Orphan Black: Variable And Full Of Perturbation
June 8, 2014 5:18 AM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Another clone! And turnips are not baked, but others are.

A new player in the clone conspiracy turns up at Felix’s door, sending him into crisis mode. With Cosima running out of options, Sarah struggles with the decision to surrender a crucial piece of leverage and make a deal with Dyad.
posted by viggorlijah (80 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have to say, Maslany's portrayal of the new clone was pretty convincing. I suppose making him trans helps excuse/explain-away any feminine traits that might slip-through in the acting. But, overall, I gladly bought it. The one thing I noticed was she opted to play the new clone as a bit of a cocky, macho stereotype, which probably made it easier to pull-off. Still great. And the scenes with Felix were fun, fun, fun on all sorts of levels. I just hope this becomes a regular character, rather than the one-off it seemed to be.

The scene where Ethan explains to Rachel that the clones' infertility was designed-in, and the flashes of Rachel going ballistic in private were well done. I was left debating to myself whether the flashes of mayhem were depictions of what was going on inside Rachel's mind (while she maintained her cold, controlled exterior) or flash-forwards to her letting it all out in private later on. I prefer the former explanation, myself, as it really reinforces the idea of the raw nerves behind the polished, perfect surface.

Cosima pwning the nerds at their own game was lovely.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:43 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hope Tony is not just a one time deal the way the German clone was, or that's a lot of screen time for a dead end plot. I think the IVF reference was that Dyad thought that like Alison, Tony was a successful implant but actually that clone was swapped (accident? On purpose?) with another regular embryo that failed. So Tony grew up invisible to Dyad but somehow known to the same people that Mrs S and Paul work with.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:54 AM on June 8, 2014


So Tony grew up invisible to Dyad but somehow known to the same people that Mrs S and Paul work with.

Do Mrs.S and Paul work for the same people, or are they simply players in the same covert world? Paul seemed surprised that she knew about Afghanistan. If they worked for the same people, I would think he wouldn't have been surprised.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:42 AM on June 8, 2014


I really really wanted to like Maslany as Tony. I think she did the best with it that she could, and some of it I blame on the styling (yes, I know Maslany's got a ton of hair but they somehow jam all of it up under Rachel's wig) and some of it was just that Tony wasn't given a lot of depth. It did come across like "Now she her play a man!" despite Maslany's best attempts to make it otherwise.

But I do like that they treated Tony like "Oh, Tony's trans. That's interesting but no big deal." I do hope they bring him back, though.

I think I'm back to Cosima being my favorite.

Some things happened in this episode, but it certainly feel like "we need to kill a bit of time to set up for the last two episodes." And hey, I will still be right there watching it. This episode was only a marginal disappointment but still a ton of fun.
posted by darksong at 8:59 AM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was slightly underwhelmed at Maslany's performance of Tony, but the show did an excellent job handling the trans thing. The shock was the existence of another clone, not that he was trans. I'm glad that he and Felix didn't jump into bed; that would have been too weird. Felix's hesitation and confusion (about his feelings) hit the perfect note.

The rest of the episode was really meh for me. I miss Helena.
posted by desjardins at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


From Entertainment Weekly: 'Orphan Black': The creators discuss introducing Tony the transclone - they specifically talk about not wanting to hide Maslany's hair under a wig for Tony.

Since Felix gave Tony a clone phone I'm assuming he will be back.

They've set up a lot of ground to cover in the next two episodes!
posted by plastic_animals at 9:35 AM on June 8, 2014


I hope Tony is not just a one time deal the way the German clone was, or that's a lot of screen time for a dead end plot.

Well, Tony did offer a fairly significant bit of information about Paul. But even if he doesn't reappear... the show is about gender and identity as much as it is about sci-fi plot, so I wouldn't consider the Tony screen time a dead end anyway so much as further exploration of that theme.

Also of course further showcasing of the lead characters' acting. I felt like Maslany was fine, but Felix stole the show this week. Love him so much! The character maybe verges on being a little TOO perfect (have we ever seen a dark side of Felix?), but the show can use a sunshiny character so I'm not complaining.
posted by torticat at 9:59 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Alison and Donnie really cracked me up in this episode. I hope Alison and Tony meet someday.
posted by homunculus at 10:07 AM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


The character maybe verges on being a little TOO perfect (have we ever seen a dark side of Felix?), but the show can use a sunshiny character so I'm not complaining.

