Review: The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline looked so romantic in the previews. It looked like a great love story with a beautiful cast. I was right about the cast, but wrong about the story. There will be a couple of spoilers. Continue reading “Review: The Age of Adaline”

Orphan Black S3 E2: Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis

Orphan Black’s “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” begins where the last episode left off, with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) still looking for Helena and the male clone Rudy, AKA Scarface, (Ari Mullen, an army) freed from his basement prison and on the loose with Seth, AKA Mr. Moustache. The time between episodes appears to be just a few hours.

Rudy and the Boys

Ari Millen as Rudy and the other soldier boys gets all the wow scenes with multiple clones in this episode. There are several.

Rudy and Seth think they should share sex.
Both Rudy and Seth think they should share sex with the lovely Patty.

Rudy picks up a willing young woman named Patty (Natalie Krill) for sex, but she nixes the idea when Seth shows up and wants to join in. Later Patty reports the incident to Detective Bell (Kevin Hanchard) – yeah, he’s back on duty. Bell informs Sarah that the boys are loose and on the prowl and they both have a double headed horse tattoo on their left forearms.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) shows up and tells Rudy and Seth to report to base. Rudy asks if the orders come from “Mother.” I’m thinking mother is Dr. Virginia Coady (Kyra Harper). We glimpsed her last week and see more of her this week. She seems to be in charge of the military side of the clone experiments.

Rudy is the rebel. He’s a lot like Sarah in that way. He decides not to follow orders, but to finish the job and get the original genome from Sarah.

Rudy holds Kira and points a gun at Sarah
Rudy tries to get the genome info from Sarah by threatening Kyra.

Rudy hides in Kyra’s (Skyler Wexler) blanket fort in Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment. He grabs Kyra and tries for force Sarah to talk. She knows nothing. When he realizes that Seth, who is waiting downstairs, is fritzing out like a bad transister, Rudy leaves and releases Kyra. Downstairs he sees that Seth is suffering a hopeless glitch and shoots him. Then he leans down and says, “I love you, brother.”

While we are on the subject of Felix’s apartment, it looks like the tank of liquid nitrogen is inside the blanket fort and has not come to the attention of any of the adults yet.

We also see another male clone at the military base where Helena is held. His name is Miller. More on Miller later.

Mark holds a blow torch to his tattoo
Mark removes his tattoo with a blow torch.

Mark makes a brief appearance in this episode. He removes the horse tattoo from his arm in the most painful way possible.

Sarah and the Girls

Sarah and Cal in the new apartment
Our little family pad

Cal (Michiel Huisman) rents an apartment where he and Sarah and Kyra can play house. Sarah and Kyra love the idea, but it isn’t meant to be. Paul comes by to tell Cal that Sarah better get outta Dodge. Cal goes to Felix’s to warn her and sees Rudy shoot Seth.

Mrs. S has a black eye
Poor Mrs. S is bashed up

Sarah sort of forgives Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) for giving up Helena, but only if she will use her contacts to find Paul and get info on where Helena is. Sarah also wants to go after Mark in hopes he knows where Helena is hidden.

I think Mrs. S is the one who inspired the “transitory sacrifices of crisis” choice for the episode title.

Felix
Felix takes great care of Mrs. S

Felix is taking care of Mrs. S, but he joins Sarah in urging her to do something about Helena.

Kira looks at her mom.
Kyra says goodbye to everyone

Sarah decides to send Kyra to safety with Cal. They will go to Iceland.

Alison and Ramon
Alison sees Ramon at a soccer match.

When Ramone (Alex Ozerov) tells Alison that he’s closing down his business to go off to college, Alison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) buy him out. They buy almost $80,000 worth of pills from him. Alison sees it as a way to make money now that Donnie is out of a job, but also a way to defeat Marci (Amanda Brugel) in the school trustee race. Seems most of Ramone’s clients are soccer moms like Alison. Her new voter base awaits drug delivery, yes indeed.

Cosima in the lab
Cosima is well enough to work

Cosima is feeling much better. She makes reference to some sort of spiritual effect in her recovery. She says as a scientist she needs to be open to everything, which I see as foreshadowing the arrival of Ksenia Solo as a guest. Neither Scott (Josh Vokey) or anyone else can quite explain her rapid recovery. She’s back in the lab looking for answers, and giving Sarah info on the two-headed horse mythology about Castor.

Helena with an eye tracking device over her right eye
Scorpions like mangos, too

Helena is in a military compound. The male clone, Miller, is torturing her as part of a stress test. Helena is given the same strange eye test that earlier cause Seth to glitch out in a minor way. It drives Helena have a conversation with her spirit animal, the scorpion, about wanting to see the mango mentioned in the test.

Dr. Virginia Coady talks to Helena
Have something to eat, my dear.

Dr. Coady stops all the testing because she’s learned that Helena is pregnant. She’s warm and friendly to Helena, gives her food, treats her with respect. Look out for that one, Helena.

