Morena Baccarin continues to steal this show, this time, with a wedding backstory! We’ve got that and more in our episode 2 review of The Endgame.
We’ve all heard of Orange Is the New Black, regardless if you’ve actually seen the popular series or not. And now thanks to The Endgame: Fairytale Wedding, I’m gonna update that title to Orange is the New Blue. Mostly thanks to the fashion choices of one Elena Federova.
This week began with a flashback to happier times for the criminal mastermind. She’s rolling naked about under a blanket with her soon-to-be husband, Sergei. They’re having so much fun they almost miss the actual wedding at the church. Once there, her new mother-in-law warmly welcomes Elena to the family, as well as to the criminal family. She says that the man is always the face of their organization, but the woman runs the show as the queen. And Elena is ready to be the new queen. What she’s not ready for is the sudden explosion that levels the church right as they’re about to step inside, killing her new mother-in-law in the process.
Fiery demises aside, Fairytale Wedding also had some key developments for Val and the FBI. Turns out, Snow White didn’t just take 7 banks. They’re still holding them all. And they’re not interested in money. In one of the banks, they manage to copy information from a hidden server farm right before the FBI cuts the power and sneakily plant it on a struggling hostage. When he’s taken outside for nausea and other symptoms, the woman who treats him palms the drive, right before Val arrives and takes it back at gunpoint. What’s especially interesting about that exchange is the woman with the drive was former police. Somehow, Elena keeps drawing qualified professionals to her cause. But arguably the one she wants most is Val herself.
It’s not clear yet why Elena is so obsessed with Val, but it’s obvious that there’s a personal stake in her wellbeing. So much so that when the Homeland General’s son gets kidnapped and strapped with an explosive device, Val stumbles onto the right password through her own life trauma. Her mother was killed years ago by a random criminal, and his name manages to disarm the bomb with seconds to spare. Val also faces a bit of a paranoid moment when she realizes Elena used a phrase to describe her that she herself had used earlier that day in her car. She has her partner Anthony search for bugs, but he doesn’t find any. Instead, he finds a box of clothing placed in her car trunk when she was walking through the cemetery where her mother was buried.
On the topic of clothes, Elena complains about wearing the same blue dress for two days straight. Instead, they give her prison orange, which she still makes look damned good. One of my favorite moments in the episode is when Elena is being snarky in her new suit. They ask her for the password to disarm the bomb, and she says polyester makes it hard for her to think. Yes, she’s not just beautiful and dangerous, but funny too.
The main twist in Fairytale Wedding involves the Homeland General. Turns out, the drive they tried to move out of the bank, which Val intercepted, has damning footage on it. It shows the General talking with a criminal named Veracruz, and guaranteeing a fat paycheck for turning a blind eye to his portside activity. The woman instantly tries to wiggle out of the problem, trying to convince the remaining 3rd member of their little cabal it will reflect badly on him if she quits. He’s not having it, and has her cuffed and taken away. Meaning that if Elena’s earlier prediction holds true, he’s the next one out of the job.
I’m still not sure what to make of the fact that Elena’s supposedly dead husband, Sergei, is actually visibly alive and well in the same prison Val’s husband Owen resides in. Nor what to make of the fact Owen is seemingly working with Sergei, though it’s clear he doesn’t like the man. And the most shocking moment was at the very end. Sergei tells a horrible joke to Owen, who doesn’t laugh. Sergei then says he knows someone that will appreciate it, and picks up a flip phone. As he’s hitting keys, the scene shifts to show Elena looking through the window at a flashing red light, and laughing delightedly. Meaning somehow this supposedly dead criminal is able to communicate with his nefarious wife via electronic Morse code.
So far The Endgame is still an enjoyable ride. And though there was a lot less frantic energy in Fairytale Wedding than the pilot, that’s not a problem. So long as Baccarin is captivating and infuriating, I’ll keep on watching. Especially cause I’m curious how she expects to turn Val into a willing partner in her schemes.