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Delphine Cormier: EvoDevo Diva

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Thanks! I hesitated to call Delphine a diva since she isn't the grad student version of Mariah Carey, but I couldn't think of anything else to go with EvoDevo. I just started skimming through some S1 episode recaps tonight (after I started this thread) and realized that although Cosima and Delphine are both microbiology grad students, Delphine is actually in immunology studying parasite host relationships, not in evolutionary development with Cosima so now I feel like I need to come up with a more accurate subtitle for Delphine's thread.

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Being French, it was kind of refreshing to finally see a French character having an accent that wasn't completely horrible on-screen. I know that us French people are not masters when it comes to pronounciation, but there has been improvement sice the 80's, and often in US TV Shows, this accent is amplified and exagerated.

So Delphine's accent, that is noticeable without being completely horrendous was welcome.

I'm sill not sure of her intentions, but I would think that her not telling about Kira makes her an ally to Sarah and the others, but you never know with this show.

Edited by Coxfires
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I know that us French people are not masters when it comes to pronounciation, but there has been improvement sice the 80's, and often in US TV Shows, this accent is amplified and exagerated.

I think that's probably owing more to shortcomings on the American actors' parts trying to do that accent than any implied critique of how French people master English, Coxfires.  I can't speak to the authenticity of Evelyne's but it sounds like it sounds pretty good to you?  I was surprised the first time I saw an interview with her and realized her real life accent is much more garden-variety North American [with a French Canadian twist of course] than I was expecting.

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Evelyne Brochu said in an interview that she purposely wanted to avoid the overdone parody-esque French accent, and instead modeled hers after Marion Cotillard.

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I think most of Evelyne Brochu's work before OB had been in French and that she grew up bilingual, having learned English in part by watching "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," the Rosetta Stone of sitcoms. But, yeah, the first time I heard EB speak out of character I was almost as blown away by how North American she sounded as I was when I heard Jordan (though his still freaks me out how different it is). There's a hint of an accent every once in a while, but not much.

I hope we get to see more of Delphine this season and they don't shuffle her off-stage somehow. The story potential for each of the monitors is pretty rich - how the hell do you get that job? What's the application process like? At what point does DYAD say, "So, yeah, here's the deal. Clones? Totally cool. But also kiiiiinda illegal so we need to study them in secret. And also, horizontally. You up for that? Excellent. We have BlueCross Dental."

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I think that's probably owing more to shortcomings on the American actors' parts trying to do that accent than any implied critique of how French people master English, Coxfires.  I can't speak to the authenticity of Evelyne's but it sounds like it sounds pretty good to you?  I was surprised the first time I saw an interview with her and realized her real life accent is much more garden-variety North American [with a French Canadian twist of course] than I was expecting.


Oh, ok, I see. Evelyne's accent does sound good to me, like, you ca hear that she is French, but it is not thick and overdone, as Ceeg mentioned. And I smiled at the mention of learning English through TV because that is exactly how I did too, and I'd say my accent similar to Delphine's.

I really do hope we'll see more of her, and see more of how the monitors are chosen, like DioxinBlues says. I wonder how much they know about this whole stuff and what exactly are their mission.Is it only report and observation or are they entrusted with other tasks if required? The case of Donnie and Alison indicates that monitors are chosen pretty early in their life, but is always the case, and what if one of the clones moves in another city or something?

Do we know who Sarah's monitor is, or if she has one? I can't remember.

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The story potential for each of the monitors is pretty rich - how the hell do you get that job? What's the application process like? At what point does DYAD say, "So, yeah, here's the deal. Clones? Totally cool. But also kiiiiinda illegal so we need to study them in secret. And also, horizontally. You up for that? Excellent. We have BlueCross Dental."

Heh.  I think it's safe to say, or at least it was my impression, that Delphine was not expecting her particular assignment to go horizontal.  She seemed a bit surprised by that development initially and needed time to process.  But I only watched the series once when it aired, so I don't know if she was playing Cosima the whole time or if she really didn't expect it to go there.  

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Also interesting that Cosima mentioned early in S1 that if she were running the experiment, she would make it double blind which is what we later learned was the situation with Paul and Beth. He had no idea she was a clone, what they tested her for, etc. When Olivier questioned him, Paul was fishing for more info but never got anything out of him.

