Orphan Black: To Hound Nature In Her Wanderings
May 25, 2014 7:17 AM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Sarah joins forces with an unlikely and untrustworthy ally, following a trail of clues that she hopes will lead her to the origins of the clone experiment. Cosima and Delphine make a discovery that could prove to be the key to treating her illness. Alison finds herself in unsavory company at rehab.

Oh my god, all the amazing pairups! Art and Felix are the dream team I've been waiting for. Alison and Victor! Sarah and research! Helena and a guy in a ballcap!
posted by leesh (49 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Helena singing Sugar, Sugar. Highlight of the season.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:41 AM on May 25, 2014 [21 favorites]


Caroline Siede's Boing Boing recap.

Leekie as Big Bad, on the word of a newly introduced character? I dunno, I got my suspicions.
posted by cgc373 at 7:43 AM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Leekie as Big Bad, on the word of a newly introduced character? I dunno, I got my suspicions.

Me too, although Duncan certainly seemed like a broken man and sympathetic character.

But Amelia supposedly died in the lab fire. If Leekie had wanted to take her out, presumably he would have chosen some way that wouldn't have destroyed a bunch of research, including the original genome sequence?
posted by torticat at 7:59 AM on May 25, 2014


But Amelia supposedly died

Sorry, I meant Susan there, I guess? Sarah mentioned Amelia, but now I can't even remember who Amelia is.
posted by torticat at 8:07 AM on May 25, 2014


Amelia is the surrogate mother who carried Helena and Sarah to term. She appeared at the end of last season and was killed off by Helena. I think she was only in one or two episodes at most.
posted by Kosh at 8:26 AM on May 25, 2014


Oh of course. Thank you Kosh!
posted by torticat at 8:40 AM on May 25, 2014


I hope Helena gets reunited with her new boyfriend someday.
posted by homunculus at 9:52 AM on May 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


Worst moment of the season: the wrong sister coming to bail out Helena.

Now I'm afraid the Prolethians will bring her back into the fold with the promise of a child or manipulation of her assassin conditioning. I'll stop watching if they make her eat like a proper lady.
posted by Hume at 10:21 AM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've never seen someone whose under-eye bags were so pink.
posted by bleep at 10:39 AM on May 25, 2014


Orphan Black reminds me so much of LOST, with its implausible plot devices* and dialogue-that-goes-nowhere--like when one character asks a perfectly reasonable and relevant question and the other answers "And why would I tell you that?" (brings Ben Linus/ Sayid/ Jack/ Locke right back!)

Like LOST, though, you keep watching for the characters and the mythology. Plus OB has Tatiana Maslany of course, the one-woman acting juggernaut.

*the one that struck me in this episode was Sarah's leaving Helena parked on the curb for, what, an hour at least? Two? She really expected her to sit in the car that whole time?
posted by torticat at 11:00 AM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


I got the sense that Sara was in the basement and Helena was at the bar all night. It seemed to be morning when they both emerged. I thought the scene with the two tracker guys commiserating at the bar was hilarious.

This show does have a lot of the same problems that all of these shows have in that it's not easy to sustain a lot of intrigue and danger organically so they have to get there inelegantly by people stone-walling for no reason, stuff coming up and getting dropped for seemingly no reason.. Sopranos, Big Love, Three's Company, M*A*S*H, Scandal, all had the same problem.

Actually this show reminds me a lot of Big Love. I keep expecting Alby to show up.
posted by bleep at 11:43 AM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love Sarah, but I wouldn't say she's the smartest. Street smart, certainly, and quick on her feet, but yeah, I can see that she'd tell Helena to stay in the car and expect her to stay there.

That's what I love, though -- that all these characters have their blind spots -- sometimes willfully so.

I also love how everyone has their own agenda -- is Leekie actually the enemy? Maybe, but I think he thinks he'd doing the right thing. I think everyone thinks they're doing the right thing.

I liked Helena's subtle heartbreak when her "sister" turned out to be Gracie and not Sarah. I think that's partially why she went with them. They were promising her "family" -- a promise Sarah had gone back on.

I also loved Cosima's sadness here, when she realizes Delphine brought in Scott without telling her and she just needed to go with it and with her phone call to Sarah. Cosima hasn't been given enough to do this season but I like the depth she has whenever she's on screen.

And the Alison and Vic stuff was too fun. I will love to see what the conclusion of that is.

Overall, I enjoyed that it was mostly fun until everything went badly, like it does. It was a refreshing change of pace for the show. I am sad there's only 4 episodes of this season left.
posted by darksong at 1:22 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Although if Sara went in there pretending to be a PhD student doing research, but here's my wacky Ukranian twin sister who's poking at things and wandering around? Would have been harder to pull off.
posted by bleep at 1:24 PM on May 25, 2014


There's a bit of timey-wimeyness to the show in that time sometimes tends to pass, and things happen, to conform to the plot rather than as a constant progression of the clock.

