Orphan Black: To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings

“The question is, who do you trust?”

This was literally the most packed episode to date. Lots of action, lots of character beats, and the most exposition we’ve ever gotten at once from this show.

There was so much exposition given this week and I find myself not wanting to talk about it at all. I will say the scene with Duncan was a relatively weak one for the simple reason that there was so much happening. We established his character as someone with good intentions who loved his little girl. He also clearly has some form of dementia. But then came this flood of information I’m still trying to work out. In any case, Sarah’s scenes were definitely the weak link of the episode.

The Helena/Jesse stuff was very well done. Helena has been abused in every way and a scene where she gets sexual in any capacity might’ve been a disaster in less capable hands. The sequence started with a creepy guy hitting on Helena and her breaking spraining his finger. Established: when not heavily sedated, Helena is perfectly capable of physically protecting herself from unwanted contact. This was furthered with the arm wrestling scene. She could easily subdue Jesse if he tried to force her to do anything she didn’t want to.

Helena is the one who initiates the kiss. It’s what she wants. She lacks experience out and about in society, however, and as such, doesn’t have a firm grasp on limits. I mean the pool table scene was intense. For a second, I really thought that was going to evolve into a full blown sex scene. But no. Instead it evolves into a full blown bar brawl that ends with Helena in handcuffs. Whoops. Although, honestly, what did Sarah expect? She left Helena alone for several hours. That could’ve gone much, much worse.

Sarah leaving Helena to the cops is upsetting, if understandable. Sarah’s always been less that pleased to have police around and the fact that she is under suspicion for murder hasn’t gone away yet. Plus the whole “yeah, we’re twins but I’m English and she’s crazy and Ukrainian” thing might have raised a few flags.

Grace used Helena’s desire for children to bait her into coming back to the Proleatheans. The scene with Helena and Grace was interesting. They bonded...sort of...over both having had their mouths sewn shut. I’ve been thinking of Grace and Helena as adversaries, but in truth, they’re extremely similar. It’s almost like Helena is the older version of Grace. Perhaps when Grace tried to kill Helena, she was doing so because Helena was a physical reminder of her eventual fate: driven crazy after years of being raised by abusive religious fundamentalists.

Helena’s desire for children is interesting. In my mind, it comes less from a desire to actually procreate than a desire to be loved. She didn’t agree to leave with Grace until Grace told her Sarah wasn’t coming back. Family is the one thing Helena has always wanted and never had. I mean she doesn’t even have a last name. She is desperate for a family to love her and if she has to physically make that family herself...she’s fine with that.

After a week’s absence, we check in with Alison in rehab just in time to see her make a new friend. Yes, Vic the dick is back and arguably as dickish as ever. It was obvious he had an ulterior motive for being nice to Alison and I was honestly expecting it to be worse. The ‘Vic was Sarah’s monitor’ theory has been bouncing around since season one. Worst case scenario had him in league with the Proleatheans. Being an informant for the cops is definitely the best of several evils. Angie is still on the case and is still focused on Alison (the only living clone she can find). I can’t blame her for her curiosity, but (broken record alert) something about her still doesn’t sit right with me.

Scott the researcher has now joined Team Science Mega Force. Presumably his family managed to survive his career shift. He brings the very important information that the stem cells being used to treat Cosima do not come from a clone but from a blood relative of a clone. Two possibilities here. Either the stem cells come from Kira or the original had a blood relative. If it is Kira, that brings up the troubling question of how they got access to her. I’d much rather have it be a third party. How interesting would it be if the clones had a relative they didn’t know about. How awesome would it be if it was Mrs. S?

Why did Delphine forbid Scott from telling Cosima? Was she worried that Cosima might refuse the treatment if she knew? Does she want to stop Cosima from digging into Dyad more than she already is? Or is she on Dyad’s side? Delphine, chérie, your unclear allegiances keep me up at night.

Also in the whose side are you on category: Mrs. S. She seemed to come clean this week in the show’s biggest exposition dump to date (seriously my head was spinning after all that information). We also got a very deliberate shot of her putting her gun away after Sarah got there, indicating clearly that she did not want to harm her. She threatened Paul against trying to take Sarah, but then she brought up Afghanistan and how in the world could she have known about that? Did Kira obtain the information psychically and tell her foster grandmother? That seems as reasonable a guess as anything else.

Neolutionist Bits and Proleathean Pieces

The Helena and Sarah road trip stuff was painfully cute. I mean that in a good way. Helena trying to sing along to “Sugar Sugar” and forgetting half the words nearly killed me.

Interesting shot of Helena and Sarah sleeping head to toe in the tent, forming a yin yang symbol.

A word about the “you’re the puppy” bit. There’s a running joke on Tumblr about “Actual Puppy Delphine.” Delphine is thought of as a puppy (generally a golden retriever or a cocker spaniel). This is based on her fluffy, impossible hair as well as this screencap (and others like it).
The writers included it as a nod to the fans. That’s the best kind of fan service.

Duncan keeps birds. What is it with this show and birds?

Clone Quotes

Alison: “Well, I’m not an actual drunk, am I?”
Oh, sweetie.

