If you weren’t already hooked on this marvelous show, I’m willing to bet you are now. This was an outstanding episode.
Beginning with Alison’s almost murder of Felix and the revelation that Sarah and her doppelgängers are clones, this episode doesn’t let up on its frenzied pace. Katja’s mangled remains are found in a quarry. “Beth” is reinstated. “Beth” is benched. Sarah learns to shoot. Katja’s killer calls the police station. Plot heavy, but not short on character development, “Variation Under Nature” is a fabulously written episode.
We get to spend a little time with Cosima this week. She is cute, sweet, and curious. There’s really nothing to dislike about Cosima (at this point, at least). Cosima’s a PhD student at the University of Minnesota studying evolutionary developmental biology. Thank God one of the clones had some scientific expertise. Otherwise, everyone would just be in the dark.
Paul is still a relatively unknown quantity. Not much time is spent on him and he just seems to be Beth’s bland boyfriend. He shows up this week for some clean clothes and ends working Sarah up for revenge’s sake. Thankfully, he knows something is different with Beth. He just doesn’t know what that is. (Psst, Paul! She’s a different person!)
Sarah finally has everything she wants. She has the $75,000 and a perfect opportunity to abscond into the night with her daughter, but something stops her. What is it? Mrs. S’s words of wisdom? The knowledge that the money she so gleefully stole belongs to another living person? Sarah isn’t bad. She’s made some highly questionable choices in the past, but something in her has changed. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that she comes from somewhere, even if that place looks to be some crazy scientist’s lab. She’s always had Mrs. S and Felix, but now she’s a part of something bigger. She has sort of sisters who need her. One of whom is on the loose and clearly off her meds.
So it looks like Katja’s killer is another clone. This one is blonde, has scars that form wings on her back (shudder), and is currently impaled by a piece of rebar. She’s also, apparently, a religious freak. The Bible verse she had scrawled on her wall (“You formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”) is from Psalms 139:13-14. Interestingly, she does not kill Sarah after she finds out that she is not Beth. Why did she stop? It’s clear from Katja’s death and the attack on the woman she thought was Beth that crazy clone is killing the other clones. Why not kill Sarah?
Bits and Pieces:
The title of this episode, “Variation Under Nature,” is a chapter heading from Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species. Variation under nature is divided from variation under domestication. The former refers to changes species undergo naturally, while the latter refers to changes in species that are cultivated.
Sarah’s Beth accent is getting better, but still isn’t perfect.
Mrs. S birdwatches. A nod to Charles Darwin and his finches?
The University of Minnesota is one of the US’s best research universities.
I wish we’d seen more of Felix’s adventures in babysitting.
The screeching music that plays when the crazy clone appears is very creepy, but they overuse it.
Alison: “We’re clones. We’re someone’s experiment and they’re killing us off.”
Cosima: “Sorry. I wanted to float that whole clone thing a lot softer.”
Cosima: “You just broke the first rule of clone club.”
Sarah: “What? Never tell anyone about clone club?”
Felix: “Clones? Clones!?”
Felix: “Dreadlock science geek Sarah? Arguably more attractive than your evil Sarah.”
Sarah: “Yeah, I was there, thank you.”
Sarah: “Just answer me one thing.”
Cosima: “Anything, yes.”
Sarah: “If we’re genetically identical, do you get that little patch of dry skin between your eyebrows?”
Crazy Clone: “She was just one of a few, unfit for family. Horse glue.”
Compare this to “I’m a few, no family too. Who am I?”
Gemma: “Look Mom! We’re cross dressers!”
Felix: “You cannot hide in minimalist furniture!”
four out of four lady-grip Walthers
sunbunny, who is probably not played by Tatiana Maslany