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Alison Hendrix: Desperate Housewife Clone

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WASPy uptight Alison is surprisingly my favorite clone on the show. The episode where she went insane and attacked her husband was hilarious.

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I love her so much.  Cosima is near to my heart as well, but for me the show really clicked for the first time in, I think, episode 4 when they took the reins off Alison and showed us exactly how tightly wound and insane she is.  

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I've heard people say that they can buy Tatiana Maslany playing all of the clones except for Cosima, and that it's jarring whenever they see her in an interview talking about that character. But for me, Alison is the real disconnect. Tatiana as Sarah? Rachel? Helena? Cosima? Yeah, I can see it. But I swear she must have an identical twin stashed away who plays Alison.

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I feel that way about both Alison and Cosima. Whenever I watch a Tatiana Maslany interview where she's talking about either one of those characters and they cut to a clip, I'm so confused -- "But she plays Sarah and Rachel and the others, not those two!" Every damn time. They just stand differently and move differently and look and sound like completely different people. I'm constantly in awe of her talent.

Alison is my favorite, too. I hated her at first; I thought she was going to be a totally stereotypical WASPy housewife. I should have known better, though -- this show is too good for that!

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They just stand differently and move differently and look and sound like completely different people. I'm constantly in awe of her talent.

It's pretty amazing. There are a couple of different tumblr posts that made the rounds this summer that compare different parts of her performance for each character, like how they each sit in a chair, how they sign their name, how they hold a glass. And they're all distinctly different. Helena is actually left-handed. But it was cool to see the gifsets with the comparisons side-by-side. Alison is supposedly the most tiring for Tatiana to play because she holds herself so tightly and wound up.

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Do you have links to those Tumblr posts? It would be really interesting to see. I'm currently rewatching season 1 to look at the little things when my first binge-watching session was me hurrying through to see what happens. I've been noticing the attention Maslany gives to each clone and knows that it's the little things that make a person who they are (the way they carry themselves, how they write, the way they scratch their noses, etc.). Helena's movements are slow and deliberate, which adds to the creepiness factor. Alison's are abrupt and precise to give the show that she's a too busy mom and wife for this crap, but hides that she's essentially pre-breakdown Beth. Cosima is generally relaxed because her analytical mind has her thinking of what to do before doing anything and part of her is kind of excited to be a science experiment, especially since it's completely related to her field of study. Her body language only starts getting more tense when she realizes that she's ill.

It's awe-inspiring that she does that with several characters when many actors can't accomplish that with one character and instead rely on heavy makeup, an accent, and other image alterations to show that they're playing a different character instead of really taking the time and thought into creating their character.

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Do you have links to those Tumblr posts?

I knew my meticulous tagging would come in handy one day!

http://hmurya.tumblr.com/tagged/%2Aobacting -- That's a link to 5 different posts for: holding a glass, sitting posture, standing posture, hands, and lower face.

http://redherry.tumblr.com/post/59633962725/catch-of-the-day-orphan-blacks-left-handed-clone -- This is the one showing the clone's dominant hand as right or left.

Edited by Ceeg
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I knew my meticulous tagging would come in handy one day!

http://hmurya.tumblr.com/tagged/%2Aobacting -- That's a link to 5 different posts for: holding a glass, sitting posture, standing posture, hands, and lower face.

http://redherry.tumblr.com/post/59633962725/catch-of-the-day-orphan-blacks-left-handed-clone -- This is the one showing the clone's dominant hand as right or left.

Thank you so much!

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Alison is also my fave, as I can (unfortunately) completely relate to being tightly-wound and anxious. And I LOVE her and Felix. On the promo poster for season 2, they have Felix and Alison grouped together, which is very interesting.

I also can't wait to find out what's going to happen to her this season since she signed the contract.

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I have to wonder how binding those contracts really are, though, since it's centered on an illegal cloning experiment. 

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Very true, but I think they have resources and can/will use their own means of force. It's going to mean something, otherwise they wouldn't have introduced it in the first place.

Unless Cosima or Sarah does her a favor and somehow destroys the contract.

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Very true, but I think they have resources and can/will use their own means of force. It's going to mean something, otherwise they wouldn't have introduced it in the first place.

