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    Stephanie Contemplates Beth Childs of Orphan Black

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    Beth Childs.

    She’s the unsung hero of the Orphan Black world. We meet her for mere moments as she removes her shoes and sets her belongings down, before she jumps in front of a train in the first five minutes of the first episode of the series. But her presence lingers. Not just in the world Sarah attempts to inhabit as her, but her impact on her sisters, especially Alison, Cosima, and MK. Her impact on Art, her partner. Her impact on Paul, her monitor and the man she loves.

    She’s part of the mystery that Sarah tries desperately to untangle. And until this season, we only got snippets of who she was: marathon runner, junkie, dedicated cop. But she was so much more. She was struggling, trying to figure out her and her sisters’ purpose and origin. Trying to survive when the answers dragged her further down the rabbit hole to maggot bots and dumped bodies. Trying to survive when everyone around her might be in on it. And knowing that Paul was part of it, but not in the way she thought. If only she could have confided in him, but they both kept each other in the dark. Paul trying to keep Beth safe while working for the very people behind it all; Beth trying to protect herself and her sisters.

    Beth was so torn up inside and everyone could see it. Art and Paul tried to help, but couldn’t reach her. She was too afraid to confide, too afraid that they’d betray her confidence. But her sisters were there for her. Alison tried to keep her grounded by enabling her addiction. As screwed up as that is, it was the only way she could help her from afar. Beth returned the favor by supplying her with a gun and teaching her how to shoot. Cosima transferred schools to be closer to her sisters so she could help with the science aspect. MK investigated avenues that Beth could not reach and found a new friend after losing Niki in Helsinki incident. Beth called her Mika.

    Everyone had a part to play as they tried to connect the dots. Until the fateful night that she shot Maggie Chen. She was at an all-time low, fearing Paul’s connection to Neolution and clones, seeking out Art for physical comfort, high on the pills that she drowned with booze, seeing a fellow cop deeply involved in the extraction of one of the maggot bots. It was too much. It broke her. And the tragic thing is that she didn’t even know that Maggie was connected to it all, too. She was a piece to a completely different puzzle.

    Beth may not have been the most together or stable person. And how can anyone blame her? She was drowning in her guilt for shooting someone she thought was merely a civilian. But everything she did was in service of her sisters. She was drowning in the truths that kept being revealed. And that was true to the end, as we learned in “The Scandal of Altruism.” She’d been played by Evie Cho to target Leda’s still-living creator, Susan Duncan. And while Susan Duncan is not a great person by any means for abandoning Rachel to Leekie in favor of the science, she only wanted to protect and heal Leda. Neolution had other plans, as it always does. And Beth figured it out. She was too good of a cop, too good of an investigator, too close to the answers.

    And her knowledge would cost Alison, Cosima, Mika, and Paul their lives. She was a liability to Neolution with her position on the force. She could end it all for them, but not before they took away everyone she cared about. Along with any other Ledas that made their presence known. From someone who seemed so selfish on the outside to everyone except her sisters, she did the most selfless thing to protect the people she cared about. For her sisters, who she’d only known for a short while.

    With a Neolution plant on the force, she couldn’t risk her knowledge spreading. To more people getting hurt. He had too much access. Neolution had too much access, too much power. She couldn’t be sure Evie and the cop would actually make good on their promises, but she wasn’t willing to take the chance. And maybe they wouldn’t have immediately because Sarah as Beth was mostly left alone in the beginning, until Leekie and Olivier got word of her. But Beth made the call before anyone else got hurt. She couldn’t see a future where Neolution wouldn’t swallow Leda alive.

    Seeing Sarah on that platform was likely the final push she needed. She could be sure there were more than just Alison, Cosima, Mika. She was convinced they needed her to sacrifice herself so they could live. She couldn’t run or hide from what she knew, she could only do what was needed to protect her sisters.

    ~~

    I think we all need to take a moment to appreciate how impactful Beth Childs is on the entire Orphan Black series and how someone we initially met for just a few seconds became one of the most gut-wrenching, heart-breaking characters I’ve ever watched. My Beth Childs feelings are mighty and her impact on the story will never be lost on me. Last night’s episode destroyed and traumatized me, which is a testament to how amazing Orphan Black is.

    Stephanie Sees Fight Quest by Otherworld Theatre

    Bandits have taken up refuge in Hollow Hill, raiding any caravan that passes. The local townsfolk are desperate for a savior to come and chase the ruffians away… and you may be exactly what they’re looking for.

