On the last episode of Orphan Black, everyone made terrible, terrible life choices. Our little Alison mixed booze and pills more enthusiastically than a disgraced Disney kid; Sarah haphazardly reunited with her baby daddy while on the run from a powerful, yet also bumbling organization; Kira developed some insane desire to keep feeding chickens instead of staying in the safety of her handsome pop’s home; Cosima decided to forgo a career in impression-based stand-up comedy; Felix decided that abandoning his sister and niece was a reasonable reaction to being a third wheel (well and deception, but still… come on); and Helena… she’s perhaps the only character I wasn’t frustrated with.
So what did Season 2, Episode 4, “Governed as it Were by Chance” bring us? CRAZY SHIT, Y’ALL. CRAZY. SHIT.
To the recap!
As we remember from last week, Daniel the Dyad cronie captured Sarah and confiscated the now infamous Project LEDA photograph. The kidnapping was derailed, however, when someone T-boned the car. This episode, we confirm that it was Cal who instigated the crash. Thankfully, Sarah only suffers some flesh wounds.
Now, the naïve beard-lover in me wants to believe that Cal’s strategy was just an unsophisticated move at saving the mother of his child. But allow me to put on my custom-made tinfoil conspiracy hat for a moment and question my future husband’s motives here.
Sure, the crash was successful. But if we look at the strategy critically, we realize that Sarah easily could have gotten killed because of the stunt. Is crashing a car really the best plan a brilliant engineer like Cal could come up with? Or did Cal intentionally want to hurt Sarah because he’s secretly a baddie? I know the next obvious question is “well if he was a baddie, couldn’t he have just hurt Sarah at his cottage?” Sure. But that would have entailed being seen as a villain by Kira. Killing Sarah this way would allow Cal to return to the cottage and gain Kira’s trust as her only living guardian.
Did I just blow your mind, or am I going insane?
“A little bit from column A… a little bit from column B…”
Okay, well now that my hat is off, let me point out how silly it was for Sarah and Cal not to make sure that Daniel was dead. Come on guys. Always check to make sure the baddie is dead.
Back at the religious nut job ranch, Gracie calls Ukrainian “gibberish”. What a xenophobic asshole. When Helena wakes up she’s all “hey… dafuq were all those people in white doing around me last night? And why do I have a wedding ring on my finger? And why am I wearing a human-sized modesty doily?” Henrik then tries to cover by reassuring her that what she remembers was just the family “sayin’ hey there!” Cue full-body shudder.
Outside, Art practices being a paparazzo for really low-in demand photos.
In alcoholic clone land, Alison awakens in a strange place while still wearing her performance outfit. While she thinks she’s at the Dyad Institute, she soon finds out that her downwards spiral landed her in rehab.
Meanwhile, Cal proposes that he and the girls jump into a camper and hit the road because he’s now intimately involved in their quest. Sure. Why not.
When Sarah questions the ownership of the camper, he reassures her that it’s registered not in his name, but actually Phillip E. Badguyington’s (Okay so I may have made that last part up).
On the road, Sarah unlocks Daniel’s phone and realizes that she can use it to temporarily keep Rachel and the rest of the Dyad Group at bay. Apparently we can’t use Felix’s credit card to buy huevos rancheros, but sure, let’s use the bad guy’s phone even though it can be geolocated.
We next check in with Helena, who gets paid a visit from Gracie, the psychotic Florence Welch lookalike. As soon as Gracie is alone with the prisoner, she goes all Children of the Corn and tries to smother Helena. Much like Sarah, Gracie doesn’t double check that Helena is dead. Too bad for you, bitch, because Skrillex music and the ninja skills of a deranged assassin are here to fuck you up. “You sleep now”, asshole.
While searching for a way to escape the compound, Helena wanders into a makeshift gynecological office that triggers memories of her being seemingly artificially inseminated by Mark and Henrik. It speaks volumes that despite all the disturbing events featured on this show, this is perhaps one of the more upsetting.
No one messes with Helena. KILL THEM ALL.
At the Dyad Institute, Cosima receives a call from Sarah, who spills the beans about the Project LEDA photo. Cosima points out that the mythical Leda was a Greek queen seduced by Zeus, who was disguised as a swan. Because sure, why would you hook up with someone as a hot dude or lady when you could instead traumatize him or her with animal molestation?
In rehab, Alison finds out that she actually agreed to be institutionalized in her drunken stupor. The amount of similarities between Rob Ford and Alison are growing at an alarming rate.
