Orphan Black: Mingling Its Own Nature With It

“I’m gonna die here.”

Considering we left last season wondering if Cosima would live or die, we’ve seen remarkably little of her so far this season. Orphan Black has encountered the same problem Game of Thrones faces on a weekly basis: too many characters, not enough time. Thus far, OB seems to be handling it rather well. Despite each character getting minimal screen time in each episode, everyone always has something to do.

It seems like the division of our three leading ladies is going to be a big theme this season. While there was more actual contact between them this week (a phone call between Cosima and Alison), they are all so wrapped up in their own very real problems they can’t be there for each other. It’s expressly no one’s fault. Cosima may be dying of a lung disease she hasn’t told her sisters about, Alison is going through a full on breakdown and is convinced she has a new monitor, and Sarah is desperately trying to keep Kira safe. Each of their dramas is equally important.

This week, Cosima learns about an eleventh (!) clone named Jennifer Fitzsimmons who died of whatever Cosima has just a few days ago. A few days? So while the rest of clone club was bonding over Alison whacking Donnie on the head with a golf club, Jennifer was slowly dying with only her fake boyfriend/actual monitor at her side. Cheery, isn’t it?

And yet, Alison is the one my heart truly broke for this week. The pills, the booze, the “new monitor.” She was headed for a crash from her first appearance this episode. Hopefully her very literal crash off the stage will be enough to jolt her back to normalcy. Or at least what qualifies as normalcy when you’re the product of an illegal human cloning experiment. I did tear up when Felix left Sarah to be there for Alison. Thank God she has someone who truly cares about her and is able to be there for her.

Which leads me neatly to Felix. Oh, Felix. He is quite literally the only non-Tatiana Maslany character I truly trust on this show, even if he is bafflingly well adjusted. I loved his confrontation with Sarah. It was so mature. He was basically saying, look, I love you, but I can’t do this anymore. Besides, someone else needs me more. Felix is the one who has always been there for everyone. He is absolutely within his rights to tell Sarah kindly but firmly ‘no more.’ And it’s not as if he’s leaving her and Kira totally alone. Sarah is capable of taking care of herself and now she has Cal. I felt for Felix when he told Sarah how betrayed he felt about her not telling him Kira’s father’s identity. That’s a big piece of information to keep from the person closest to you. Still, Felix didn’t turn it into a big melodramatic fight. He expressed himself calmly and rationally and did what he thought would be best for himself and Alison and, arguably, Sarah.

Is Cal Kira’s father? I want to believe it, but I do wonder if our little con artist extraordinaire is manipulating Cal just so he’ll help her. I hope not. He seems like the kind of guy who would help her even if Kira wasn’t his. And I don’t see Sarah lying to Kira like this. She stretches the truth to make her feel safer sometimes but out and out lying about something this important is entirely different. I am surprised they introduced Kira’s father so early and I’m surprised at how normal he seems to be. There’s no proof he’s not affiliated with Dyad (although one would think they’d buy him a nicer place) but somehow I trust him. Not entirely; but he’s somewhere between Delphine and Mrs. S on the scale.

The physical clash between Sarah and Daniel might be the most tension packed scene in the series to date. Once again Sarah’s Mama Bear instincts came out to play. No one is getting Kira if she has anything to do with it. I do wonder why the hell Sarah thought it would be okay for her daughter to walk out of sight even for a moment when she knows they’re being hunted. It’s one of those necessary concessions to plot, but it still irks me. And then Kira starts screaming and Sarah’s like oh what now? A normal way for a parent to react, maybe. Not a normal way for a parent to react when she is up against this sort of thing.

It honestly hurts me to think about Helena right now. I’m assuming the handfasting was the Proleathean equivalent of a wedding. And, can I just say, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The episode ended with a truly chilling shot of Henrik carrying an almost unconscious Helena off in an old fashioned white dress. They must’ve put drugs in her food, right? There’s no way she would be that out of it from her wounds alone. This is the woman who pulled a piece of rebar out of gut last season. I want her to fight back, to kill Henrik and escape the creepy farm and meet up with her sisters. And what’s up with Grace? I don’t know quite what to make of her but I think she’s going to be important.

