I’m thinking of doing a weekly contest to see which clone on Orphan Black is having the worst week. Because the trend I’m sensing is that nobody on this show is ever going to have a good day. Last week I crowned Helena the winner because of her creepy cult marriage and possible sexual assault. Who will win this title this week? Let’s find out!
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This week’s Orphan Black episode, “Governed as It Were By Chance”, begins with the aftermath of the car crash that took place at the end of the last episode. Sarah has sustained a head injury, which may account for her decision making tonight. Though I thought that a Prolethian or Mrs. S was driving the truck that ran into them, it was actually Cal. After brushing her fingertips against his neck, Sarah determines that Daniel is dead. The police are on the way, responding to the call made by Cal’s officer friend before he was killed, but they don’t notice Sarah standing in the middle of the street, next to a totaled car and holding a gun. Real ace detective work there.
Sarah does what she always does in times of stress and starts running. After Cal helps her hide the car wreck under some branches, they go and pick up Kira from the place Cal told her to hide. All the while Sarah is texting Rachel from Daniel’s phone to make it seem like Daniel still has her kidnapped. Cal wants to know what’s going on, assuming Sarah has gotten herself into trouble by scamming someone powerful. Even though he thinks Sarah brought this on herself with crime, he’s 100% ready and willing to go on the run with her and help in any way he can.
Cal’s raising some red flags for me in this episode. First of all, no one on this show is that nice. He has no problem becoming a fugitive to help the con artist who scammed him almost a decade ago. He also seems to be reacting to surprise fatherhood far too well. There is nary a hint of anger at having been kept from his daughter for so long, nor a trace of panic at finding out he’s a parent while dodging bullets. No one on Orphan Black is that well-adjusted, and his psychological stability makes me think he’s secretly evil.
While Cal and his eerie perfection teach Kira origami, Sarah video chats with Cosima about her latest discoveries. This is a welcome break for Cosima, who had been watching videos of Jennifer talking about how much it sucks to have their shared disease. Sarah shows her the picture of Project LEDA, and Cosima immediately makes the connection to the Greek myth of Leda and the swan. In this myth, Zeus turns himself into a swan in order to have sex with a beautiful mortal woman named Leda, which is pretty par for the course for Zeus. From this unsettling union Leda gave birth to twins who were half god and half mortal. There are clear allusions to their own creation in this myth, and Cosima thinks it may be the key to their past. She also thinks that the military may be involved, because it sounds like the kind of weird connection they would make.
Free at Last
So far both Sarah and Cosima haven’t exactly been having an easy time. But let’s check in with everyone’s favorite psychopath, Helena. It’s the morning after her “wedding” and she’s still recovering from the sedatives the Prolethians gave her. Gracie, Henrik’s daughter, is still struggling with her inability to see Helena as a human being. She decides the best way to handle the situation is by smothering Helena with a pillow. Her attempt at murder seems successful, but as she walks away Helena jumps up and gets her in a chokehold. She was only playing dead to get the drop on Gracie. Helena’s crazy, but she ain’t stupid.
Helena wanders around trying to find an exit and winds up in a very creepy lab-like room. In here she begins experiencing flashbacks of the night before, and it appears the Prolethians artificially inseminated her. She’s very understandably upset by this, so she grabs a knife and runs like hell. On her way out of the farm she bumps into Art, who’s been surveilling the cult since last week. He tries to stop her to no avail, but since she is obviously a clone he decides to help her. When the Prolethians come out in search formation a minute later, he stalls them long enough for Helena to get away. Hopefully she registers this and doesn’t try to kill him like she does with everyone else.
How Mrs. S Got Her Groove Back
Back to the main action. Sarah decides to leave Kira with Cal for a few hours so she can go back home and collect intel on Mrs. S and LEDA. At no point does she seem to think that leaving her child, who is constantly on the verge of being kidnapped, with a guy she hasn’t seen in nine years is a bad idea. When she gets home she reunites with Felix, and they seem to put the emotional drama of last week behind them. They don’t find a lot of new information, but they do find references to scientists named Susan and Ethan Duncan and to a man named Carlton.
Carlton is the person who brought Sarah to Mrs. S all those years ago. He was somewhat known for that sort of thing, and ended up serving 15 years in prison for human trafficking. But he’s out now, and recently arrived in town. Mrs. S, who is still out of contact with the Clone Club, decides to meet him by getting dolled up and heading to a sleazy bar. She finds Carlton, they threaten each other, and then start having sex in the hallway. Say what you want about Mrs. S, but she leads a full life.
Afterwards, Mrs. S questions Carlton about LEDA. He says he doesn’t know anything about it, but references “the ferryman”. Mrs. S says that she knows what Sarah is now, implying that she wasn’t involved in the cloning as was previously assumed. She doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the science end of this situation. Instead, Carlton seems to have brought Sarah to her simply because she was a badass. She certainly has some shady connections, but perhaps not with the people who made Sarah and the others.
Cosima stops by to help research Susan and Ethan Duncan. They were Rachel’s parents and geneticists who published several papers in the ’70s. But from 1976 to a lab explosion they were involved in years later, the two seemed to completely disappear. It’s a safe bet that those years were spent working on the cloning process. She also speculates about Rachel’s childhood, guessing that being the only self-aware clone gave her a superiority complex and that she was probably raised clinically rather than with emotional connections.
But Sarah, who has snuck into Rachel’s hotel room, finds a home movie of the Duncans playing affectionately with their daughter. I’m going to call this now: Susan and Ethan had a daughter that they loved very much, but she died somehow. They then dedicated their careers to cloning her, and all the clones share her DNA. I’m sure this theory will be disproven in an episode or two, but for now I’m sticking to it.
Because nothing is easy, Daniel decides to show up at the hotel room. He was not only alive, but apparently well enough to find his way home and make conspiratorial calls to Leekie. Sarah tries to escape, but he catches her. Having overheard part of his conversation with Leekie, Sarah correctly guesses that Daniel isn’t allowed to shoot her. He is, however, allowed to punch her in the face.
Daniel strings Sarah up in the bathroom, because it’s the most cleanly location for torture. He wants to know everything Sarah knows about LEDA, but she’s characteristically uncooperative. He doesn’t have a problem with that, because he’s just been itchy to slice someone up. Sarah panics, and tries to use her resemblance to Rachel (who Daniel is sleeping with) to save herself. But Daniel doesn’t have feelings, and begins slicing behind her ear. Just when it seems like Sarah’s about to get Van Goghed, Daniel hears a noise and leaves to investigate. A kerfuffle is heard off-screen, and Daniel falls back into the shot with his throat slit. By whom, you ask?
Praise Dyad, Helena is back in the game! She staggers the bathroom, still in her white gown and covered in blood. It’s absolutely terrifying, and Sarah completely freaks out. Up until this point she thought Helena was dead, and this is not the gentlest way for her to learn the truth. “Seestra, we belong together,” Helena says as Sarah sobs. She says that the Prolethians took something from her, which turns out to be an egg that they successfully fertilized outside of her body. Honestly, the fact that they didn’t actually impregnate her is probably the best thing to happen to Helena in a long time. But right now she’s just glad to see Sarah, totally not registering that Sarah wants to run screaming from her, and takes her twin into the creepiest hug of all time.
“So This is What the World Looks Like Sober”
While the other clones are involved in this cluster of horror, Alison has been doing her own thing. This is because her own thing happens to be rehab. After the incident at the play, Alison drunkenly consented to spending a week in a facility. She’s deeply unhappy about it and considers herself above the other addicts, but she is enticed by the thought of getting a week away from Donnie. Of course this means that he shows up anyway. He continues to be the worst, and says that he’ll take the kids away if Alison leaves the program before it’s finished. Thus she will remain ostracized while her fellow clones are dealing with a new level of crazy.
And the Winner Is…
It’s a close match. Let’s do a quick summary of what sucked for everyone this week:
- Sarah: hit by a car, suffered from lack of good judgment, briefly tortured, endured embrace from hell.
- Alison: forced to watch other people shave, monitored while peeing, still married to Donnie.
- Cosima: continues to be dying.
- Helena: almost murdered, has a cult looking for her, unaware that people are disappoint by her continued existence.
Everyone dealt with some crap, much of it their own doing, but I’m going to give this week to Sarah. She was kind of an idiot, but I was afraid just watching Helena approach her. Alison at least gets to spend less time with Donnie this week, Cosima gets to keep making out with Delphine, and Helena finally got to murder someone again so she’s probably pretty happy. I think we can all agree that Mrs. S had the best week.
What did you think? Do you agree that Sarah had the worst week? Is Cal trustworthy or shady? What’s the deal with Rachel’s parents? Share your thoughts!
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9pm on BBC America.
(Image courtesy of BBC America)