Well, in most cases I would just think the show hadn't really followed that logical fallacy to its conclusion, but these guys do seem to think things through...But if you're using force to enforce an agreement, the contract is more or less a moot point.  The whole point of a contract is to have the rule of law on your side.  They can just use force without a contract, but WHATEVER.  I'm sure if there's honor among thieves there can be honor among shady international genetic modification research corporations.

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It's going to mean something, otherwise they wouldn't have introduced it in the first place.

Since Alison is the only one who signed the contract, I think the narrative purpose of it is to create a false sense of security for her, with regard to who her monitor is. Her sole reason for signing the contract was to stop any spying in her life and to have her monitor removed. Now that Leekie lied and agreed to that stipulation and Aynsley is dead, Alison doesn't suspect Donnie and will probably think that she's free to live her life privately, as long as she voluntarily submits herself for whatever testing they do.

Alison is gonna flip out when she discovers that Donnie was really her monitor the whole time and Aynsley was an innocent, though bitchy, bystander.

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Yeah, Alison is my personal favorite.  She's just so hilarious, insane, and totally unpredictable.  Her entire story in season one was just a spectacular, thrill ride.  I really can't wait to see where they are going with her next season, especially since he let her neighbor die, because she thought she was her monitor, but totally wasn't.  Oops!

I still crack up over the times she maced Vic and interrogated her husband with household appliances.  Oh, and Felix/Alison might be one of the best pairing ever!

Edited by thuganomics85
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Since Alison is the only one who signed the contract, I think the narrative purpose of it is to create a false sense of security for her, with regard to who her monitor is. Her sole reason for signing the contract was to stop any spying in her life and to have her monitor removed. Now that Leekie lied and agreed to that stipulation and Aynsley is dead, Alison doesn't suspect Donnie and will probably think that she's free to live her life privately, as long as she voluntarily submits herself for whatever testing they do.

 

I agree with this perspective re: contract. It isn't enforceable but it's purpose isn't legality, it's pacification. Since Leekie knows these clones are self-aware (thanks, Delphine), he and whomever he works for needs to bring them back under a semblance of control and that's why each clone was approached under a different guise. And while such a contract wouldn't be binding in a North American court system (at the least; who the frack knows about North Korea or Russia), it could work to create a sense of obligation from Alison in particular. 

One of the things I'm most excited about in Season 2 is (hopefully) having Alison figure out Donnie is her monitor. Where would she go from there? I've fanwanked that Donnie isn't really this major provider he pretends to be and that DYAD pays him so handsomely to watch Alison, which is why they can afford their upper-middle class lifestyle. But if that were to be taken away...? And what about Oscar and Gemma? What happens to them when Alison learns the truth? They may not have magical healing powers but they're just as important to her as Kira is to Sarah. 

And I'm so on-board with more Alison/Vic interaction. That's a potential goldmine pairing and would actually give Vic a reason to be around. 

Edited by DioxinBlues
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I powered through all of season 1 this weekend and constantly had to keep reminding myself that Alison was played by Tatiana Maslany. Unbelievable actress. After my constant "oh my God, she's so good, I can't believe the clones are all played by the same person"-thinking started to intrude on my following the plot, I gave up and just convinced myself that Linda Cardellini was playing Alison. (I dunno, but to me they look so similar.)

Alison's uptight WASPy bitchery was and will always be hilarious to me. Especially the disastrous party catered by Preppy!Felix, with Alison passed out, Sarah running interference, and Ainsley snooping - it was a marvelous dark farce. Tatiana Maslany makes Alison's desperate-housewifeness so incredibly funny and dark (see: Ainsley and the scarf).

And I will never stop laughing at Alison enthusiastically singing along to "Bitch" and the song still playing as she and Ainsley kick the crap out of each other.

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Usually I think of Alison as comic relief [and I love her for that], but I really felt for her and her feelings of abandonment at the end when Felix told her he was leaving with Sarah.  I understand why he's going with Sarah, but it still felt kind of shitty.  Not really blaming him, just empathizing with her.  Alison's gonna have a total meltdown next week, isn't she?

