*** SPOILER ALERT: Please do not read on unless you've seen "Orphan Black" Season 2, Episode 1, titled "Nature Under Constraint And Vexed." (Unless you like spoilers, then go right ahead.) ***
First a brief introduction: Some of you may know me from my recaps of "House Of Cards" and "American Horror Story: Coven." As with those recaps, I try to keep them light. I welcome any and all comments, theories and thoughts on the show. Since I live in Toronto (where the show is shot), I'll try to connect you all with local sights and featured locales when I recognize them. I look forward to conversing with the "Orphan Black" audience/Clone Club! Enjoy, everyone!
Helena is alive! Of course we knew she'd survive -- the coolest, most insane clone on "Orphan Black" wasn't going anywhere. From what I've gathered over the course of Season 1 and now this first episode of Season 2, the clones seem to have some sort of resilience to injury, and they recuperate faster than your average non-clone. Let's be real: Helena's injuries were pretty major, and she basically painted the hospital hallways red with her spilling blood. Considering she can basically survive anything, I personally cannot wait for the havoc she'll cause.
But I just jumped to the end of the episode, so let's rewind. "Orphan Black" starts off right where we left off, with Sarah desperately trying to find out where Kira and Mrs. S. disappeared to. Obviously she assumes they were kidnapped by Rachel and the Dyad Institute, so she tries calling people on her phone, to no avail. Everyone's number is disconnected except for Paul's, and she doesn't want to stoop to that level ... yet. She escapes the driving rain in a diner -- a real place called The Bus Terminal Diner -- but it isn't long before two creepy goons show up and threaten her. In another example of Sarah's badassery, she eludes them by (what else?) kicking a frikkin' hole in the wall of the diner bathroom and slipping outside. Poor man behind the counter with the shotgun. He didn't stand a chance.
Sarah goes searching for Felix, who's dealing with the stress in the only way he knows how: drugs, lots of other men, and dancing at the club. Jordan Gavaris deserves a Golden Globe just for appearing on TV in those assless chaps, and somehow, strangely, managing to make them work. Despite his obvious intoxication (very dilated pupils), Sarah sends him to Alison's to secure a firearm, while she contends with Paul (who, though obviously intended to be eye-candy for the ladies, is one-note and dull to me. Easily the most boring character of the cast).
Felix and Alison scenes are some of the best of what "Orphan Black" has to offer, with snappy dialogue and terrific chemistry between Tatiana Maslany and Gavaris. The kitchen scene is no exception, from Alison's shock at Felix showing up at her house ("What the Dickens?") to her admission that she's in a musical now (Felix: "Oh my God. Not Cats!"). After some convincing, Alison says she'll get a gun from her friend Ramone (again, laugh-out-loud funny), and meet Sarah at the theatre to do the hand-off.
Alison secures the gun in a grocery store parking lot, where Ramone hides all his contraband in the trunk of his hideous green car. His tri-level trunk with one layer of pills, one layer of marijuana and the other full of guns is something to behold. You never know what lies underneath, I suppose. She leaves the deal and goes straight to the theatre, where she's told that she's now the lead in the musical (which I couldn't catch the title of. Anyone know?) because of Aynsley's untimely "passing." The irony is not lost on me in the song lyrics; she sings about cleaning up after someone's unexpected death, and of "wiping away the plasma." Cute, "Orphan Black." Very cute.
In other news, Cosima and Delphine are back together after Delphine professed her love, and Cosima confessed that she's sick. Cosima makes it very clear that she doesn't want Dr. Leekie to have possession of her blood samples, and makes Delphine promise not to give them to him. Fat lot of good that does, because Delphine turns around and hands them to Leekie at Dyad. I'm on the fence about Delphine. On one hand, it seems like she loves Cosima, but on the other, it looks like she's using her to further her own career. Jury's still out, but I don't trust her.
After using Alison as a distraction for Rachel's men (the rape whistle and the mace prove pretty ineffective), Sarah dresses up as Cosima to attend Dyad's big gala. (On a side note, how stupendous is Maslany's acting here? The layers this woman must go to for each scene are unfathomable.) Delphine sees her and plants a big ol' kiss on Fake Cosima (awkward), and almost immediately recognizes that it's Sarah. Sarah steals a keypass from Leekie and sneaks deeper into Dyad to find Rachel.
The Rachel/Sarah face-off is epic and highly enjoyable. So much pistol whippin'! Writing this, I almost forget they were the same actress, which is a testament to the camerawork, production and direction, not to mention Maslany's acting. For the first time, we see Rachel afraid ("No one puts their hands on me!"), and Sarah almost cracks her tough, rigid, British exterior. Rachel admits that they were lying to get Sarah to Dyad, and she in fact doesn't have Kira and Mrs. S. Boring Paul intervenes and lets Sarah escape. OK, at least he served one purpose.
Sarah heads to Art's house -- the last safe haven -- to presumably spill the beans. This upsets me, since I also don't know if I can trust Art either. After all, Sarah is not Beth, and he has no allegiance to her. He does tell her, however, that the goons from the diner are connected to the Prolethians (refresher: they disapprove of Neolution and the clones, and want them dead. Helena, the deceased Maggie Chen and their people are/were Prolethians). One of the last images we see is poor Kira being held hostage, with a camera poised in front of her. Her captives are about to take the next step and lure Sarah in. We also see the one surviving henchman from the diner with that godforsaken fish belt buckle, and he's in the hospital when Helena falls to the floor. He'll be fishing for clones next week, I'm sure.
"Orphan Black" airs on Saturday nights at 9 p.m. on Space in Canada and on BBC America in the U.S.
The Golden Clone:(I'll be awarding the best clone of the week) Alison is priceless in this premiere episode. From the gun-buying to the song-and-dance to the macing and whistling when she's attacked, she's non-stop entertaining.
- Cosima smiling wide and waving when Ramone shows up at Felix's door was my favourite Cosima moment ever.
- Felix quotes reached some sort of pinnacle tonight:
- Any astute watchers catch showrunners/creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett at the Dyad gala? Their brief cameo is a few seconds long at the beginning of the party -- they're being served drinks outside on the terrace.
- Angie is the worst. There, I said it. From her sheriff sunglasses to her bitchiness, can't stand her.
- "Battlestar Galactica" alum/Cylon Matthew Bennett as Rachel's henchman is a nice touch. He's always playing for the bad guys.
- Donnie really rocks those ... tightie ... blackies?
- So, Rachel speaking German flawlessly. C'mon, Tatiana, your repertoire is getting ridiculous!
- "What's up with the balls of your thumbs? They're so bouncy!"
- "I smelled lesbians in my bed last night."
Read what my colleague Mo Ryan thought of the first four episodes in her "Orphan Black" review. Also, I visited the "Orphan Black" set in January 2014.