But Delphine knew a lot more about the situation. She knew Cosima's tag number because she had seen it many times. She also knew about the existence of other clones before she found the family tree Cosima had made. I'm going to assume that Delphine had more info going into her monitor position because she was already working for Dyad/Leekie.

That brings up another interesting point though. The three monitors we definitely know about (Paul, Delphine, and Donnie) all come from different backgrounds. At first I thought the monitors would all have some kind of military background (based solely upon Paul) which made me think that the people hiring the monitors thought the clones could be dangerous. We also know that Paul was coerced into being a monitor because of what happened in Afghanistan.

Delphine and Donnie have no military or combat training that we know of. Neither of them seem to be monitors who were forced to do so, unlike Paul. I would guess that Delphine was involved in the scientific work and Leekie convinced her to become Cosima's monitor so she could observe her at close range. I'm guessing that they for to Donnie when he was young and didn't realize how much he was committing to.

I wonder who the previous monitors were for the clones that Leekie knew about. Who were Beth and Cosima's monitors prior to Paul and Delphine? And why were they replaced?

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I think Cosima's monitor would have been replaced when she moved from California to Minnesota. It would have been weird if she had a friend/family member to just happen to follow her out there while she went to school. When the series starts, Cosima says she's new at the school, so it was the perfect opportunity to work in a new monitor in her life. 

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It seems like all the clones keep getting screwed at every turn by people not being who they seem to be.  (Ahem, Delphine, I'm looking at you. Never liked her, and would love to see her go away for good.)


To be fair to Delphine, she only briefly pretended to be someone she wasn't and Cosima knew the salient fact (that Delphine was her monitor) right away. So Cosima's getting screwed by Delphine is really Cosima's own trusting nature getting to her.

I don't believe Delphine has screwed Cosima at every turn. To me, her biggest flaws up to this point have been:

1. Pretending to be a student to snoop on Cosima.

2. Not respecting Cosima's wishes and essentially taking away her right to choose (giving the blood samples to Leekie, not telling her about Scott's recruitment to DYAD, and withholding information about the stem cell treatment)

The first problem was definitely huge, as it led Leekie to Sarah's identity. But the second problem all stemmed from a (misguided) attempt to help and protect Cosima. Up until the end of Episode 5, Delphine has been the only one (and Leekie I guess) doing anything to help cure Cosima.

Should she have been up front with Cosima? Most definitely. And Cosima has every right to be pissed at Delphine, her lover/confidant/doctor, for not telling her the truth, for taking away her choice, especially since I'm sure Cosima feels like she has no control over anything at this point except her own choices.

But at the same time, I can understand Delphine's actions even if I don't agree with them. So while, yes, Delphine has disrespected Cosima's autonomy, she has never set out to deliberately hurt Cosima or screw her over.

As far as we know, she has not murdered anyone or framed anyone for murder, hasn’t kidnapped anyone, hasn’t tortured anyone, hasn’t stolen anyone’s identity or attempted to clean out their bank account, hasn’t forced anyone into (arguably) non-consensual sex, or any number of the questionable things the other characters have engaged in.

Delphine hasn’t done anything worse than anyone else on the show. Of course, she might go off the rails in the last three episodes. But I guess we'll see!

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Dropping this here.  A truly passionate analysis of Delphine (especially in light of 301) I happened across (via reddit) on the IMDB forums.  While I might not agree with everything BuffySummers-2  has to say, I do agree with a helluvalot of it.  Agreement or disagreement aside, the content of the post is undeniably thought provoking.  Much of the discussion it prompted on IMDB was pretty good too.




"I think many posters are really misreading Delphine"
by BuffySummers-2
» Thu Apr 23 2015 15:01:25


I think people are misreading Delphine, especially her scene with the post-op, bed-ridden Rachel.


The question most often asked on the board is "Which clone are you most like?" My answer is an unqualified "Cosima". No hesitation.


But, if asked "Which character's behavior makes the most sense to you?", right now, that answer is "Delphine."