    Get away from the game console for a night and out to the theater for Fight Quest, the latest production by Otherworld Theatre. Performed at the Public House Theater in Chicago, Fight Quest gives audience members the chance to be part of the story in a choose-your-own-adventure type format. If you’re familiar with playing RPGs or even Dungeons and Dragons, this should be familiar territory. If not, you’ll learn something new about how those games work and laugh a lot while doing it.

    For every Fight Quest performance, one member of the audience is selected to choose from four player characters: the Barbarian, the Rogue, the Monk, and the Ranger. Each has his or her own special abilities that could aid or detract from the quest. The characters are then at the mercy of the audience member’s decisions, which means they perform based on the player’s decisions.

    This means they have several different versions of the play ready to perform at a moment’s notice. I saw two performances (each about 30 minutes) and that’s only about 1/4th of the options available to see! So, clearly, there is value in returning to the show again and again for a completely different experience.

    The first audience member chose the Barbarian for his character and hilariously named him “Master Asia of the Undefeated East,” which I’m sure was a ridiculous tongue twister for the hundreds of time the poor guy had to say it — all to much audience laughter. And he played his “character,” making tough choices for him and rolling a giant plush die throughout the series of quests until the final battle. All of this is aided by the Game Master, who guides the audience and the player through the story (in a sparkly “GM” emblazoned jacket!). The second audience member did the same, choosing the Ranger and her pet wolf, who he named Arwen and Winter, as his player character. Many “winter is coming” type jokes commenced after that.

    And the hilarity of the cast as they adapted to the player character’s decisions was only part of the enjoyment that is Fight Quest. Because once the fighting began, everyone was enthralled. People behind me were gasping and cheering loudly when any of the characters got injured or when any hit was particularly brutal. Lots of crashes and cracks that echoed through the theater. I’m always impressed by how realistic the stage combat is in these productions. (“Gone Dark” was similarly impressive!) I won’t tell you the outcome of either of my stories in case a similar path is chosen by your player character, but just know that the evil was defeated in both cases — one rather barbarically, the other unlocking a secret!

    Fight Quest runs for one more weekend, Sunday May 22 at 7PM at the Public House Theater. Get your tickets here.

    If you can’t make it for this run, fear not! Fight Quest will return again soon to ComedySportz, beginning June 8th, Wednesdays at 8PM.

    Stephanie Watches Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3×18 “The Singularity”

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    The gang is reeling from the revelation that Daisy has been Hive-minded. Everyone is taking it personally, especially Mack. But they realize Daisy didn’t want to harm anyone, she just wanted to make sure no one followed her after she ran off with the terrigen crystals and Hive ball. But they’re hot on her trail.

    This alien creature messed with the wrong team.”

    Daisy and HiveWard are bonding. I’m trying to enjoy it because it’s like aww finally I get some Skyeward in my life after all the boring Daisy/Lincoln stuff, but it’s just so creepy with the whole addictive parasite/host relationship. So, if I pretend it’s Ward and just enjoy Skye putting her head on his shoulder, I’m good. Just give me this, guys. “There will be no more war or pain. Especially now that we’re together.” Aww. (Ughhhh.)

    Now, Coulson and co. want to get a hold of all the other known Inhumans before HiveWard can infect them. They have Alicia’s location (the chick who can split herself into four different parts), and Lincoln wants to assist in her rescue since he’s known her since Afterlife. Coulson is all like, ‘Sure, except you have to wear this vest that May will immediately blow up if you get infected by Hive.’ I just think it’s hilarious that Coulson is all about rescuing and curing Daisy if they find her, but Lincoln? Nah, why bother? Just kill him. Coulson is all of us.

    I’ll do your dirty work, Phil. But don’t you dare pretend your hands are clean.”

    Meanwhile, Daisy and HiveWard pay a visit to the Australian guy James. Because they’re building an Inhuman army, they give James what he’s always wanted and make him an Inhuman, who shoots fire from his hands. HiveWard uses his influence to control him, which also allows him to control his fire power immediately. That’s not too shabby of a result, honestly. Better than struggling for months to control your power.

    By the time Lincoln, May, and Coulson get to Alicia, however, she’s already been infected. She fights everyone and HiveWard — from afar — forces her to kill one of her doubles before SHIELD can find out where Daisy or he is. Which is super effed up because Alicia can feel every ounce of pain her doubles experience. After the fight, Coulson benches Lincoln to keep him safe because that’s what Daisy would want.  Continue reading