I’d be hard pressed to pick a ‘best’ episode of Orphan Black, but this episode is by far the funniest.
Worlds collide at Alison’s potluck. Paul and Vic both show up, Alison passes out, Donnie is tied up and tortured in the basement, the neighbors are nosing around and who is left to cope with it all? Sarah and Felix, of course. Lest anyone think Sarah is the screw up of the clones, Alison shows her real colors this week. All the clones seem to have their own favorite substances. Sarah prefers whiskey, Cosima pot, Beth pills, and Alison the heady combination of tranquilizers and wine. Is ‘addictive personality’ written into their DNA?
Alison’s paranoia has reached critical level. Her husband getting up in the middle of the night is enough to send her into a tailspin that leads to the craziness described above. Alison is freakishly tightly wound. Compare the clones’ reactions to finding out their monitors identities: Cosima calmly reports her suspicions to Sarah, Sarah enters avoid mode with Paul, Beth killed herself, and Alison whacked her husband in the head with a golf club. Cosima’s scientific training has informed her calm, wait and see reaction. Sarah’s experience with the criminal element has taught her the value of avoiding less than savory characters (i.e. Vic). Alison is clearly violently protective of both herself and her children. As for Beth, we still don’t know everything that was going on with her, do we?
At least Alison’s breakdown gives us what might be the funniest torture scene of all time. I lose it when she picks up the scalloped scissors. It makes such sense she would use what she had on hand, although if you’ve ever used those, you know they are very far from sharp. I’m also not sure a hot glue gun could burn that badly. Still, it was a hilarious visual.
Less than hilarious was Vic getting shot with a nail gun. I’ve mentioned in other reviews my queasiness about violence that involves construction equipment. This episode definitely didn’t change that.
Although Paul is still largely a man of mystery, we do learn more about him. Olivier has something on him from his days as a private contractor and is forcing him to watch Beth. I always thought this seemed like a bit of an intrusive addition. He has a very nice apartment, a good amount of money, and a stunningly beautiful girlfriend, but he does what he does only because he is being blackmailed. It seems a little manipulative of the writers. Like they were afraid we’d hate Paul if he didn’t have a reasonable excuse (we probably would). Still, the move feels oddly cowardly on the writers part. They didn’t want to take the risk of Paul being seen as an out and out villain.
Balancing out the zaniness of what’s going on in Scarborough, we get some major mythology development with the introduction of Dr. Leekie and Neolution. The heavy implication is that Dr. Leekie or a like minded person created our little Clone Club. I was honestly surprised that the show gave us this much information this early. ‘Where did we come from’ seemed more likely to be answered in season two. Then again, Orphan Black is not a show to take things slowly.
Bits and Pieces:
Donnie got up in the middle of the night to watch cricket. Do Canadians watch cricket?
Neolution is defined as “self-directed evolution.” Correct me if I’m wrong, geek monkeys, but in order to be considered any form of evolution, the body modifications the freaky Leekies seem to be so fond of would have to be inheritable, yes? I can get Lasik, but that doesn’t mean my eventual children won’t inherit my terrible eyesight.
Speaking of terrible eyesight, why does Cosima wear glasses when the other clones seem to have 20/20 vision? Are environmental factors that determinative?
Cosima says she’s from “San Fran.” If she really were from San Francisco, she never would have called it that.
Cosima: “Stick to the science? What am I, the geek monkey now?”
Donnie: “Or what? You’ll stick sequins on me?”
Alison: “Am I sick like the German?”
Donnie: “What German? Who’s German?”
Alison: “I have no gift bags, no ice, and no bartender because my husband is tied to a chair.”
Sarah: “Alison, you need to take a deep breath.”
Alison: “I hate yoga.”
Sarah as Alison: “Hey! You watch your tone! Your wife is the rock of this family. You will no longer speak down to her. Am I clear?”
Charity: “Do you have any crackers?”
Alison: “How should I know, Charity? Why don’t you go check the cracker cupboard?”
Ainsley: “Where is Donnie? Why isn’t he helping you with this?”
Alison: “He’s tied up.”
Chad: “It’s a gay bartender. That’s awesome.”
Alison: “I whacked him and it felt so good.”
Alison: “You’re the only person I can talk to and you’re just another version of me.”
Felix: “I don’t do plazas.”
Delphine: “After a jogging like this, we like to smoke a nice little cigarette.”
Cosima: “Did you say ‘a jogging?’”
Cosima: “You did. Okay, just checking.”
four out of four cracker cupboards
sunbunny, who is probably not played by Tatiana Maslany