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Orphan Black: Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est

“Very pretty, dirty, sexy, Rachel.”

For the first time all season, when the episode was over I did not want to retreat into a blanket fort with an army of stuffed animals and a pint of strawberry ice cream.

It was touch and go for awhile. Helena is the wildest of wild cards and I honestly wasn’t sure what was going to happen when she had her sniper rifle trained on Rachel and Paul. The only thing I knew for sure was that she wouldn’t hurt Sarah. But Sarah was able to talk her down from any Helena-like actions very sweetly. Although a large part of that speech was probably a manipulation to get Helena to drop the gun, I think Sarah really has come to care for her sister. She hasn’t tried to kill her again and that has to mean something, right?

Helena loves Sarah just as much as ever and even begins to warm up to others this week. Felix she connects with quite quickly. She’s already calling him “brother sestra.” It’s not hard to see why. Felix does have a rather nurturing nature about him. He also has the patience of a saint. Art does not. The first thing he does is put her in handcuffs. It’s an understandable move (she did once shoot him in the past) but it does nothing to endear him to her. Helena escapes after incapacitating (not killing) Art. I think that’s character growth, don’t you?

The fact that she took Felix’s pen breaks my heart. She’s been so abused and mistreated her whole life, her default setting is “I’m in danger, I must arm myself.” She tells Art pointblank that she doesn’t like to be touched, which is common in the abuse victims. She’s perennially vulnerable. Up until this episode, I’d been thinking that her early childhood in the Ukrainian convent had at least been not horrific. I was wrong. Even the nuns abused her. Is it any wonder she’s the serial killing basket case she is? I’m really hoping the rest of the season provides her a redemption arc of some kind. She deserves it, having lived through hellish experience after hellish experience. I mean did you see the storage locker?

Helena doesn’t start up again with her last season serial killer stuff (the fortune teller, the barbie head) until Art starts questioning her rather intensely about what Henrik and his followers did to her. Perhaps retreating into her serial killer persona was a defense mechanism? After she had another flashback she drew the stick figure on Art’s aquarium. Maybe all the trappings of her life with Tomas make her feel, well not safe, but safer? He was a monster, there is no doubt, but he never sexually assaulted her.

The stuff at the ranch was downright Hannibal-esque. Okay, maybe not that bad, but pretty gruesome all the same. Gracie’s lips were literally sewn together as punishment for trying to kill Helena? for letting Helena escape? Something like that. Is Henrik her actual father? I really hope not, though I suppose either way is just as creepy. I can’t believe they’re threatening her with being forcible impregnation. That’s...there are no words. How old is that girl? Sixteen, maybe? Sorry I need to go Lysol my brain. Not that the idea of them doing it to Helena is any better. As scary as the Neolutionists are, the Proleatheans are the ones that send chills up my spine.

Last season I wasn’t sold on the Neolutionists as villains thing. They just weren’t scary enough. Well, they certainly are now. I like the clarifications that occurred in this episode. Rachel isn’t necessarily in charge of Leekie, but she outranks him. Leekie, who has never been particularly threatening is the softer side of Dyad. He’s the reasonable one. Rachel is the big threat.

Her actions this week...I don’t know what to make of her. Last week her character was softened because awww, look she was a normal kid. This week she demands to see the bloodied body of her murdered lover, exhibits no reaction to said body, attempts to frame my favorite non-Tatiana Maslany character for murder and has sex with Paul in a way that really, really pushes the limits of consent if not just ignoring them outright. I caught myself wondering if it really would be so bad if Helena killed her. I mean, would it?

Once again, Paul turned his coat. Dyad does have incriminating information on him and they’re clearly not above using violence to get what they want out of people, but he seemed so unrepentant when he was getting Felix’s prints on that gun.

Does anyone else find it strange that Cal just happened to have a fake ID and fake registration papers for the RV with him? This road trip was totally last minute. What’s up with that? Oh yeah, and he also has a gun. And a large supply of cash on hand. And a gas mask. Paul and Rachel were talking about Cal and his “anti-corporate leanings.” Hmmm.

Neolutionist Bits and Proleathean Pieces

No Alison this week.

Kira is both adorable and really creepy sometimes. “Someone’s coming.” I mean, geez, what is up with this kid?

