Orphan Black S5 E2 Clutch of Greed

Tatiana Maslany as MK and as Sarah in Orphan Black

Orphan Black episode 2, “Clutch of Greed,” has Rachel winning. And winning. Things don’t look good for the sestras and freedom. This is a recap. There are spoilers everywhere.

Tatiana Maslany as Alison in Orphan Black

The episode begins with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, the first of many) waking up in a Dyad room. She’s been treated for her wounds. Ferdinand (James Frain) torments her with phone calls from Alison and Art (Kevin Hanchard) who swear things are all right. What Sarah doesn’t see is Det. Enger (Elyse Levesque) who is forcing them to lie.

Ferdinand connects Sarah to Cosima who says she’s getting treatment and if it works she can give it to everyone. Finally Sarah sees video of Kira (Skyler Wexler) coloring somewhere inside Dyad. Ferdinand says, “Is Sarah Manning finally ready to behave?”

Well, for now she is.

Ferdinand takes Sarah to see Rachel, who tells Sarah she’s been asleep for a long time. Rachel and Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) registered Kira for school. Sarah can go home if she agrees to let Dyad do some non-invasive testing on Kira as part of the deal.

Tatiana Maslany, Skyler Wexler and Maria Doyle Kennedy in Orphan Black

Sarah isn’t going to agree with Rachel’s new peace-loving plan, but Kira and Mrs. S come in. They persuade her to go along with Rachel and let them all go home.

Tatiana Maslany as Helena and Kristian Bruun in Orphan Black

Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and Helena are in the hospital. The stick was removed successfully from Helena, but one of the babies was injured.

Cosima and Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) are having breakfast on the island, discussing the vitamins that everyone takes. (Cosima nixes that idea.) They see the Afghan girl and Cosima asks Charlotte to introduce them. Cosima is still coughing, but assures Charlotte that the cure takes time to work.

Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jordan Gavaris and Tatiana Maslany as Sarah in Orphan Black

Ferdinand delivers everyone to Mrs. S’s place, but there are guards outside. They are told to let Rachel pick up Kira after school. As soon as Ferdinand leaves, Mrs. S grabs the vacuum cleaner, turns it on, and Mrs. S, Felix (Jordan Gavaris), and Sarah huddle around it to make a plan.

Jordan Gavaris and Josh Vokey in Orphan Black

Felix sneaks out to confer with Ira (Ari Millen), Scott (Josh Vokey) and Hell Wizard (Calwyn Shurgold). They are sending Ira back to the island to fight against Rachel. He’s willing because Rachel hurt his Susan. Scott gives Felix a handful of new encrypted clone phones, including one for MK. They look at MK’s last communication and Felix recognizes his flat behind her.

Cosima gets a look at the Afghan girl. She’s interrupted when P.T. Westmoreland summons her to his castle.

Felix calls Sarah from his flat with MK. MK admits she’s sick, news to Sarah. MK says she has resources to move Sarah and Kira into hiding, which sounds like a great idea to Sarah.

Stephen McHattie in Orphan Black

Cosima climbs the hill to the big house. Cosima wanders a bit in the house, sees a photo of P.T. (Stephen McHattie) with Arthur Conan Doyle. He comes in to meet her. Doesn’t look a day over 70. Really.

Tatiana Maslany as Cosima in Orphan Black

P.T. tells Cosima the treatment is working and shows her results. He asks her to stay on after her treatment is finished and help “follow the science.” He tells her a story about a Conan Doyle poem about cheese mites discussing their origins, never once thinking of a cow. He tells her he wants her to think of the cow.

Cosima likes the plan. What is it with this guy? He gets everyone to drink the Neolution Kool Aid.

James Frain and Tatiana Maslany as Rachel in Orphan Black

Ferdinand is disappointed in the new pacifist Rachel as a dominatrix. She won’t hit him. She wants transcendence. Not his thing. Instead they talk about work, about collecting Kira, and the future. Too bad Ira isn’t there to comment on Ferdinand’s socks.

Tatiana Maslany as Helena and Kristian Bruun in Orphan Black

The doctor (Glenda Braganza) wants to do tests on Helena’s babies because the wound to one of the babies from the stick healed already. Helena realizes her babies are special like Kira and plans to get the hell out of there. She whispers her planned hiding place to Donnie just as the doctor arrives. Helena immobilizes the doctor with a very long amniocentesis needle.

Bam! Helena is gone – bare butt flapping in the wind.

Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black

The escape plan for Sarah and Kira involves Sarah kidnapping Kira from the school while dressed as Rachel. The fake Rachel hands Kira off to Mrs. S and Felix, who spirit her away. As Sarah leaves the school, she learns MK is not at the lab as promised, but is at Felix’s place still. She decides to go there. Ferdinand was watching the school. He follows Sarah.