We weren't seeing callous sadistic torture from Delphine in the scene in question, we were seeing a long-frightened, almost captive woman who had, perhaps for years, been carefully top-toeing around others and had finally reached her breaking point.


I believe she fell in love with Cosima (no one was there to see or hear her sobbing outside Felix's apartment), but she was not in love with her when she was ordered to sleep with her. After her first act of not just sleeping with a woman, but sleeping with a woman she had just met, she was crying because she felt confused (she felt something and hadn't expected to), felt guilty (she knew she was lying to Cosima and using her), and (let's not mince words) she surely felt like a whore.


People have also questioned her qualifications to run Dyad; she's young yes, but she wouldn't be the first brilliant scientist with strong emotional ties to one of the Leda clones in charge of Dyad. She recognizes what Leekie did not: in order to protect Cosima and her sisters from Rachel, she must try to remain objective.


Months after her first encounter with Cosima when Delphine was torturing Rachel, she told Rachel "I'm you", but this was manipulation and acting plain and simple, no different than the roles Sarah and Alison were playing. The tables had finally turned and needing answers ASAP, Delphine needed to make sure Rachel believed that she had two choices: answer Delphine's questions like a "good girl", or suffer and die. She was acting like Rachel (flaunting power and being sadistic) to get Rachel to talk. Delphine was nothing like Rachel in terms of her motivation*. If Delphine's suspicions had been wrong, if Rachel hadn't known anything about "Helsinki", or if "Helsinki" was a way to protect the Leda clones from the Castor Clones, Delphine would have been wracked with guilt. Even knowing that she was correct, once "Helsinki" was aborted, I imagine Delphine likely became violently ill from her actions in Rachel's recovery room.


Delphine may have appeared calm, but she wasn't coldly interrogating and torturing Rachel, she was boiling with rage. She knew Cosima was in imminent danger. She knew all the clones and their loved ones were in imminent danger. She was mad as hell and needed answers NOW.


That wasn't cold sadistic torture, that was fury. Delphine was furious.


Furious at the monster she believed murdered her former lover and their mutual mentor Dr. Leekie. (Delphine was correct; he was by far the lesser of the two evils).


Furious at the monster who plays cool but is actually a reckless impulsive disaster who was going to mutilate Sarah when simply (repeatedly) asking Sarah (over months) to donate eggs for an in vitro treatment with a surrogate would likely have eventually gotten her exactly what she wanted without harming anyone.


Furious at the monster who smashed Kyra's bone marrow in a pointless and cruel hissy fit. Bone marrow extraction is excruciatingly painful, dangerous, and when the donor is a child, cannot be repeated for months. When Rachel smashed the bone marrow (and in light of Helsinki we can safely assume that was not a bluff), Rachel knew she was murdering Cosima and Delphine knows that as well.


Furious at the monster who shares Cosima's face but none of her warmth.


Furious at the monster who pulled her away from Cosima even though Cosima was dying and she was the best qualified person to treat her. Delphine is very smart (and usually right), I think Delphine was crying in the elevator (end of season 2) over her transfer because she sensed the danger Cosima was in and felt helpless to do anything to stop it. She believed Rachel murdered Leekie; who could protect Cosima and her now? There was no logical reason for Rachel to send Delphine away; that transfer smacked of red flags that Rachel was up to no good but she was powerless to stop her. When we see Delphine interrogating Rachel in her hospital bed, she was perhaps for the first time ever in her life taking that power back.


Delphine was furious.


There is a lot of Greek mythology in the names on this show. I'm not the first to notice the similarity between the name "Delphine" and the "Oracle of Delphi": I think Delphine is able to accurately read situations and predict what is going on around her with greater accuracy than most. (As an aside, this is personally my favorite trope, so as much as I care for Delphine and like Évelyne Brochu, I wouldn't be surprised if her insightful nature leads directly her death at the end of the season. But I digress...).


