Hello there readers! Welcome to Dork Shelf’s first recap of the brand new season of everyone’s favourite clone show, Orphan Black! Last year, stars Tatiana Maslany and Tatiana Maslany investigated their clone origins and bang bang-ed (as in killed) a lot of bad guys and also banged (as in banged) quite a few… well, also bad guys. What did this weekend’s premiere bring? To the recap!
The episode picked up seconds after Sarah found out that her house had been ransacked and her daughter Kira and Mrs. S. had gone missing. We find our main girl running for dear life in the rain, trying desperately to evade an enemy that at the moment could be the police, the Neolutionists, or the Proletheans (it’s like the shittiest game of Russian roulette ever). Sarah eventually seeks refuge in a diner, and orders tea because she’s hella British.
When it’s revealed that the other clones’ numbers have been disconnected, Sarah demands answers from the Neolutionists. Proclone and sassy bob-owner Rachel offers her scragglier counterpart an offer: You’ll get your little munchkin back as soon as you surrender yourself to us. Deeply respectful of authority and responsive to threats, Sarah totally surrenders. Hahaha… jk, the phone call pisses her off even more.
I mean really, Neolutionists. For an enemy advanced enough to be able to clone people willy nilly, your tactical department is pretty subpar. Last time you tried to bargain with Sarah she responded with “up yours”; she’s clearly not going to turn herself in and subsequently trust an organization that’s abducted her child. I think it’s time you stopped with the threats and just captured Sarah butterfly-net style—pretty sure that would be infinitely more effective than your current plans. That tip’s on the house, but Elena’s Evil Corporation Consulting Service will be seeking a hefty fee for your next session.
Sarah’s day unfortunately gets more confusing when two men enter the diner looking like they’ve just stepped off of a rodeo or a Western themed Toronto club. Trying to outdo Game of Thrones in menacing conversations about poultry, the cowboys engage the diner owner in a deep and unsettling chat about eggs that quickly turns deadly.
Who are these assholes, and do they have Kira? At the moment we don’t know—but it’s unlikely they’re connected to the Neolutionists (they would never be caught dead wearing bolo ties). Sarah thankfully gets away from the remaining baddie by knocking out a water-damaged wall in the bathroom. I mean I would have just distracted him by playing Nickleback on the jukebox, but sure, your way works too.
With the other clones still MIA, Sarah seeks help from her stepbrother Felix, whom she finds in a club wearing this season’s hottest new accessories: Assless chaps and a stole made of handsome men. When Rachel’s cronies call her again, Sarah demands a meeting with Dyad Group employee (and clone sympathizer) Dull Paul.
In Hot Scientist-ville, Delphine and Cosima engage in some blood-play. While Delphine would like the Dyad Institute to analyze Cosima’s samples, her bespectacled lover refuses, stating that she wants to be in control of her own biology. Forgetting that her employers are bad guys, Delphine prods Cosima to come to the Dyad event. Oh Delphine. Never change.
Also side note: “Delphine” means dolphin in a lot of Eastern European languages, including mine. Thus, whenever I type “Delphine,” I picture this:
Felix, who has procured a jacket but remains heavily unclothed, awakes the pinkest clone of the all, Alison, in the quest for a gun for Sarah. In response to the request, Alison reminds Felix that she’s signed the Dyad Group’s contract and she’s now trying to get her life in order by drinking less (hahahahahah—yeah we’ll see how long that lasts) and singing more.
Despite her initial reluctance, Alison finally agrees to help the team by contacting her “gun enthusiast” friend Ramon. Despite his sexy-sounding name, Ramon turns out to be a teen-stached Econo Mart customer service rep who totally has the hots for our little pill popper. After a few lusty gazes, Ramon fits Alison with a lovely unregistered lady grip handgun, perfect for dainty flower Sarah.
The next day, Sarah communicates with Dull Paul through a string of elaborately organized skateboard youths (I’m not old, you’re old!). Dull Paul informs Sarah that if she doesn’t surrender in the next 24 hours, Rachel will be taking Kira by plane to an undisclosed location (likely not Disneyland). Thankfully, he discloses a bit more info—Rachel will be at the big Dyad event tonight and she’ll be vulnerable when away from her strongest agent Daniel (the poor man’s Agent Smith who has been tasked with nabbing Sarah).
At the Dyad Institute, Dr. Leekie warns Delphine to “be careful playing for the other team” and he doesn’t mean lesbians. Although his ingénue has convinced Cosima to come to Toronto and consider an offer to work for the Dyad Institute, Leekie wants the clone under his thumb. In a bid to help Cosima, Delphine gives Leekie the blood samples she extracted the previous night.
Oh Delphine, you gorgeous idiot—there is no way this move won’t blow up in your face in a few episodes. You can pout all you want pumpkin, but that there is betrayal, and there is no way Cosima is going to be cool with it, despite your best intentions.
In suburbia, Alison gets the lead in her musical! And whyyyy does Alison get the lead? Because Aynsley’s dead! And whyyyy is Aynsley dead? Oh yes, right, it’s because Alison let her choke to death on her scarf. Awkward…
The community theatre rehearsal gets a bit more exciting when Art and Angie (deceased clone Beth’s cop friends) start tailing Alison in order to find out her connection to the shenanigans Sarah and Helena pulled last season. Unfortunately for Sarah, the timing of this investigation could not be worse, and the two detectives pick her up before she can grab Alison’s gun.
When Angie questions the connection between the identical women, Sarah states that she doesn’t know, but that an answer might lie at the diner where she saw two men die the previous night. Ever sympathetic to the hoodlum’s cause, Art persuades Angie to check out the crime scene. At the diner, “the feds” (of unknown acronym) have taken over the investigation. Dum dum dummmm. As there is no case open against Sarah, Art persuades Angie to let her go.
Back at the Dyad Institute, Leekie thinks himself a poet, uttering “to combine is to create; to engineer divine” while bantering with Rachel. Yeah, okay Alexander Pope, slow your roll.
At clone HQ (aka Felix’s artsy little loft), the gang finally gets hold of the gun courtesy of a sly flower delivery from Alison. The group then discusses its plan for getting Kira back. What is the plan, exactly?
While Alison doesn’t want to know anything further due to her contractual relationship with the Dyad Institute, she adorably tells the other girls to follow their genetic predisposition towards rashness and go get Kira. Alison’s observation certainly is an astute one—while the clones have a lot of unique characteristics, a slight recklessness is a trait they all share. Sarah has demonstrated this… well, always, and even the more reserved Cosima was dangerously impulsive in the romantic pursuit of her monitor.
After Alison signs off from the pow wow, the other members of Clone Club suss out that Daniel is the biggest snag in getting close to Rachel. Daniel is tricked into leaving his boss’s side when Sarah convinces him that she’s going to surrender herself in a red minivan… in Alison’s neighbourhood. Daniel immediately realizes he’s fucked up when his team accidentally apprehends Alison instead of their actual target.
Okay Dyad Group, I’m going to have to ask you to really step up your game here. I mean come on. How many clones are there in Toronto that you can’t keep track of where Alison lives? Sarah’s a cunning grifter, but you are in charge of shady international human cloning conspiracies for god’s sake! Surely you could hire an evil intern to create some helpful Excel charts! I believe in youuuuu!
At the Dyad event, Sarah arrives armed and donning her best Cosima garb.
The disguise, despite its rather drab faux dreadlocks, is good enough to fool Delphine into giving Sarah a peck. It’s also good enough to allow Sarah to get within security-pass stealing distance of Dr. Leekie. Man, Sarah would be the best stealth character in a video game. On that note, can we all petition for an Orphan Black video game? I’m already lining up for it in my head.
While Sarah enters the depths of the Dyad Institute on the hunt for Rachel, we get some useful exposition from Dr. Leekie regarding the expanse of the Dyad Group. We learn that the company has been around since 1918 and currently employs over 27 000 people in over 134 countries including Vatican City. Seems a bit odd that the Vatican would have ties to a biotech company, no? The nefariousness of the company increases once Rachel reveals to a group of Japanese investors that the recent legal status of synthetic DNA has been an effect of the Dyad Group’s intensive “lobbying” strategies. The plot thickens!
Somehow, Sarah successfully navigates the Institute all the way to Rachel, who is just chilling out in Leekie’s office after her presentation. The final confrontation between the two women is unsatisfactory once it’s revealed that Rachel was bluffing about having Kira in order to lure in Sarah.
When Rachel offers the Institute’s help in locating the young girl as a bargaining chip, Sarah loses her cool and pistol whips the well coiffed clone unconscious. Dull Paul then arrives and hesitates letting our girl go before her right hook makes him remember what team he actually wants to be on (it’s the good guys’ team, duh).
All out of ideas as to Kira’s whereabouts, Sarah turns to Art for help. In a surprising twist, it doesn’t take too much convincing to enlist Art into Clone Club. As it turns out, the cowboy that took the shotgun blast in the diner the other night was part of a group of religious extremists like Tomas and Maggie Chen—the Proletheans.
Was that the most surprising twist of the episode?
NO IT WASN’T BECAUSE HELENA IS ALIVE. I REPEAT. HELENA IS ALIVE.
AND THE BOLO WEARING DICK FROM THE DINER TOOK HER TO THE HOSPITAL? WHAT DOES HIS FISH BELT BUCKLE MEAN?
AND OMG KIRA IS IN A HOTEL ROOM SOMEWHERE HAVING HER PICTURE TAKEN BY A CREEPY MAN?
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. THIS SHOW YOU GUYS.
Overall opinion: What a fantastic start to the season! This episode struck an impressive balance between drama and comedy, and offered a lot of insight into the clones’ lives and their enemies’. The writing, as always, was sublime, and the chemistry between the actors was so enchanting that I became convinced that Tatiana Maslany and her on screen foster brother Jordan Gavaris have wine-infused sleepovers after filming. Also kudos to the creators of the show for setting up new foils for each of our main characters. Beyond Sarah’s hunt for Kira, I’m very intrigued to see how Cosima will handle her relationship with Delphine and Dr. Leekie, and how Alison will deal with her personal demons. Lastly, I absolutely love that Helena is alive (I knew it!), as she was one of the most complex characters to emerge out of last season. I cannot wait to see what mayhem she’ll cause.
Felix, to Cosima: “I smelled lesbians in my bed last night.”
Alison, shocked to see Felix at her door: “What the Dickens?”
That’s it for the first recap of Orphan Black season 2 guys! Hope to see you back here next week!