Sarah gets upstairs with MK. Ferdinand is right behind. MK and Sarah switch clothes, with MK in the Rachel wig. MK is tired of fighting, just plain tired, and ready to quit. Sarah wants to keep fighting. MK persuades Sarah to leave. MK stays to face Ferdinand alone.

Ferdinand recognizes MK as his foe from Helsinki, but he also thinks she’s Rachel because of the wig. He has a psychic break. He kills MK by jumping up and down on her chest while yelling about how Rachel hurt him. Sweet Jesus! Worse death scene ever in Orphan Black.

Sarah reaches Kira, Felix and Mrs. S, but Kira refuses to get in the getaway van. She says she can’t feel MK any longer and knows she’s dead. Kira won’t go. She wants to go to school. She wants to go with Rachel.

Mrs. S says they can’t run from letting Kira know why she’s the way she is any longer. Sarah (stubborn is usually a virtue in her) doesn’t want to give up, but she listens to Kira. They all go back to Mrs. S’s place, where Rachel arrives to pick up Kira.

Evelyne Brochu in Orphan Black

Late at night Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) shows up at Mrs. S’s place with some secret info she trusts only to Mrs. S.

And we’re out.

Some Thoughts

This is the first time a clone we know and care about died. And in such an awful way. A horrible scene. Ferdinand could have gone crazy and done something less shocking like strangle her. Maybe future episodes will make clear why it had to be so horrific to watch, but for now I’m just shocked and confused.

On a happier note, how great is the island set! The house they are using for P.T. Westmoreland’s stronghold is fantastic.

I’m having some issues with the sight lines of Tatiana Maslany’s eyes when she’s supposed to be looking another clone in the eye. She’s looking just a smidge to the side of where she should be looking. Is this bothering anyone else?

I’ll be the first to cheer Tatiana Maslany for her Emmy for Orphan Black. She’s brilliant and amazing. She deserves every award. But I’m crazy for Maria Doyle Kennedy. I happy when she’s around more. Crazy for the woman, I say.

Season 5 Orphan Black Episodes Title Source

I may have found the source for the season 5 titles. At least it has the episode 1,  2, and 3 titles in the same place. “Beneath her Heart,” is next week’s title. IMDB doesn’t give any more season 5 titles yet.

Once again an apt source. A political theme of protest is in keeping with both Orphan Black as a 5 season long series, and with the current political situation in the world.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919) [emphasis added]

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

8 thoughts on “Orphan Black S5 E2 Clutch of Greed”

  1. MK’s death nearly broke me. I had to shut it off and walk away until I calmed down. I came very close to a breakdown but walked myself back from it. Still hard to think about it even now. That kind of brutality directed against a female character on a show like this seemed horrendously out of place and completely unexpected. Characters get killed, I am not opposed to them die on principle, but the manner of death, I feel, went way over the line. I’m not sure any amount of retribution Ferdinand could face will ever make up for that. I will keep watching the show, but as of this moment I am deeply disappointed in the writers for that scene.

    1. I keep thinking WHY? Why so horrible? Why so insane? Why so violent? John Fawcett, one of the creators, directed this one himself. You can’t ask an actor to jump up and down on someone’s chest while screaming maniacally and not know the effect it will have on the viewer.

      1. I get that they wanted to elicit a strong emotional reaction and demonstrate just how unhinged Ferdinand is, but I think they could have done both with something much less triggering. I’m no stranger to violence, nor do I have any objections to its use in the right circumstances against the right targets, but when done with this level of gratuity on a character as weak and vulnerable as MK, it stops being acceptable to me. This type and degree of male on female violence is something far too many women, a large portion of OB’s target audience, have had to face in real life. I definitely think it could have been handled with a bit more respect and care while still achieving the desired emotional goal.

      2. There’s been plenty of other violence in Orphan Black. Mrs. S shot someone. Ferdinand beat someone with a baseball bat. Donnie accidentally killed someone. One of the male clones shot another one. Helena does regular harm. But most of those were off camera. We just saw the results. Here we had to watch it, hear the ribs cracking.

      3. Violence, even graphically depicted violence, in and of itself is not an issue for me. Context is the primary factor in determining my distaste. This was specifically a man graphically beating a small, fragile sick woman to death in a tantrum of entitled male rage. Context is everything.

    1. Thanks for the link, Christopher. I contacted John Fawcett asking for an interview about that scene, but I probably won’t hear back from him. The way Tatiana explained it was helpful.

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