Welcome to Noomi Rapace Online, your premiere web resource on the Swedish actress. Best known for her performances as Lisbeth Salander in the original "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" film trilogy, "Prometheus" and the recent Indie hit "Lamb", Noomi Rapace has emerged as one of the most exciting European actresses of this decade. This unofficial fansite provides you with all latest news, photos, editorials and video clips on her past and present work.  Enjoy your stay and check back soon.
Episode 08: These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruin
AppleTV+  ·  50 minutes  ·  Original Broadcast: March 27, 2024

Directed by: Joseph Cedar  |  Written by: Peter Harness

Official Synopsis: Jo is taken to a facility, run by Irena, that treats so-called “astronaut burnout”: the madness experienced by astronauts that they have chosen to hide from public knowledge. Illya visits Jo and gives her keys to escape, but she chooses to stay after seeing another patient, whom Irena refers to as the first man in space. Both Alices attempt to explain the situation to their fathers, who do not believe them; but both Alices accept the fates of their respective mothers. Irena advises Jo to let her old life go, and tells her that she is pregnant. Jo tells Magnus that she wants to take the lithium medication and move on, but taking the medication would affect her pregnancy. Bud destroys the CAL, takes over Henry’s life, and meets Irena to tell her about the switch. Henry is arrested for Bud’s murder of Ian Rogers, and Bud’s attempted murder of Paul. Paul wakes up in the hospital. In the ISS, the Jo who smashed her face against the cupola, and was left behind as a corpse, wakes up.

Episode Recap
Please note that recaps feature spoilers on the individual episode.
This recap was written by Erin Qualey for Vulture, March 27, 2024

Constellation ends its first season with an episode that kind of feels like it was lifted from a different series. We spend most of our time here with Jo at Irena’s sadistic “rehabilitation” facility, St. Sergius, as we follow Jo’s recuperation after the incident at the cabin. Bud and Henry have flip-flopped universes, causing some serious chaos, and Magnus is just as confused as ever. We also find out that Alice — both Alices, actually — are okay after their respective ordeals, and they try to make sense of living in a world without their respective mothers. Speaking of mothers, though, while this episode somewhat drags with all the exposition and repetition, it has one mother of an ending. Let’s throw caution to the wind and dive right into that absolutely bonkers final scene. We float back into the abandoned body of the ISS. The message that alive-Jo left for Alice before she departed in the Soyuz 1 plays via the iPad. The shot tracks, following the iPad, and we see Jo’s lifeless body rotating in zero gravity. We’re treated to an eerie vision of her mangled face when, out of nowhere, her eye flicks to the left and she snatches the iPad out of the air. Gasp! What in the liminal space universe is going on here?! I have twisted my brain into knots trying to figure it out, and the only thing I know for sure is that I absolutely need Apple to renew this show for a second season so I can learn more about what the what is happening here.

What I can gather is that Jo appears to be in some sort of dual liminal space here. Like when she was in the liminal cabin with both the alive cat and the dead cat, the dead Jo has stumbled into a place where she can interact with the alive Jo’s message to her daughter. Last week, I surmised that the show might be setting up some sort of body swap for Jo in a potential season two, and while I still have no clue how that might work — Space Jo is missing half her face! — I’m very curious to see how all of that might play out. This reveal also raises so many questions about Irena. Can the living version of Irena communicate with the dead Valya like Bud and Henry can communicate? The living version of Jo is getting headaches on the side of her face that the dead Jo smashed, and her pupil literally doesn’t dilate in that eye, so there’s certainly a connection for her. And, if the Valya and dead Jo are, indeed, sentient, it certainly doesn’t feel like they are human anymore. One of my wildest theories involves aliens, but it also seems quite possible that space itself is doing all of this just to mess with the humans who keep coming to disturb the peace. Back to Irena. We see quite a lot of her in this episode as she tortures, er, treats Jo in the aftermath of what everyone is calling a psychotic break. As a mental-health professional, I absolutely abhor watching any situation in which an individual is involuntarily committed to treatment, especially if that treatment includes electroconvulsive therapy. (ECT can work. It’s still used today. But when conducted on a non-consenting participant in 2024, it seems barbaric. My notes from watching this scene for the first time just read: “Thanks, I hate it.”)

While Jo undergoes ECT, she sees flashes of the ISS, leading me to believe that there’s definitely a conduit of consciousness between Space Jo and Earth Jo. Earth Jo knows in her heart of hearts that what she saw was real. She begs Irena to listen to her, and then she begs her friend and crewmate Ilya to listen to her, and then, when she sees that she can’t change the situation she’s in, she starts to crumble. The scene in which Irena comes to visit Jo for a second time, attempting to appeal to her sense of reason, is thrilling. Initially, Irena goes to leave, and Jo grabs her arm. In that moment of physical connection, the veil between the universes lifts and Jo is able to see that Irena is also the Valya. Instead of being horrified, a look of understanding flickers in Jo’s eyes. Then, she has so many questions. She asks, “Can I get back? Are there two of you? One dead, one alive? Are there two of me?” From what we know so far of the Constellation universe, the answers here are: Maybe, yes, yes, and yes. But even though Irena just had lunch with a man claiming to not be Henry, she tells Jo that the universe swap “cannot be undone” and that she needs to accept this new life and move on. (Cue me screaming at my TV like the witch from The Princess Bride.) Noomi Rapace’s performance in this scene is heartbreaking. Her face slowly falls, her lower lip pouting in a last act of depressed defiance, as she realizes that she doesn’t even get to choose whether or not to go back; her choices in this new world are madness or acceptance. And Jo chooses acceptance, especially because there’s a new baby on the way.

Yep, folks, Jo is in the wrong universe and she’s preggers. But let’s press pause on that mind-boggling story line for a second to check in with Bud and Henry. Bud continues to be the absolute worst. After smashing the CAL to bits and blaming Jo, he pulls a Pretty Woman shopping spree, visits Irena to laugh in her face, and then visits the dude that he killed in his own universe for kicks … I guess? Bud is just living his best horrible life. Henry, on the other hand, is not so lucky. The cops questioning him let him have a polygraph test and acquiesce to his demand for DNA testing, but apparently they won’t uncuff him for long enough to wash the rivers of dried blood off of his arms? This universe is gross. The polygraph shows that he doesn’t think he’s lying, and the DNA matches perfectly. Henry thought that Bud’s DNA would twist in the opposite direction, and his theory reminds me of the principles of chirality and handedness in chemistry, but I didn’t fully pay attention in high-school science class, so that’s as far as I got with that train of thought. However, Henry is in the same universe as his protégé, Paul, and Paul is not dead after all. He’s just waking up. And I’m sure he’ll be delighted to find that his mentor is in his orbit. It feels like these two dudes might just be able to figure out how to get back to the other universe. It’s also interesting to note that literally no one wants to be in this universe but Jo. Even Jo has given up on returning to her home planet. And the two Alices have both seemingly made peace with their new situations. Alice A has accepted that her mama is gone and that Alice B gets to have her. She tells her father that she has decided to move on because her mother is “somewhere else.” As she finishes sharing her thoughts, she asks, “Am I brave?” It’s a bittersweet beat because she is so very brave, but an 11-year-old really shouldn’t have to shoulder the burdens of her mother’s choice to go up into space, resulting in interdimensional body swapping.

Alice B also has made peace with her situation, asking Jo if she’ll be her mummy. Their exchange is also incredibly bittersweet, but with an emphasis on the sweet. Alice says, “I need a mummy,” to which Jo replies, “I need an Alice.” For what it’s worth, Alice B seems to be getting the best of both worlds, as her father seemed to be the more doting and caring parent in this universe, whereas this Jo seemed to be the more doting and caring parent in her universe. Now, Alice B gets both, while Alice A gets none. Maybe the two of them will find a way to switch in the future? It’s not for lack of trying on Alice A’s part. She does try to communicate via the Fisher Price recorder that somehow magically appears back in both girls’ houses even though Alice B’s version totally melted in the fire. Alice B isn’t having it, though, and Alice A eventually gives up as the moving trucks finish packing up her house. Alice B has a potential half-universe sibling on the way, too. Jo is pregnant, and when Irena studies the sonogram, she sees that swirly pattern that Henry was trying to re-create in the CAL. This development rattles her enough to where she types out an email asking all the astronauts if they’ve experienced anything odd in space. Sure, tell the lady with the electroshock machine that you’ve been seeing things! What could happen! Irena is everywhere in this episode, but her creepiest moment comes during her interaction with Alice B as she and Magnus arrive to bring Jo home. She gives Alice a tray of dried fruit (throw it away, Alice) and then leans over to share that she’s the Valya. The meaning behind this interaction is inscrutable. Why would this woman share this information with a child she may never see again? Does she somehow know she’s been haunting this girl’s dreams?! I don’t like it one bit. Protect all the Alices at all costs.

Watching this series is to go on a journey that doesn’t always behave logically but never fails gets me in the feels, so I do hope we see each other in another universe if Apple deems it so. Until then, down the rabbit hole with you.

Guest Cast: William Catlett (Paul Lancaster), Tommi Korpela (Björn Hallgren)