I imagine Felix's version of Orphan Black as one man's quest to get laid and party as much as humanly possible, while navigating weekly aggravating interruptions by cops and the agents of an elaborate sci-fi conspiracy.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:16 PM on June 8, 2014 [21 favorites]


I guess I don't see Felix as perfect. He's just a sweetheart who's gone through and has seen a lot. I think he's just learned to go with where life takes him. I think his understanding and empathy is exactly what is needed in all this chaos. In so many ways, Felix is the only truly stable character on this show.

(I have to assume -- at least, I want to assume -- Felix's "Holy Tilda Swinton!" was an ad-lib on Jordan Gavaris' part. It was so perfect and unexpected.)
posted by darksong at 12:53 PM on June 8, 2014 [6 favorites]




The most intriguing thing in this episode for me was the last shot of Kira. I assume that was her own notebook that she was going through.
posted by homunculus at 1:31 PM on June 8, 2014


No, Kira was leading through The Island of Dr. Moreau that Ethan had given her.
posted by plastic_animals at 1:53 PM on June 8, 2014


Oh. Nevermind, then.
posted by homunculus at 2:06 PM on June 8, 2014


Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's why Ethan mentioned the book to Rachel -- to see if she remembered it at all, since it appears to be where he wrote down all his real research.

(I'll buy engineered-to-be-female, engineered-to-be-barren clones, at least one of whom is a trans man and at least two of whom are "fertile failures," but they better not get any fucking data off of those floppy disks because THAT COULD NEVER HAPPEN I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING YOU RIGHT NOW.)
posted by tzikeh at 2:20 PM on June 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


This is from the AV Club recap:

Just as a note: I will no longer be watching the previews for the next episode. Cosima’s seizure is one of the few powerful moments in this episode, and the promos spoiled it rotten.

Wow do I agree. Why the HELL did they put that scene in the preview? The assumption with preview scenes is that you are going to get more context during the actual episode, not that the preview is going to show the final climactic moment.
posted by torticat at 2:44 PM on June 8, 2014


(I'll buy engineered-to-be-female, engineered-to-be-barren clones, at least one of whom is a trans man and at least two of whom are "fertile failures," but they better not get any fucking data off of those floppy disks because THAT COULD NEVER HAPPEN I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING YOU RIGHT NOW.)

How much data could even be on three or four thirty-year-old floppy disks? I had some disks ten years ago or so that could hold maybe half a dozen pictures, maybe as much as thirty pages of text. These disks are from the '80s! Whatever is on them, Ethan could probably have written it all down in a pocket memo book. (Admittedly, the data is much safer stored in a format that no one could ever read without a few trips to eBay.) That cryptic last scene has me wondering if in fact Ethan's relevant research isn't all in the copy of The Island of Doctor Moreau, and the disks are a fakeout in case someone tries to steal the information.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:49 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Cosima pwning the nerds at their own game was lovely.

I agree and have to say I'm impressed with how this show has these moments that should be kinda eye-rolly over-the-top or on-the-nose or whatever, and pulls them off just through sheer charm and humor. In this case it wasn't just Cosima, but also Scott who is turning into a totally adorable scientist sidekick.
posted by torticat at 2:51 PM on June 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


since it appears to be where he wrote down all his real research.

One of the recaps I read said Duncan had written down the genome sequencing in that book. I thought it was just a bunch of old scribblings/notes of his (like Faraday's notebook!). If it was more significant than that--which, duh, seems probable now that I think about it--I suspect that doesn't mean anything good for Duncan's longevity. I expect he's about to die one way or another, leaving Dyad without the answers it wants and all the info needed for Cosima in the hands of Kira (and Sarah and Mrs S).

Kira saw Delphine this episode and is probably canny or clairvoyant enough to know she'd need to get the data to her for Cosima's sake.
posted by torticat at 3:01 PM on June 8, 2014


Oops, I posted before I finished my thought. I meant to add that the look on Kira's face as she was looking at the book implied to me that she understood Ethan gave her the book for a very important reason.
posted by plastic_animals at 3:12 PM on June 8, 2014


I too loved the scenes of Rachel imagining (I assume) destroying her office in a rage while maintaining that perfectly cold exterior! And, having grown up knowing she's a clone, knowing there are still secrets about her own body must be terrible!