That said, Sarah had no idea what she was going to find when she went into the church. If her intent was to get the address of Peckham/Duncan and leave she might have expected to be in the church for only a minute or two. Instead she got sucked into the archives for an indeterminate length of time.
posted by plastic_animals at 2:26 PM on May 25, 2014


I don't think that Sarah expected to be in the church for as long as she was. I was kinda disappointed that she left Helena to her own devices after getting arrested (though she did call Art to get Helena out).

I will be very disappointed if Helena falls in with the Prolethians again. I'm thinking that she's smarter than that now, and just going along with them enough to get her "babies" then she'll escape again.
posted by patheral at 6:45 PM on May 25, 2014


But aren't her babies just, like, cells at this point? Do you all think they'd implant them in unpredictable Helena over slightly more controllable Gracie? Either way, poor Helena.
posted by leesh at 7:00 PM on May 25, 2014


They mentioned in the last episode that they needed Helena back in order to carry the child, and if they didn't get her back then Gracie would be the one to carry it as punishment. I'm guessing they're gonna hedge their bets and implant them both. Because they're just evil like that.
posted by patheral at 8:05 PM on May 25, 2014


Are we gonna talk about the treatment Cosima is getting that's apparently come from Kira's teeth or whatever-the-fuck? How did THAT happen? Kira's been with Siobhan all this time, and who knows what side that woman's on....
posted by tzikeh at 8:33 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is that what happened there? I had a hard time following it.
posted by bleep at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2014


Bleep - I'm assuming so, based on DNA-Guy saying that the cells were only half a match to those of the clones', and then asking Delphine if any of the clones had a close female relative, like a niece or a daughter.

I mean, I guess the cells could have come from Helena's embryo, if it turns out Leekie and Sperm Cowboy are Proletheans of a feather, but I can't imagine why they would have lampshaded the "daughter" line if it weren't about Kira.
posted by tzikeh at 9:07 PM on May 25, 2014


Could Kira's stem cells have been provided by Cal? They made a big deal out of him knowing about Dyad Group. Although that doesn't really make sense since they probably would want him to just hand over Kira.
posted by carolr at 9:27 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, what happened in Afghanistan? How does a military intelligence/JTF2 guy end up accidentally killing a bunch of marines in such a way that he needs protecting now? The way Siobhan said "Or Afghanistan will all have been for naught" made me think he killed them to cover up something.
posted by carolr at 9:37 PM on May 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


Am I getting this sequence right? Leekie starts a fire in ~1992 that kills Susan Duncan and, he thinks, Ethan Duncan. Ethan escapes the fire, goes underground, and gets shipped across the Atlantic. Sarah is sent across at about the same time and both come under Siobhan's watch but she managed to keep them from meeting (not implying that's a problem, just trying to keep everything straight).
posted by plastic_animals at 8:08 AM on May 26, 2014


Are we gonna talk about the treatment Cosima is getting that's apparently come from Kira's teeth or whatever-the-fuck? How did THAT happen? Kira's been with Siobhan all this time, and who knows what side that woman's on....

Siobhan said to Paul that she knew he was working for both Rachel and Leeky so he was his own master. Which means IMO she's working for two "master's" as well and therefore considers herself her own agent. I think she's working for Dyad and whatever government agency was behind LEDA and that's how they got Kira's baby teeth.

OR

There's another clone out there that we don't know about (yet) who's also had a child -- at least until birth -- like a stillborn. Or maybe... Rachel? Maybe that's why she's so... evil?
posted by patheral at 8:19 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, one thing that bugs the heck out of me is how does the clone club think that their communications aren't being monitored from within the Dyad Institute??? Sarah I can believe being that naive, but Cosima? Come on! She's way smarter than that, but they blithely go on sharing information on Skype and phone from Cosima's lab and think that no one is listening in because it's Cosima's computer and the "clone phone". That just doesn't make sense to me. Does this bother anyone else?
posted by patheral at 8:24 AM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well, the preview of the next episode shows Cal worrying about location tracking...
Also, Dyad doesn't seem to be very fond of electronic surveillance.
Their monitoring is all human.

It's possible that the writers intended to show "secure communication" and Skype was found appropriate.
(It was kinda secure before Microsoft bought it, anyway.)
posted by floatboth at 8:37 AM on May 26, 2014


I will be very disappointed if Helena falls in with the Prolethians again. I'm thinking that she's smarter than that now, and just going along with them enough to get her "babies" then she'll escape again.

Helena's an assassin. I'm hoping she's allowing herself to go back to the farm, with the idea of executing every last one of them.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:18 AM on May 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


Are we gonna talk about the treatment Cosima is getting that's apparently come from Kira's teeth or whatever-the-fuck?

