Welcome, readers, to the recap of Orphan Black’s excellent new episode, “To Hound Nature in Her Wandering.” What happened this episode? Well, for one we’re finally getting somewhere with our clone mystery, and by “somewhere” I mean we’re at the equivalent of that one pit stop with the big ball of twine—nowhere near the destination, but delightful nonetheless. I hope you went to the bathroom before reading this, because I am not stopping this article any time soon. So buckle your seat belt and let the recap begin!
The episode began with the odd couple of Sarah and Helena on a road triiiiiiiip! On their way to “Cold River”, the gals camp out in a tent, because… hotels are expensive I guess? After rebuffing Helena’s offering of canned beans, Sarah uncomfortably tries to discuss Helena’s Prolethian wedding. Not surprisingly, Helena would rather play shadow puppets than discuss her egg snatching (everything in this season seems to go back to chickens). The gals cap off the night with some good ‘ol fashion Dutch ovening.
Lurking outside is Dull Paul, who uses his prowess to break into the girls’ car… oh wait no, he doesn’t have to use anything but his thumbs because neither Sarah nor Helena locked the car. Jesus, stop acting like there isn’t a nefarious, murdering organization after you! I’m afraid for your safety!
The next morning, the gals embark on the lovely road trip tradition of fighting over the radio. Helena lands on “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies and loves the shit out of it because she is from Eastern Europe, a Bermuda Triangle of music where people seem to paradoxically be both behind trends (some are just now discovering Nirvana) and in front of them (a Lithuanian chick is creating a new brand of super-EDM at this very moment). Sarah says she doesn’t like the tune, and I call bullshit. “Sugar Sugar” is a classic sing-along song; I can guarantee you she was tapping her Doc Martens and secretly shimming her butt along to the rhythm. This scene depicted the realistic push and pull that goes along with a sisterly relationship and goddamn it, it was adorable. I’ve already made “Seestras 4EVAR” t-shirts and am taking orders.
Back at the Dyad lab, Cosima seems not to have grown another limb from the baby teeth stem cells Leekie injected into her last episode. The mystery around the stem cells grows, however, with Cosima pointing out that the odds of a match to her are a million to one, and it’s rather convenient that they found a useful sample so quickly.
*A wild Scott appears!*
Well, Scott’s at the Dyad now. Last episode we learned he had applied to the Dyad, but it appears Dr. Leekie has personally approved our little nerd into the sacred space. While Delphine is all “hey bb, y u mad, I got you a little friend”, Cosima is decidedly not okay with entangling someone she cares about into her scary clone web. Cosima gets overruled, however, when Scott reveals that he’s deduced the samples Cosima sent him were from clones.
At the New Path Wellness Centre, Alison refuses to admit she has an alcoholism problem despite the fact that she face-planted during a play and vomited her guts out for a week afterwards. Girl. Listen to your body. It is not cool with you putting that many minibar bottles of booze in you. As a matter of fact, your body is actually confused as to where you got all those dainty bottles of booze. Did you discover some sort of miniature version of the LCBO? Your body wants answers Alison!
Anywhoo, the confessional circle’s solemnity is broken once Vic the Dick, Orphan Black’s resident buffoon, enters the room. Alison tries her best not to be recognized, but that’s no match for Vic’s keen 20/20 vision. Vic recognizes Sarah’s double from their past mace-infused exploits, and quickly theorizes that their simultaneous admission into New Path must be some sort of test from the God-Head. Not God. God-Head.
Although annoying, Vic proves himself useful when he diffuses a fight between Alison and Donnie during visitation hours. Endeared by Vic’s interference, Alison allows herself a moment of vulnerability and admits to him that she’s a “bottle hider” (is that a PG version of alcoholic?). The two then play basketball horribly and oh my god my ill advised sexual tension sense is tingling noooooooo.
Downtown, Art has been assigned the duty of Felix babysitter. Art’s activities include making coffee and creating conspiracy collages out of Maggie Chen’s locker remnants.
Miles away in a weird country western-loving part of Ontario (Shanaia Twain’s hometown?), the twins find the church in the “Swan Man” photo taken by Maggie Chen. While Helena jumps at the chance to help her sister, Sarah demotes her to “dog stuck inside a hot car” status. Sarah, come on. You’re leaving the woman who escaped handcuffs with a sardine can tab all by herself? Really? Ahhhhh…. Why are you so frustrating?!!!?!?
Unsurprisingly, Helena leaves the car and finds solace in a bar drinking white Russians and spraining rude dudes’ fingers. Smitten by her nonchalance in front of human suffering, Patrick J. Adams from Suits sidles up to Helena and somehow the producers resist using “Just the Two of Us” as the soundtrack to this scene.
Inside the church, Sarah convinces the woman in charge to let her view documents relating to the Cold River Institute under the guise of doing research for her thesis, which is in the discipline of… creepy ass buildings? Child murder? Let’s all use our imagination on that one. While digging through the archives, Sarah finds out that the Cold River Institute had been the breeding ground for Ethan Duncan’s clone experiments.