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Yeah, I think Alison is a few pills away from full-on Girl, Interrupted status. Maybe it's a part of the twin-mirroring thing that seems to be going on: Katja and Cosima both hacked up blood, Sarah and Helena are mirrors images (left-handed/right-handed + organ placement), and maybe Alison is Beth's mirror - Beth, the one who snapped and jumped onto train tracks.

 

I find Alison all kinds of delightful and was sad to see her feeling so abandoned at the end of the most recent episode.

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Yeah, Alison's situation makes me so sad.  She doesn't have anyone who's really just there for her.  Sarah has Felix--yes, he's become genuine friends with Alison, but his allegiance is obviously to Sarah and he will choose her and Kira over anyone else--and Cosima has Delphine who, while of dubious trustworthiness, is very loving and supportive of her.  They have people to lean on emotionally and here's Alison left feeling completely alone.  

 

Granted, Helena's situation is actually far less enviable, but Alison is used to at least the illusion of stability and security and that's been wiped out.  

 

Sarah Stubbs seems eager to be Alison's friend.  I wonder if at some point she'll become a confidant.  That would pull her into a much more serious aspect of Alison's life and storyline than she's been associated with so far--something I don't know if the writers would be inclined to do, because it's nice for some characters/stories to be kept lighter in the interest of tonal balance--but it seems like at least a possibility.

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I just feel bad for Alison because to have your high school sweetheart turn out to be your monitor? Though I'm hoping they recruited Donny after the fact and that earlier on he was in love with his Alison.

Edited by caracas1914

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I really like Alison. At first, she was just funny, satirizing Suburban life. But after some thought, I realized that the humor came in her using the trappings of her life to solve her problems of keeping her family and smoking out her monitor. But there is an element to admire about her as well – instead just rolling up in ball and giving up, she is extremely active, is very creative, in her approach using the tools that Suburban life presents (what other tools does she have?).

 

It has been mentioned even within the show that the clones can be impulsive (sometimes to their detriment) but it seems they also share other resourceful traits as well. Sara has done pretty well ferreting out what is going with DYAD, Beth laid a starter foundation for the same, and Helena although very uncoventional, is good at what she does. Katja seems to have found information as well as blood samples.

 

Considering that we have been teased with a military presence with the LEDA Project, why they are interested in clones ?  It leads to a primary guess that they are interested in developing soldiers that are a cut above what is now ordinary. Not necessarily superpowers (although Kira remains interesting for that), but characteristics that are militarily useful, like intelligence, ability to plan, perseverance, improvisation.

 

In terms of Nature vs Nurture, what if instead of random distribution of life experiences, the clones were schooled in a military prep schools and then went to various Service Academies ?  What would they end up doing? Or I guess more to the point how would they be used ?

 

Alison is intelligent, organized, driven, and capable of improvisation with what is available to solve a problem.

Seems like that person would do well in Command Structure.

 

Cosima is intelligent, dogged about working out a problem, and science oriented.

Intelligence Analsysis ?

 

Sara is a grifter, can read and play people, and as I mentioned good at ferreting information. Intelligence gathering?

 

I don’t know to evaluate intelligence for Helena, but she is certainly resourceful and dogged. She would very formidable in Special Operations.

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I like your analysis, though Helena would have to have clear-cut "who is on our side" delineations. Loyalty is becoming a huge thing with her, too. I do agree, that whatever side she is on, she is definitely an asset!

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Alison is my favorite clone as well.  The whole bit with the rape whistle was just too funny and seemed to be something Alison would totally do.  I didn't like Vic in the first season, but I'm really enjoying the Alison/Vic interactions and am excited to see where that relationship goes.

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I wish that Alison had more to do in the finale. At the very least, I would have liked a conversation between her and Helena, since I would guess that Alison was third on her hitlist in the city behind Katja and Beth. Also, her meeting with Art would have been nice, talking about Angie's extracurricular activities.

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Elsewhere on this board it was posted that the DVD will have a cut scene from the finale of a conversation between Donnie and Allison.

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I guess that that is all right, but I would think that a conversation between Alison and Helena would be just as important, if not more. Helena had been in Alison's town for however long, and would have killed her not too long ago if she had the chance. She was one of the sources of Alison's paranoia for months. I am sure that Cosima was worried too, but this was Alison's home. Even if Helena did not know that Alison lived nearby when she was in her killing mode, Alison would not know that.

