Orphan Black: Mingling Its Own Nature With It
May 6, 2014 3:00 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

This episode saw the clones almost entirely acting on their own, and we meet one of Sarah's previous trysts/marks...

Sara breaks into a guys house... who turns out to be her sort of ex she robbed, without even telling felix!

They use Kira as a prop to shoplift!

That weird dyad institute guy who lies about everything pretends to be a cop, and then shoots a cop and starts wildly shooting at everyone!

Allison drunkenly falls off the stage at her play and gets totally fucked up!

Cosima finds out another clone died of the same disease she did, and watches the process of it on video!

It's also interesting that only interaction between the clones in this episode was Allison calling Cosima, who kinda just went "uhhh i'm busy right now lol" and hung up.
posted by emptythought (52 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Allison is my best favourite. Though the Cylon kidnapping Sara because Drama! was really lazy and annoying.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:57 PM on May 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm glad to see a post about Orphan Black here. Love it so much!

I'm not following exactly what's going on with Helena. The farmer and his family, Prolethians, are they just kind of a quiver-full group, or do we know yet? And the implication is that Helena is going to be a baby farm, yes? Because Sara was able to conceive?

(And Allison is awesome. I want to see that whole musical.)
posted by mudpuppie at 4:18 PM on May 6, 2014


I am also really feeling Allison's story arc right now! I don't know why suburban housewife (clone) on the verge of a breakdown is more compelling than possibly-dying scientist (clone) or kidnapped con artist (clone), but it is.

And then there's Helena! mudpuppie, I had the same question. Were they seriously gonna rape her to try and breed her?/ PLEASE NO. Hasn't she been through enough???
posted by leesh at 4:19 PM on May 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


I can't figure out where the writers are going with Allison. I really like her and she does seem to be a fan favorite. But I was actually pretty disturbed about her role in Aynsley's death and I feel like the writers are deliberately walking this character right up to and along that line. Sometimes I get the sense that they're setting her up to just completely go off her rocker and become full-on homicidal, implying that her particular clone flaw is insanity.

"Though the Cylon kidnapping Sara because Drama! was really lazy and annoying."

Yeah. Also, I found myself considering the actor when I watched him and I've decided that although he has a lot of screen presence with that "quiet menace" thing, he's a poor actor. But that thing he does accounted for 90% of his role on BSG and now on this show, so he's being cast for that reason but not, apparently, anything else.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:23 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Re Helena: She was totally out of it during the wedding. I wondered if they drugged her. And I think they will try to get her pregnant. Maybe he'll do it per artificial insemination, like he did with the cows.
Overall, I think season 2 will be better than season 1. Although I agree that David showing up at the birdwatcher's residence and then finding them at Cal's cabin was far-fetched and boring.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:56 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love Felix so much. I think Tatiana Maslany is fantastic, but her chemistry with him (as both Allison and Sarah) really shines through. I mention this because I thought his choice to leave Sarah and go to Allison this episode was really interesting in light of the comedy they've played with Allison and Felix using drugs ("Sharesies!?") and now her collapse, which has been coming.

I'm wondering what they're going to do with Allison since we know that in (yes, I know this doesn't really happen) clone world law, she's owned by the Dyad people. Will we find out that she has the genetic flaw that got the clone Cosima and Delphine dissected when she's in the hospital?

Also, speaking of the dude who kidnapped Sarah, I am not feeling Cal on this at all. He had a clean shot at the guy and he should have taken it. I know that would have spoiled the drama, but I think there's enough drama with the disappearance of Mrs S and the horrific turn Helena's story has taken, never mind Allison's collapse.
posted by immlass at 5:20 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


clone world law

Isn't that odd? The clones are illegal (because cloning is illegal) and yet they are patented?
posted by travelwithcats at 5:27 PM on May 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Up until this episode, there was just enough nudity (Fi's bum) and sexual violence (none, I think) in the series that I could watch unflinchingly... I hope it doesn't ratchet up any further from this.
Also, I hope they're not just really twisting the knife on Siobhan's character, and stripping all mother-type love and comfort from the character in grimacing forkfuls.
probably they are, I don't do drama very well, obviously
posted by Cold Lurkey at 5:47 PM on May 6, 2014


I think they are very deliberately walking Al(l?)ison along that edge. I think she's trying to pull herself back, but I don't think she will necessarily be able to do it. It's a really interesting parallel to Walt in season whatever it was of Breaking Bad.
posted by jeather at 6:06 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I still don't feel like Fe would have been ready to bounce on Sarah, but I get the pain and hurt, and he's got his own life to worry about. But I just think they have so much history, I didn't see that happening.

