Review: Clone High, "For Your Consideration" & "Clone Alone" | Season 1, Episodes 9 & 10
Characters take center stage at a time when you'd expect the ensemble to share the spotlight
At first glance, “For Your Consideration” seems like a momentum-killing penultimate episode for Clone High. After setting up lots of plot around romantic relationships, sidelining pretty much all of them in favor of a stylistic tour de force journey through Mr. B’s award-worthy tragic past doesn’t really compute. Joan’s there to act as a catalyst for the story and offer some loose connections to her situation with Abe, but overall it’s an episode that delays the convergence promised by last week’s outings.
There’s two factors at play, though, that change this. The first is that it’s objectively the season’s most effective episode, at least as an existing fan of the series—between the charms of the different animation styles and the overwrought, awards-bait backstory for the character, it’s just a fundamentally enjoyable half-hour of television in a way that the show didn’t always achieve as it was burdened with new setup and carryover stories.
The second, though, is the sheer amount of pathos that “For Your Consideration” finds in its conclusion around the theme of family. Scudworth and Mr. B were the piece of the story that was definitely crowded out the most as the season progressed: there was the need to share antagonist oxygen with Candide, for one, as well as the simple fact that there are now more characters to occupy B- and C-stories such that Scudworth’s point-of-view isn’t as critical. But that does change in these final episodes, and the detour into Mr. B’s past does help orient us to the idea that Scudworth is not the story’s villain, even if his idea of how to support his “family” isn’t that far off from Candide’s plan for Joan to take over the world. In the end, these clones are Scudworth’s children, and they are collectively Mr. B’s family, and that means something when Operation Spread Eagle comes due.