That scene of Cosima and Delphine getting high on helium was the worst thing I've ever watched in my life.
posted by leesh at 3:12 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Tony will be back. When Tony was commenting on the Felix's paintings of Alison and Cosima he made some comment about how he could see himself getting along with Cosima ("the one with the dreadlocks") and having a problem with Alison ("the soccer mom").

The problem for me is I'm not sure how to read this. For best confrontational style, this could be foreshadowing an awkward scene with Alison or some kind of meeting with Cosima where Tony could play a role in helping cure her.
posted by rsclark at 3:24 PM on June 8, 2014


I did love Tatiana's portrayal of Tony and when Felix and Tony kissed I saw nothing but two men kissing. That's acting right there.

I also think that Kira is aware that the book is very important and she'll be pivotal in Cosima's recover (they better not kill her off, and I'm not even kidding).

But, for me, the best part after Rachel's rage -- and I'm going with her ruining her office after Duncan left not keeping it all inside -- was Alison saying to Donny while they're discussing Leekie's body, "You used my gun?!?" Now that was funny. Poor Donny. Just as they were bonding over murder too.
posted by patheral at 4:58 PM on June 8, 2014


I may have missed it or misunderstood -- but didn't Ethan imply what was on the disks was some kind of code? Like it wasn't all the research, just the key to it? Or something?

The "Cosima and Delphine get high" scenes was kind of dumb, although I assumed they turned to the helium after they were already high (rather than getting high off of that). But I still love how emotionally connected Cosima is to everyone -- even herself ("You have to love all of us"). I like they let a scientist character also be emotionally aware. It's not that her emotions don't lead her astray (and I think Delphine does love her, but I think Delphine's playing her own game) but I like that we get to see a smart woman -- in several senses -- not always make the best choices.

And that's what I love about this show the most -- these characters don't always make the best choices but we understand why they're making them. It's a good balance of head and heart.

(Thinking more about it -- even though I didn't completely buy Tony -- I like that Tony was an option. That's what I love the most about this show -- it is about showing all the paths a 30-year-old woman may take and none is inferior to any of the others. In this case, sometimes someone who was born female may actually be a man. Tony is one of them, absolutely, and that's it. I liked when he said "We're hot!" to Sarah.)

I can talk about this show a lot.
posted by darksong at 5:23 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Kira saw Delphine this episode and is probably canny or clairvoyant enough to know she'd need to get the data to her for Cosima's sake.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kira understands everything in it herself because they're going to make her a superhuman prodigy.
posted by homunculus at 5:36 PM on June 8, 2014


How much data could even be on three or four thirty-year-old floppy disks?

Depending on when they were made & which formats they supported they could hold anywhere from 140KB (Single Density, 1978 or so through maybe 1983) to 1.2MB (High Density drives made for the IBM PC-AT starting in 1984). I did note the ones in the show didn't have the extra notch to make them "flippy" double sided disks. Ethan has 3 disks so anywhere from 420KB to 3.6MB.
posted by scalefree at 6:13 PM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


That scene of Cosima and Delphine getting high on helium was the worst thing I've ever watched in my life.

Reminds me a lot of certain disreputable hacker parties (is there any other kind?) where one of the attendees would frequently bring a tank of nitrous oxide affectionately named "Mr. Tank". People would wander the halls of the industrial loft building the hacker space was housed in carrying Hefty trash bags full of nitrous looking for somewhere to sit & consume the contents.
posted by scalefree at 6:26 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cosima is right, helium is way funnier than polonium.
posted by Coaticass at 6:37 PM on June 8, 2014


Can someone help me out with this? This is from TLo's review:

But with a gay clone and now a transgender one introduced, the creators are coming down pretty hard on the whole “nurture” side of the argument about human sexual orientation and gender variations. That’s a very bold point to be making – and it seems like one of those points they need to address very soon.

I don't understand why this is such an issue. We already know you can have identical twins, one gay and one straight, right? Also we know that twins don't have identical fingerprints, though their prints are very similar. Doesn't seem like there's anything more natural (as opposed to determined by nurture) than fingerprints.

No one argues that identical twins raised the same should have identical personalities. We may not fully understand what causes the differences between people with the same DNA, but we know these differences exist. So why do people think it's like some big political statement on the "nurture" side to have clones who are gay/straight/trans/whatever?