I'm liking Angie a lot. And I love how Art is involved in each episode. The glow of the scenes is something I enjoy as well. Sometimes it works better than others, but for the most part the show is great to look at.
posted by cashman at 6:50 PM on May 6, 2014


leesh: I don't know why suburban housewife (clone) on the verge of a breakdown is more compelling than possibly-dying scientist (clone) or kidnapped con artist (clone), but it is.

I was just talking about this today! I think it's because PhD-student scientist and grifter/conartist characters are characters that fit neatly into the sci-fi worlds -- and we have preconceived notions of how well those types of characters would handle discovering that they were, in fact, clones (i.e. "better than I would"). Alison, with all of her faults, is handling this WAY BETTER than I imagine most of us would, plus the nature of her pre-I'm-a-clone-awareness life gives her the most room for growth as a post-I'm-a-clone-awareness person, which makes her especially compelling. Character growth is always fascinating to watch.
posted by tzikeh at 7:40 PM on May 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


And just for clarification for future posts: the official site has Alison's name with one "l."
posted by tzikeh at 7:44 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


There are a bunch of Orphan Black links in the thread on MeFi: Orphan Black is Back
posted by homunculus at 9:00 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]




Sara breaks into a guys house... who turns out to be her sort of ex she robbed, without even telling felix!

And who is also Daario 2.0!
posted by homunculus at 1:17 AM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't figure out where the writers are going with Allison. I really like her and she does seem to be a fan favorite. But I was actually pretty disturbed about her role in Aynsley's death and I feel like the writers are deliberately walking this character right up to and along that line. Sometimes I get the sense that they're setting her up to just completely go off her rocker and become full-on homicidal, implying that her particular clone flaw is insanity.

I really think they're setting her up to kill Donny. the Aynsley thing, the torture thing from last season, how much she's been drinking again and everything. I totally agree with this theory. She's the one who had the "good normal life", and she's going to end up on the run like Sarah.

Maybe the cop lady who was stalking her will spy on her doing it, or something too.
posted by emptythought at 3:05 AM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really want to see Angie and Art make some headway on all of this! It's be nice to have some strong allies against all these weird corporations and cults.
posted by leesh at 7:56 AM on May 7, 2014


Of course, approaching a paranoid suburbanite clone pretending to be another suburbanite was bound to fail. Good effort, Angie.
posted by leesh at 7:57 AM on May 7, 2014


Oh man, that article homunculus linked above is great! Some salient points:
-- Re: creating the clones: "But of course none of these laws were in effect at the time Sarah and the other clones were created in the 1970s, so in that particular regard the clone creators haven’t (technically) done anything illegal. "
--"In Canada it’s not possible to patent any higher life forms, not even “simple” animals such as genetically engineered mice"
--" patents have a limited term, and they must be filed for within a certain time after an invention has been in public use. The law on this varies from country to country and has varied over time as well, but the bottom line is that there is almost no way that Dyad can have a valid patent that covers Sarah and the clones in 2014. Such a patent would either have to have been filed for in the 1970s, in which case it would be expired now, or it would have to have been filed for more recently, in which case it would be invalid."
--"patents are public"!!! This is the one I actually knew and wondered about. How has no one noticed this whole cloning thing yet??
posted by leesh at 8:01 AM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't tell whether Donny is comically inept because comic is the tone of that plotline or whteher he's not the "real" watcher.