In Summary

At the end of the episode, Sarah is no closer to finding Helena. Cal and Kyra are doing a geographical in hopes of keeping Kyra safe. Cosima and Josh haven’t yet started in on decoding “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” We’ve learned that the male clones have some sort of mental connection – Rudy knew what Seth was feeling & Mark decided the tattoo had to go.

I’m eager to see Alison interact with Marci. Amanda Brugel has had fleeting scenes so far, but I think the time is coming when we’ll see more of her and Alison together. I’m also eager to see Ksenia Solo appear.

The Title Quote

The title again comes from Dwight Eisenhower. In his farewell to the nation speech in 1961, there was this paragraph.

“Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle – with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment”

Several Peeks at Orphan Black Season 3

The latest preview for Orphan Black season 3 indicates that a theme of the new season will be what happens when the male clones and the female clones interact. Based on this clip of a meeting between Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) and Rudy (Ari Millen), things might be a bit fraught in the extended family.

Sarah doesn’t like that the probably insane clone we saw a glimpse of at the end of season 2 knows all about her family, including Kira (Skyler Wexler), Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Sarah knows nothing about this guy, not even his name, and he knows everything about her.

Oh dear, does that glimpse of Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) mean she’s running things regarding all the clones, not just Cosima? Very mysterious.

The, “Count your sisters,” line is ominously suggestive as well. Are there more clones? Another of the previews below suggests that there might be more female clones as well.

We’ve enjoyed the virtuoso performance as a number of clones from Tatiana Maslany for two seasons. It looks like Ari Millen is prepared to do an equally outstanding job with his batch of characters. I suspect the number of male clones will be revealed slowly. That’s how it was done with the females, and it builds suspense through the season.

Much as I want to see where the addition of the male clones to the story takes us, I’m still interested in several things from season 2:

  • What about Sarah and Cal (Michiel Huisman)?
  • Does Cosima recover and what about her relationship with Delphine?
  • Where is Helena and what’s happening to her? Will she ever see Jesse (Patrick J. Adams) again?
  • Will Allison get her act together?
  • Will Tony be back?

I hope the male clones don’t steal too much story time from the characters we already know and love.

In an article from Spoiler Room, producer John Fawcett talked about Cosima and answered at least one of my questions about season 3.

…This season will really be focused—at least for Cosima—on the nature of science vs. faith. “The interesting thing about Cosima is she came very close to dying and that wasn’t something that we took lightly,” executive producer John Fawcett says. “That wasn’t something that we did to try and scare the audience, that really was the beginning of a new journey for Cosima in season 3. The fact that she has come that close to death, that she essentially had a near-death experience, changes her because she can’t explain what happened to her. It puts this character, who is so entrenched in the science, in this place where she’s now looking for answers beyond science.”

Here are some previews that were released earlier than the one above.

The “This is War” Preview

The “Calling All Clones” Preview

The First Official Trailer for Season 3

I already published this one, but it doesn’t hurt to see it again.

Orphan Black begins on BBC America on April 18. In case you are like me and don’t have BBC America, you can buy the season on iTunes or Amazon Prime. The episodes are usually available on those platforms the morning after they air live.

Orphan Black Season 3 Teaser and Premier Date

We have a date for the premier of season 3 of Orphan Black. April 18, 2015. And we have another clever teaser for the upcoming series. This one shows Tatiana Maslany killing it as she plays one clone pretending to be another clone.

So far the teasers for season 3 have mostly been reworked bits from season 2. We don’t seen much of Ari Millen, who will play several clones in season 3. (We did see just a hint of Ari Millen in these previews a few days ago.)

I’m not getting a sense that Tony, the male clone Tatiana plays will be back. We aren’t getting any hints about whether the pencil that Sarah blasted into Rachel’s eye is going to be the end of her or a temporary setback.

We do know from publicity about Ksenia Solo guesting on the series as a healer for Cosima that Cosima is probably going to recover and survive.

I saw a preview for an upcoming movie called The Age of Adeline in the theater the other day. The male love interest was played by Michiel Huisman, who plays Cal on Orphan Black. I hope that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had time to continue on as Cal in season 3.

I love seeing these teasers but I’d like at least a few tidbits about where season 3 will go.

Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried

It’s the finale of season 2! Orphan Black will surprise and confound you with “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” and it sets up some powerful incentives to wish for a speedy return of a season 3.

Rachel (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) has Kira (Skyler Wexler) installed somewhere at Dyad. Sarah is also in the hands of Dyad.

Sarah is a prisoner of Dyad
Sarah is a prisoner of Dyad

Men ask Sarah all sorts of invasive questions about her sex life. She’s handcuffed and a Dr. Nealon (Tim McCamus) comes in. He gets her to sign away the rights to her eggs in return for getting to see Kira.

A woman takes a DNA swab from Kira. She steals the woman’s phone and calls a number she has memorized. (Cal made her memorize his number a few episodes back.)