Marion sent Delphine to Toronto to avoid another Helsinki and believed that putting on a show for Ferdinand would accomplish that. Delphine correctly recognized this was a fool's errand; if Marion was worried about another Helsinki, Delphine realized Marion was too late and it was already in motion. Though we did not see Marion, Delphine trusts her and I believe we in the audience can also trust her at this point as she is the mother to a Leda clone. No matter how much Marion loves money (and I think it's quite clear that Marion simply adores money and power) she doesn't seem like a psychopath; her love of her daughter is going to be the driving force behind all her actions. Unless Sarah (and of course it would be Sarah) does something that puts her daughter in danger, her allegiance will be to the Leda clones. Her daughter was the only 2nd generation Leda clone to survive, she was born with a disability, and now Marion knows her daughter has a life expectancy of 30 years max unless Cosima figures out how to cure the auto-immune disease that is killing them. While Marion hoped to smooth things over and avoid another Helsinki, I think Delphine saw the bigger picture. She recognized that Rachel felt no loyalty to her sisters, put the pieces together and accurately recognized that Helsinki was already in motion and could only have been ordered directly by Rachel. She NEEDED to know how to stop it.




Put yourself in Delphine's shoes in that room with Rachel:


Sarah is a loose cannon. She was, at the moment, alone with Ferdinand pretending to Rachel (badly, and major props to Tatiana Maslany for having Sarah get Rachel's attitude right but her walk wrong). Sarah was so preoccupied with Helena (I'm amazed she wasn't busted in Delphine's new office the moment she started talking about Helena) that she couldn't grasp the gravity of the situation she and her sisters were in until the plan for Alison's murder was spelled out for her. Delphine's appeals for Sarah to focus on the big picture had fallen on deaf ears. Delphine suspected she needed to know exactly who was in on "Helsinki:Toronto Edition" NOW and she was right. She believed needed to get information out of Rachel by any means necessary ASAP and she was right, 10 minutes later and Alison, her husband, and her children(!!!!!) would have been dead.


Despite what she was told by the doctor and Marion, Ferdinand's behavior led Delphine to suspect that Rachel personally had ordered "Helsinki" in Toronto and that it was already in motion. She knows what that means:


Delphine knows Cosima, her lover, is on Rachel's kill list.


Scott is surely on the kill list.


Any of their mutual friends might have been on the kill list.


Anyone in the surrounding labs would be killed.


Sarah is on the kill list.


Felix is on the kill list.


Mrs. S is on the kill list.


Alison, her husband and their children(!) are on the kill list.


All of the remaining clones friends, parents, lovers, spouses, and adopted children(!) or siblings might be on the kill list or already dead. I'm now very suspicious of Rachel's involvement in Jennifer Fitzsimmons' rapid decline; a near-Olympic (more Greek) class swimmer would be way too likely to be photographed and recognized by anyone who ever went to school with any of the clones. Was she "induced" too? Anyone who was even physically close to the Leda clones would have be "collateral" deaths.


Leekie was a celebrity! No one knows he was shot in Donnie's Taurus and buried in Alison's garage. Both Delphine and Marion believe Rachel executed him. Ferdinand's comments strongly imply that Marian Bowles and her daughter were on that kill list, too.


Last, and perhaps genuinely least important at that moment, Delphine surely knows damn well that she is right at the top of Rachel's kill list.


Delphine was furious. Can you blame her? Really?


How kind and gentle would you be with the monster who you suspected currently had a hit out on you and your lover? How gentle would you be if you suspected that there were hit men on your friends' doorsteps as you were speaking to the monster who ordered the hit?


Delphine had one chance to stop a mass execution. She, as always, did what she needed to do. She needed to physically hurt Rachel while her guard was down and she was too disorientated from the brain injury, the surgery and massive amounts of painkillers to think of anything resembling a convincing lie or merely stall for time until Alison and her family were dead.




I know the consensus seems to be shock, disgust or "I'm not buying it" at Delphine and her actions in Rachel's hospital room.


I know the new hair style and her break-up with Cosima feeds the perception that Delphine is as cruel as Rachel was.


Some posters even think there are other clones and that we have seen multiple "Delphine"s. (I'm going all in on "No Way" to that hypothesis.)


I disagree. Strongly.