Also I am really stuck on what's about to be happening to Alison in the hospital. Given the way that the Dyad dolks swept in when Sarah was at the police station, and given that they have their own medical facilities, it really seems like this is the moment when Alison should find out the impllications of that contract she signed--the one that we were so heavily warned about last year.
posted by immlass at 8:28 AM on May 7, 2014


I think it's pretty plain that he's the watcher, no? (Though with the way the show throws twists and turns, who knows.)
posted by mudpuppie at 9:52 AM on May 7, 2014


He was a lot more competent as a watcher last season though--it's weird to see how lame he was in the cemetery after being so slick earlier.
posted by leesh at 9:58 AM on May 7, 2014


It's pretty plain he's A watcher. But that doesn't mean he's the only one, especially not with Sarah being on the run and Helena gone missing.
posted by immlass at 10:00 AM on May 7, 2014


I just finished binge-watching all the episodes. Great show. Big thanks to everyone who kept bringing it up on MetaTalk until I got curious enough to check it out.

Felix is my new favorite character of all time. Alison is a total hoot and I can't wait to see what bonkers thing she does next. And I'm completely blown away by Tatiana Maslany's acting ability -- I had to keep reminding myself that it was the same actress in all those parts.

IMO forced breeding is a kinda overdone trope for women in sci-fi, so I really hope that's not actually where they're going with Helena (but I'm not optimistic).
posted by Jacqueline at 10:12 AM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


And I'm completely blown away by Tatiana Maslany's acting ability -- I had to keep reminding myself that it was the same actress in all those parts.

The scene where Sara posed as Cosima fooled me at first. When I went back and watched it again, I was amazed at how brilliantly done it was.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:54 AM on May 7, 2014


I just binged the second season up to this point, and all I can say is that this show really loves warning shots.
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on May 7, 2014


IMO forced breeding is a kinda overdone trope for women in sci-fi, so I really hope that's not actually where they're going with Helena (but I'm not optimistic).

It seemed to me that that will happen. But it's also part of a larger meta theme about how women have and do not have control over themselves and their fates.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:41 PM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]




I wrote something earlier and didn't post it because it was semi-incoherent (or semi-coherent?), but it's not clear to me what the writers think they're doing with all this about cloning and biotech and patenting and such.

The patenting stuff, assuming that it were legal to patent a human genome, is all about engineered genes. You can patent (in some countries) engineered genes that would be active in simple organisms, but you can't patent a naturally occurring genetic sequence. And the thing is, cloning isn't genetic engineering. Not in the usual sense. You can clone, and certainly would have cloned in the 70s, without altering the genome in any way. So there's nothing that a patent would apply to.

On the other hand, given that the show has a patent label appearing in Cosima's genome, in the show's universe, it clearly was possible to do some genetic engineering that wasn't possible in our universe until much more recently.

If the writers do sort of know what they're talking about, then it's possible that the clones are a combination of both genetic engineering and cloning technology. That raises the question of why someone would do such a thing, but a good answer for this is to selectively alter various genes in different clones and see how that affects each phenotype (because other things are equal).

But we also have the illness and infertility problems seen in the show. Cloning of animals has generally produced a lot of unviable clones that don't make it to term, and of those which do live, many have illnesses. This is because of a combination of a couple of things.

First, that using the nuclear DNA of an older/adult original will result in clones more likely to have problems because our DNA is constantly acquiring small mutations as we age, despite all the biological machinery to prevent and control this. Mostly, this isn't a problem for us because our cells are differentiated and so for any given type of cell in the body, only a small portion of their genes are actually active. It doesn't matter that there's a mutation in the gene controlling a liver enzyme in a skin cell. But if you use the nuclear DNA from any of these cells as the DNA in a zygote for a clone that will gestate, all those mutations will matter. You may well ask: isn't this a problem for regular reproduction? And the answer is that, yes, it is, except that the problem is greatly mitigated by ... sex. At minimum, it reduces the probability of a damaging mutation by half. Even so, this is part of why there's a chance of birth defects for children that increases with the parents' ages.

Second, it's thought that other problems with clones are the result of epigenetic factors. With "simple" cloning of an animal, you take the nuclear DNA of the original, and you put it in place of the DNA of a fertilized zygote. But that DNA and zygote are, in a sense, alien to each other in a way that is normally very much not the case.