Rachel takes Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) off Cosima’s case. Rachel forces Delphine to go to Germany, but tells Delphine it isn’t personal. Delphine counters with, “I love her. If you let her die without me, that’s personal.” Delphine sends Cosima a message that alerts her to the fact that she’s on her own now. When Cosima sees the message, she asks very nicely if she can see Kira.

Now that she’s signed away her eggs, Sarah gets to see Kira, but it’s through a 2-way mirror. Kira, however, seems aware of Sarah’s presence on the other side of the glass. Sarah sees Duncan (Andrew Gillies) in the hallway. He tells her not to despair.

I brought my own tea, thanks.
I brought my own tea, thanks.

Duncan is on his way to the video room where Rachel watches videos of her younger self. Rachel wants him to turn over the keys to the codes for all the clones, not just the ones that will save Cosima. He refuses, saying that her attempts to create more clones should fail. Then he dips a teabag he brought himself in a cup of hot water and poisons himself. Duncan dies.

Cal (Michiel Huisman) shows up at Mrs. S’s place, thanks to Kira’s memorization skills. Felix (Jordan Gavaris) leaves Cal there and goes to Art Bell’s (Kevin Hanchard) to rescue him once again from Helena eating him out of house and home. Felix will take Helena back to his place.

Felix to the rescue
Felix to the rescue.

Felix asks Helena if she burned down the fish people’s ranch last night. She grins and says no. She says she fell in love and her boyfriend had to go work at Jesse’s Towing. Felix doesn’t quite click to this, but perhaps he will remember it later.

Cal shows Mrs. S his research into Dyad. He formed a connection to someone with similar interests on “the dark net.” He thinks it’s someone on the inside because they know a lot about Dyad. With Mrs. S there, he types “Can you help.”

Mrs. S tells him to type, “I’m with Siobhan Sadler.”

The response is “Ask her about Castor.”

In the episode where Cosima first explained the Greek myth about Leda, I mentioned that Castor and Pollux were twin brothers. Their mother was Leda. In some versions of the myth, they are supposed to have twin sisters Helen (of Troy) and Clytemnestra. Castor has now become a plot point in the clone mystery.

Mrs. S., Paul (Dylan Bruce), and Cal all arrive in different vehicles at an empty warehouse. Cal steps out of a limo. Paul is in uniform, a major now. Cal and Paul size each other up as if they are in a competition to win Sarah. (Points for Cal: he gets in the last kiss of the season with Sarah when she kisses him goodbye later at Felix’s place.) When Paul gets into the limo that Cal came in, he finds Dr. Marian Bowles (Michelle Forbes).

Cal asks Mrs. S what they are doing and she answers, “Hoping that there are still good people in the most corrupt places.”

In exchange for some files from Paul, Dr. Bowles promises to get Sarah and Kira out of Dyad.

In the meantime, Cosima has been allowed to see Kira. She plays a science game with her involving sharp pencils, mass, force, and acceleration. Then she has Kira draw a picture for her mom about what she learned.

When Cosima leaves Kira, she and Scott (Josh Vokey) rig up a fire extinguisher with some tubing and a very sharp pencil. Scott figures out a way to get the device into the operating room where the evil Dr. Nealon is about to remove one of Sarah’s ovaries. She’ll still have one, and who needs more than one, right?

Rachel comes in to the operating room and sends everyone away. She conveniently gives Sarah the picture Kira drew. As Rachel marches around the room talking about Duncan being dead and destroying what she claims is Kira’s stem cell sample right in front of Sarah, Sarah figures out the secret message in Kira’s art. She uses the fire extinguisher to launch the pencil right into Rachel’s eye. Rachel falls, pencil to the brain. One can only hope she dies, but you can never tell with Orphan Black.

Sarah runs to Kira’s room. She finds Dr. Bowles getting Kira ready. Dr. Bowles tells her she’s free to go and Cal is waiting downstairs. Bowles tells Sarah she’s from Topside and promises Sarah the truth if she’ll meet her the next day.

4 clone dance party
4 clone dance party

Sarah, Cosima, Allison and Helena are at Felix’s. A big wow for the dance scene with all 4 clones and Felix dancing together. They wisely didn’t include Kira – she danced up by Felix’s bed. It was a bit jerky getting Felix in and out to dance with the different women, I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to add Kira. As it was, the scene took 2 days to film.

Cosima took off her oxygen to dance but struggled to breathe. She’s a wonderful dancer. Helena went all head banger hilarious. Allison was suitably reserved. Sarah’s dancing was enthusiastic but untrained.

One of the reasons Tatiana Maslany gives for being able to make such clear distinctions between each of these characters is her extensive dance background. In essence, she dances each character’s physicality. It must have been interesting for her to actually dance in character instead of walk and talk in character.

That night, Felix and Kira sleep on the couch. Cosima and Sarah sleep in Felix’s bed. They wake in the night to talk about the golden ratio, DNA, and hold hands. Sarah said, “I can’t do this without you.” Cosima answers, “You’ll be fine,” with an expression that implies she’s accepted the inevitability of her own death – very soon. Helena wakes up in the middle of the night and leaves a tank of liquid nitrogen out in plain sight. We’ll have to learn why in season 3, but I’m guessing it contains frozen eggs or embryos. When she leaves the apartment, she’s snatched by military types and taken to a plane. The Jesse’s Towing cap falls on the floor behind her for someone to find in season 3.

