Orphan Black: “Governed as It Were by Chance” Review

Orphan BlackLast week’s Orphan Black ended with a bang—the bang of a truck smashing into the car Sarah was being kidnapped in, that is. Who hit them, and how fares our erstwhile heroine? Spoilers after the jump.

Let’s do this recap clone by clone. So the vehicular attack came from Cal, it turns out, who was desperately trying to stop Rachel’s kidnapper guy, Daniel, from taking Sarah. Sarah is dazed but okay; Daniel is a little more worse for wear, and they leave him for dead. Cal, now down a good friend seeing as his cop buddy got shot last week, demands to know what’s going on, but Sarah still refuses to let him in on it. Charitably, or because he has a hidden agenda, he still wants to help Sarah and Kira. He sets them up in an RV he has hidden and the three of them set out for destinations unknown.

After Skyping with Cosima, though, in a conversation that ties Project LEDA back to the Greek mythology Stinekey was talking about a few episodes ago, Sarah changes her mind about the great wide somewhere; leaving Kira with Cal, she heads back into town to toss Mrs. S’s house for more info about the LEDA picture. She discovers that the scientists in the image are none other than Rachel’s adoptive parents, and sneaks into Rachel’s apartment to look for more clues. However, we have all learned our lesson about leaving people for dead in Orphan Black; Daniel reappears and captures Sarah. He ties her up and starts to torture her for information regarding what she knows about LEDA.

Alison is doing better than Sarah, but it’s a close thing. She wakes up with a cast on her arm in a bland room and proceeds to vomit copiously. She thinks she’s being kept at DYAD, but reality is much less glamorous: she’s been committed into an inpatient rehab facility for a week, something she apparently consented to. ob alison felix rehabFelix meets up with Alison in rehab, where she reveals that she has no idea how or why she got there; she doesn’t even remember the curtain going up on Blood Ties. Felix points out to her that even though she is being judgmental about the addicts she’s been shut in with, she too is, in fact, a drug addict, and being in rehab could be a good thing for her. Donnie also shows up, much to Alison’s displeasure; he warns her that if she doesn’t take rehab seriously, he’s prepared to take legal action regarding custody of their kids.

Inside the weird Prolethean camp, Gracie, who reminds me very weirdly of Hannibal‘s Freddie Lounds, is still disdainful of Helena, even though her father insists that she’s now ‘part of the family.’ Gracie tries to strangle Helena, but Helena retaliates and escapes. On her way out, she stumbles through a makeshift operating theater and realizes/remembers that some sort of surgery had been performed on her there. She runs into the woods, past Art, who’s still taking pictures of the Prolethean farm. Art stalls the cultists’ search party briefly, allowing Helena a bit more time to find cover, which was probably difficult with bleached blond hair and a white wedding dress in the woods.

helena sarah ob s2e4Helena then disappears for some screentime, reappearing to follow Sarah from Mrs. S’s house, where she was hiding, to Rachel’s apartment. She arrives there just in time to kill Daniel before he can hurt Sarah too badly, but Sarah is horrified by the sight of her rescuer. Not only did she think Helena dead, Helena is now standing there in a wedding dress soaked in Daniel’s blood. However, Helena doesn’t hold a grudge against Sarah for shooting her; rather, she wants help because she believes the Proletheans took something from inside her. It turns out she was right; they must have removed some of her eggs, because we see that they’ve succeeded in fertilizing it as the episode draws to a close.

Bringing up an honorable mention in the recap, since she isn’t a clone, we have Siobhan. She meets up with Death from Supernatural, whose name in this show is apparently Benjamin. She’s looking to go to London to find someone, but Death-Benjamin says that the person she’s looking for has come into the country recently. ob-siobhan carltonThe man she meets up with, Carlton, recently got out of prison for human trafficking—he was the one who brought Sarah to Mrs. S in the first place. (They were also apparently lovers, as demonstrated by the fact that they immediately get it on in a bar hallway once hellos are out of the way.) Siobhan wants to talk to him to uncover more about Sarah’s origin, but Carlton claims that Mrs. S knows more about Sarah’s background than he does.

Yet again, this episode has thrown me through a loop, but there are a few things I want to talk about. Firstly, Helena. With all the weird livestock insemination and the creepy wedding in previous episodes, I was really worried that they were going to impregnate Helena in hopes that she, like her twin Sarah, would be able to conceive. Given Helena’s mental state and horrific past experiences, I don’t think she’s in any sort of place to be carrying a child. Although drugging her and removing her eggs for their sick experimentation is still a terrible breach of her bodily autonomy, it’s much preferable to her being treated as some sort of part mystical pregnancy, part breeding stock creature. I am excited to see what happens with her now that she’s reunited with Sarah; on any given day she’s probably my favorite clone and I can’t wait to see how her character grows throughout this season.

Secondly, let’s talk about Alison. I’m glad they’ve upgraded her addiction problem from often amusing suburban stereotype to major serious subplot; even though I welcomed what humor I could get in this intense show, I still am not a fan of treating addiction lightly in fiction. I hope that her stint in rehab will be genuinely helpful and a source of character growth for her.

Cosima was kind of sidelined in this episode, which, okay, a lot of other shit happened, but all she did was google stuff and watch more of Jennifer Fitzsimmons’s video diaries. At the risk of trivializing the fact that she has proof that her sickness could be terminal, I hope the videos don’t bum her out too much; I don’t want her spiraling into depression. This show is upsetting enough as it is without that.

cal sarah ob s2e04The last thing I’m worried about is Cal. (This show has made me so paranoid.) Cal is a kind, sweet, mountain man teddy bear with bees and a guitar and a ham radio and I have spent every second since we’ve met him waiting for him to pick up a phone and contact Leekie or Rachel or someone. Right now he’s alone with Kira, and although he still doesn’t know the full story, Sarah did give him DYAD’s name after much arguing. I’m hoping against hope that he doesn’t have sinister connections, for my own sake as well as Kira’s.

I missed the preview, so I have no idea what’s to come in next week’s episode. Regardless, my prediction is: crazy shit will happen. The show’s dudes will continue to be flat characters only there to support the women—I was surprised how quickly Felix forgave Sarah, and Cal went along with her awfully easily. Carlton hasn’t done much but smooch Mrs. S so far, and Donnie continues to be a blandly supportive husband and downright terrible monitor. Right now Henrik is the only one with his own clear motivations. Either way, more of Mrs. S’s dark past will come to light, and most importantly, awkward Helena moments will abound.

Till next week, Clone Club!

1 thought on “Orphan Black: “Governed as It Were by Chance” Review

  1. Pingback: Orphan Black: “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” Review | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

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