TLo's not the only place I've read this criticism... just wondered if anyone here has thoughts on this.
posted by torticat at 7:26 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think many people have an antiquated understanding of the whole nature vs nurture idea that doesn't take into account stuff like epigenetics (which is in effect how DNA can behave differently in response to environmental stimuli). I mean yes, it is a point the show is making, but is it a bold point?

Okay now answer me this: how does Rachel know Leekie is dead?
posted by Coaticass at 7:34 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Crap. I just realised that they must still be watching Alison and possibly Donnie too. She signed the paperwork and we didn't see exactly what that meant - bugs and cameras? Alison may not have known quite what it meant, but I wouldn't put it past them to have done her house over, and Alison not yet quite realising that Dyad knows.

I really want to meet some more of the parents. Alison's line about her mother cracked me up.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:41 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rachel doesn't know Leekie is dead. It's just that she told him to disappear under threat of his life. From her perspective he is DEFINITELY not coming back, so she needs some explanation for that to give to Dyad workers.

It's just another layer of all the suspicion and distrust that Delphine et al assume Leekie didn't die of a heart attack but was offed probably by Rachel--while Rachel not only didn't kill him but doesn't even know he actually is dead.
posted by torticat at 7:54 PM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know if Rachel knows that Leekie is dead or if she has just assumed the Dyad henchmen had done their job. We didn't actually see her give orders to anybody to kill Leekie, so it is at least remotely possible she is crossing Marion Bowles and just scared the crap out of Leekie so he would go away and stay hidden. If she doesn't know for sure he is dead she took a big risk in telling Delphine he died of a heart attack.

Or what torticat just said.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:57 PM on June 8, 2014


I think many people have an antiquated understanding of the whole nature vs nurture idea

Yeah but... TLo?? You'd think they'd understand the nuances a little better.

I mean yes, it is a point the show is making, but is it a bold point?

I don't even think "coming down on the side of nurture" IS a point the show is pushing. Sure, it's exploring the implications. But I don't think the point has ever been that, had the clones been nurtured identically, they would all be identical people. That they are all very much individuals has been clear from the beginning of the show. And lines like "There's only one me!" would lose a lot of impact if it came with an asterisk saying "...the only difference being I was raised in a different environment from the other clones."
posted by torticat at 8:03 PM on June 8, 2014


I may have missed it or misunderstood -- but didn't Ethan imply what was on the disks was some kind of code? Like it wasn't all the research, just the key to it? Or something?

I think it's more likely that I missed him saying that, because that seems a good explanation for why such a small amount of storage space could contain something so crucial.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:12 PM on June 8, 2014


I am not going back to reading TLo to read their Orphan Black recaps. Or so I tell myself.

That was a great episode even if it didn't extend plot a lot other than the intro of Tony. It was a fantastic character episode for Alison and Donnie, for Rachel, for Cosima and the Science Squad, and for Felix and Art. And I will echo torticat's/the AV Club's complaint that the previews show too much--and I am not even slightly spoiler-sensitive.
posted by immlass at 8:13 PM on June 8, 2014


Every episode -- every damn episode -- I find myself experiencing this kind of epiphany that OMG the actress playing Alison is the same one who's playing Cosima who is the same one who's playing Helena. This time, it was 5 minutes in when Ali walked into the bedroom while Donnie was sorta-drunk. It might as well have been someone else playing that character, because she is so different from all the rest. It's mind-boggling.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:19 PM on June 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


I think it's more likely that I missed him saying that, because that seems a good explanation for why such a small amount of storage space could contain something so crucial.

You can cram a massive amount of text into a couple of megabytes.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:32 PM on June 8, 2014


You can cram a massive amount of text into a couple of megabytes.

I'm skeptical just based on disks I had much more recently (but still pretty long ago), but this isn't exactly the most outlandish thing on this show.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:37 PM on June 8, 2014


So why do people think it's like some big political statement on the "nurture" side to have clones who are gay/straight/trans/whatever?

Well, I can see it breaking down like this...It's a cornerstone of many fundamentalist Christian groups (and other conservative types) that being gay is a choice, not a result of one's genes (and, thus, in their minds gays are not deserving of any protection based on their sexual orientation because they chose it). One could say they are on the "nurture" side of the debate. In that light, you can see how OB seeming to be coming down on the "nurture" side too could be troubling to some.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:38 PM on June 8, 2014


Well, I can see it breaking down like this...It's a cornerstone of many fundamentalist Christian groups (and other conservative types) that being gay is a choice, not a result of one's genes (and, thus, in their minds gays are not deserving of any protection based on their sexual orientation because they chose it).