Scott referenced the patenting procedures common in the study of genetics in the 1980s. Not much to make of it right now, but I’m positive that’s going to be an important point later.

Clone Quotes

Felix: “I’m sure I’ve got a Ukrainian folk costume in here somewhere.”

Felix: “Just don’t kill my rubber ducky.”

Delphine: “Hi Scott! Bye Scott!”

Kira: “I’m not a monkey anymore. I’m a leopard.”

Cop: “Better hope we don’t find anything incriminating in your friend’s place.”
Felix: “He won’t. Probably.”

Felix: “Playing for Team Rachel now, huh? Got the corrupt arm of the law in her clutch purse?”

Leekie: “The entire project is essentially an orphan.”
I see what you did there, show.

Sarah: “You saved my life. You’re my sister. Helena, I thought I killed you. I couldn’t tell anyone what I lost. You came back.”

three out of four tiny powdered sugar donuts

sunbunny, who is probably not played by Tatiana Maslany


  1. Tatiana, on screen with herself as Helena and Sarah, is just riveting.

  2. Perhaps the best comment this episode was Helena with her sniper rifle saying to herself, "Very pretty, dirty, sexy Rachel"...

  3. I'm not sure what Henrik did to Helena was any worse than what has been happening to the known Dyad clones for years. Yes, it was terrible that her egg was taken & artificially inseminated but who knows what Dyad was doing to the other clones over & over. I'm sure they took samples, ran tests & were examined in every known orrifice. Doesn't make any of it more right or wrong... & all the clones have had it rough. Seems only minor shades of evil create the tiny difference between the two factions. Its the wild cards, like Mrs. S and Ethan Duncan who will make a difference when we find out which side the fall on, if any.
    Great blog by the way... Great fun to read.

  4. This was a dark one, with lots of allegiance shifting, and hierarchical power relationships expressed personally, especially through sex.

    Paul really has me stumped now. Is he really into being Rachel's bottom, or is Rachel raping him? Is he just surviving, or is he scamming Rachel, secretly in league with Leekie? That little "how was the trip" exchange Paul and Leekie had in the opening seemed like coded messaging behind Rachel's back to me. Though it wasn't technically rape, Paul's scene with Felix was just as much a violation.

    Talk about violation! What they did to Gracie was the most horrid. I screamed out loud "NO!" when I saw her face. Henrik has made want to claw my TV screen like an angry leopard for two weeks in a row. Paul was dominated by Rachel and in turn dominated Felix. And Bonnie, who is obviously submissive to Henrik, is sadistic toward her own daughter. Sometimes that "second-in-command", submissive to the leader, and dominant over subordinates, is the cruelest of all.

    That delightful scene with Fee and Colin was about the only sex positive thing that happened at all, and even that got yanked out from under us.

    The big positive was seeing Helena start to grow. She's no longer staring inward, and is starting to look out at the real world instead of the Prolethean one. That "boo" scene with sistra-Fee was a delight. And when she went into the bathroom to change she seemed to be looking in the mirror as an act of self reflection.

    It will be interesting to see where the writers take Helena. We want to see her grow of course, but the risk would be her losing that unpredictable crazy that makes her so fascinating to watch.

  5. The English translation of the title is "Knowledge itself is power". In this one much of the knowledge was carnal.

  6. Helena is getting the Spike treatment now

  7. How bizarre is it that Helena has become the funniest character on the show? Not that she's cracking gags, but virtually everything which comes out of her mouth is quotable. If this show ever got a spin-off, Helena's Violent Exploits would be first on my first watch list every week.

  8. Wait! Too many 'firsts' in that last sentence. But that just emphasises how much I mean it.

  9. Great review sunbunny and I just caught your tagline at the end of the post - hilarious! I'm so glad you got me hooked on this show. This week's episode was wonderful and I love shows that end with more questions than answers (except at finales). Cal is a puzzle and Paul is a creepier, nastier(hopefully) one. Helena is somehow endearing. I can't wait for the next episode.

  10. You guys I'm so behind.
    This episode was dark as hell. Shii, Cosmina isn't long for this Earth.

    *dies a little inside*

    The Rachel/Paul sex scene was off the chain. Felix's too!


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