Spoilers below, so you know the drill.

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I’m not usually a fan of stories that begin with a dream, and I’m even less of a fan of stories that open with a fake-out of the dreamer waking, only for the dream to get “dark.” It’s often struck me, the hack writer I am, as a sign of lazy writing.

That said, the season premier began in a sunny backyard that reminded me of the suburban fantasies in Little Shop of Horrors. In other words, Helena’s dream was so obviously unreal, I could let it slide (the montage from later in the episode, eh, not so much).

Anyway, tonight’s episode reminded me of things I’ve missed:

  • Sarah and Helena’s back-and-forth: “Oy, Meathead.”
  • Alison and Donnie’s newfound confidence, not to mention scheming their way out of the corner they’ve painted themselves into.
  • Just how bad-ass Mrs. S. is, showing us the pen can be, if not mightier than a sword, then almost good enough, before talking shit to her attacker while tied to a chair.

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The premier also brought back the creepiness. So, let me ask you, what’s creepier?

  • The picture-perfect, backyard cookout and baby shower for a ready-to-pop Helena, the shift in her dream when a large, black scorpion crawls out of her stomach, or when she wakes in a box with air holes and has a conversation with that same scorpion?
  • Or, how Delphine gets Rachel to remember her name, then to tell her what she knows?
  • Or, Sarah’s conversation with the captured Castor clone?
  • Or, the Fifty Shades of Helsinki, featuring a guest star from True Blood who brought about the worst storyline Tara was forced to endure?

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Overall, this episode was interesting, if uneven. I liked the bits involving the Castor pack and the potential for the show’s mythos to be complicated for a larger purpose (one that hopefully pays off), and I liked the turn Delphine has made since Rachel’s “accident” (the straightened hair should be a clue), and I liked the emotional beats Sarah, Cosima and Delphine, and Mrs. S. experienced.

While Sarah (and Delphine, supposedly) are working to get Helena back, and the Castor pack demonstrates how dangerous they are, I just didn’t get a season-spanning sense of urgency. I seem to remember the series’ creators mentioning in an interview that they had a larger plan. I guess this season will clarify if that was actually true.

YMMV, of course.