Yeah, but really, fuck those tools.

More to the point, it could easily be that the clones are gender diverse because of experimentation with the genomes of the specific individuals.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:44 PM on June 8, 2014


Sorry, not gender diverse, I meant sex and/or gender diverse.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:54 PM on June 8, 2014


I guess because I'm an identical twin and my sister and I are very different, the fact that these clones are so different just doesn't seem an issue to me. I mean, identical twins are basically nature's clones, right? Probably why I love the clone club. So the fact that these clones turned out to be radically different (including their sexuality) just doesn't come on my radar as a big thing. I honestly read these forums and wonder what the fuss is all about.

Now the fact that one person can play such radically different people and make it convincing. That's huge. I usually don't have favorites of anything, but Tatiana Maslany is hands down my favorite actor right now. She is a genius.

And, one thing that just bothered me about this episode was the message that Tony conveyed to Sarah, which was meant for Beth. He was to tell Beth to "keep the faith" about Paul because, like Tony's monitor, Paul is a "ghost". Doesn't this imply that Beth knew that Paul was her monitor? That totally doesn't make sense at all because in the first season, Sarah concluded that Beth was depressed because she (Beth) was in love with Paul and didn't know why he didn't return her love, but wouldn't break off the relationship. Sarah practically accused Paul of causing Beth's death by not leaving her. This means that Beth didn't know of Paul's role as monitor so Tony's message wouldn't make sense to Beth. Would it?
posted by patheral at 9:21 PM on June 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


One of my favorite things about this show is that when the clones find out that one of them is male, or one of them is attracted to women, they don't make it about themselves. They allow themselves each enough individuality that they can accept that's what's true for one of them might not be true for all. The only one who hadn't reacted that way is Rachel, but her point of view is so skewed by her upbringing by Dyad that I don't think she sees herself and her fellow clones as fully formed individuals.

That being said, I felt for Rachel this episode, just a little. She's so isolated - her favorite toy is missing, Leekie is also gone, and her father is reminding her that she is and always will be a test subject to him.

I also liked Donnie and Scott this episode, which I totally did not see happening. Next thing you know, I'll care about Paul.

I was half expecting Ethan to take Kira and run. He still might, I guess.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:36 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Poor Donny. Just as they were bonding over murder too.

They'll be OK. The family that slays together, stays together.
posted by scalefree at 10:52 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess because I'm an identical twin and my sister and I are very different, the fact that these clones are so different just doesn't seem an issue to me. I mean, identical twins are basically nature's clones, right? Probably why I love the clone club. So the fact that these clones turned out to be radically different (including their sexuality) just doesn't come on my radar as a big thing. I honestly read these forums and wonder what the fuss is all about.

Thanks, patheral, for that perspective!

Sarah concluded that Beth was depressed because she (Beth) was in love with Paul and didn't know why he didn't return her love, but wouldn't break off the relationship.

I think that Beth DID find out that Paul was her monitor. Sarah said Beth didn't understand why Paul wasn't in love with her "and then she found out" or something like that, realized her whole life was a lie, and killed herself.

So Tony's message may have been intended to stave off that kind of result by reassuring Beth in some way. Kinda dumb though that Tony's friend didn't try to get the message through earlier... why would it suddenly become urgent just as he's dying? Obviously he hadn't actually be in touch with Paul anytime recently, or he would have known Beth had died months (?) before.
posted by torticat at 11:03 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if he had been in touch with Paul as recently as the middle of season one - when Sara was still somewhat living as Beth. Or if Paul might have been in contact but witholding information about Beth's death.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:18 AM on June 9, 2014


Can someone help me out with this? This is from TLo's review:

But with a gay clone and now a transgender one introduced, the creators are coming down pretty hard on the whole “nurture” side of the argument about human sexual orientation and gender variations. That’s a very bold point to be making – and it seems like one of those points they need to address very soon.


The biggest failing that culture critics have when trying to expand their criticism into the real world is that in stories, we get things all nicely packaged up. Did someone mention a gun in the first act? Then someone will get shot in the third act. Did someone do something unexpected in the third act? Then there will be an explanation, even if only in the post-credits sequence. But life doesn't work like that. Sometimes people just do things we don't expect; sometimes people who never smoked a day in their lives get lung cancer; sometimes people just are gay or dislike jazz or are really good at math, and there's no fucking reason for it.