Modern cloning of animals attempts to mitigate both of these problems. But early cloning had these problems intensely, and that's why clones didn't survive and, when the first did, it was only after almost all their "siblings" did not.

So it's not clear to me what the writers are doing here. On the one hand, they're implying that the clones have the sorts of problems that we've long seen with clones of higher animals. And that would necessarily be the case for any cloning done ten to thirty years ago. But on the other hand, the writers are implying some genetic engineering. Pretty sophisticated genetic engineering, too, even for today — someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that literally writing a patent claim info into someone's gene would require a synthetic gene. With that level of technology available when the clones were gestated, and given that this was a cloning project, one wonders why they would be content to accept the problems associated with the crude cloning technology that would produce so many health problems. So then I think that maybe the health problems involve genetic engineering.

But then I decide that the writers almost certainly don't really know what they're talking about and have just mixed-and-matched various things they've gleaned from Wikipedia and whatever. Clones have health problems. Companies are patenting genomes. Voila!

I dunno.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:09 PM on May 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


I wrote something earlier and didn't post it because it was semi-incoherent (or semi-coherent?), but it's not clear to me what the writers think they're doing with all this about cloning and biotech and patenting and such.

It's perfectly clear to me: they're telling a story.
posted by Etrigan at 2:14 PM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, really? Thanks for clearing that up.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:21 PM on May 7, 2014


A little suspension of disbelief might help.

I just watched an interview with the creators (it was one of the videos linked at the end of the video ZeusHumms posted). One of them said that "Cosima" is based on his real-life friend Cosima, who is science-y and explained the possibilities of cloning to him. She's been their 'science advisor.'

Not to say that any of this is based on real scientific/intellectual property stuff, but that they at least have people who know Things telling them Things..
posted by mudpuppie at 2:38 PM on May 7, 2014


Expecting perfect -- or, frankly, even good science from science fiction forgets that the second half of the phrase is much heavier than the first. It's one thing to point out that sound doesn't travel in space, but the entire premise of Orphan Black is that someone was able to make viable clones of human beings thirty years ago, let them out into the wild and monitor them ever since -- oh, and to do all this without anyone ever finding out, despite it being probably among the top five scientific breakthroughs ever. The fact that their genetic science isn't up to snuff pales in comparison.
posted by Etrigan at 2:40 PM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Let's just put the blame where it belongs: On Max Headroom.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:42 PM on May 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Pistols at dawn, sirrah.
posted by Etrigan at 2:56 PM on May 7, 2014


"Expecting perfect -- or, frankly, even good science from science fiction forgets that the second half of the phrase is much heavier than the first."

First of all, your comment was a bit of snark that violated one of the understood rules of FanFare: don't tell other people that they're watching it wrong.

Second of all, please do not condescend to me about expectations and genre conventions. I'm not expecting even good science and that wasn't really what my comment was about.

Had you bothered to think about it rather than simply react to what you mistakenly thought it was about, you'd have noticed that my point was that they've included enough real science to imply that they might know enough about this stuff to be doing one thing or, alternatively, they might be doing another thing if they don't know as much about it. My point is that it's hard to tell which is the case, not that I'm upset that the latter might be the case.

And, anyway, you're wrong. Science fiction, even televised science fiction, is what it is because it attempts some level of scientific plausibility. The appropriate standard of judgment for that plausibility, independent of the plausibility of the rest of the narrative, is the degree to which the writer(s) include specific science intended to establish credibility.

This isn't specific to science fiction, or even genre fiction. It's a general principle of narrative plausibility that's related to the requirement of self-consistency. If I write a novel set in a specific town in a specific period of time, then to the degree to which I include details intended to establish the credibility of the narrative in that particular place and time is the degree to which I'm rightly judged by the accuracy of those details. If I write for a science fiction television show that goes to the effort of including lots of scientific details intended to establish credibility, then I'm rightly judged by the accuracy of those details.

Anyway, pretty much every fictional story ever told is deeply implausible in one or more respects. There is a huge variety of narrative conventions that are actually very implausible in the real world, but we don't think twice about them because they're a practical necessity, or we aesthetically like what they allow, or we're just accustomed to them. For example, in almost all television and film, people never say "goodbye" on the telephone. It's as if all these characters live in a world with different social conventions.