While Sarah searches, Helena creates an alternate storyline for herself wherein she was a Ukranian police officer and scientist who quit her job to be with her family and go on adventures with her sister. Apparently those pork rinds went straight to Patrick J. Adams’ head, because he immediately starts wondering out loud how he can keep Helena in town. Okay, slow your roll Male Taylor Swift.
At the bar, Mark pops in wearing an ensemble from Hitler Youth Outfitters.
Not content with just one clone hunter being present, Dull Paul shimmies his butt in and decides to have a bad guy pow-wow with the Prolethian. Instead of talking about Mark’s obvious love of My Chemical Romance (he’s going through his emo phase), Dull Paul broaches the topic of twin targets. Despite their opposing allegiances, the two men decide their resources are best used capturing their respective twin rather than injuring each other.
After a raucous round of arm wrestling foreplay, Helena and Patrick J. Adams get enveloped in a slow dance makeout willed into being by the hopes and dreams of all awkward grade 8 girls everywhere. The owner of the sprained finger, who apparently hates love, interrupts the sweet moment. Helena of course loses her shit and gleefully tears at the man’s eyes. Helena is then arrested, and love dies a slow painful death. Heavy sigh.
At the police station, Helena’s told the dudes she beat up aren’t pressing charges and that her sister has come to pick her up. Sadly, the sister that shows up is not Sarah, but Prolethian Gracie, whose scars make her look like she has a bad case of beard burn. The two women then have a very frank “yo dude, I tried to kill you, are we good?” conversation. Despite the curt start, Gracie expertly plays on Helena’s insecurities regarding her sister’s love and the desire for a family and convinces her to return to the farm.
Despite seeing Helena get captured, Sarah decides to do shit all. All right fine, so she asks Art to look into her charges. And yes, I understand that she’s worried about Felix and the 3-day deadline given by Leekie to find Ethan Duncan, but damn, that’s cold.
Art and Felix’s collage-making proves useful once they deduce that Ethan Duncan took on the identity of a dead baby named Andrew Peckham.
Back at the lab, Scott runs the baby teeth stem cells Cosima has been injected with against the clone DNA, and as it turns out, the stem cells actually belong to a blood relative of the clones, apparently a niece or daughter.
KIRA? IS IT KIRA? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
The more we find out about these stem cells, the more I worry that Cosima’s only going to get worse.
Back at New Path, Vic reveals himself to be a dirty rat sent into the rehab centre by Lame ‘Ol Angie to dig dirt on Alison in exchange for his charges being dropped. Listen… Angie’s fine. But she’s just a little bit stiff, no? Maybe it’s her terrible skills at impersonating a soccer mom, but I kind of hate her.
In a nearby town, Sarah locates the house of Andrew Peckham and oop, there’s Mrs. S. Damn woman, are you everywhere? Jesus.
Mrs. S. explains that Ethan Duncan was hidden twenty years ago by the Birdwatchers in exchange for his information regarding the surrogate Amelia and the experiments conducted on unborn children.
In a sad little twist, Ethan Duncan is a bit of a senile bird-loving hoarder (that house must not have been pleasant for the olfactory senses). Sarah then faces a choice: should she ally herself with her foster mother and hide Duncan or should she turn him over to Leekie in order to free Felix? Before deciding, Sarah asks some tough questions, including the obvious WTFFFFFF WHYYY?
Despite being fearful of facing his past, Ethan reveals that he and his wife Susan were one of many “implantation teams” originally part of a division of the military. While the military’s goal may have been the nebulous notion of “proof of concept”, Ethan and Susan saw themselves as the clones’ possible parents. When an oversight committee declared the successfully cloned embryos an “ethical failure”, the Dyad hijacked Project Leda. Led by Dr. Leekie, the Neolutionists spread their ideology through Dyad, culminating in Susan’s death and Rachel’s capture.
In an emotional plea for help, Sarah tearfully tells Ethan “your little girls are dying.” Moved by the notion of his children’s sickness, Ethan confesses that the reason he’s been in hiding is to get away from Leekie himself. If Leekie did orchestrate the whole shebang, this revelation would go against his confession in season one that he is not the Dyad’s puppet master.
Outside, Mrs. S and Dull Paul drink tea like old frenemies and cryptically discuss Afghanistan being “all for naught”. Wha?
Overall opinion: This was a solid episode! I got some Alison time which as very much appreciated, and I adored Helena and Sarah’s little road trip adventure. I know I’ve gushed before, but man, does Tatiana Maslany knock it out of the park. Her mannerisms for each character are so different that I completely immerse myself into the story. With the episode focusing on each of the main clones, I easily transferred by attention from one storyline to the next without once thinking “ugh, this girl again?” Bravo, Orphan Black!
The only thing that I disliked was the fact that the show is growing increasingly more generic with its settings as its popularity rises. I loved the fact that the story took place in Canada and I’m quite disappointed the show runners are erasing mentions of both Toronto and the greater region of Ontario. I will continue to speculate as to where the characters could be because I am an old biddy set in my ways.
Favourite line: Goes to Alison: