Previously on Orphan Black, a lot of stuff went down, most of it deeply disturbing. In the season 2 finale, “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried,” we are introduced to new levels of wrongness and perversion. No one gets forcefully impregnated, though, so on the whole it’s far less unsettling than the season average.
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After nine episodes of doing everything in her power to be free of Dyad, Sarah opens episode ten by surrendering herself to them willingly. They have Kira, so she feels she has no choice. It becomes immediately clear why she didn’t want to be in their clutches; they examine her, ask her intensely personal questions (including about an abortion she had, which will probably come up again next season), and make her sign a consent form to have her eggs harvested at her next ovulation. Even after all that, they only let her see Kira from an observation window looking into the room Rachel took her to last week. From there she gets to watch Rachel bring up her chronic abandonment once more and generally taunt her.
Speaking of Rachel, she continues to be more and more emotionally unhinged. Her motives have never been entirely clear, and I’m not sure if that’s a deliberate choice or a writing flaw. In any case, it’s clear that she’s torturing her fellow clones because of a personal agenda and not because she’s being ordered to by Dyad. First, she sends Delphine to Germany, despite the fact that her girlfriend is near death. Second, she has Duncan imprisoned just like Sarah, presumably without the questions regarding menstrual cycles.
Duncan is outwardly unbothered by this imprisonment. Rachel takes him to her creepy home video room and gives him some tea, though he uses his own teabag. He tries one more time to get through to her, asking her if she remembers how much he and her mother loved her. Rachel continues to be distant, insisting that Duncan give her the key to the cypher preventing Dyad from accessing the clones’ genetic code. She believes he’s written it down somewhere, but he says that it’s only in his head. He chooses that moment to start convulsing, and Rachel realizes that he’s killed himself with a poisoned teabag. She begs him not to leave her again, finally displaying a hint of her true feelings and pain, but Duncan simply tells her, “You don’t deserve me anymore”. In summation, Duncan is so disappointed in the psychopath his daughter grew up to be that he kills himself. Ouch.
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Hot Dad to the Rescue
While all this drama is going on, Mrs. S and her crew are trying to figure out how to save Sarah and Kira. Naturally Mrs. S’s first instinct is to have someone built a car bomb, but she gets some unlikely help when Cal shows up at her door. Kira had stolen a phone from a nurse taking a cheek swab and called him. Though Felix vouches that Cal is indeed Kira’s father, Mrs. S remains untrustworthy. She’s a wise one. I too still don’t trust Cal, although it seems they’re not going to delve into his past this season. That’s okay; I can wait.
Mrs. S and Cal prove to both have valuable resources. Cal managed to reverse hack whoever hacked his webcam earlier in the season and found someone on the dark net willing to give him information about LEDA. So far everything the source has told him checks out, so he’s willing to trust it. Mrs. S is less willing. He reopens the chat and asks the person for help, but they only respond with “Castor” when he mentions that Mrs. S is with him. Her badassery is truly the stuff of legends.
Mrs. S then calls in her inside man, Paul. Since his last appearance, when he aligned himself with Mrs. S, Paul has rejoined the military. He sets up a meeting with the internet source, and gets to meet Cal in the process. They stare each other down for a moment, internally debating who is hotter, and Mrs. S is amazed that her screw-up of a daughter manages to consistently land guys of this caliber. We don’t get a definitive answer on the hotness question, because Paul leaves to speak with Marion, the internet source. Despite the fact that she’s only been seen working with Dyad, she now says that she’s willing to get Sarah and Kira out for something that she wants. How vaguely ominous!
“You Won Science!”
Back at Dyad, Cosima is still dying. She seems weaker with every episode, but remains as charming as ever. She knows that Sarah and Kira are at Dyad and, despite the fact that she can barely stand and that her girlfriend/doctor was just shipped to Germany, she devotes herself to helping them. Scott, who continues to be the most trustworthy person on the show, helps her science up some kind of escape device, and Cosima talks her way into getting a visit with Kira. Here she reminds me why I love her, even though she hasn’t had much of a storyline this season aside from her illness. Even with the crazy hair, stoner attitude, and genius intellect, she’s really the most normal of the clones. She’s warm, fun, and handles problems like a boss, and if this sounds like I’m eulogizing her it’s because of the deep emotional trauma this episode put me through. I’m on a Cosima high right now and I never want to come down.
Cosima has an adorable and foreshadowing science lesson with Kira and gets her to draw Sarah a picture. Sarah gets this picture while being prepped to have an ovary removed without her consent. Rachel interrupts the doctors so she can tell Sarah that Duncan is dead and demand that Sarah give her the cypher’s key. Since Duncan never gave Sarah the key she has no idea what Rachel’s talking about, but Rachel doesn’t believe her. She destroys Kira’s bone marrow, potentially condemning Cosima to death, because that’s how she responds to rejection. It’s only after this that Sarah gets the message meant for her in Kira’s drawing, and sees the escape route provided to her by Cosima and Scott. She squeezes the helpfully labeled “Squeeze” button, and a pencil shoots out of a fire extinguisher and right into Rachel’s eye. It would have been preferable if she did this before Rachel destroyed the priceless bone marrow, but is immensely satisfying nonetheless. Hooray science!
Having prevented Rachel from ever impersonating as her again, Sarah runs to Kira’s room. She finds Kira all ready to go, thanks to Marion. Marion tells Sarah that she’s made is possible for her to leave, but that they should meet the next day if she really wants to know the truth. Statements like that are usually followed by something life-alteringly horrible on this show, but for now Sarah’s willing to take the help and get the hell out.
Clone Bonding Time
Now that everyone is free of Dyad, the Clone Club meets to catch each other and Cal up on everything that’s been going on. He handles it well, because he’s unnervingly perfect, and he and Sarah have a quick make out session before Felix arrives with Helena. Yes, Helena is back! She’s unfazed by Sarah leaving her in jail and is terrible at pretending she didn’t burn down the Prolethian ranch. Since she now embraces the clones as family and not targets, Helena finally gets to meet her sisters. Cosima embraces her affectionately, Alison is polite but wary, and they all start the process of getting to know the person who once tried to kill them.
Cosima helps things along by starting a dance party, abandoning her oxygen for a little bit of fun. We then get a class in Tatiana Maslany’s physical acting ability, as each clone has an entirely different style of dance (Helena’s is the most violent, of course). It’s a sweet, cute scene in the end of a season where the clones were mostly separated and punched in the face by life. It’s also the first moment where I became convinced that Cosima was going to die, because nobody on Orphan Black gets to have that much joy without immediate consequences. The next scene, in which Cosima describes the golden ratio and generally says goodbye to Sarah, did not help my emotions. I swear I’m not crying, I’ve just got something in my eye (just like Rachel HEYOOOO).
One Was More than Enough
Following this delightful reprieve, things start getting real again for everyone. First, Helena (who is still toting around her frozen embryos) gets kidnapped. Can she get a break?! Apparently Mrs. S sold her to Paul and the military in order to get their help rescuing Sarah and Kira. Helena is last seen being loaded onto a plane with Mrs. S watching regretfully.
Next, the show fakes us out and makes us think that Cosima’s dead. Kira tries to wake her up so Cosima can read her a story, but Cosima remains unconscious. After hallucinating Delphine, she finally wakes up and even feels well enough to read Kira a story. I’m less helpful than that when I’m just feeling tired, so props to Cosima. Kira gives her Duncan’s book, The Isle of Dr. Moreau, and Cosima realizes that Duncan hid the key to the cypher in its pages. This is good news, since they won’t be able to get more bone marrow from Kira for another six weeks. Whether Cosima has long enough to make use of it remains to be seen, but hey, at least she made it through this episode. And there’s a container full of embryos at her disposal now that might help.
Finally, Sarah goes to Marion’s mansion for their meeting. Inside she finds a little girl named Charlotte. It’s immediately clear that Charlotte looks just like the girl from Rachel’s home movies, meaning that she’s a new generation of clone. I’m surprised they didn’t make Tatiana play her, but maybe being an 8 year old is beyond even her acting abilities.
Sarah assumes that Marion is Charlotte’s monitor, but Marion explains that she’s her adoptive mother. She’s therefore personally invested in the welfare of the clones, just like Mrs. S and Delphine are invested because of their connections. She also explains that there were over 400 attempts to create more clones without the help of Duncan and his key, but Charlotte was the only survivor. She seems a bit worse for wear too, as she has a large brace on her leg. Marion goes on to describe how the company she works for, Topside, helps to “steer” Dyad.
Most importantly, though, she reveals that the military never shut Project LEDA down. Instead, the project went in two directions. Dyad took on the production of female clones, and the military worked on male clones. This is known as Project Castor, as Castor is one of the children of Leda in Greek mythology. The military was successful, and Marion takes Sarah to meet one of the clones. When he turns around, we see that it’s a clone of Mark, pedophile extraordinaire. There’s another clone of him standing guard at the plane where Helena is taken. And Mark himself? He and Gracie are getting married, despite the fact that she’s clearly not of legal consenting age to do so. Did the world really need more than one of him?
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And on that disturbing note, the season ends. What did you think? Are Gracie and/or Helena really pregnant? How will the male clones change things for the ladies? Will Felix notice the vat of human embryos in his living room? Who’s really hotter: Paul or Cal? Share your thoughts on this episode and season, and thanks for reading!
(Image courtesy of BBC America)