That is a hard thing to understand when your job is about situations where there is a fucking reason for everything, when even the shirt someone wears was chosen by someone who's very good at choosing shirts instead of being the shirt on top of the laundry pile.
posted by Etrigan at 6:30 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


That scene of Cosima and Delphine getting high on helium was the worst thing I've ever watched in my life.

I totally agree. That scene didn't do it for me at all (and not just because I can't stand Delphine). Reminded me of a couple of high schoolers smoking pot for the first time and OMG DUDE TOTALLY TRIPPING like they'd each just eaten a sheet of acid.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:01 AM on June 9, 2014


Perfect Allison moment: Chiding Donnie about lining the trunk properly when transporting Dr. Leekie Leaky.
posted by mochapickle at 7:27 AM on June 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


darksong: I may have missed it or misunderstood -- but didn't Ethan imply what was on the disks was some kind of code? Like it wasn't all the research, just the key to it? Or something?

He said: "Finding the cure means handing DYAD the key to the kingdom, synthetically speaking." while holding the disks in his hands.

kittens for breakfast: That cryptic last scene has me wondering if in fact Ethan's relevant research isn't all in the copy of The Island of Doctor Moreau, and the disks are a fakeout in case someone tries to steal the information.

Ethan told Kira:"Don't worry, I am nobody's pawn", while handing her the book. He is going to DYAD with the disks, leaving the most valuable in the safest hands he knows.

posted by travelwithcats at 8:20 AM on June 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


The helium scene was odd. First Cosima is mad at Delphine, even locked her out of the office and told her she doesn't want her there, and not much later they confess their love to each other and party?
posted by travelwithcats at 8:24 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think Kira knows a lot more about what's going on than anybody realizes. She is quickly becoming one of my favourite characters.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:31 AM on June 9, 2014


I could not make any sense of the transition from Cosima and Delphine's fight to their helium party. I thought I must have missed some important scene due to a very important kitten belly rub that was demanded of me around that time. Sounds like maybe not?

Kira is awesome. Tony's styling really didn't work for me even though I am all for a trans clone. Tatiana Maslany continues to be fantastic, but there's only so much you can do to convince me you are a new character when I am so completely distracted by wondering when your really sketchy-looking stick-on beard is going to fall off.
posted by Stacey at 9:26 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Tatiana Maslany continues to be fantastic, but there's only so much you can do to convince me you are a new character when I am so completely distracted by wondering when your really sketchy-looking stick-on beard is going to fall off.

Because I didn't get a good look at Tony's co-conspirator when he first showed up, I thought briefly that I was seeing a flashback to Sarah and Vic pulling some sort of low-level heist and I had just missed that it was a flashback. Part of this was the cheesiness of the stick-on beard. When Tony showed up in the car with the "Harry freaking Potter" line, there was a moment of wondering why Sarah had the stick-on facial hair before it kicked in that Tony was talking to Art, so no, this was not a flashback, and yes, this was a new and different character, and the beard/hair were meant to be for real.
posted by immlass at 9:32 AM on June 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


..."and the beard/hair were meant to be for real."

Let's keep in mind that it is a trans clone. We don't know when the transition started and although Tony takes testosterone, his facial hair might just be beginning to grow. I think the light touch in terms of special effects makeup was deliberate.
posted by travelwithcats at 9:53 AM on June 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


Reminded me of a couple of high schoolers smoking pot for the first time and OMG DUDE TOTALLY TRIPPING like they'd each just eaten a sheet of acid.

It would have been hilarious if Delphine was just sort of looking disappointed and Cosima was giggling through an explanation that pot sometimes doesn't really hit the first try.

