Welcome to Dork Shelf’s recap of Orphan Black season 2 episode 3, “Mingling Its Own Nature with It”. We left off last week’s episode with Sarah and Felix heading out onto the road and me feeling anxious about the distance being put between our lovely clones.
The episode starts off with Sarah and Felix traveling in less glamorous conditions than the W Hotel. Instead of someone teaching you how to use a bidet that tells you it’s never seen a lovelier butt than yours, we have Sarah squatting and taking a pee in the grass. Felix is not amused.
Back at the Birdwatchers’ hideout, the number of assholes present gets increasingly high. Dyad toadie Daniel arrives first on the scene and tries to blend in while wearing a black turtleneck (he apparently thinks the woods are a Ralph Lauren commercial set). Creepy ass Henrik (whom we’ve nicknamed Hank for some reason) and Mark then drop in and disappointedly gaze upon the kitchen-utensil impaled bodies of the Birdwatchers. Seeing as Sarah’s presence in the home was unexpected, it’s reasonable to conclude that Kira was Proletheans’ target all along. With the prodigal child now gone, Helena becomes their plan B, and the house is torched.
Meanwhile, Sarah proves that she kind of sucks at this whole going on the run business. Woman, you were a professional con artist. Don’t you know better than to go about country-western-music-playing rural Ontario wearing shiny leather leggings while speaking in a thick British accent? You pretended to be Beth for a few weeks there, so I know you can hide that shit. And maybe you should have taken out cash back in Toronto so that you wouldn’t have to use your child’s adorableness to steal turkey jerky. I’m starting to think you were a grifter who got by more on charm and chutzpah than actual sleuthing skills.
Despite not fully understanding the nuances of being inconspicuous, Sarah does come up with a plan: Break into someone’s summer home and hole up there until… well, until she comes up with a better plan.
Back at Art’s place, Angie throws around a Shakira hair joke like it’s 2005. Turns out Angie’s still investigating the secret clone business and doesn’t take too kindly to a dude telling her to stop doing her job.
Meanwhile, now that Alison has figured out Donnie is her monitor, she doesn’t exactly want to be sexed up by him. Deceit: Not a good strategy for boning a lady. Go figure.
While Alison is often played for laughs, her predicament is arguably the most disturbing of the series. Sure, Sarah had her daughter stolen and Cosima is burdened with discerning whose side her lover is on, but Alison found out that her partner—the man she let crawl into her bed, heart, and mind—has been deceiving her every moment for years. How do you trust anyone again after experiencing this? No matter how nutty she is, Alison deserves heaps for praise for maintaining a level of sanity Beth sadly could not.
At the Dyad Institute, Cosima proves that her Dr. Leekie impression is on point.
“GREAT SCOTT. I’ve created life itself!”
While our favourite nerdy clone thinks sneaking around in Leekie’s office is a fun side quest, the mood quickly shifts from playful to somber when Delphine reveals the existence of the first clone to fall ill, Jennifer Fitzsimmons. With prodding from her boyfriend-cum-monitor, Jennifer had video-taped the progress of her disease for the Dyad Institute and now Cosima’s viewing. The whole thing is devastating and omg please never make me watch it ever again.
In cult news, Mark is super stoked about Helena being “fertile”. Jesus, the way his eyes linger on her as he says that word makes me shudder. She’s not a fucking cow, you nut job. Orphan Black: crafting compelling psychopaths since 2013. And Helena don’t eat the chicken! It probably has drugs in it! Ugh. But I guess it’s a tough call. Girl’s gotta eat, and chicken is fucking delicious.
Back on the set of Thelma and Louise, things become less peachy once we find out that the cabin crew is bunking in is the home of Cal Morrison, former lover and scam victim of Sarah. Michiel Huisman, a Dutch actor whose current niche seems to be “bearded love interest to super hot women,” plays Cal.
Men apparently don’t really take very well to having their home broken into by fraudsters, and Cal becomes enraged at the invasion. Kira thankfully diffuses the situation by sneaking downstairs and pointedly asking whether Cal is her dad.
With each episode, Kira becomes creepily more insightful, which makes me think that a higher level of intelligence might be another reason why she’s so sought after by the show’s baddies.
A visit to the Maury show isn’t needed, as Sarah freely admits that the timing of her pregnancy makes Cal the most likely baby daddy candidate.
Despite his simple, yet hot woodsman appearance, Cal is more than meets the eye. Kira’s new dad is apparently an engineer whose drone technology was co-opted by the military. Rather than benefit from future schemes, Cal chose to walk away from a lucrative tech career in favour of living off the grid, wearing plaid, and cutting wood. Guys, I think Cal might be the Brawny man.
I hope Sarah’s conclusion about Kira’s paternity is true and that she wasn’t secretly kidnapped and impregnated by a nefarious organization (I wouldn’t completely count this out as a twist). I also hope she isn’t lying just to win Cal over as an ally, as that would be cruel even for a con artist. I’m inclined to believe Sarah is being truthful, however, after her tearful conversation with Kira. It makes sense that an orphan like Sarah would want her daughter to know both of her parents and not wonder about who made her into perceptive little weirdo that she is now.