In the early morning, Kira climbs into bed with Cosima. Cosima doesn’t respond to Kira’s repeated calls. Everything fades to white as if Cosima is going into the light. Cosima sees Delphine in the light. Delphine touches Cosima in her vision, just as Kira touches her in real life. The touch brings Cosima back to Kira. Kira asks her to read to her and Cosima finally sees the annotations in The Island of Doctor Moreau. Cosima doesn’t leap from the bed, shout EUREKA and announce she has the key to save herself and everyone else, but I’m assuming that’s what’s in the book. Another plot point tempting us into season 3.

Sarah’s morning is spent going to meet Dr. Bowles. She’s dropped off at an enormous house. No one is there to greet her.

Hello. Anybody home.
Hello. Anybody home?

Sarah sees a child. A child who looks just like the young Rachel we’ve seen so often in video. A child who looks just like the young Sarah. Dr. Bowles finally appears and introduces her as Charlotte (Cynthia Galant). Eight-year-old Charlotte greets Sarah as her sister and says that Kira is her cousin (she’s actually Kira’s aunt).

Bowles adopted Charlotte. She’s the only survivor of over 400 attempted clones. Bowles tells Sarah that Topside steers Dyad and many other groups. They support genetic engineering projects.

I love me some genetic engineering
I love me some genetic engineering

Bowles leads Sarah down some hallways in what looks like the basement of the big house. She explains as they walk that Project Castor was the military side of Topside and that the clones in Castor are male.

They look through a window at the back of a man doing chin ups and Sarah says, “I know him.”

Cut away to Mark (Ari Millen) and Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) getting married in front of a big stained glass window as “Nearer My God to Thee” plays loudly in the background. The song plays as the following things happen and continues throughout the final credits.

The guy doing chin ups turns around. He looks like Mark, only crazy and all beat up.

Helena is marched onto a plane surrounded by soldiers, one of whom looks like Mark. Paul and Mrs. S watch.

Mark is a clone, y’all! Ari Millen must be dancing with joy over the acting opportunity he’s going to have in season 3.

I’m talking about season 3 like it’s all set, but it hasn’t been announced yet. I can’t imagine this show not getting another season.

The quote from Francis Bacon for this episode is from The New Organon or True Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature. It’s a different part of the quote used in episode nine’s title:

It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.

Orphan Black: Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things

“Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things,” episode 7 of season 2 of Orphan Black, gives us some shocking surprises, some slapstick laughs, and another turn of the screw on the momentous stakes involved for everyone.

As usual, everything revolves around Sarah, but I’ll start with Allison’s story since much of the action in this episode takes place in rehab.

Allison (Tatiana Maslany, one of many) trusts Vic (Michael Mando) with the truth about the scarf in the disposal incident. Not long after this revelation she discovers that he’s trading the info to Det. Deangelis (Inga Cadranel) for his freedom.

Just call his name, Felix will be right there.
Just call his name, Felix will be there.

Allison immediately calls Felix (Jordan Gavaris) for help. He shows up and confronts Vic with Allison. Dear old Vic agrees to do what they want if he can see Sarah first.

Sarah agrees to come help Allison. For the talk with Sarah, Vic carefully sets a book in position. Does it contain a camera?

What was in that tea?
What was in that tea?

Vic wants to atone to Sarah. She instantly says, “I atone you,” and tries to leave, but he persists. He says he wants her back, right before he passes out by diving headfirst into Allison’s name tag art supplies. Felix announces, with the cutest possible grin, that he spiked Vic’s tea.

It’s family day – or as Felix terms it, public flagellation day. Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and the kids are coming. They cannot leave Victor decorating the floor of Allison’s room. What follows next is a sort of Three Stooges interlude with Allison and Felix dragging an inert Vic about looking for a place to hide him. Det. Deangelis is chasing around after them, looking to meet up with Vic.

I'm Sarah. No, I'm Allison. No, I'm Donnie.
I’m Sarah. No, I’m Allison. No, I’m Donnie.

While Allison and Felix haul Vic hither and yon, Sarah has to pretend to be Allison who is pretending to be Donnie in a role playing scene with Donnie. Donnie, as you might guess from the body language, is pretending to be Allison. The whole thing goes badly and Sarah flees to Allison’s room.

Donnie can't believe his eyes.
Donnie can’t believe his eyes.

Donnie follows and discovers Allison and Sarah together. It comes out that Donnie didn’t know what was going on. He didn’t know people were coming into the house in the middle of the night doing strange things to Allison’s sleeping body. He thought he was doing an experiment in “long-term social metrics” for Dr. Leekie. The fact that he’s been a dope for years makes him very angry. I’ll get to the results of that anger later, because a lot happens before then.

