Orphan Black: “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed” Review

orphan black season 2First of all, how ’bout these episode titles? Apparently last season they were all Origin of Species quotes—appropriate, of course—and this season they’re all from the works of Sir Francis Bacon. Classy.

Anyway, I came late to the Orphan Black party (I only watched it last Christmas as opposed to when it aired), but I’ve still been feeling that special sort of pain that comes from waiting for a show you love to come off hiatus. Thankfully, as of last night, the Clone Club is back in action.

Spoilers for the Season 2 premiere after the jump!

The episode begins right in the middle of the action, where last season left off. If you’ll recall, at the end of last season, Sarah went to Mrs. S’s house to find that Siobhan and Kira were gone and the house was ransacked. This episode starts where our last episode ended, with Sarah running around desperately trying to contact anyone and everyone for help—but Cosima and Alison have changed phones, and Felix and Paul’s go straight to voicemail.

Sarah eventually finds Fee (in assless chaps!) in a gay club, where he’s so high he can barely focus on the seriousness of the situation. Sarah drags him away from his soon-to-be-a-five-way and sends him to talk to Alison.

Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 1 Nature Under Constraint and Vexed

This would have been a picture of Felix in assless chaps but I didn’t want to have to mark this post NSFW.

Wearing only a trench over his leather club gear, Felix heads to Alison’s to see if she can hook them up with a gun so Sarah can crash an upcoming Dyad event and get to Rachel, who has implied to Sarah is the one responsible for Kira’s abduction. After much finagling, they do get their hands on a gun (thanks to Alison’s …everything… dealer, Ramon). Cosima has an invite to the party thanks to Delphine, so Sarah does up her hair, tosses on some glasses, and heads off to gatecrash. After a brief and awkward conversation between herself, Delphine, and Dr. Leekie (Sarah’s Cosima impression is nowhere near as convincing as her other clone performances), she corners Rachel and threatens her over Kira. Rachel then reveals that she is not, in fact, the one who took Kira. Rather, she implies, it was probably the Proletheans.

Sarah knocks Rachel out and makes a run for it (with—admittedly terrible—bodyguard Paul’s blessing) and goes to hide out at Art’s. When we leave them, it appears that Sarah’s about to spill all the clone beans for him, but instead it cuts dramatically to two booted bloody feet stumbling across linoleum flooring. Could it be?? Is it?? It’s Helena!! She drags herself into an emergency room and collapses on the floor! Ahhhh!!!

Guys, I love this show so much. I’m so excited about this season. I was excited before Helena was alive and now I’m more excited because Helena is alive, you guys!! This means further character development, possible redemption, so many things!

On a less screaming-about-Helena level, this episode also was just a generally good start to the season. A lot of new season premieres fall into the trap of being over-expository.

gotHowever, even with half a dozen or more clones and several other main characters to remind us about, I never felt like the episode was doing so at the expense of moving the plot forward. We got character development and story development and it was awesome. I also love that despite the drama and tension and suspense there are always little bits of humor. alison community theatre orphan blackAlison was the real focus of that in this episode; between side-eyeing Felix’s assless attire, giving her heartfelt all in rehearsals for her community theater performance, and sending Ramon to Felix’s apartment with a gun hidden in a flower arrangement, she was the bright point in this otherwise serious episode.

So where will the season go from here? I’m interested to see if Sarah is straight with Art, and if so, what fallout comes from that. While it might be useful to have a real cop in the know, Art has some very legitimate reasons to not trust Sarah and their relationship may be strained either way. I’m also a little worried about Paul. Although I’m rooting for him since he obviously still wants to help Sarah, he is helping her by being aggressively bad at the job he is being paid to do by dangerous employers. It’s just not gonna end well if he keeps this up. Also, since the focus was mostly on Sarah this week, we haven’t really seen any of the repercussions for Alison re: letting her neighbor die while she looked on. I’m wondering if there will be any external investigation into that or if her death will just be something that weighs on Alison internally.

There aren’t many shows where I finish an episode and just… sit back happily with nothing to complain about. Right now that list is limited to Elementary and Hannibal, but I’m happy to add Orphan Black to that esteemed company. I can’t wait for next week, and from the preview it looks to be just as awesome and exciting as this week.

Till then, Clone Club!

3 thoughts on “Orphan Black: “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed” Review

  1. In reference to the earlier article in which you mentioned the discrepancy with the sexual orientation of the clones, when Sarah, one of the presumably heterosexual clones kissed Delphine, this seemed like a step backward rather than a step forward. Sarah’s portrayal of Cosima altogether was to a lower standard than she has showed previously, but maybe this was ob writers trying not to alienate new viewers.

  2. Pingback: Orphan Black: “Mingling Its Own Nature With It” Review | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

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