So by your reasoning, because of this and so many other examples of narrative implausibility, we cannot complain about any kind of implausibility that is less than or equally severe. Which is absurd. Any particular matter of plausibility isn't judged by the standard of the least plausible element in the entire story. That's never the case. Instead, what we generally do is make contextually appropriate judgments about plausibility (or its lack). One of those is what I describe above: the more technical details about a topic you include to increase credibility, the more strictly you're going to be judged on that basis.

That's true whether it's about the aristocratic social customs of regency UK, Napoleon's invasion of Russia, American academic departmental politics, contemporary quarter horse racing, operations of an American trauma center, law school, 1970s Detroit, a Romani family in France, or the biology of genetics and cloning.

If, as you say, telling the story is most important (and it is), then good writers don't put a lot of effort into establishing plausibility and credibility with these sorts of details. They include only as much as is natural and to set the scene, and otherwise let the narrative itself establish its own credibility. One of the problems with genre writing is that it tends to be weak in this respect and so it relies upon genre conventions to do a good portion of the work. In science fiction, scientific details play this role. First and foremost, it's a weakness of Orphan Black that it goes to the trouble it does to bolster its veneer of Real Science (and, relatedly, Important Social Issues). But, given that this is the case, it's a further weakness of it when it gets this stuff wrong.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:50 PM on May 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


First of all, your comment was a bit of snark that violated one of the understood rules of FanFare: don't tell other people that they're watching it wrong.

No it wasn't. It was disagreement about what the writers were doing. You appear to believe that they are trying to lend their show an air of authenticity that they don't earn; I believe that they are using what is known as "technobabble" and cheerfully ignoring any science that gets in the way of their premise that we have a bunch of clones from the 1980s who are part of a continuing experiment.

Second of all, please do not condescend to me... Had you bothered to think about it rather than simply react to what you mistakenly thought it was about...

Physician, heal thyself.

The rest of your argument is kinda the same thing -- you believe that when writers increase details, they increase their own commitment to getting things correct. That is not necessarily what other people believe. Hence the use of the term "technobabble" -- things like "reversing the polarity" sound like they mean something, but the audience collectively understands that the writers are saying, "And now science happens," and we go along with it.
posted by Etrigan at 4:05 PM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is the "real" Cosima's academic page, this is her Orphan Black related page. She's friends with the writers.

What I find most interesting about this is that the real-life Cosima's specialty isn't the bioscience itself, but the history of it:

"My current research is directed towards the historical development of 20th century biotechnology with a keen eye on the ways in which the commercialization of biology has influenced both the methodologies and the goals of the biosciences more generally."

That could easily be a summary of the show.

Given those clues I'm betting that the writers do know exactly what they're doing. They may well be using the actual science to develop a plausible alternate history for the development of biotech, though, and the mentions of Dyad's age as an organization also hint at that.
posted by feckless at 4:59 PM on May 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I absolutely buy Felix leaving. He loves Sarah to pieces, but given what we do know about Sarah's past, there's no doubt that she's screwed him over before. Things have been better since her reappearance, but now she's yanked him out of his life and used him to further her own ends without telling him what those ends were - getting back with Cal. Suddenly he's feeling used and unwanted, and Alison still needs him. Perfect excuse to run off. Hopefully he can help Alison pull herself back together.

I'm disappointed in where Helena's plotline is heading. Still holding out some hope that she'll pull off a miraculous escape, but I'm not optimistic. Sarah screwing Paul while he thought she was Beth in Season 1 was already rapier than I'm comfortable with.
posted by Turbo-B at 6:59 PM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


And as for the science...

While I would love it if they have some deep, well thought out plan to make the science work out in a realistic and believable way, Etrigan's probably right and we shouldn't expect much more than technobabble.
posted by Turbo-B at 7:07 PM on May 7, 2014


From a transcript of an NPR interview with Tatiana Maslany a few weeks ago:

MCEVERS: It's clearly a really fun and challenging project, but do you also think it's important, I mean in the way that a sci-fi show can be? Do you think this is something that's kind of a conversation about science and what we may be able to do with our bodies in the future?