I mean, I get the point of the scene and why Cosima would just want something nice, but it felt really clunky. Likewise, Tony having a message for Beth - there had to be a better way of involving Tony and bringing Paul back in. Beth had already tried to contact Tony (though apparently not face to face?), why not have it be that Beth was trying to warn him about weird shit going down, and that he didn't really listen until weird shit started going down? He could still have had information about Paul through his monitor, but it would have avoided a couple of other questions.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:01 AM on June 9, 2014


I think the light touch in terms of special effects makeup was deliberate.

iTunes gives season pass watchers a two-minute behind-the-scenes look at some aspect of the current episode. One of the things they discussed for this episode was the decision to leave Maslany's hair long for Tony instead of differentiating Tony by haircut/color the way they do with the wig for Rachel. Tony's facial hair being obviously sparse AND Tony having long hair that's similar to Sarah's meant that it was easy for me to think on first sight of Tony that he was just Sarah in disguise instead of a separate, new clone character. It may be a deliberate decision but I'm not crazy about it for differentiation reasons, particularly in combination with the decision to leave Tony's hair long.

(Also how many freaking clones are there? I think we knew there was one more out there somewhere, but I felt like we'd settled the cast some and then here's Tony, so now I'm just going to expect more clones or at least not be surprised when we see them. The potential for records errors/destruction means we could be adding more clones at any point.)
posted by immlass at 10:31 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Karen Walton, who wrote the episode, gives some background about Tony and the development of the character.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:04 AM on June 9, 2014


But with a gay clone and now a transgender one introduced, the creators are coming down pretty hard on the whole “nurture” side of the argument about human sexual orientation and gender variations. That’s a very bold point to be making – and it seems like one of those points they need to address very soon.

I think Tatiana Maslany clarified their view on this topic HERE.
posted by pibeandres at 12:57 PM on June 9, 2014


People on tumblr are going pretty nuts for Tony. This text post from a trans guy was really touching.
do you even understand how important orphan black is as a tv show tho because i don’t??? think you do?? like? we already had some GSM representation (felix is gay, and delphine + cosima are canonically bi) but last ep they introduced a trans clone and we actually got some fucking representation and it was handled so well?? there were correct names and pronouns, there was safe binding, there was a scene with him taking a t shot and i have never seen that, nor have i ever seen another person on screen whose underwear is a binder + boxers and that is… so odd to me like?? until that moment i have never seen someone who looks just like me - who could so easily be me with a few tweaks - on a mainstream/popular tv programme and i almost fucking cried i had to pause the show to collect myself i am so happy
posted by desjardins at 4:45 PM on June 9, 2014 [17 favorites]


One of the things they discussed for this episode was the decision to leave Maslany's hair long for Tony instead of differentiating Tony by haircut/color the way they do with the wig for Rachel.

I'm sort of glad it was done that way, since plenty of guys have long hair and since (OH HOW THIS, OF ALL THE VARIED PRODUCTION QUIRKS, DISTRACTS ME) every time I see Rachel I am transfixed by the apparent shape of her skull, ye gods.
posted by psoas at 7:58 AM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why wouldn't they just cut Maslany's natural hair really short so it's easier to fit her with wigs?
posted by desjardins at 9:10 AM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


How can there be a clone people didn't know about who's been arrested? What kind of shitty cop would Art be not to have come across the fingerprint records? And what kind of shitty mega corporation conspiracy wouldn't cotton on that a person with their clone's fingerprints had been booked?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:32 PM on June 10, 2014


Fingerprints are developed in the womb, so the clones all have variant prints. Facial recognition has a much better chance of a match, and DNA is the best way to track down clones.

Re: Maslany's hair - presumably she has said no to cutting her hair, whether for work or personal reasons, and I think she is quite possibly the least-replacable actor in the world right now so she has a lot of sway.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:27 PM on June 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'll file that under "You learn something new every day."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:27 AM on June 11, 2014


Fingerprints are developed in the womb, so the clones all have variant prints.

Yep, we (my twin and I) found that out a long time ago doing art projects. Finger prints all over the place... Very similar, but not exactly the same.

There are usually enough differences in facial features of identical twins to tell them apart too (at least for me). Whenever, for example, I see these guys or these guys on the screen (despite the clothes/hair/etc... with the Scott brothers) I hardly ever have a difficult time telling them apart. Heck, I didn't even know that the Keno brothers were twins until someone pointed it out.

I think Maslany is doing a great job at depicting how clones/twins are.
posted by patheral at 8:29 AM on June 11, 2014


The show's science consultant Cosima Herter talks about the relationship of the genetic blueprint to outcomes in live humans, in relation to sexual orientation here. Interesting that she also touches on ideas about astrology and predestination, I believe her main field is the history and philosophy of science so that figures.
posted by Coaticass at 1:54 PM on June 11, 2014




I like the idea of Tony more than actual Tony, so far (the long hair is nice but that beard), but we'll see how it goes. The Tony/Felix kiss definitely added to the episode -- I hope Tony comes back, whether or not he ends up doing more vaguely incestuous kissing. Well, half-incestuous? I don't even know.

