ORPHAN BLACK Redux: Adventures in Babysitting, Sisterly Bonding and Rehab (2014)

"Orphan Black"
“Orphan Black”
In last week’s ORPHAN BLACK episode “Governed As It Were By Chance,” life began to settle into a new unexpected routine. For Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), it meant giving Cal (Michiel Huisman) and Kira (Skyler Wexler) some bonding time while she went in search of answers back at Mrs. S’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) house and exploring at Rachel’s apartment. For Alison, it meant finding out that she had checked herself into rehab – maybe because she was drinking excessively or maybe just to get away from her monitor husband Donnie (Kristian Bruun). For Cosima, it was adjusting to the fact that she was terribly ill and desperate to find an answer while keeping her clone sisters in the dark to her condition. And for Helena, it meant getting the hell away from those crazy Proletheans and finding someone she could really trust – which turned about to be Sarah, the sister that had shot her and left her for dead.

Since the prior episode had ended with Sarah captured by Daniel Rosen (Matthew Bennett) and then run off the road, there was no way things were going to get any calmer after that.

The lives of clone-club have become more entangled and more desperate with each new revelation. Each would love to go back to the good ole days when they were blissfully unaware of their clone status and the bizarre world where the Dyad Institute and the Neolutionists are monitoring them, and the Proletheans are either trying to assassinate them or use them as procreating guinea pigs.

Clone-club was only exciting at first, especially once it was discovered that Sarah, Beth, Alison, Cosima and Helena were all related; well, related by biology, with only Sarah and Helena sisterly twins. But it was not enough to find out that they were clones, they then found out that there was someone keeping tabs on them and testing them without their knowledge. Because Sarah and Helena were the unknown ones, they tipped the scales and threw everything into chaos.

It was all due to that fateful day on the train station when Sarah watched Beth throw herself in front of a train. If Sarah had simply walked away, she may have never known about the clones and put herself and Kira in the crosshairs; for now everyone seems to wants to claim them in a religion versus science tug-of-war.

But all the clones’ lives did intersect. Clone-club was revealed and everyone seemed to be literally trying to claim a piece of them.

After some initial qualms, ultimately Cosima and Alison signed away their rights to claim self-ownership in exchange for being allowed to live supposedly quite, simple lives. Plus, Cosima wanted the Dyad Institute’s technological resources and unlimited funds in order to continue her research and find a cure to the mysterious illness that had killed several of the other sister-clones.

As for Alison, she just wanted to return to a life of blissful ignorance – thinking that she had watched her monitor die and that she would be able to go back to her normal quiet suburban life. Yet to Alison’s increasing horror, she found out that her husband Donnie was actually her monitor and that her friend Aynsley (Natalie Linsinka) had been an innocent bystander who died a needless death. Is it any wonder that Alison turned to drinking to take the edge off her guilty, paranoia and feelings of frustration that her life was not her own: Checking into rehab was the only sane thing to do given the circumstances.

So while Cosima and Alison grappled with their lives trapped in a living hell, Sarah was scrambling to get her daughter Kira as far away from the Neolutionists and Proletheans as possible. It made sense that Sarah would turn to the only man who might give a damn and who was unconnected to this insane affair, Kira’s biological father. Cal Morrison had chosen to live off-the-grid after a vicious corporate take-over a decade earlier. So it made him a safe option in Sarah and Kira’s time of need – especially since he seemed to have unlimited financial resources and was tech savvy enough to know how to circumvent the computer footprints that might lead Dyad right back to them. He also was not shy about using a gun or a little muscle to protect Sarah and Kira when necessary. In fact, he did not hesitate to run Daniel Rosen’s car off the road to get Sarah back. Brains, brawn and unflinchingly brave – yes, this was perhaps just the knight-in-shining armor that Sarah and Kira needed right now.

Unfortunately, Sarah was just too jumpy to sit still and keep out of sight. She had to go back and search for answers about Mrs. S, and then she foolishly decided she’d enter the dragon’s lair one more time to see what she could find at Rachel’s apartment. Unfortunately for Sarah, Daniel Rosen was Rachel’s live-in boyfriend and he caught her there. With payback in mind, Daniel was about to slice Sarah into some nasty pieces, when fate intervened just in time.

Helena had woken from her drug-induced stupor from her gun-shot wound to find a wedding ring on her left hand and dressed in an old-fashioned wedding gown. Dimly recalling some kind of ceremony and that she was apparently being held against her will, Helena high-tailed it right out of the Prolethean camp as fast as she could. She did not even stop to greet Art (Kevin Hanchard), Beth’s old police partner, in her haste to get away. Once Helena could run, she did not stop running. She, like her twin Sarah, could only think of getting back to the one thing that made sense – Mrs. S’s house. That’s where the answers were. Like Sarah, Helena knew she needed to find out what was going on. Good thing for Sarah too, because Helena followed Sarah from Mrs. S’s house just in time to rescue Sarah from Daniel’s murderous rampage. He may have been under orders to not kill Sarah, but he sure seemed to think he was entitled to inflict some bodily damage – such as, maybe take an ear or finger off to repay Sarah for the trouble she had brought him.

In the cheer-worthy moment of the night, Daniel was quickly and efficiently dispatched by Helena. But in a scene that send shivers down everyone’s spines, Helena crept closer and closer to Sarah, who was still tied up in the shower. The large knife in Helena’s hand along with the bloody wedding dress dripping down to her feet, Sarah’s shrieks of terror seemed to go unheeded. Who was to save her from Helena? But when Helena reached her twin, she merely wrapped her arms around her and put her head on her sister’s chest – as if seeking solace herself from the agonies and uncertainties she had endured. In Helena’s fractured mind, Sarah may have shot her, but Sarah was the safer of the alternatives of all the people out there. Helena saw Sarah as an ally against the world that is stalking them. It simply did not matter that they had a sisterly quarrel and had fought. In Helena’s mind, they were sisters ‘til death and they would protect each other from everyone else. At least, that is the hope or Sarah’s time on earth is now a lot shorter than before.

It will be curious to see in this upcoming episode “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” whether Sarah and Helena can find a way to trust each other and work together, and whether Cal is as trust-worthy as he so far seems. Cal and Kira are especially adorable together as they get to know one another as father/daughter.

Then what part does Art have to play in this drama? His partner Angie (Inga Cadranel) is circling around Alison and keeps pressing to know what is really going on. But as he warned, she really doesn’t. No one in their right mind wants to know about clone-club and the war that envelops them between the Neolutionists and Proletheans. There is a lot of government money on one side and the religious fervor of zealots willing to kill and die for a cause on the other. It is a war without any winners, and Angie really does not want to discover how deadly that can get.

So to see what the next adventure of clone club is and whether Helena is the savior Sarah truly needed, be sure to tune in for this week’s all new episode of ORPHAN BLACK on Saturday, May 17th at 9:00 p.m. on BBC America.

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