When Donnie comes to visit, he delivers an ultimatum: if you leave rehab before the program is finished, I’m taking our kids away from you. As you may remember, in episode two Donnie had received a text from an unknown source reminding him that “she makes her own choices.” This message was sent directly after Donnie had encouraged his wife to drink. Was Donnie aiming to steer Alison towards institutionalization? Right now I’m inclined to say “yes”.
In hope of nabbing more information about the infamous project, Sarah decides to back track home and search through Mrs. S.’s things. Sarah thus decides that it’s a good idea to leave her daughter alone with a dude she only spent a month with 8 years ago. Come oooon Sarah. I know that you want to feel like a productive member of Clone Club right now, but this is your kid we’re dealing with here, not a poodle you can just drop off in a kennel. Stop validating Mrs. S.’s fears about your ability to prioritize Kira’s safety!
Speaking of Mrs. S…. our badass matriarch is sneaking up on people in cars and ripping off a hot dude’s clothes off in public.
Later in the episode, Sarah breaks into her former home to snoop for LEDA information with a reluctant Felix acting as backup. During the search, they find out several key pieces of information. First, we discover that Mrs. S.’s former associate (and hot romp-mate from a few scenes prior) Carlton served a fifteen-year sentence for smuggling children like Sarah. Additionally, we find out that the scientists in the Project LEDA photograph were Rachel’s adoptive parents, Susan and Ethan Duncan. The two reportedly died in a 1970s explosion that killed four other scientists.
After some good ol’ fashioned just-got-out-of-prison sex, Carlton reveals that he came to Toronto after hearing about the Birdwatchers’ betrayal. When he mentions that their former associates had also been “taken care of”, Mrs. S. is all “Yeah, I know, my utensil-fu is top notch… oh haha.. I mean, oh that’s unfortunate. More beer?” She then cryptically mentions that has to keep her foster daughter from finding out what she really is.
In a pretty smooth move (dammit Sarah, why don’t you bring these skills out more often?), Sarah impersonates Rachel on the phone, tricking the stuffy clone’s assistant into unlocking his employer’s apartment. Sarah then sneaks into the inner sanctum in order to search for LEDA information.
While Sarah prowls, Cosima posits that Rachel was likely raised in a clinical manner, wherein she was aware of her status as a clone. This knowledge in turn might have instilled a sense of narcissism and elitism. This theory stood in stark contrast with a childhood video of a diminutive Rachel professing love for her scientist parents.
The visit down memory lane is interrupted, however, when totally alive Daniel storms into the apartment, covered in blood (boy, he must have had a fun time explaining that to his cab driver). When Sarah tries to escape, she’s cornered and knocked out by Rachel’s goon. Upon awakening, Sarah finds herself handcuffed to the shower, ready to be interrogated by her captor, whom Sarah deduces is Rachel’s monitor. Despite having instructions not to harm his target, Daniel is all “eh, filleting people is way more fun” and advances on Sarah with a razor.
The torture ends, however, when Helena rescues her sister and shanks Daniel. In a powerful moment, Helena embraces a weeping Sarah and asks for help in relation to the Proletheans, who “took something from inside” of her. God, Tatiana Maslany is talented.
The episode ends with a shot of Henrik and his crazies overlooking a shot of an egg cell splitting into two (better than watching The Kardashians, I guess?).
Overall opinion: As you may have noticed, I’ve been very frustrated with Sarah’s increasingly reckless actions. Although she upsets me, I have to admire what the creators of the show are doing. Sure, Sarah could devise a foolproof plan and be the perfect guardian for her daughter. But would that storyline be true to the orphaned con artist we’ve grown to love? The perfect motherly role model wouldn’t be realistic, and she certainly wouldn’t be as interesting.
As for the rest of the episode: man, that was good. Just the right balance of exposition and “oh dear sweet Jesus” moments.
Favourite lines (basically all Felix):
Alison, asking about her performance in the play: “Was I terrible?” Felix: “…people got their money’s worth.”
Felix: “Cosima and Delphine are locked in some kind of transgressive lesbian geek spiral bound to end in tears.”
Sarah: “What’s the first rule of war, Fe?” Felix: “Don’t mix your camouflage?”
Felix, regarding Rachel’s apartment: “Are you in? What’s it like?” Sarah: “Straight out of Cold Bitch Digest.”