 

In fact, because this show leaves a lot of potential conversation scenes on the cutting room floor, I don't even know if Alison and Cosima knew how much Sarah and Helena got to know each other...or that they were literal sisters. So here pops up the infamous Helena, who would have killed all of them a month ago, and instead of establishing that this is a place of safety instead of a massacre, they have a dance party. Maybe this happened in the seconds before Cosima got the record out, but it would have been something. 

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How old are Alison's kids supposed to be? If she and Donnie adopted them when they were babies they must have done so practically the moment they graduated college. I have a suspicion the reason Oscar hasn't shown up this year is that he's now as tall as Tatiana.

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I really like Alison. At first, she was just funny, satirizing Suburban life. But after some thought, I realized that the humor came in her using the trappings of her life to solve her problems of keeping her family and smoking out her monitor. But there is an element to admire about her as well – instead just rolling up in ball and giving up, she is extremely active, is very creative, in her approach using the tools that Suburban life presents (what other tools does she have?).

 

It has been mentioned even within the show that the clones can be impulsive (sometimes to their detriment) but it seems they also share other resourceful traits as well. Sara has done pretty well ferreting out what is going with DYAD, Beth laid a starter foundation for the same, and Helena although very uncoventional, is good at what she does. Katja seems to have found information as well as blood samples.

 

Considering that we have been teased with a military presence with the LEDA Project, why they are interested in clones ?  It leads to a primary guess that they are interested in developing soldiers that are a cut above what is now ordinary. Not necessarily superpowers (although Kira remains interesting for that), but characteristics that are militarily useful, like intelligence, ability to plan, perseverance, improvisation.

 

In terms of Nature vs Nurture, what if instead of random distribution of life experiences, the clones were schooled in a military prep schools and then went to various Service Academies ?  What would they end up doing? Or I guess more to the point how would they be used ?

 

Alison is intelligent, organized, driven, and capable of improvisation with what is available to solve a problem.

Seems like that person would do well in Command Structure.

 

Cosima is intelligent, dogged about working out a problem, and science oriented.

Intelligence Analsysis ?

 

Sara is a grifter, can read and play people, and as I mentioned good at ferreting information. Intelligence gathering?

 

I don’t know to evaluate intelligence for Helena, but she is certainly resourceful and dogged. She would very formidable in Special Operations.

Never read that thread before, but in light of the Castor Boys, I think you were very prescient. Good thinking! There are some easy parallels to make between the Castor and the Leda clones, individually I mean.

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On June 4, 2015 at 11:46 AM, godonlyknows said:

How old are Alison's kids supposed to be? If she and Donnie adopted them when they were babies they must have done so practically the moment they graduated college. I have a suspicion the reason Oscar hasn't shown up this year is that he's now as tall as Tatiana.

I just got into the show recently, and I've been wondering this as well, but haven't seen it discussed anywhere. The clones were all born in 1984, so when the show started in 2013 they were 28/29, correct? I can buy that age for Sarah (grifter who had an oops baby in her early twenties), Cosima (finishing up her PhD), and Beth (would have joined the force in her early twenties and become a detective 4-5 years later), but for Alison it seems too young. First, the kids: it looks like Oscar and Gemma are biological siblings, so Alison and Donnie would have adopted both of them at the same time. Would a couple in their early/mid-20s with no child-rearing experience really be allowed to adopt two children at once? I guess a possible explanation is that two non-white siblings were difficult to place, and that Alison and Donnie were the only couple who wanted them. Or that it was a private adoption arranged directly between the birth parents and Donnie/Alison.

The second thing that seems a stretch is their finances. Alison is a SAHM, and apparently has been for years. Donnie is the only one that works outside the home, and yet they have the nice house, retirement savings, presumably some sort of savings for their children, and on top of everything Alison is able to funnel $75k to Beth apparently without Donnie noticing. That's an awful lot of money for a couple in their 20s, even if Donnie has a good job. If he got all that money from Dyad for monitoring Alison, she would have become suspicious years ago and not been deterred by a few porn DVDs in a box. Donnie's not savvy enough to launder money without Alison noticing anything.

Of all the far-fetched things that happen on this show, the Alison situation bugs me the most for some reason.