Also high five to Kira for admitting that she loves her poppa’s beard.
YES, child. YES. Welcome to Team Beard. We’re great. Don’t believe newspapers’ assertion about society reaching “peak beard”. Shun the non-believers. SHUUUUUN.
While Sarah may have had the best intentions for the road trip, she didn’t think through how gutted the ensuing events would leave Felix. It’s no wonder that he feels betrayed; the role of foster brother and best friend often comes along with certain privileges like knowing who the fuck the father of your child is. Although I heavily empathize with Felix’s irateness, I’m a bit disappointed that he would just up and abandon the two girls. Sure, you need to process your feeling and you might need some time, but two things:
1) The ultimate goal is still to run away with Sarah and Kira, even if there’s a new dude in tow.
2) You don’t know this guy! What if Cal is secretly working with the Dyad Institute?
Also, Sarah, why are you not stopping Felix from leaving? I want to just shake all of you.
Far from having just three clones experience emotional upheaval, we drop in on Cosima taking on the gut-wrenching task of dissecting Jennifer Fitzsimmons’s body. From the process, we learn that a possible reason for the clones’ infertility is excessive growths on the inside of their uterine walls.
Back at Sexual Tension Cabin, Sarah tries to convince Cal that she didn’t take him for all he as worth eight years ago because she actually cared about him. Endeared by this knowledge, Cal puts the moves on the pint-sized bad girl and the viewers cheer! The viewers boo, however, when Cal leaves his shirt on during the makeout. What IS this? Come on, Orphan Black. Give us what Game of Thrones won’t give us until the end of their season. Stop being so PG and bring us a season one style steamy sex scene.
Hopefully what Orphan Black producers are saying in response.
During the episode, poor Alison has become a bluster of anxiety and paranoia. At rehearsal for Blood Ties, she has a difficult time doing a song and dance about murder (shocking!). Her day then gets worse when Angie tries glean information from her while pretending to be a suburban soccer mom. Whether monitor or police officer, Alison can’t even with this right now.
Unable to turn her mind away from conspiracies and Aynsley’s lingering presence, Alison relies on alcohol to numb the pain away. Sadly, Alison glug glugs far too much, and collapses off the stage during opening night. Uh oh. This can’t be good.
In a nice reveal, we learn that Art hasn’t just been sitting on his ass at home wallowing in cop drama after being suspended. He’s instead been tracking the hipster Proletheans down to their culty ranch. There, he spies on a tender (read: fucking creepy) moment wherein Hank plays a confusing game of 20 questions with his daughter Gracie.
“What do you hear, child?”
“I hear the wind?… and the men worki…”
“WRONG!!!!!! IT’S JESUS. YOU HEAR JESUS. YOU LOSE.”
The grossness continues when a drowsy Helena (IT WAS THE CHICKEN) wakes up in a room full of white-wearing born-again weirdos. I’m not sure what exactly happened in this scene, but I think Hank married Helena and then took her into a room somewhere to impregnate her. BRB. Puking forever.
Doing his best to be a pain in Sarah’s ass, Daniel the Dyad crony tracks Kira down to Cal’s and attempts to abduct her. He’s apparently not as smooth of an agent as Rachel would hope him to be, because he kinda sort of shoots Cal’s cop buddy friend during his kidnapping. Smooth.
Cal, now being the best, protects Kira with a sniper rifle, because sure, why wouldn’t an engineer who chops wood be skilled at operating one of those? Cutting his loses, Daniel captures Sarah instead and forces her to drive the getaway car (what??). In a shocking moment, someone (likely Cal), T-bones the car.
DUM DUM DUMMMMMMM.
Overall opinion: Normally, Orphan Black’s drama is balanced with silly conversations and delightful sight gags that endear us to the cast of characters. “Mingling Its Own Nature with It”, however, featured very few lighthearted moments. While I missed chuckling about the clones’ antics, I enjoyed the slow build of tension that’s sure to carry into next week’s episode. Shit’s getting real folks. Where season one introduced us to the women, season two is delving deeper into the worsening psychological effects of realizing you’re a clone; Alison’s no longer just the comedic relief, and Cosima is done being just the cool, calm and collected scientist.
If you thought the show was going to take it easy on your poor adrenal gland, this episode helped shatter that belief. It’s as if the producers are saying “You want an answer to a question? Here’s you go, here’s a small sliver of what we’re hiding. Oops, but wait, that revelation comes along with even more mysteries.” The beauty in Orphan Black’s strategy, however, is that the viewer never feels cheated. While more questions are piling on, there’s a sense that the mystery is going somewhere, and that the creators aren’t stringing us along with shock as the only eventual payoff (*cough cough* LOST *cough cough*). This world makes sense, its heroes are evolving, and its enemies are deliciously unpredictable.
What will the next episode bring? Well, for one, I anticipate that Helena will lose her shit after being messed with by the Proletheans. Ah, a feral Helena on the loose. Just what we’ve all been waiting for.
Store owner, describing Felix: “Yeah they distracted me while some new waver stole a bunch of food.”