The Last of Us [Sins of the Flesh]
Notes on a Scandal—Cate Blanchett (Actor), Judi Dench (Actor), Richard Eyre (Director)
When Sheba Hart joins St. George’s as the new art teacher, Barbara Covett senses a kindred spirit. But Barbara is not the only one drawn to her. Sheba begins an illicit affair and Barbara becomes the keeper of her secret.
Gold stars to all for this taut psychological thriller based on Zoe Heller’s novel that that gets more insidiously twisted as it unfolds. Oscar-nominated for her chilling performance, Dame Judi Dench gives a master class as schoolteacher Barbara Covett, a frumpy, friendless, and flinty spinster who lives with her cat. A formidable presence, Barbara is standoffish with colleagues and not one for students to trifle with (not that they’d dare). Cate Blanchett, also an Oscar nominee and winner of several critics society awards for her impassioned performance, costars as Sheba Hart, the new, overwhelmed art teacher who first becomes enthrall to Barbara after she steps in to help Sheba discipline unruly students. Barbara cultivates a friendship, and insinuates herself into Sheba’s chaotic life, which includes her older husband (Bill Nighy), teenage daughter, and a son with Down’s syndrome. Then, Barbara catches the reckless Sheba in a compromising position with a 15-year-old student (Andrew Simpson). Seizing her opportunity, the calculating Barbara does not turn her in. Rather, she wants to “help” her. “She’s the one I’ve been waiting for,” she writes in the journals she meticulously keeps, and which provide, in voiceover, her corrosive commentary. This all sounds very Fatal Attraction, but no boiling rabbits, please; we’re British. Philip Glass’s Oscar-nominated score accentuates the growing menace. Though there is little in these characters to admire, (one would think GLAAD would have something to say about the predatory turn Barbara’s character takes), Notes on a Scandal is a compelling tour-de-force for its Grade-A cast.—Donald Liebenson (Amazon.com movie review)
Please note. In the now consummated reign of the Borg Queen, designation Number One. Things are very formal and severely traditional. The prefix of “Number” [the equivalent of Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Miss] is now rigidly part of all Borg designations, without exception.
Number One should be gloating, and she is. And, for good reason. They are alone in the Queen’s chamber in Unimatrix Zero. She and her obsession Miss Kane, who has just arrived. The thing she covets the most—i.e., the Queen long ago sexually objectified the girl. To her, the girl is a sex object to possess and is secondarily a person.
This Miss Kane has no knobb and not one iota of The Borg within her. But. It’s not a total loss. This Miss Kane is cold and unfeeling like a machine, and that turns Number One on to no end. That’s the goodness, but the badness is somewhat putting a dampening on the party.
“Try to assimilate anyone on The Council … Your attempt will fail. No one who sits at that table can be assimilated by Borg. Your race will be hunted down and exterminated, in retaliation for the failed coup d’état.”
Coco has agreed to loan the girl to Number One. So. Miss Kane, for now, is exclusively Number One’s Girl Friday. And the Borg queen is taking full advantage of the situation.
“Oh well. It was only an idle thought on my part anyways.”
“It’s best to keep such thoughts to oneself.”
Miss Kane’s responses are delivered in a curt bland monotone. In keeping with her being an asexual two-legged calculator.
“Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it, Number Seven.”
“I’m at your service, Number One. It is my purpose to serve you.”
“So … It is a Council of unequals?”
“Yes. Then again it always has been. And. It always will be.”
“I prefer you Borg.”
“Yes, Number One.”
And just like that. The Queen can “sense” that the girl is Borg again. The girl’s knobb sprouts from the rightside of her neck. Add to this the girl’s frumpy, friendless, and flinty spinster librarian accountant visage.
“That’s much better. Now, to the books. We need to know, as soon as possible, who is stealing from us.”
Miss Kane is again back with The Collective, as Borg drone Number Seven. Number Seven will only speak when spoken to. Thus. Mostly, she’ll keep her mouth shut. That blank look on her face. It’s the face of a mindless robot—i.e., the vacuous face of a Borg drone. Although Miss Kane is far from mindless, let alone a mindless Borg drone. As previously mentioned, this is how the girl prefers to be and to look—i.e., her preferred facade.
As Borg. On the rare occasions that she does speak. She will refer to herself in the third-person plural.
Her mouth. A large ugly cruel mouth that bespeaks of loathing and disdain even when that’s not the wearer’s intent. A mouth befitting the cruelty of a dominatrix, especially a Borg dominatrix. In a word, the mouth of a Borg queen. It is clearly not the listless mouth of a Borg drone. Borg drones, after all, are submissive in relationship to their Queen.
Her facial expression. A vacuous look juxtaposing cold cruel blue eyes. Not the empty vacant eyes of someone who is prime fodder to be used. Therefore. They are not the eyes of a Borg drone. They are the predatory eyes of a Borg queen. Ergo, they are the eyes of a callous exploiter.
Sporting sternns-miles and sternka. She’s attired in her usual dowdy chic. Koo. Bolshoi-bare. Perls. Prudz. Careys. Rocket bra and flesh-colored plan latex panty brief. She was relieved of her phone, holster, and purse, when she first arrived.
The bra is a generic. A lacy white satin torpedo bra with a daring cleavage-baring French cut. A cut that compliments the plunging front of the girl’s buttoned suitcoat. A brasserie in the style of the Bali Satin Tracings Minimizer Underwire Bra 3562, but with pointed thrusting cups in keeping with a retro-1950’s fixation with large cone-shaped projectile breasts—i.e., the lager they are, the harder we fall.
Brand-X unmentionables with the mouthwatering French cut of name-brand undergarments. Sexual repression never looked so good covered up.
Dowdy. Severe. Hard-faced. Pretty. The sexpot robot girl exudes sexual repression.
Number Seven sits down stiff-backed, legs double crossed tightly, at an accountant’s table and begins pouring over the books. Some of the books are eBooks, but the majority of them are physical books, actual old-fashioned ledgers. The advantage of paper of course is that unlike its electronic brethren, it can’t be hacked remotely by computer hackers.
Number One stands behind Number Seven. Massaging the drone’s shoulders and licking her knobb. Afterwards, Number One intends to viciously and violently fuck [i.e., rape] the girl.
“I know that you can control us [Borg] with your knobb, Number Seven. But. As my Number Seven you never will,” Number One whispers in the girl’s ear.
Number One is so enthralled with the girl, that she ignores the obvious cautions, and, in a word, throws caution to the wind. And those cautions are all grave ones, the gravest of which are real jaw droppers.
What are these gravest cautions, that Number One is choosing to ignore?
Caution Number One. Seven is cold, calculating, and unfeeling. The robot girl’s calculation should give the Queen pause, but she ignores that caution as if she were an obsessive compulsive human being
Caution Number Two. The girl went willfully and willingly from girl [Miss Kane] to robot girl [Number Seven] on command. Like the flicking of a switch.
Caution Number Three. The girl is Borg and something else. A something else that Number One can sense but she’s can’t unravel—i.e., there is no tell whatsoever as to what that something else is. That something else is, and it’s the most dangerous of the three gravest [cautions], is that this girl who is a dominatrix in addition to being a submissive, craves both roles equally and simultaneously!
In summation. What all the cautions point to, especially the gravest ones, is something that Number One stays in a perpetual state of complete denial about. She steadfastly refuses to acknowledge this one fundamental known truth about the girl. The girl as a Borg is both a queen and a drone.
Simply put. A Germanic take on the classic icy Scandinavian blonde—i.e., a haughty Danish blonde with decidedly sinister overtones. Danish blonde, as in, a blonde with bright yellow-blonde hair—hair the color of raw wheat. And. Decidedly sinister overtones that reek of Borg and Nazi.
All the cautions. The summation. The “in other words”. The “simply put”. Come to fruition, much sooner, as opposed to much later.
Mondo as an apparition steps out of Number Seven. Mondo solidifies into the “real” Mondo Kane. And this girl has no knobb or one iota of Borg.
Number Seven sits there and goes about her business of inspecting the books looking for the “fingerprints” of the culprit. She is a construct. And a very convincing one at that.
Although Mondo’s phone, holster, and purse, are well hidden in a fully shielded safety deposit box. They find their way back to her, materializing underneath her suitcoat. Clipping themselves to the waistband of her skirt.
“I like the way she sits. It looks and feels so very rigorous and sexy and sexually repressed. I’m going to sit that way from now on,” Mondo quips.
Then. As if on cue. Coco and Toy materializes in the Queen’s chamber. Now things are really heating up. They walk over to Mondo and The Queen.
Toy is in the human guise of Star Trek actress Susanna Thompson. And. She’s wearing the EXO of a Borg Queen, just like Number One.
Coco, on the other hand, is dressed as usual to the nines. In her Melania Trump version of move-in chic for a White House arrival. Ergo. Coco has opted for a pair of tan wide-legged pants by Bally along with a white Dolce & Gabbana tank. On her feet are Manolo Blahnik heels—surely the easiest shoes for traipsing across the South Lawn—and she carries a Hermès Birkin bag. Really, though, it’s all about those pants, in keeping with the increasingly go-to sartorial choice for the current First Lady.
The sartorial splendor and haute couture of the current FLOTUS is both a part of Melania’s own personal style and an obvious nod to the sophisticated tastes of the previous POTUS and global fashion plate, former-sitting president President Sarah Palin.
But. Before either Number One or Toy can get in a word in edgewise. Mondo continues her filibuster; a filibuster which pleases Coco to no end.
“Coco has graciously decided to sponsor both of you on The Council. Therefore, there cannot be even the appearance of impropriety. Ergo. I’m Coco’s Girl Friday. Therefore, Number One, you don’t get to use me [the original Number Seven], anymore. You’ll have to suffice with using this Number Seven in lieu of me, instead. Consider this construct to be the version of me who Coco actually loaned to you [Number One] as Girl Friday. Furthermore. Consider the original me as just the temporary overlay—i.e., the old bait and switch, but, per ROE, it’s deemed fair play in this case.”
“Also. My mistress, Coco, has generously decided to give the Borg a God. That God shall be Toy. Get use to that too, Number One.”
Neither Number One nor Toy bothers to offer any objection. Realizing that it would be pointless. Coco has to restrain herself from rolling on the floor laughing. Her girl has finally come of age, and is currently on a fat jelly roll.
“Now, for some needed housekeeping. This next bit is addressed to both Number One and Toy. So listen very carefully.”
“Both of you have come into possession of a certain app used by a certain Away Team during the recent unpleasantness at The Vatican. It’s on the restricted list. So. Banish any notions from your devilish minds of using it to commit unfettered genocide throughout Creation. Of course, mayhem, per ROE, is allowed.”
“This next bit is just for you, Number One, and all Borg.”
“When Toy dies, for any reason, you, Number One, lose your seat on The Council. And no Borg can ever sit on The Council, ever again.”
“But. Borg being Borg. You will try to destroy your God, anyways. She is one. And you are legion. The odds look stacked in your favor [Number One]. But. Remember. Looks can be deceiving.”
With that said, Mondo directs her full attention at Coco. Ignoring Number One and Toy, completely.
“It’s time for us to go, mistress. Else we’ll be late for Mrs. Carson’s dinner party.”
“You’re quite right. My. My. My. How time flies when you’re having fun.’
Never outshine or upstage your boss—in look, manner, or talent. In keeping with that sentiment. Coco and Mondo exit the scene, or, in the parlance of the theatre, they entered stage right and exited stage left. First Coco dematerializes and then Mondo follows suit. Number One and Toy are left to stew in their own juices.
Mondo returns Summer 2018 in – “Injustice, is The God among us”