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And so tonight the series takes a step back from taking a step back with last week's step back. To give us an extended flashback about why Vanessa is responsible for Mina, has powers of some sort, and is working with Malcolm to find and (possibly) cure Mina. Presumably they got word that they had been renewed for a second year--if they didn't know it all along--and decided that they could slow down the show's pace even more. Either that, or they've filmed the last three episodes at double speed.

"Closer Than Sisters" is basically a follow-up to a lot of the comments that Vanessa dropped when she was possessed during the séance in "Séance." Vanessa witnessed Malcolm having an affair with her mother, and Vanessa seduced Mina's first fiancé. A weakling Peter died in Africa seeking his father's approval, and Mina became a vampire.

Exit stage right!

The one big reveal is how Vanessa got her groove on... I mean, how Vanessa got her powers, whatever they are. Basically as a child she gave in to her inner demon, which summoned an outer demon, which took the shape of Sir Malcolm, quoted Keats, and decided to have sex with her. After putting her through a painful few months of demonic possession which involved the Victorian "mental treatments" that they couldn't show in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Ice-water baths, fire hoses, drugs, and brain-drilling.

It's a madhouse! A madhouse!

So apparently seeing your mother having an affair and feeling any kind of sexual excitement turns you into a precognitive demon-summoner. Kids, don't try that at home.

I see with my little eye something that starts with S and ends with X.

It's all very Wuthering Heights, or what people think of when they typically think of Wuthering Heights without reading the novel. Waves crashing on the shore, manors on cliffs (two – count'em, two! manors on cliffs), torrid affairs of the heart, women running hither and yon and falling hopelessly in love with handsome men. Okay, Eva Green writhing naked on a bed with a Sigourney Weaver/Aliens 3 haircut probably isn't Wuthering Heights, but you get the idea.

There do seem to be some missing scenes. Vanessa says that Malcolm doesn't know death like the death that she's seen, but we don't see that she sees any death. You see? Presumably she means the visions that she had about slaves drowning in the ocean (which kind of comes out of nowhere), but this isn't at all clear. And I wouldn't really compare that to killing dozens of men personally. And then one minute Vanessa is getting her head drilled, the next she's back home without any kind of transition.

Really, that's it. There's nothing on Dorian, Ethan, Brona, or Frankenstein and his creation, and just a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance by Sembene. I did find it amusing when Malcolm told Vanessa that Sembene will see her to her new quarters, when she has no idea who the hell he is. Neither does the audience, really.

So while the episode isn't critical to watching the series and it advancing the storyline, it does fill us in on Vanessa's backstory, give us a lot of dark psycho-sexual stuff (Dr. Banning even refers to it as such) that was promised, and gives Eva Green a demo reel to hand to the Emmy people when she enters the competition next time. And she gets to wear a really cool jacket to the insane asylum.

And the Emmy goes to...

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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