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'Orphan Black' Recap: Finally, Some Answers

By Craig Wack | TV | May 11, 2014 | Comments ()

By Craig Wack | TV | May 11, 2014 |


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Last time we saw the clones … Sarah got T-boned, Alison had egg on her face, Cosima was elbow deep in chitlins, Helena was makin’ bacon with the leader of the Prolethians and even though we didn’t see Rachel, she always looks like she needs more fiber in her diet.

Times are truly bad when the best part of your day is when your ex-baby daddy rams the car you’re driving with his truck. However, it’s also what makes Orphan Black appointment viewing.

“Governed As It Were By Chance” was an atypical episode for the show in that it actually answered more questions than it asked. However, it still managed to accomplish that goal in a way that lesser crafted shows would have become too talky. The stakes stayed high and the tension built steadily, even though the pieces just got pushed around the board in preparation for a more daring gambit to come.

The light pause in the breakneck pace gave the show’s creators an opportunity to peel some layers off of some non-clone supporting players. We discover that Sarah gets her fearlessness from her foster mother, Mrs. S, who is a master of badassery.

We’re introduced to her lover/partner in crime Carlton. He is the one who gave Sarah to Mrs. S and just got sprung from a stint in the joint for human smuggling. The pair get reacquainted through threats of violence followed by dirty pub basement sex. In the afterglow, Mrs. S pumps Carlton for any info he might have about Sarah’s past.

We also get to know Cal better. Not sure of Cal is just riding the waves caused by the return of Hurricane Sarah back into his life, his love for the daughter he never knew he had or if he’s part of the greater conspiracy, but Cal is all in. He’s got natural fatherly instincts with Kira. Cal deals with her with equal parts curiosity and empathy, doing his best to shield the child from the insanity. Kira is thankful, especially with Cal around being the smartest person in the room doesn’t fall on her small shoulders.

Here’s the clone-by-clone breakdown:

Helena: Although she is barely seen, this was Helena’s episode. Helena wakes up with fuzzy memories of her “wedding” and its aftermath. One of her sister wives tries to comfort for her, but you can see by the look on Helena’s face that the wheels are already turning.

Later, Grace comes in to change the bedding, but decides to end the charade and send Helena back to hell by smothering her with a pillow. Thinking she’s successful, Grace tries to triumphantly exit, but gets choked out by Helena — who was playing possum — for her troubles.

Helena is loose in the barn and stumbles around from room to room trying to find a way out. After bursting into Henrik’s makeshift obstetrics operating theater, Helena pieces together memories of the horrors that happened to her there and she redoubles her efforts to get the hell off the compound.

Just outside the property line, Det. Art Bell is conducting photo surveillance on the Prolethians based on the info Sarah gave him earlier. He notices the camp stir with activity then a familiar face comes shambling up the path. Helena doesn’t seek Bell’s help directly, but Bell throws her a wildcard line by disarming the Prolethians with red tape and stalling them long enough to help her vanish.

Cosima: Her cough is getting worse. Sarah thinks she’s Google.

Alison: Following her disastrous opening night, Alison wakes up in rehab with her arm in a sling and an upset stomach.

She discovers she completely blacked out because there’s no memory of agreeing to enter rehab. Freaked out, she calls Felix to get her the hell out of there. Felix, always the level headed one, tells Alison that a week away from Donnie the Monitor, booze and the pressures of clonedom might be good for her. So with the promise of brunch for being a good girl, Alison decides to stay for a week. However Donnie ups the ante and threatens to keep her from their kids of she doesn’t complete the program.

All the talk of nasty doing (Alison really needs to compare notes with Mrs. S there) paired with the morning sickness might be pointing to a fruitful future for the suburban clone.

Sarah: After coming to following the crash, Sarah instantly goes into flee mode.

Cal is the one who rammed her car. He stashed Kira on an abandoned farm and charged to Sarah’s rescue. After tense moment with Canada’s dumbest cop (what police officer would pass a scene with two crashed cars and two people standing in the middle of the road, one of whom is brandishing a pistol), they leave Rosen for dead (grabbing his phone), collect Kira and hop into an RV to avoid a police dragnet.

While he is willingly going along with the whole thing, Cal keeps asking who exactly is hunting them but Sarah is evasive. They take a break so Sarah can get online and do a Cosima search about Project LEDA. Sara gets a mythology lesson and decides she needs to dig a little more at Mrs. S’s place.

Sarah hops the bus back into town with a golden guardian origami angel that Kira gives her. Cal throws a knowing glance Sarah’s way when she finally tells him it’s Dyad that’s chasing her.

She meets Felix at Mrs. S’s house and he discovers some old news articles behind a picture of Carlton.

One of the clippings speaks of lab explosion that killed six scientists. The lab was supervised by Susan and Ethan Duncan, who are the same people in the Project LEDA photo Sarah carries and share the same last name as clone Rachel.

Sarah hatches a plan. With the help of Rosen’s phone and a former fling of Felix’s, Sarah decides to add another impersonation to her retinue and scope out Rachel’s apartment. She gives Felix the info they have about LEDA and the Duncans and tells him to provide Cosima some more data.

After grifting her way into the room, Sarah starts a frantic canvassing of the suite as Cosima gives the results of her Cosima search over the phone. The Duncans were prominent geneticists before falling off the radar in the years prior to the explosion. Cosima hypothesized that Sarah was earmarked for the Duncans before being spirited off by Mrs. S’s underground. Cosima also posits that Rachel is the cold, calculating bitch she is because the Duncans raised her to be corporate robot. However, an old VHS tape Sarah plays of (presumably) young Rachel happily and lovingly playing with the Duncans begs to differ.

The voyage of discovery ends when Rosen returns from the dead, bloodied and pissed off. As tough as he is, Rosen is still scared of Rachel, who is also his lover. Sarah tries to sneak out of the suite but is discovered on her way out. Rosen holds her at gunpoint, but Sarah talks tough presuming Rosen can’t shoot her. What she doesn’t know is that while shooting her is off the table, Rosen is quite all right with punching Sarah’s lights out.

For the second time in 24 hours, Sarah wakes up in a daze. Instead of a bearded Cal there to save the day, she finds herself Zip-tied in the shower with Rosen ready to extract all Sarah’s information as sadistically as he is able.

Rosen’s throat cutting session is interrupted when the music in the suite turns on full blast. In a nifty bit of film trickery, the audience experiences what comes next from Sarah’s perspective.

Sarah sees through the bathroom into the empty sitting area as Rosen exits stage right. There’s sounds of a struggle. Grunts and thrashing. A lamp is knocked over before Rosen collapses in bloodier lump clutching at his slashed throat.

Into Sarah’s line of sight lurches Helena, her angelic white gown, porcelain skin and golden hair are accented by the sanguine stains of her enemy. She spits in Rosen’s dying face as she approaches Sarah with a bloody knife in hand.

Sarah loses all attempts at keeping her cool at the sight of this demon from her past that she assumed was long dead. Helena tries to calm her screaming sister. Helena didn’t follow Sarah from Mrs. S’s house to the suite for revenge. She needs her sister’s love and help.

The Prolethians didn’t put a baby inside Helena in the honeymoon suite of horrors. Henrik took her eggs out, and the next generation of cloned miracles is diving in a Petri dish as the episode closes. It’s just a guess, but Grace is going to wish Helena did more than choke her out.

Craig Wack is a veteran journalist. Follow him on Twitter.



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