I do think that was the clear implication. My question is, why would Delphine instantly jump to Cosima must not know this? Is she worried that finding out the cells came from Kira would make Cosima stop the treatment (and why? ...Cosima already knows they're "baby teeth")? Or that Cosima will try to track down the child? (Does Delphine know of some other child besides Kira? I seriously doubt it.)
posted by torticat at 9:32 AM on May 26, 2014


I imagine Cosima would be asking the same questions we're asking, like how did they get Kira's baby teeth.
posted by bleep at 10:21 AM on May 26, 2014


Agree with Thorzdad. I think Helena has big plans for the Prolethians and the end result is gonna be bloody.
posted by futureisunwritten at 12:16 PM on May 26, 2014


Orphan Black reminds me so much of LOST, with its implausible plot devices* and dialogue-that-goes-nowhere--like when one character asks a perfectly reasonable and relevant question and the other answers "And why would I tell you that?" (brings Ben Linus/ Sayid/ Jack/ Locke right back!)

The difference between Orphan Black and LOST is that LOST's approach to raising questions was "Hey! Isn't that an intriguing question? Help us stay on the air for another four seasons and we'll think about answering that one for you! If we remember that is!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Whereas Orphan Black's seems to be: "hurryhurryhurry let's get this out of the way, okay, here's that one thing that happened, new question, WAIT HERE'S THE ANSWER, but what about NOPE HERE'S THE ANSWER TO THAT TOO, come on people we have seven more episodes of plot to cram in here before the next commercial break WHATS TAKING SO FUCKING LONG"

It's like kids I knew who wrote fantasy and loved all their ideas so much that they HAD TO TELL YOU EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW, lest you abruptly have a brain aneurism and die before you could appreciate the awesomeness of all their ideas.

I love that approach to plot, since it seems like every other fucking plot-driven show seems to think you need things like 33 minutes an episode of ambiance and slow, emotional pauses before you allow anything to happen whatsoever. It does leave me not all that intrigued about the questions being asked, and it kills my ability to feel super emotionally invested in what's going on, but it is so damn satisfying and the story they're telling has been getting more and more interesting all the time, so I appreciate that approach here a heck of a lot.

Seriously, at the end of season 1 I had basically no questions about the show's mythology, it all felt like a satisfyingly flat constructed plot (but in a good way). Season 2 has made everything about 500% more interesting, given us better religious wackos, made Dyad more amusingly sinister, but I'm still getting that sense that the season will end with me really happy with what I know and don't know, and wanting more less because I'm cliffhung and more because I just love the chemistry everybody has with everybody else (particularly Tatiana with herself/Felix with breathing creatures). That's a great place for a show like this to be. It's less a carefully calculated symphony than it is a crazy fun prog rock song with a bunch of virtuosic solos, and that's something TV doesn't be nearly enough.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:29 PM on May 26, 2014 [11 favorites]


The difference between Orphan Black and LOST is that LOST's approach to raising questions was "Hey! Isn't that an intriguing question? Help us stay on the air for another four seasons and we'll think about answering that one for you! If we remember that is!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Whereas Orphan Black's seems to be: "hurryhurryhurry let's get this out of the way, okay, here's that one thing that happened, new question, WAIT HERE'S THE ANSWER, but what about NOPE HERE'S THE ANSWER TO THAT TOO, come on people we have seven more episodes of plot to cram in here before the next commercial break WHATS TAKING SO FUCKING LONG"


I agree with you, though I think a lot of tv -- especially SFF tv -- learned from Lost and crams a lot of plot into each episode and answers the questions it sets up before it adds to many new ones. (Sleepy Hollow is a great example, I hear this is true of Penny Dreadful. Once Upon a Time, the obvious successor, doesn't shove in quite so much plot, but is careful to end stories and start new ones every season or two. It hasn't quite fixed the flashback problem.)

At some point things will need to back down a little; I love Orphan Black for lots of reasons and don't actually want it to slow down, but I wouldn't object to more contemplative SFF tv shows in general.
posted by jeather at 2:24 PM on May 26, 2014




I don't think anyone mentioned Kathryn Alexandre yet in any of the treads. She's Tatiana’s acting double and has to embody all clones as she's acting opposite to Tatiana. And then, you never see her!
posted by travelwithcats at 5:13 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]




Didn't want to go into the preview, but since it's already been mentioned, yeah, I was all "where are Kira and Cal?" the second those teeth came up. I keep thinking I know where they're going to have the dominoes when they start to fall, and then, nope, I'm wrong.