Is Cosima canonically bi? Delphine is, but I thought Cosima wasn't.
posted by jeather at 5:52 PM on June 11, 2014


Cosima has been referred to as bi in interviews, but not on the show itself, from what I recall.

The one thing that bothered me about Tony's hair was that I couldn't really tell how it was pulled back or if the sides were supposed to look shaved, so it just looked kind of weirdly matted? The lighting didn't help.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:25 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cosima has been referred to as bi in interviews, but not on the show itself, from what I recall.

In this episode I'm pretty sure she admiringly referred to one of the male characters as "hot", I forget who though.
posted by scalefree at 8:24 PM on June 11, 2014




Homunculus, that is a thing of wonder and worthy of its own FPP.
posted by psoas at 6:39 AM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Done.
posted by homunculus at 9:42 AM on June 12, 2014


Hah, I have finally gotten around to seeing this and the comments are still open. Hoo boy. I like the idea of Tony...but honestly, he dresses like Sarah and he's a street kid like Sarah and frankly, he sounds and looks like the male version of Sarah. TOO alike. And then having him having long hair just like hers on top of that...DID NOT HELP. I really, really wish they'd done different hair. Perhaps a somewhat shorter wig and a small man ponytail or something if they wanted "long," but not that long.

I wish they'd created someone more different in that role, though. I would have been interested in a Tony who wears a suit and is more soft spoken and maybe has some of Cosima's nerd glasses. Just something DIFFERENT than Dude-Sarah.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:56 PM on July 24, 2014 [4 favorites]


Agreed, jenfullmoon. I did not buy Tony at all, to the point of comical distraction. Not just because of the unexpected new clone (although that *really* did not help), I felt the whole episode was a ham-fisted mess. It was my first worst episode for this show, and it left me feeling bummed. Why was this one so different? And why introduce a new character this way? Anyways, still a faithful fan, but am hoping they dial back the cliché silly tropes (the vaporizor scene, Donny and Alison's teary confessions, Felix and Tony's romance) and get back to the clever and campy and all the good acting and drama that makes this so great and fun to watch.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:50 AM on October 1, 2014


I do like that they treated Tony like "Oh, Tony's trans. That's interesting but no big deal."

Vic correcting Art's pronoun use from "she" to "he", and the brief silent beat after that in which Art could have come back all "yeah but" defensive but didn't, was nice there.

The floppy disks yes; not just that they're ancient, but they're unsleeved and people keep on holding them like envelopes in their big sweaty greasy hands and OH GOD KEEP YOUR GRUBBY FINGERS OFF THE EXPOSED MEDIA gah.

Cosima flooped the pig.

Drunk Donnie slurping down airline bottles of vodka. "Your minibar in the tub labeled 'buttons'."

The ending: a mixture I thought of "oh, Ethan's notes are really in the book" and "hey, Kira's special clone smarts" and "ooh, maybe Ethan recognized that in her."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:18 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm just jumping in to this Fanfare thing with this episode of this show because I've got no one else to talk to about it and I wanted to vent. I love this show, but I feel like 2nd season is really getting dangerously close to being not fun to watch anymore, but I'm hanging on because I care about the characters and there are still some good moments. Like the game nerd thing in the science lab, and yes, I thought the sequence with Rachel destroying the office was interesting as well as the whole intrigue with Ethan's book at the end.

But I feel like the trans character thing could have been done better. I'm all about having a trans character but I feel like it was just done because we've run out of ways to bring in new clones that are differentiated in some way, instead of because we just want to bring in a trans character because it's going to be good for the show or key for the plot.

I also am just taking this opportunity to say, how the hell have they not explained how Art can just go be a free agent/private investigator with endless spare time for involvement in this whole shebang, and he doesn't seem to be doing any actual police work or moving forward on the cases he was working on anymore?? That is starting to really irk me.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:32 PM on June 27, 2015


As I recall, in some unions you are still paid while suspended.
posted by corb at 11:59 PM on March 20, 2016


« Older Sherlock: His Last Vow...   |  Mad Men: Marriage of Figaro... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments