TV Review: Orphan Black, ‘Mingling Its Own Nature With It’

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Well now all that meandering last week makes sense. After a rather dull second week this week’s episode of Orphan Black shifted back into first gear with some big revelations and a lot of excitement to boot. As usual what we learn this week only stacks the deck for the clone club higher and there was much to see and talk about so let’s get to it.

Photo Credit: © Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA
Photo Credit: © Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA

Now on the run with Felix in toe with Kiera, Sarah has come to stealing food to survive moving westward with no direction of intent or so it seems. We soon come across an old house in the middle of nowhere that seems run down but as we find out is occupied by a guy named Cal who, surprise, surprise turns out to be Kiera’s biological father. Only a few things have been hinted to in the past about him and quite honestly I never really thought we would see him but considering the high stakes risk of having Kiera with them on the run it makes sense to track Cal down despite a great distance. It’s still an awkward moment for both he and Sarah but it’s not the only strained relationship we get here. We also start to see the strain between Sarah and Felix which ultimately leads to Fee leaving Cal’s home and hitchhiking back home. It’s the most vulnerable we have seen these two in their relationship and its obvious this lack of information on Sarah’s part is too much for him. There confrontation is a tough one to watch when you consider how close these two are to each other and how much they rely one another. Jordan Gavaris’ delivery of “there’s no place for me here” was heart breaking and was the best we have seen of him performance wise since the show began.

Alisson’s issues get much worse leading into her musical debut as Art’s partner Angie, disguising herself as local soccer mom, starts tailing her looking for information. Angie’s nosiness only makes things worse for Alisson who has started turning to prescription meds and alcohol to dull her anxiety. She has always relied on others to help maintain the perfect life she has tried to build but now there are very few present for her on a regular basis, especially not Donnie. In light of the sudden lack of availability of everyone in her life including Felix there was hope in my mind that Alisson might start to bond more with Cosima despite being miles apart. However, Cosima is consumed in her pursuit of science and the cure to the health issues that have plagued her. You can’t blame her for devoting all her time to that; Alisson is trying to keep the identity and life she had whereas Cosima is trying to find identity through the blood line of her other selves.

Photo Credit: © Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA
Photo Credit: © Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA

I absolutely love how Alisson’s vanity murder of Ainsley intersects with the rather bizarre nature of the musical she is in, Blood Ties, and how it fits with Cosima’s storyline as she slowly begins to literally dissect the genes of her clone siblings. While she has maintained contact and concern for her fellow clones her ties to them come more from a biological and scientific end than from a family sense. When she discovers the video diaries of Jennifer Fitzsimmons, another clone who seems to be patient zero for the illness that her and Katya have shown signs of, it would be easy to assume that she sees a potential cure if studied right. However, once she and Delphine cut the departed Jennifer open and start to learn that this seems to be a uterus based illness the biological end of things takes a higher ground in the emotional department.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Helena is conscious and strange as ever. You can see why Maslany loves playing Helena; her very distinct traits and often vague sense of consciousness allows her to be immersed in this strange persona it’s so fascinating to watch. As with the past three weeks she isn’t given much but her increasing purpose to the Prolethians makes her more of a center piece than everyone else. Her weakened state physically and mentally makes her vulnerable to acts of persuasion which through Tomas gave Helena the bulk of her narrative in season one. Henrik seems a greater and calmer headed manipulator than Tomas was and that makes him very dangerous and scary. Never mind that he already heads up a creepy cult but you can see the light in his eye that believes that Helena is not just a gift from the lord but one that can give him power.

This episode could easily be seen as fractured but I think through little bits of strong narrative everything fit together well coupled with how interesting each clone’s individual storyline is becoming as they continue their journeys on their own. We are once again left with a cliffhanger that makes you salivate at the mouth for answers but that is why Orphan Black has been as good as it has because you never know what is coming next.

Photo Credit: © Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA
Photo Credit: © Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA

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