Felix: “I’ve been demoted from babysitter to bargaining chip.”
And my worry that Felix may be Sarah’s monitor grew exponentially.

Scott: “So can I see one?”
Cosima: “You want to see a clone?”
Scott: “Yeah!”
Cosima’s face was priceless.

Alison: “If you show up here without my kids again, I will cut off your dangly balls.”

Helena: “In Ukraine, I was police detective. I shot many criminals...Then I was brilliant scientist, but I quit to be with my family...Divorced after rehab, drinking problems. But now I am with my sestra having adventures.”
It was so cute the way she used her sisters’ lives to make up her background.

Sarah: “I can’t do this without you.”
Cosima: “Obviously. I’m the geek monkey.”

Cosima: “We’re stronger together. Go figure.”

Sarah: “Your daughter is lost. There’s just me. And Alison, a housewife with two adopted kids and Cosima, a brilliant scientist just like you.”
Interesting she left out Kira. Leaving out the insane Ukrainian serial killer made sense, however.

Sarah: “We’re sick. Your little girls are dying.”

three and a half out of four white russians

sunbunny, who is probably not played by Tatiana Maslany


Vero said...

Awesome review as usual!

My head was spinning as well when the episode ended. So many exposition, yet so many questions left to answer!

I think the thing I'm most puzzled about is the way Mrs. S talked about Afghanistan to Paul. Something about "Afghanistan would have been for nothing", as if it didn't happen accidentally, as if Paul made it happen on purpose. But what purpose? The way Dylan Bruce talked about Paul's background in interviews recently, it doesn't seem we'll get the answer to that question before the end of the season though.

I also hope that the stem cells don't come from Kira, but from an unknown relative. Mrs. S is the perfect candidate to be a relative to the clones, but this show rarely goes for the obvious, so I don't know if that'll actually happen.

Billie Doux said...

The "sugar sugar" road trip was my favorite scene in the series yet. And I thought the yin-yang tent scene was sort of womb-like. After all that, how could Sarah leave Helena alone for hours? That just bugged the heck out of me.

milostanfield said...

A Thanksgiving dinner's worth of exposition in 206. Will take a while to digest. This made the episode seem like two incomplete episodes. It was 3/5s of a Helena-centric episode and 2/5s of setting up chess pieces for the season end game. A half open jack knife.

This show becomes Helena-centric whenever she is on screen, now even more than Season One. Who would have thought that this show's most romantic scene ever would come from last season's psycho blonde? And with a tow trucker named Jesse to boot! That song they danced to was perfect for Helena "Crazy. That's what they call me. Walk along the razor's edge. Into black and back again." Can't get that song out my head. Who was the singer? Gotta get it.

And with "Take me to my babies" Helena showed she's just as capable of making bad decisions for good reasons as any other Clone Club member.

I'm still thinking that no one knew about Sarah at all, and thus she has never had a monitor until she stumbled into Paul. But I'm 0 for whatever making OB predictions.

This week's Bacon Title quote:
"For you have but to hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able when you like to lead and drive her afterwards to the same place again."
from "De Augmentis" by Sir Francis Bacon

Guess that makes Paul and Mark hounds. Loved their scene in the bar. Being lower middle management sucks in any organization.

Yeah, Delphine, Paul, and especially Mrs. S are bigger mysteries than ever. Still thinking Delphine is a baddie, which I hate cause I seriously ship CosDelph puppy love. Still thinking Paul is deep undercover for some other entity. Maybe the whole Afghanistan thing was a contrivance to get him into Dyad? And S is coming on more like an intelligence op than a protective mom lately. Would that be how she knows about Afghanistan as a ruse?

Guess we can add Vic The Guru to the mystery list. I sincerely hope he ends up really believing his Bhudda bullshit.

Thanks again sunbunny for a great recap. Always worth the wait. Yours (and other DOUXers) are the best. Snark the rest.

Billie Doux said...

We love you too, Milostanfield. :)

drnanamom said...

Great review sunbunny! Your reviews double my enjoyment of this show. I don't think that Sarah meant to leave Helena for hours but she got caught up in what she found. And to be fair she isn't used to having to think about a sister and it seems to me that it is usually Felix worrying about her rather than the other way around. I also get why she took off when Helena got into trouble for the same reasons you pointed out but it is a little like leaving an adoring psycho puppy to fend for itself. I hope Sarah helps Helena escape that creepy farm with her babies. I particularly enjoyed the comments on science in this episode. I am in most ways pro-science but I loved the comment about just poking things with sticks and the obvious lack of ethics that Duncan portrayed when he talked about their work.

milostanfield said...

Found my "Crazy!", the song playing when Jesse the tow trucker was dancing with our favorite Ukrainian serial killer.

And the writer/singer is none other than Diana Salvatore, who is Bobbi of OB's very own Bobbi's Bar!

It's on iTunes as a single.

Heather said...

Love the review!
I liked this episode.. It felt like it flew by when I watched it.
I just have one thing to add--the gloves that Alison knitted for Vic. Lol
Sometimes it's the little touches that make me swoon the hardest for this show.