Orphan Black is running at breakneck pace towards an unknown but somehow definite ending. For the first time in maybe years I have complete faith in a show’s writers. I believe they know where they want to go and how they want to get there. Orphan Black has yet to make a serious misstep and, if the first three episodes have been an indication of the rest of the season, it doesn’t seem likely to falter soon.

Neolutionist Bits and Proleathean Pieces

Absent this week: Rachel, Paul, and Mrs. S.

Cal is played by Michiel Huisman, who was recently replaced Ed Skrein as Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones.

Speaking of Cal, did he seem way too okay with suddenly finding out he had a school aged daughter?

Sarah teaching Kira how to shoplift was adorable and heartbreaking at the same time.

Raise your hand if a loved one has ever pulled the passive aggressive noise making “Oh were you asleep?” routine.

Is that all we’re going to get of suburban Angie? I was hoping for more. I barely recognized her all perky and without the aviator sunglasses.

Alison’s almost hysterical rehearsal made me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

RIP Cal’s nice cop friend. :(

Clone Quotes

Cosima imitating Leekie: “Great Scott, I’ve created life itself.”

Henrik: “Man schemed for years to build her, but only God could make her fertile.”
I shuddered.

Helena: “I’ve already got a family.”
And I cried.

Kira: “Are you my dad?”
What is wrong with this child? How does she know so much?

Felix: “Alison’s musical opens tomorrow. She needs me.”

four out of four new clones

sunbunny, who has yet to come up with something witty to put here

10 comments:

Morgan India said...

Daddy!Daario (you can't stop me calling all of MH's roles Daario) is really cute and he seems like a really good fit for Sarah. I still love and adore Paul, but Paul represents Sarah's clone-life, rather than her previous grifter-life and as the father of her child.

And honestly, who would say no to Cal?

I do like seeing Felix going to look after Allison, who honestly needs someone on her side more than Sarah right now. Sarah has Mrs S, Cal, Paul and Art all looking out for her now. Allison doesn't.

Also I want that ginger girl's curls.

Panda said...

Another great episode.

Totally agree with the point you closed with. There hasn't been a major misstep yet. It's reassuring that there's still shows out there that you don't have to worry about in terms of quality.

And also equally grossed out by what happened to Helena. She was definitely drugged. She was a lot more lucid when Grace delivered the tray at the start of the episode.

I'm not sure about Cal yet, but I do want to trust him. He'll have a secret or two I assume, but I hope its nothing that will harm Sarah and Kira.

Another brilliant review, sunbunny.

Sooze said...

As soon as Cal came on the screen I kept thinking "Where have I seen this guy before?" ... duh...
Between this show, Continuum and GoT, this spring is just excellent TV viewing!!
Great review Sunbunny, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hoping Cal is what he seems to be, too. Could use a stable character for awhile. Things happen so fast on this show, I worry that I miss key elements. Thanks to Sunbunny, I can confirm or clarify the episode. Nice job!

morticiachair said...

Love to see your review posted so soon sunbunny!

Another excellent episode! I am very scared for all the clones, it seems like they are all in trouble. My heart brakes for Helena, her life has always been tough and I have a bad feeling it will get even worse.

Kira is surprising me more and more, I really think she's a very special child and will be very important to the story.

I think I trust Cal for now, he did everything in his power to help Kira and he seems like a nice guy. Extra bonus points: he is a very handsome man and a better actor than Dylan Bruce.

I definitely trust the writers; as sunbunny pointed they know where their story is going. What I love the most about OB is that everything is resolved fairly quickly. Other shows would wait until the season finale to introduce us to Kira's father or for Allison to confirm that Donny is her monitor.

milostanfield said...

sunbunny & morticiachair:

Yes, all four of our clones are in deep DNA right now. With this new separate clones structure we get four cliffhangers every episode. What a deal!

