The Haunting of Hill House will be discussed and analyzed for years to come. It’s that kind of work of art. Watching it is like peeling an onion – you think you’ve found the meat, but there’s always one more layer. You dig deeper and deeper in tighter and tighter circles until the whole opens up, explodes, and you’re surrounded by layers again.Continue reading “Review: The Haunting of Hill House”
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is quite a mouthful of a title all right. It’s quite a lot of movie as well, clocking in at over 2 hours. The length isn’t a problem if you watch it on Netflix, as I did, because pausing is easy. I might have felt differently about the movie if I’d been immobilized in a theater for 2 hours to see it. I completely enjoyed seeing it on Netflix. Continue reading “Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”
Irreplaceable You begins in the cemetery where Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is buried. In a voice over, Abbie explains her story. It began when she and Sam (Michiel Huisman) were 8 years old. They’d been together ever since. Continue reading “Review: Irreplaceable You”
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was the original title of this film, and the title of the book on which it is based. That’s been shortened to simply Guernsey for the film. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for Guernsey (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)”
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’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 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 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 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
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.
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 is taking care of Mrs. S, but he joins Sarah in urging her to do something about Helena.
Sarah decides to send Kyra to safety with Cal. They will go to Iceland.
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 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 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. 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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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