Cosima, with Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) in loving attendance, gets stem cells injected into her uterus. Delphine thinks it will put Cosima on the road to recovery.

Let's get you well.
Let’s get you well

Cosima overhears a conversation in the hallways and learns that the stem cells came from Kira’s tooth. She is angry with Delphine, shouts that it’s her decision about using Kira’s cells. Delphine counters that there is no decision, there’s only one way forward and this is it. Cosima tells Dephine to get out of her lab.

Sarah and Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) dig through the heaps of detritus in Ethan Duncan’s house looking for a red box with no label. When they finally find it, Sarah takes off in response to a phone call from Cal. As Mrs. S is leaving with Duncan (Andrew Gillies), she learns that the red box contains 3 floppy disks on which the science they all want so desperately to recover is stored. My memory of floppy disks is that they held kilobytes of data, not megabytes or terabytes. Why only 3?

Cal discovered that his computer was hacked. He leaves it behind and takes Kira to meet Sarah. Sarah will take Kira with her. As Sarah is preparing to leave with Kira, she gets a call from Cosima. We don’t know if Cosima has forgiven Delphine, but she has reached the point in her sickness that she’s willing to ask Sarah for more DNA from Kira. Kira overhears Cal and Sarah arguing about a tooth, and pulls one of her loose teeth herself, offering it to Sarah for Cosima.

Oh my, she's a surprise.
Oh my, she’s a surprise.

Leekie phones a whole new character, Dr. Marion Bowles (Michelle Forbes). She is Rachel’s superior, Leekie’s superior, maybe the boss of the whole operation. She wants the science back, she wants Sarah Manning to stop causing them problems, she wants Rachel handled. She’s wearing the most gorgeous white coat I’ve ever seen.

A new character at the top of the pyramid at this point throws everything into question. Do we really know who the bad guys are, do we know who’s in charge, what the goals are? Is she in charge of the Prolethians, too? Is this pointing to a new direction for season 3 to explore?

Mrs. S takes Duncan to her place. Then she walks right into Dyad and Leekie’s (Matt Frewer) office. She makes a deal for the missing science data and Ethan Duncan that guarantees Kira’s safety. Duncan wants to see Rachel before he cooperates.

Hello, father
Hello, father.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) takes Rachel to Mrs. S’s house to see her father. When Rachel sees her father she tears up. She seems almost human. Almost normal. There was some discussion last week about Rachel’s possible Narcissistic Personality Disorder. If that’s the case, she’s looking at the man who raised her to think she was special, and she reacts with more emotion than we’ve seen from her. 

Rachel goes back to the lab and summons Dr. Leekie. She calls Dr. Bowles in front of Leekie and tells her that the problem is handled. In the battle for supremacy between Rachel and Aldous Leekie, Rachel wins.

Rachel tells Leekie to leave. She says, “Don’t get in your car, don’t go home. You might survive. It’s foolish to spare you but you raised me. Nurture prevails.”

Leekie goes outside the Dyad Institute. He’s on foot. Donnie lurks there waiting for him. Donnie gets Leekie in his car by pointing a gun at him. Donnie accuses Leekie of ruining his marriage and making his wife hate him. He pounds his gun on the steering wheel for emphasis and accidentally kills Leekie right there in the family sedan.

To summarize, Leekie’s kaput, Cal may have gone home, there’s a new boss in town, Kira wants to help, Rachel is ruthless but loves her daddy, Cosima and Delphine had a very big fight, Allison and Donnie had a very big fight, and Donnie created bloody hell in the family car.

The Francis Bacon quote for this episode is from his unfinished utopian vision of the future, “New Atlantis,”

The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible.

All images ©BBC America

Orphan Black: Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est

The Orphan Black episode “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” begins in Rachel’s bloody apartment. Daniel’s body litters the floor, Helena’s signature art drawn in blood decorates the walls. Dr. Leakie (Matt Frewer) thinks Rachel (Tatiana Maslany) should take a kinder, gentler approach to the situation. She thinks not.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) will replace Daniel as Rachel’s monitor. Paul is the universal monitor: he’s monitored Beth, Sarah, and now Rachel.

Rachel orders Leekie to shut down the tests until Sarah comes to heel.
Rachel orders Leekie to shut down the tests until Sarah comes to heel.

Sarah takes her super-hugger of a twin sister to Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) place. Helena needs to get out of her bloody wedding dress and clean up. Sarah tells Helena to behave and calls her Meathead. Helena objects with, “Don’t call me this,” but the nickname seems to symbolize the developing bond and affection between them.

Felix wants nothing to do with babysitting Helena – he has a hot date with the morgue boy – and delivers Helena to Detective Bell (Kevin Hanchard) for safekeeping.

Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) learns there is a new stem cell line, compatible with Cosima, that could help her. They go to Dr. Leekie’s office in search of it and he finds them there. Turns out that Leekie is willing to defy Rachel’s directive to shut down the help for Cosima by giving her an injection of the stem cells. He also tells Cosima that the clone’s original genome was destroyed in a fire 20 years ago. We heard about this fire before in relation to Project LEDA.

Paul is now Rachel's henchman.
Paul is now Rachel’s henchman.

Paul’s first job as Rachel’s new monitor is to take the gun that Daniel used to kill the cop at Cal’s house and put Felix’s fingerprints all over it. He manages to do that by interrupting Felix’s love fest. Paul calls Sarah and says Rachel wants them all – Sarah, Helena, and Kira – or Felix goes down for murder. Rachel isn’t asking for Felix, which shoots down my budding theory that he might be a clone, too.

I can ignore you forever, Artie baby.
I can ignore you forever, Artie baby.

At Art Bell’s apartment, Helena is silent. She watches fish while Art asks questions about Maggie Chen and the Prolethians. Finally he feeds her, which loosens her up and she begins to talk. Interestingly, she asks as many questions as she answers, and her questions are intelligent ones. Also, she does love the powdered donuts.

I gave her darkness
I gave her darkness

Helena mimes poking the eyes out of one of her early tormentors. From art works we’ve seen of Helena’s where the eyes were X-ed out of a nun, I’m guessing her tormentor was a nun. She mentions a locker and the Swan Man who played God. Then she uses the lid off a sardine can to open her handcuffs and leaves Art cuffed to the wall. She goes to a storage unit (locker) where she has a motorcycle.

Cal (Michiel Huisman) and Kira (Skyler Wexler) are still playing house in the camper. Cal is being a great dad, Kira is being quick-witted and showing signs of ESP. Cal’s hiding a gun and carrying a fake ID. He assures Sarah when she calls that they are close enough to come get her whenever she’s ready.

At the Prolethian compound, Gracie’s (Zoé De Grand Maison) mouth was sutured shut as punishment for Helena’s escape. Henrik (Peter Outerbridge) and her mother Bonnie (Kristin Booth) tell her that, “She can rot,” if she refuses to talk about what happened. If they don’t find Helena, Gracie will carry the egg currently reproducing itself in a Petri dish.

Yes, Helena can come up with GPS coordinates off the top of her head.
Why, yes, Helena can come up with GPS coordinates off the top of her head.

Sarah and Art are in pursuit of Helena. Helena helped out by leaving some GPS coordinates at Art Bell’s. They find the locker and learn that Ethan Duncan is still alive. On the back of a recent photo of him is says “Swan Man.” Helena has taken off with a sniper rifle.

Guess what Paul’s second job as Rachel’s new monitor is? Sex slave.

Helena sets up the rifle in a apartment across from Rachel’s. As she takes aim and prepares to eliminate the problem that is Rachel, we see Rachel and Paul have sex. It’s weird sex. Rachel demands complete control. She orchestrates Paul’s every move and slaps him when he thinks for himself. Rachel demonstrates a kind of ruthless eagerness that is creepy and disturbing. She’s extremely turned on, but it’s the power and control that excite her, not the actual sex.

Helena, watching, says, “Pretty, dirty, sexy Rachel – like my mother.” Is there some woman somewhere that Helena once called mother?

Art and Sarah arrive and want Helena to put the gun down.

Love the light in this scene
Love the light in this scene

Helena wants Sarah to look at what Rachel is doing, at the “unfaithful” Paul. Sarah begs her not to shoot. She explains that Felix will be in trouble if Rachel dies. Sarah walks in front of the rifle and says she doesn’t care about Paul.

Don't shoot
Don’t shoot

Sarah uses tears and some clever talk to convince Helena that they are family now, that they need to care for each other, and that Felix is part of that family. Finally Helena puts down the gun.

Seestra
Seestra

Helena and Sarah join hands. They walk out of the room with arms around each other. Sarah calls Helena Meathead again, and Helena responds, “Don’t call me this.” In the car, Helena tells Sarah that they need to go to Cold River, the place of screams.

Give back Felix
Give back Felix

Sarah meets Dr. Leekie in a bar. She demands Felix in return for Ethan Duncan, who is still alive. Leekie mentions that Cosima is sick – news to Sarah. When Sarah leaves, we realize Paul followed Leekie there. It’s really hard to tell where the real loyalties are with Paul and Leekie. They are ciphers, willing to double-cross anyone, but we aren’t sure why.

This episode was written by Tony Elliott, who is responsible for much of the writing in season 2. It was directed by Helen Shaver. She shared quite a bit about the experience on her Twitter account. Tatiana seemed to enjoy having her as a director.

The quotation from Francis Bacon used in the title, with English translation:

Ipsa scientia potestas est. Knowledge itself is power.”

Some photos from BBC America, some ©Jan Thijs 2013. via IMDB.

Orphan Black: Governed As It Were By Chance

The tension sizzles, everyone is sinister, and we don’t know who to trust in “Governed As It Were By Chance,” episode 4 of season 2 of Orphan Black. Everything ahead is a spoiler, but the story is not described in the order in which it happened.

The episode begins at the car wreck. Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) walks away with Cal (Michiel Huisman), leaving Daniel (Matthew Bennett) behind for dead. She hides the wrecked car under some brush with Daniel still inside.