The Helena arc was the big winner this episode as far as I was concerned, though I agree with the folks upthread who said that they're going to impregnate both women (Gracie and Helena) and that Helena may well be going back to burn the Proletheans down. Also it really was sad when she went off with Gracie.
posted by immlass at 7:35 PM on May 26, 2014


I was just thinking about Tatiana's double during the tent scene -- the hand-off of the can was juuust close enough that I actually noticed it more, like they were saying, "Ha, look at how tricky we're being." But then they did a cutaway that seemed to be solely to keep from showing Helena pulling that stocking cap over her wig.
posted by Etrigan at 8:04 PM on May 26, 2014


Thanks homunculus, I missed that link!
posted by travelwithcats at 5:51 AM on May 27, 2014


I think what may be going on re: the baby teeth is that Leekie and Delphine are allowing Cosima to think that she's receiving a stem cell treatment derived from ordinary baby teeth, and keeping her in the dark as to where the teeth actually came from--Kira? Maybe Rachel? Other clones (prolly not)? Or perhaps even harvested from earlier... uh, incarnations of the cloning work? Remember the pictures of mutated babies and children that Sarah ran across in the archives? Haven't re-watched so I don't have this 100% nailed down, but that's my conspiracy theory for now.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 5:55 AM on May 27, 2014


Has there been any discussion about post-production and how they integrate Maslany's performances so well?
posted by desjardins at 6:41 AM on May 27, 2014


Also, there was a tragic dearth of Felix this episode. And Cal. I totally ship Felix and Cal.
posted by desjardins at 6:41 AM on May 27, 2014


> Has there been any discussion about post-production and how they integrate Maslany's performances so well?

You can see some of it in the link homunculus posted above (Meet the Woman ... ). There's also a little bit in The Cloneversation a 45 minute promo/talk show hosted by Wil Wheaton (part of it with the cast, also Patton Oswalt, Orlando Jones and the directors). For the work with the body double you can start at 34 minutes in in.
posted by bjrn at 9:45 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is slightly off-topic but Maria Doyle Kennedy has a show tomorrow night (May 29th) in Dublin.
posted by plastic_animals at 4:01 PM on May 28, 2014


Helena singing Sugar, Sugar. Highlight of the season.

SO GOOD. This episode had so many really great moments, it's one of my favourite eps so far - particularly for all the wonderful/worrying Helena stuff.

I presume Scott isn't going to obey Delphine's demand not to tell Cosima the truth about her treatment - he seems to have too much loyalty or devotion to Cosima to keep it from her. I can't decide what I think about Delphine and where her loyalties really lie.
posted by fever-trees at 8:29 PM on May 28, 2014


Leekie did arrange for someone to get assassinated by injection in a hospital, so it's not like he's too upstanding to kill someone off.
posted by squinty at 10:25 PM on May 31, 2014


asking Delphine if any of the clones had a close female relative, like a niece or a daughter.

That was kind of bizarrely tin-eared to me, as all I could think was "How would a clone have a niece?"

I just love the chemistry everybody has with everybody else (particularly Tatiana with herself/Felix with breathing creatures).

I love how it almost feels like Detective Angie, through sheer force of will, is inserting herself into every plotline she can grab onto. Like, even apart from the showrunners and the actress portraying her, the character is fighting for screentime after being a pointless tagalong for all of Season 1. When I saw her in the car with Victor, Ijust about cracked up. Or course she's there too.
posted by psoas at 9:09 AM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Helena borrowing all of her seestra's backstories in the bar into a big unlikely palimpsest literally made me cackle with glee. She's so unsettling that when she's funny (see also wailing oldies), she's a fucking riot. It's like a Sam Raimi horror kind of thing. I love it.

Also, I loved the little geeky bio-nerd Easter Eggs in this episode! For anyone who missed it, Cold River is almost certainly a reference to Cold Spring Harbor, an actual, currently operating laboratory that, like Cold River, was also a center of the eugenics movement in the USA in the early 20th century. Most famously, it was (is?) the scientific home of James Watson, one of the Nobel Laureates awarded the prize for solving the structure of DNA; infamously, Rosalind Franklin was shut out of the prize even though Watson and Crick used her data without her consent. The show puts a little feminist twist on this by having a shout out to Rosalind (the name of one of the parrots) and then also having the elderly scientist from "Cold River" offer that his female collaborator was actually the brains of the operation.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:19 PM on April 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Helena's row of drinks made me laugh: the same ALL OF EVERYTHING approach that she has to food.

the one that struck me in this episode was Sarah's leaving Helena parked on the curb for, what, an hour at least? Two?

I saw that a little as a repudiation by the show of Helena's telling Sarah "you are good mother": that actually no, Sarah's not particularly good at responsibility.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:47 AM on April 26, 2015


I think, having rewatched recently, that Cosima just mentions a promising stem cell treatment and then shortly afterwards Scott mentions the possibility of a niece or daughter to the clones. I didn't get any sense that the stem cell treatment Cosima is already undergoing has anything to do with Kira.
posted by kumonoi at 1:08 PM on May 2, 2016


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