not right? And why do I want to ask my friend who’s in a wlw relationship in particular? I don’t think it’s just because she’s incredibly open minded and always up to talk about anything and makes it okay. *finally texts her after dinner one day*
*ensue’s the all consuming “am I this? what if I’m not? what if I’m making it all up? Is this valid? who can I ask. omg. I don’t know. So confused. Am I getting anxiety? why?! I just don’t want to hurt anyone else by mistakingly thinking I could be… even if I could be.* period of my life. Kept thinking back on the texts with C*
Friend: We should go see Ghostbusters ‘cause Chris is in it! *agrees ‘cause yeah why not? sure it’ll be fun* *tumblr’s what people’s opinions are on the film* Who’s Holtzmann? She looks cool. What’s that salute? *Holtzy becomes the reason I want to see the film*
*See’s ghostbusters* SHE’S SO UTTERLY RELATABLE AND COOL. We’re the same level of zany. :O
Few weeks later: *still talking about Ghostbusters. Fully aware I just want to talk about Kate/Holtzmann but let’s them talk about Chris instead.* But… But… I want to drop all the Kate facts. Do you guys even know how funny she is? How proud she is? Proud in the sense of who she is? How helpful that is?! SHE’S AMAZING. I need to tell someone this! *low key makes everyone watch funny Kate things*
One day in August talking to my other best friend M: *was talking about friends one day, thought I accidentally gave away a former crush I had* Oh. I want to tell her. I should tell her. *later in the car dropping her home, leg shaking, blurts it all out* Omg. She looks so happy! For me?! What she said that’s adorable? She’s so happy for me?! She’s 100% behind me? *too overwhelmed by how amazing M’s support is*
September dawns. Aka. THE MONTH OF ENDLESS HOLTZ GIFS.
Thinking of J again: I want to tell her too. I’ll tell her when I go visit her in Melbourne. Surely she knows? She does know right? All those jokes before, they’re on point?
Tuesday this past week, I managed to tell her after the nut innuendoes and saying that surely she’s caught on. J: Did you see me blink an eye? No. Of course I support you! I’m not surprised at all… I actually though you knew though! You’ve never hid anything! Natalie Dormer, remember?!
*Ok it went alight with Jass! Just as I knew yet. Everyone else will surely be the same but… I dunno. I’ll tell them next week. Yet come the following day with Holtz gifs again in a group chat I declare I HAVE NO MORE CHILL.
K, so politely showing that she’s caught on but not wanting to push me out of my comfort zones: Angie, you are loving these gifs aren’t you? Who’s this babe? Who is she so I know how to fangirl with you. If you love something keep sharing it. *on goes a hour conversation like this with me answering with winking hotly gifs making it so obvious*
Next day I text: You guy’s beat me at my own game. I was gonna tell you guys in person next time I saw you but I know I can answer you’re unasked question. ‘Cause I think you know and it is probably what is seems.
K & T: We’ve suspected for a while but we’re so proud of you (I think Tom texting ‘Proud of you” in particular almost made me cry) and happy for you! Embrace it! We adore you just for you. S: I’ve suspected for years! You just had to figure it out on your own. Your crushes were always on gals. DUH. Love you. C & M: WE TOLD YOU IT’D BE FINE! J: OF COURSE THEY SUPPORT YOU! C: You’re not reintroducing yourself, nothings changed.
Seriously they are all such a amazing people. They’ve just pointed out that obviously this is all so normal (YEAH NORMAL, LEARN THAT REST OF THE WORLD.) that this was why it was never a big deal and probably why it wasn’t registering in my own mind (to a certain degree, of course I always was aware I was crushing but I didn’t see any difference between a ~crush~ and a ~girl crush~). Urgh. My friends. *still can’t believe it* <3
And in conclusion I documented it in gif form (of course I had to. But they all say it’s spot on. Except that instead of spaghetti its udon noodles):
*my friends looking on*
*and now metaphorically*
And that is why I keep telling them I’m terrible (when I say terrible I mean it in a funny sense) and silly and slow. Hahaha.
Congratulations to Tatiana Maslany!2016 Emmy Winner as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her Lead Roles in Orphan Black ♥ Clone Club couldn’t be prouder of you! #EmmyforMaslany
Acceptance speech: “Thank you so much, there are so many people I feel so indebted to… Graeme Manson and John Fawcett - I love you, guys - thank you for this incredible dream job. My team, Jennifer Goldhar and Steve Alexander. Everyone at BWR. Stephen Lynch, Kathryn Alexandre, our incredible writer’s room. My beautiful cast and crew, I love you, guys. My Tom, my family, thank you so much. I feel so lucky to be on a show that puts women at the center. Thank you so much to the Academy. Thank you.”