Edited by chocolatine

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No, he lost the job in S3, which is when they started dealing pills under the soap front. Still, we were never told what his job actually was. He just complained about his boss a few times.

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Alison was the one funding clone club back in season one. Not sure it was ever made clear where the money was coming from - I assumed it was family money given to her by her mother.

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On 7/2/2016 at 0:47 AM, chocolatine said:

I just got into the show recently, and I've been wondering this as well, but haven't seen it discussed anywhere. The clones were all born in 1984, so when the show started in 2013 they were 28/29, correct? I can buy that age for Sarah (grifter who had an oops baby in her early twenties), Cosima (finishing up her PhD), and Beth (would have joined the force in her early twenties and become a detective 4-5 years later), but for Alison it seems too young. First, the kids: it looks like Oscar and Gemma are biological siblings, so Alison and Donnie would have adopted both of them at the same time. Would a couple in their early/mid-20s with no child-rearing experience really be allowed to adopt two children at once? I guess a possible explanation is that two non-white siblings were difficult to place, and that Alison and Donnie were the only couple who wanted them. Or that it was a private adoption arranged directly between the birth parents and Donnie/Alison.

 

I guess it depends when Alison and Donnie adopted them. It makes sense for them to have been adopted since birth, as Alison seems like the type to have wanted a baby or two instead of a toddler, but timeline wise, the kids look around 8 years old, and I think Alison/Sara/Cosima are all around 30 years old, so Alison and Donnie would have had to adopt them at 22/23, which is too young. They said that they met in college, so at least 18 years old, but I would think that Alison would want them both to have financially secured careers before jumping into parenthood.  But Alison did choose to be a housewife/stay at home mom, so maybe her and Donnie wanted to have children right after getting married. Let's say she married him at 21 and they started trying for children. It does seem like they would have gone through the process awfully quickly, but I guess it isn't totally out of the realm of possibility. 

Also, as I was looking up Gemma and Oscar's ages in terms of the actors', I found out that the two are actually siblings in real life. The Oscar actor, Drew Davis, is 12 years old in real life (he also had a recurring part in Rookie Blue, which made me realize that I knew him from something) and I'm guessing his sister is nine years old, so if they're close to that age on the show, I guess Alison and Donnie would have had to adopt them when they were toddlers or children.

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3 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

I guess it depends when Alison and Donnie adopted them. It makes sense for them to have been adopted since birth, as Alison seems like the type to have wanted a baby or two instead of a toddler, but timeline wise, the kids look around 8 years old, and I think Alison/Sara/Cosima are all around 30 years old, so Alison and Donnie would have had to adopt them at 22/23, which is too young. They said that they met in college, so at least 18 years old, but I would think that Alison would want them both to have financially secured careers before jumping into parenthood.  But Alison did choose to be a housewife/stay at home mom, so maybe her and Donnie wanted to have children right after getting married. Let's say she married him at 21 and they started trying for children. It does seem like they would have gone through the process awfully quickly, but I guess it isn't totally out of the realm of possibility. 

Also, as I was looking up Gemma and Oscar's ages in terms of the actors', I found out that the two are actually siblings in real life. The Oscar actor, Drew Davis, is 12 years old in real life (he also had a recurring part in Rookie Blue, which made me realize that I knew him from something) and I'm guessing his sister is nine years old, so if they're close to that age on the show, I guess Alison and Donnie would have had to adopt them when they were toddlers or children.

Right, I got the same rough timeline as you. But even if they wanted children that young, which is rare but not unheard of, they must have gone through an application/evaluation process. And I wonder what kind of adoption/child services worker thought it was a good idea for a couple that young to be given the responsibility not just for one but two children at once. Oscar and Gemma are very obviously biological siblings, so they must have been placed for adoption together.

I hope we get a quick explanation before the show wraps up next season.

Edited by chocolatine

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Right, I got the same rough timeline as you. But even if they wanted children that young, which is rare but not unheard of, they must have gone through an application/evaluation process. And I wonder what kind of adoption/child services worker thought it was a good idea for a couple that young to be given the responsibility not just for one but two children at once. Oscar and Gemma are very obviously biological siblings, so they must have been placed for adoption together.

They could have gone the foster-to-adopt route.

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