MASLANY: To me the clones represent the many ways our lives could go, the many possibilities for any one person. And to me it's interesting to - at the end of season one we sort of find out that the clones have been patented and that always resonated for me as a woman to have this idea of our bodies not being our own.

There's this media ownership over the images of women's bodies and there's such an emphasis on your body representing who you are and defining who you are and also fitting into a specific box. And I feel that's a very resonant theme for young women like myself, and especially women in this industry.

posted by ZeusHumms at 10:59 PM on May 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Hence the use of the term 'technobabble' -- things like 'reversing the polarity' sound like they mean something, but the audience collectively understands that the writers are saying, 'And now science happens,' and we go along with it."

Consider this: why, exactly, do so many people object to Dick Van Dyke's "cockney" accent in Mary Poppins?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:35 AM on May 8, 2014


Maslany's dead on impression of Matt Frewer made me laugh out loud.

Just wanted to throw that out there, in the middle of whatever this thread is becoming.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:23 PM on May 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


There is something about how Art and Angie have been portrayed that I find highly entertaining. I can't describe it well but it is as if those two characters are near-stereotypical TV cops, yet pushed ever so slightly toward a camp version of stereotypical TV cops.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:13 PM on May 8, 2014


That Matt Frewer impression was the best part! I watched it three times.

As for everything else, I think if the writers wanted us to take this show entirely seriously they would have included way less of Alison's musical and Felix's bum. I can forgive them some bad science as long as they keep it funny.
posted by mmoncur at 6:29 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, I found the source of some of the episode titles including this one: Francis Bacon's Novum Organum
The Idols of the Tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe or race of men. For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.
Beautiful quote, and way more of a serious science reference than I expected. There's definitely a proper science nerd on staff.
posted by mmoncur at 6:55 PM on May 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't let the science bother me because I recite the Clone High theme song before every episode. I think it would have benefitted from a reworking for this show.

Way way back in the 1980's
Secret government employees
Dug up famous guys and ladies
And made amusing genetic copies
Now their clones are sexy teens now
They're gonna make it if they try
Learning, loving, sharing, judging
A time to laugh and shiver and ... Cry
Clone High, Clone High
posted by bleep at 8:41 PM on May 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought Donny was spying for the Prolitheans.
posted by fullerine at 12:49 AM on May 10, 2014


It's Saturday! It's Saturday!
posted by tzikeh at 5:01 AM on May 10, 2014


So it's not clear to me what the writers are doing here. On the one hand, they're implying that the clones have the sorts of problems that we've long seen with clones of higher animals. And that would necessarily be the case for any cloning done ten to thirty years ago. But on the other hand, the writers are implying some genetic engineering. Pretty sophisticated genetic engineering, too, even for today — someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that literally writing a patent claim info into someone's gene would require a synthetic gene. With that level of technology available when the clones were gestated, and given that this was a cloning project, one wonders why they would be content to accept the problems associated with the crude cloning technology that would produce so many health problems. So then I think that maybe the health problems involve genetic engineering.

I was thinking that they might have the ability to do some genetic engineering, but only so far as to be able to say "set a G here, set a A here", etc. That would let them encode a message into a genome. To prevent all sorts of health problems would require them to somehow unambiguously determine which genomes would cause the various issues, and what "settings" would correct those problems without in turn causing new ones. That seems to be a separate problem even more difficult to solve.
posted by bjrn at 12:06 PM on May 11, 2014


Rachel did mention that they don't know where the health problems came from and they want Cosima to figure it out.
posted by bleep at 2:32 PM on May 11, 2014


Maybe he'll do it per artificial insemination, like he did with the cows.

I was 100% sure that's what the framing shot was of him carrying her into the barn (through that window), after we'd seen them doing the artificial insemination to the cows in there earlier. I love how this show gets to be super creepy about this sort of non-consent thing without doing the usual "Now watch us rape her onscreen, so creepy!" trope. Like they trust you to get the creep factor from it.
posted by jessamyn at 11:17 AM on September 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


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