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Clara is strong-willed, stubborn, logical, and intelligent. She has been shown to be highly resourceful, frequently contributing to plans, and able to make use of whatever is at hand.
Clara initially comes off as rude, and while frequently teasing and jokingly mean with people she likes, she can become a genuine bully when frightened, lashing out with insults and a sharp temper. Despite her brave exterior, she becomes scared quite easily.
Clara also gets frustrated easily, often heard arguing with Lou over minor details and decisions, or put out by Dan's nosiness or lack of useful information, though she seems aware of this, often taking a short pause to calm herself. She struggles with emotional matters, actively avoiding talking about her own, and her attempts at comfort or support often fall short as she doesn't know what to say or do. Despite this, Clara cares deeply for the people who are close to her; LMG exploits this by her owing them for aiding her brother, and ensures her (and Lou's) cooperation by threatening her family. Her frustration with Lou stems in part from wanting to keep him out of danger, and after becoming friends with Dan, she often expresses concern for his mental and emotional well-being. In the rare instances she is given the space to, she can be quite gentle.
She's not above doing what she needs to to survive, and has very few issues with killing a man for the chance to go home. She is very wary of "weird stuff" and the people affected by it, but makes fewer snap judgements on it after befriending Dan.
Clara is athletic and strong, though runs faster than you might expect. She is likely in her mid 20s, and is implied to be shorter than Lou.
Cynthia calls her "Hermione", which could be a reference to curly hair or some visible intellect, though may also be as she's the "girl of the group".
Pre-Season 2 Edit
Clara moved around a lot as a child, though always in New York. It's unclear exactly where, though she's not familiar with the suburbs.
Clara is in debt to LMG, heavily implied that the company helped in some way with getting her brother back to "normal". Details for this can be found under Theories and Speculation, below.
Upon going to work for LMG, they give her the name "Clara", which, with Lou, is reminiscent of Lewis and Clark. She's known Lou since before The City, but it's unclear how long, and could be anywhere from weeks or years.
Sometime in late 2016 or early 2017, Clara and Lou find themselves in The City. They meet the strange occupants of the LMG outpost; Rat (then nameless), Suit, and later their "mapmaker", Dan. Unused to his new body, Dan moves strangely, and in introduction Clara declines to shake his hand. She has a hard time considering any of the three to still be actual people, and finds them quite disconcerting. Clara and Lou seem to spend most of their early time in The City preparing for their upcoming outings, and are often heard arguing about whether or not to bring guns (Lou for, Clara against).
Dan spends a few days after their first meeting resting from his surgery, and once recovered enough to function, the team meets to receive instructions from Mr. Brown. Clara and Lou set off to find The Radio Station, guided by Rat's "Radio Transistor", and Dan with a walkie talkie. They have an unfortunate encounter with the Screamers, losing contact with The Outpost after receiving a final instruction to "go left". The two escape the Screamers, and make it to the radio station. They meet and attempt to talk with the people around it, Lou takes a recording of the music, and they scout off in the distance with binoculars and spot what they believe to be an ocean. Lou eventually becomes so absorbed in the music that Clara has to stuff his ears with sealant in order to drag him away.
Much to Dan's relief, Clara and Lou make it back to the outpost safely, trading information. Clara heads to bed. The next day Clara finds Dan to bring him to a meeting, antagonising him on the way. At the meeting, Cynthia, then known only as "the asshole", blackmails her and Lou into obedience by threatening her family on Earth. Clara is quick to emphasise that if her family is hurt because of Lou's actions, she will not hesitate to retaliate. Cynthia explains the plan, and Rat gives them a portable radio they can use to call Dan at The Outpost. The two set off, making camp by the "ocean". Lou calls Dan, who informs them it is river, and instructs they should find The Boatwoman, in order to cross. They converse with her, Clara trading some memories in return for passage.
After the short journey, they scout ahead and set up on the other side of the river, Clara calling Dan to let him know what they found. Dan attempts to get more information from Clara, and offers emotional support, which she quickly shuts down. She and Lou wait another few hours, Lou growing progressively more restless, before Clara calls Dan again. Dan has no useful information, but does confront Clara about the way she's treated him, explaining his position and promising to get her home. She apologises, convinced he's a person, and after some casual conversation ends up befriending him. After waiting two more hours, she calls Dan a third time to discover just minutes have passed for him. Dan instructs them to find "The Gargoyle Building" and Clara and Lou set off again.
The Building turns out to be infested by aggressive vines, which trap them inside. Dan appears on their radio and helps them find a way out, Clara using their flare gun to clear enough vines to escape the building. Dan advises they go into the vines, and Clara and Lou find themselves running through a chained forest, and out into a strange market. They explore a bit, gathering information, and find an apartment to stay in. They call Dan to update him, before Lou decides to go out into the market again. Clara, not wanting to be separated, goes with him, and ends up having to trade the memory of her 10th birthday after he loses a game. They call Dan again, who tells them about The Contest, and how someone used it go get out of the city. She immediately decides to enter, Dan joining her to try and help. She wins, but The Representative, not considering it a valid win, traps them in the museum, blocking Dan from contacting them.
The two wonder around the shifting building, eventually managing to set up the radio long enough to contact Dan, who is unable to find anything to help them. Shortly after, they run into Dan, Rat, and Caroline in the museum, and are then confronted by The Representative of The Curator. During this debacle, Lou announces he'll work for The Curator and stay in The City to explore as an apology for their breaking the contest rules. Clara tries to dissuade him, to no success. Transported to the mouth of the river, Clara, Dan, Rat and Caroline decide to find Melody Pendras, in the hope she can get them home.
Caroline pays The Boatwoman to take them there, and Dan and Clara attempt to comfort each other, to little success. On the other side they run into Davenport, who Dan briefly confronts, learning LMG has started falling apart, and Clara's family are no longer at risk. Davenport is then murdered by Caroline. They keep moving, and find Melody's house, and Clara waits in the garden with Alexa and Rat, while Dan and Caroline talk to Melody. Melody agrees to send them all home. Clara gets back to New York, Dan appearing to her briefly. She thanks him, revealing her real name is Jennifer Martine, and asking to meet for coffee the next time he's in town.
Clara and Lou are work partners and friends, though it's difficult to judge exactly how long they've known each other, as they don't talk personal matters (around Dan, anyway), and are in The City for completely different reasons. While they're comfortable with each other, they bicker a lot, though Clara is usually correct.
While Clara genuinely seems to care about Lou, they frequently have different opinions, and argue near constantly. His impulsive nature is exhausting and she is often having to baby-sit him. Though he puts on a tough act around Cynthia, asking why he should care about Clara's family, he does seem to genuinely care about her, offering to compete in The Contest on her behalf with barely a second thought. He seems to be slightly scared of her, and believes she will follow through on her awfully vague threats.
When Lou decides to leave to explore the city, Clara is frustrated with him, and anxious for his safety. Years later, when Chris describes Nicholas as "obsessive, a bit persnickety" but "a good sort", Lou fondly notes he knows the sort.
Of everyone in the outpost, Clara's situation is most similar to Dan, both forced into the expedition unwillingly, while assuming everyone around them is there by choice. Clara is wary of and rude to Dan from their first meeting, refusing to shake his hand and asking others about him when he's still in the room. On the rare occasion she'd ask Dan a question, always tape-related, she wouldn't use his name, either using none at all or impersonally calling him "Mapmaker".
Clara initially has trouble conceptualising Dan as a real person, viewing him as "nothing but helpful", "also mostly a radio", remarking "weird shit is dangerous, and [he's] weird!". He initially freaks her out, both physically and seeing him as obsessive and another part of the weirdness, apparently assuming he's a willing participant in both his own modification and LMG's expedition. His attempts to get useful information and offers to let her vent are misread as intrusive nosiness, with Clara assuming he covets secrets and is there with the promise of more, she has trouble putting any trust in him.
Eventually Dan confronts her about the way she's treated him, explaining his position, convincing her he's still a person, and promising to get her home, and she becomes notably more relaxed with him. The two bond over music and learn more about each other, becoming fast friends. Her attitude to him changes quite dramatically, moving from seeing him as part of the weirdness, like Suit and Rat, to another person affected by it. She becomes frustrated that Dan is so calm with his situation, which is so much like her own, worried for his mental state, and that he could become another part of the weirdness, forgetting himself as Suit and Rat have.
Although she warmly admits Dan still weirds her out, and lashes out in The Contest, calling him a monster, she grows increasingly comfortable with his strangeness. Knowing his information-seeking is more for her benefit than his, she opens up more easily, seeming to collect and share more, including details she thinks are not only useful but also interesting. She develops genuine concern for his emotional well-being and boundaries, checking in on him and dropping topics that make him uncomfortable. When The Boatwoman declines Dan's memories for being too weak, revealing some internal change after all, Clara's favourable opinion of him remains unchanged, and she simply reassures him, saying "she didn't want my memories, either".
In many ways Clara connects with Dan more easily than Lou, defaulting to asking him questions and taking his advice with just as much, if not more, consideration. The two work well together, and make casual conversation easily, consulting and comfortably conversing while Lou struggles to get a word in in the background.
The last big change in their relation is trust. When Dan confronts her she initially admits "I'm not sure I can trust you". He then messes up immediately after, sending them to Vining Towers, and while Lou is sceptical, Clara trusts him to get them out. From then, no matter how frustrated or mean she gets with him, she never doubts he's trying to help. After winning The Contest and being taken by The Curator, Dan (correctly) assumes she and Lou are in danger, and trusts they have not just left the city without telling them; likewise Clara (correctly) assumes Dan is trying to contact them but is being blocked somehow, and has not just left them to die.
The two part on good terms, Clara thanking Dan with a hug and giving him her real name, so he can get in contact after he gets back.
Clara has virtually no interactions with Suit, and her few with Caroline seem to have been shaped by her friendship with Dan, automatically assuming Caroline is a person, and acting to support her. They do not interact much, but Clara is always willing to help, giving some of her clothes for Caroline's bleeding hand, taking directions from her without question approaching the Pendras House, and affixing the knife at her request. Clara and Caroline both detest the city for it's weirdness. Caroline seems to have identified Clara as the most willing to assist in murder.
As with Dan and Suit initially, Clara seems to avoid interacting with Rat where possible, though unlike with the others, this does not change. Neither of them are particularly interested in getting to know the other; as an unchanged human, Rat sees her as different, not able to understand him, and so is uninteresting. He is surprised Dan cares whether she survives. Clara identifies Rat as part of the weirdness, lacking his personal memory, and has no desire to get to know him, only ever asking if a bullet would kill him.
Clara is not a big fan of Mr. Brown, seeming to find him tedious and unhelpful. She is glad not to have to deal with him after returning to the outpost.
Cynthia is cruel to the outpost team in general, but threatens Clara's family right off the bat. As with Dan and Lou, Clara calls her "The Asshole". It is a safe assumption that Clara despises her.
Clara appears in every episode of season 2, but exclusively in season 2.
Season 2 Edit
- 11 - Body, Recorder
- 12 - Fly, Honeypot
- 13 - Song, Doorway
- 14 - Water, Leviathans
- 15 - Aurora, Cello
- 16 - Vines, Contest
- 17 - Reflection, Retaliation
- 18 - Collection, Composition
- 19 - Escape, Birth
- 20 - Portal, Ending
- Clara has a hard time apologising, and won't if she doesn't mean it. She's good at saying "thanks", and, interestingly, uses the full "thank you" for greater gratitude.
- Clara does not consider her first kiss to be anything more then a milestone.
- Clara appears disinterested in the "pleasurable" effect of the radio station, and while rendered unable to speak by it's story, does not become enraptured by it in the same way as Lou.
- Clara likes mostly instrumental music, but also a Magnetic Fields fan. Her favourite album is The Charm of the Highway Strip, and her favourite song on it is When the Open Road is Closing In.
- In episode 2, Clara and Lou can be heard arguing in the background about whether they should bring food with them (Clara for it, Lou against). In episode 3 when they get back Clara heads right to bed, and Lou goes to get something to eat.
Theories and Speculation Edit
- Not New to Weirdness: Clara is in debt to LMG, heavily implied due to the company helping in some way to get her brother back to "normal". While this could be medical or injury related, the odd choice of wording, and LMG's history and involvement may indicate something Weird. At one stage she remarks "I get that weird stuff can just destroy your life, I get that, but, weird shit is dangerous", a possible indicator of a prior bad experience. Unlike Lou, Clara seems already acquainted with the concept of Weird People, and that as a general rule they are different internally to regular humans. She groups The Boatwoman, Dan, Rat and Suit, all Weird Humans, before Dan properly figures out Rat is human.
- Interestingly, she seems already aware that past a point, Weird People lose their personal memory, testing Dan's by asking for Tanya's name to confirm he's not too 'far gone'; it is unclear how she'd know this otherwise.