Sarah and Kira in the camper
Sarah and Kira

Cal, for unexplained reasons (which makes him suspicious as hell), has a camper that isn’t registered in his name. Cal, Sarah, and Kira (Skyler Wexler) head off in it. Sarah trusts him, at least for now.

Sarah stops in at Mrs. S’s place. Felix (Jordan Gavaris) just happens to be there. They dig through old photos and scrapbooks and find clues about Susan and Ethan Duncan – as in Rachel Duncan’s parents – who are the people in the Project Leda photo. They also find photos of Carlton, the man who brought Sarah to Siobhan in the beginning. As they leave, the basement door opens and we realize someone has been listening.

Later, Sarah has a Skype conversation with Cosima. She shares her new intel and Cosima promises to investigate. Before Sarah called, Cosima was rewatching the videos of Jennifer’s slow death. She has to break off the call from Sarah quickly to hide her own tubercular-sounding cough and her own declining health.

Sarah and Cal
Sarah and Cal

Sarah wants to go to Rachel’s place. She gets Cal to agree to watch Kira.

Detective Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) is hanging about outside the Prolethean compound taking photos. He cannot see inside, but we see Helena wake up. She remembers vague snatches of the strange wedding. Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) tries to smother her. Helena overpowers her and runs off. She passes through a lab on her way out and remembers something being “taken out of her.” The look of distaste on her face as she recalls being in the lab suggests sensibilities in Helena that we haven’t seen before. Outside, Helena runs past Art Bell. He realizes who she is and delays the men who chase her, allowing her to get a head start.

Felix wants Allison to get her dignity back.
Felix wants Allison to get her dignity back.

Allison’s story is interspersed with these events. She’s in rehab, where Felix tells her she went voluntarily. Allison remembers nothing. She broke her arm when she fell from the stage; she’s a mess. Felix thinks rehab will be good for her and help her get her dignity back. Plus, dear daddy Donnie  (Kristian Bruun) shows up and threatens to take the kids away if she doesn’t stay. Allison will be peeing a cup for a few days while everyone else is in mortal peril.

Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) searches out Carlton. Carlton is played by Roger Cross, who must be the busiest actor in Canada – he’s in absolutely everything. Carlton just got out of jail for human trafficking. Siobhan is very happy to see him. She looks him over with an expression of pure lust, kisses him, unbuttons his shirt, tugs at his belt, and they get it on standing up in a hallway outside the men’s room where she found him. Why, Mrs. S, we hardly knew you.

So happy to see you, Carlton
So happy to see you, Carlton

Later they sit down for a pint and a talk. We learn that Mrs. S was in the know on Project Leda, that she’s known Sarah was a clone from the start. Makes me wonder if Felix is a clone and we just haven’t been told yet. Carlton mentions someone called The Ferryman, who will no doubt be important later.

Gotta love the double helix stickers on Cosima's computer
Gotta love the double helix stickers on Cosima’s computer

Sarah talks to Cosima and Felix, who have news to share. Rachel’s parents were geneticists doing DNA research. Cosima tells Sarah the Greek myth about Leda. The god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces (or rapes) Leda. According to Greek mythology, Leda bore the half-human, half-gods Helen and the twins Castor and Pollux.

Through some smooth tricks, Sarah gets in Rachel’s empty apartment. She’s watching videos of Rachel with her loving parents when the left-for-dead Daniel walks in. He straps Sarah to the plumbing and is about to cut her throat with a straight razor when Helena comes in and makes a bloody mess of him. He’s really dead this time.

Helena and Sarah
Helena and Sarah

The sight of a not-dead Helena terrifies Sarah more than anything she’s endured up to this point. Helena addresses her as sister, says she followed her there from their mother’s house (meaning Mrs. S’s) and advances toward her.

Love ya, sis. Plus, damn, the editing on this show is brilliant.
Love ya, sis. Plus, damn, the editing on this show is brilliant.

Helena wants not to stab her sister with the huge bloody knife, but to give her a full body hug of hello. Helena is surprising in this episode – smarter than she’s seemed before in ways that show both intelligence and self-awareness. Her willingness to embrace the twin who put a bullet in her just a few days ago is also a surprise.

As the episode ends, we see that Henrik (Peter Outerbridge) took an egg from Helena, which is now fertilized and growing in a Petri dish. Big news: Sarah is not the only fertile clone. I imagine the sperm was Henrik’s, since he pictures himself as the godlike swan in Helena’s story.

The quote from Francis Bacon for this episode:

The spirit of man is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance.

Review: Orphan Black “Mingling Its Own Nature With It”

This episode of Orphan Black, “Mingling Its Own Nature With It” starts with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), Kira (Skyler Wexler), and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) sleeping in the woods in the stolen truck. We see Sarah struggle to find safety for Kira, Allison crack under pressure, Cosima do an autopsy on a new clone, and Helena get married. What an episode!

Whose woods these are I think I know.
Whose woods these are I think I know.

The clones each conducted their own lives without mixing together much in this episode, so I’ll summarize the stories clone by clone.

Sarah

Sarah, Kira, and Felix make the mistake of stealing food from a convenience store in order to feed Kira. This puts a local cop and Rachel’s henchman Daniel (Matthew Bennett) on their trail. Sarah leads Felix to a house in the woods, seemingly empty, where they break in to spend the night. The homeowner shows up and turns out to be Cal (Michiel Huisman), who knows Sarah. Kira, in her prescient way, pegs him immediately with an, “Are you my dad?”

Yes, he is Kira’s dad, and even though Sarah stole $10,000 and his car the last time she was there, Cal lets them stay.

Sarah tries to explain to Kira why she was gone so much, and Kira talks about Mrs. S protecting them and comments that she likes Cal’s beard. Women from Nashville and every other show Michiel Huisman is on fall for his unkempt, bearded look – now even Kira likes it – I guess I should give up wishing he’d get a shave and a haircut.

Felix sees what’s going on and decides there is no place for him there. He leaves to be with Allison at her theater performance.

When the local cop shows up, Sarah is ready to take Kira and go.

Can't you stop running for a minute?
Can’t you stop running for a minute?

Cal says, “Can’t you stop running for a minute?” and the look on Sarah’s face tells a story of wanting to do just that. They end up in bed together. (She must like the beard, too.) Their idyllic morning after is interrupted by the arrival of Daniel who tries to grab Kira, shoots the local cop, and leaves with Sarah driving the car at gunpoint. Kira is with Cal. Daniel making off with Sarah comes at the very end of the episode. The big cliffhanger is that they are t-boned on the road – a hit to the passenger side where Daniel sits – and we don’t know what happens to either of them.

Allison

Allison snipes at Donnie (Kristian Bruun) now that she knows he’s her monitor. The guy will never get any again, I can promise you that. She’s drinking and popping pills. She calls Cosima, but Cosima cannot do much to help her because of her own drama.

Detective Angie Deangelis (Inga Cadranel) simply won’t drop the case, as her partner Art (Kevin Hanchard) keeps telling her to. Angie stalks Allison, trying to befriend her and get information from her. Allison thinks she’s another monitor. Angie admits to being a cop and Allison and tells her to get lost. Detective Deangelis is going to prove to be a wild card in this story, I predict, because she’s relentless in her quest to find out more about Sarah and her former cop friend Beth, and because she’s the mama succubus – oh, wait, wrong show for a succubus.

By the night of the community theater performance of “Blood Ties,” Allison’s spaced out on pills and booze. She can’t remember her lines or sing in tune. (Tatiana Maslany is a pretty good singer if the few notes of real singing we hear are any indication.) Allison falls off the stage at Donnie’s feet and gets taken to the hospital.

Cosima and Jennifer

Cosima follows Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) into Dr. Leekie’s office, where she does a killer imitation of Matt Frewer’s Dr. Leekie by threatening to put an electric eel in a tank so Dr. Leekie will come along and say, “Great Scott! I’ve created life.” A hilarious moment in a very serious episode. The fact that Tatiana Maslany can do a perfect imitation of Matt Frewer reveals something about why she is so masterful at creating so many different women in Orphan Black.

Delphine has other things on her mind. She brought Cosima there to show her videos of another clone, Jennifer Fitzsimmons, teacher and swim coach at Sheldon High, who made a video diary of her illness after polyps were found on her lungs. Delphine says Jennifer was the first clone to show symptoms. When Cosima asks how Jennifer is, Delphine says she died 3 days ago. Cosima is the only clone who knows about Jennifer at this point (unless Rachel does). Cosima watches every video, horrified, seeing Jennifer slowly die of exactly what she herself has.

Delphine and Cosima do an autopsy on Jennifer’s body to try to understand more about the auto-immune disease that apparently killed her. Cosima is partly terrified of cutting into a woman with her face, and partly clear about needing to understand the biology of what’s going on in the clone’s bodies.

Helena

Helena is still in bad shape, but recovered enough to sit up in bed and talk to Gracie Johanssen (Zoé De Grand Maison), Henrik’s (Peter Outerbridge) daughter. Gracie is not with her dad’s program to fertilize and breed Helena. She’s another wild card who may gum up the works later on. Her dad thinks he has Gracie under his control, but he may be in for a surprise.

The ties that bind
The ties that bind

Henrik has Helena dressed in a white wedding dress, even though she lays in bed stupified by drugs, and marries her in a strange ceremony involving tying their hands together with ribbons while talking about God’s will. Then Henrik carries his bride off to begin his fertilization program. Helena is too drugged to fight back. If she ever gets clear headed, Henrik better watch out. At this point, we have no idea what Henrik has in mind as a fertilization technique. We did see him artificially inseminate a cow in the last episode.

The title is another quote from Francis Bacon:

“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”

 Francis Bacon, Sr. quotes (English Lawyer and Philosopher. 1561-1626)

All photos by Steve Wilkie via IMDB