We're seeing what Sarah's life was like before she was tooling around in Beth's shiny Jag, and with the addition of a child it is not an easy way to live. Not to mention being chased by two insane organizations. I see Sarah becoming more limited by her "think on her feet and live one more day" M.O. Something has to change for her or she will just get in deeper. Who T-boned Sarah and "Mr. Smith" will determine Sarah's next dilemma. My money's on the Proletheans but I can't figure out plotwise how they would get to that point.

I loved the opening scene with them waking up in the truck, and Sarah taking a wiz. The ambience, the sounds of nature (and pee hitting the ground), and the nonchalance of it all was spot on. And quite a change from when she went up to Beth's flat to rob the rest of her shit. Also loved seeing Sarah and Kira tickling and pillow fighting. Kira's a special kid but she's still a kid.

Meanwhile Cosima got to do an autopsy on her future self. Her professional skills will help her cope and hopefully find answers, but that must have devastated her.

With Alison the play's the thing that caught the conscience of the lead. So glad Fee's back in her orbit. She's got cops and Dyad after her. At least she hasn't had the Proletheans after her too.

With Helena we are obviously being set up for Reverend Black Hat to find out that his new Bride Of Frankenstein really IS Frankenstein. So obvious that I'm wondering if the writers are leading us to a surprise here. I don't care if they do go for the obvious cause Christian Rape-ture dude's got it coming, but I don't see him getting wasted this early on.

So far, of all of Clone Club, only Cosima is in any position to begin to fight back against Dyad from the belly of the beast. The arc of Season 2 seems to be everyone bottoming out separately and then at least realizing that they will have to help each other. Only Fee and Alison seem to know this for now.

I trust Cal. I think he's a good guy. We desperately need one.

milostanfield said...

I think that Cal IS Kira's dad (or at least Sarah really thinks so) if only because Sarah talked to Kira about it in that very emotional scene. I could see her conning Cal, and she did con Fee, but I don't see her conning Kira too. So that's why I am trusting Cal.

Who else do I trust?:
Art - maybe. I think he's working undercover for the Federales. He definitely has an agenda, although his soft spot for Beth seems to have carried over to Sarah.

Paul - Yes - he's Dyad's prisoner too.

Delphine - Nope. She dislikes Leekie but she's trying too hard to bring Cos into the fold.

Jess Lynde said...

Felix was the MVP for me this week. That scene where he told Sarah that he had to go, because Allison needed him and she didn't, was quite emotionally raw. Loved it.

I also rather liked MH as Cal. I don't care for him as Daario on GoT (even with multiple actors they haven't quite got that character right for me yet), but I really liked him here. I am leaning towards him really being Kira's father. Something about him being her dad and also being into restoring pollinating bees in areas where the bees have died off has kind of a weird symmetry to it. I liked it.

I find myself endlessly amused by Daniel being played by Matthew Bennett, who previously played multiple clone copies on Battlestar Galactica. I weirdly keep expecting him to be revealed as a clone here. :)

milostanfield said...

@ Jess Lynde Wow! Totally forgot he was a cylon. Thanks for giving me a reason to rewatch some BSG. I keep seeing him as Mr. Smith from Matrix because of the dark shades and his ability to mysteriously pop up everywhere. Still trying to figure out how he found the Birdwatcher place and Cal's farm.

topher darling said...

Every week is a treat with this show. It moves sooooo quick and never fails to disappoint.

My favorite part was Cosima imitating Leeke. His speech pattern isn't that distinct and she nailed it perfectly. It really makes me appreciate Tatiana Maslany. She's amazing. Just think of the range that she had to play just in this episode alone (a disturbed Cosima, a paranoid Alison, an ass-kicking and also emotional Sarah, a dying Jennifer and Helena eating (the Helena eating scenes are always so awesomely fascinating). I mean, wow! With the Entertainment Weekly cover and Orphan Black being a little more established now, I really hope that Tatiana gets at least an Emmy nod.