I think Delphine was as desperate as Sarah, but while Sarah's growing worry over Helena and understandable panic over Alison almost got her busted and Alison and her whole family murdered, Delphine's fury and knowledge of the situation gave her the resolve to remain calm and focused in this crisis. That was not the day to worry about Helena (oh look, more Greek along with the "face to launch a thousand ships"), that was the day to focus on the big picture or every Leda clone and anyone emotionally or merely physically close to them could be dead within 24 hours. She broke up with Cosima after it was made explicitly clear that NO ONE could afford to "play favorites" in light of the immediate danger Leda was in. She was right, she did need to love all of Cosima's sisters equally. On that day, she couldn't visit Cosima and hold her hand, she needed to focus on Sarah in order to protect Sarah from herself and save Alison, Donnie, and their children(!!!! Honestly!!!!!!!!!) who were only moments away from certain execution.


Delphine was put in charge of Dyad and she isn't shying away from that responsibility. While I suspect her separation from Cosima won't last and may put her and all the clones in danger as well as compromising her judgement just as much as Leekie's parental love of Rachel blinded him to the fact that she was a psychopath, in the season three premiere her unwavering focus was solely on keeping all the Leda sisters alive. Marion put her in charge, and under Delphine's watch, Rachel's reign of unchecked murder sprees (anyone else suspect she also ordered the 2006 massacre?) are over.




Did the writers' plans for Delphine change over the seasons? Sure. Quite plausible. Mark was supposed to be killed off halfway through the second season. Now Ari Millen is playing all the Castor clones. I don't disagree that Delphine has changed, but I think she has seen and experienced enough to justify the fury we saw in 3x01. She was always supposed to be a brilliant scientist (her prior PhD was revealed in the first season). She was always able to keep secrets. She (the character) was always able to act (crying over the imaginary breakup with her fictional boyfriend). She was always manipulative but was never cruel. She was always loyal to Aldous Leekie, but not so loyal as to reveal the existence of Kyra. She was instinctively protective of Kyra, and might not have even revealed the existence of "Sarah Manning" if she had known that no one knew "Sarah Manning" existed. I was not sure I believed that she had fallen in romantic love with Cosima at the end of the first season, but I did believe she was going to be Cosima's protective loyal ally. To see Delphine act convincingly and manipulative Rachel into confessing her part in Helsinki in order to protect Cosima is perfectly in character and no worse than Sarah's shoe job on Ferdinand. It's certainly far less bad than Sarah nearly strangling Ferdinand to death (not that I can blame her) before getting him to call off the hit on Alison and her family (that was just plain stupid). In that hospital room, Delphine's protective instinct ("Don't mother me") gave her the strength to focus on what was needed, and she was motivated by both that and pure fury (I keep using the word because it is the only one that fits, and fittingly is more Greek) at Rachel for the murder of Aldous and the attempted murder of Cosima, and it was completely in character with everything we've seen so far.


I'm not sure what was planned for Delphine when she was added to the show, and I agree that having her soon run Dyad was probably not part of her original story arc. I'm not sure how soon the actors know what the writers have planned for them but, approve or disapprove of Delphine's methods, IMHO, based on the the writing and the actresses' performances to date, her actions in 3x01 were in character.



*Knowing about Helsinki, I feel quite comfortable saying that Rachel is a psychopath (psychopathy is my area of study and Rachel's psychopathy/sociopathy will be addressed in another blessedly shorter post).


So now Rachel is a psychopath with even more damage to her orbital prefrontal cortex. Great. :-/ Her attending physician, Dr. Mengele, was not incorrect: we cannot predict the extent of Rachel's brain damage. That pencil went in horrifyingly far. It was too far to the center to directly puncture Broca's, and she wasn't struggling with grammar so Wernicke's seems unaffected, but there was a lot of blood on that pencil. Bleeding and swelling (or a clot) could cause temporary or permanent impairment. She also hit the back of her head with a lot of force. There was concussive damage to her occipital lobe as well. Depending on the amount of bleeding, swelling and the adjustment to only having one eye, Rachel may spend the entire season merely relearning to walk. We don't know if Rachel heals the way Helena or Kyra seem to, but if not she could conceivably be out of commission all season. Sarah may have to pretend to be Rachel again, and she may have to spend a great deal more time in the only place from which she has ever needed rescue: Rachel's apartment.




Should be an interesting season.

Edited by dampfire
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