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'Orphan Black' Recap: How Sarah Got Her Groove Back

By Craig Wack | TV | June 15, 2014 |

By Craig Wack | TV | June 15, 2014 |

When last we saw the clones, Sarah was in a snit, Rachel threw a fit, Alison was in deep shit, Cosima’s heath took a hit, Tony split and Helena wasn’t around …

After a couple of episodes experimenting with slapstick comedy and transgender incest, Orphan Black got back to its tense, adrenaline-fueled roots with its next-to-last episode of the season, “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done.”

The switch couldn’t have happened at a better time for the show’s central character, Sarah.
The Clone Club has stripped away much of the mystery surrounding the hows and whys of their existence. Sarah’s quest to unearth that information drove the plot for much of the second half of Season 1 and a large chunk of Season 2.

The ultimate discovery of Ethan Duncan in Episode 2.6 put all the pieces in place and filled in important details about Project Leda. The unfortunate side effect was Sarah lost her purpose to the overall story for the next two episodes.

Sarah’s voyage into this larger universe and her place in it provided so much momentum and excitement for 16 episodes: her double life as Beth Childs, her drive to reconnect with and protect her child, her evolving relationship with her twin/frenemy Helena, her interplay with Felix and her battles with Mrs. S.

Once the situation stabilized, Sarah became a supporting character in her own story as other clones stepped into the spotlight. Cosima toyed with the nerds. Alison sparred with Vic in rehab. Rachel banished Leekie to his Donnie doom. Previously unknown trans clone Tony showed up and flirted with Felix. All were great individual moments for those characters, but it made the show disjointed and stray from his central drive.

During that time, Sarah’s actions become contradictory. She doesn’t trust Mrs. S but always runs straight to her. She’s afraid of Dyad but pokes the bear by double dealing with Rachel and Leekie. She swears sisterhood to Helena only to abandon her sestra with a shrug that she’s “doing her own thing.”

Sarah bounced from situation to situation without any real purpose, seemingly discarding people after their usefulness to her was over. It made Sarah seem self-centered and bitchy.

Thankfully, the pendulum swung back the other way this week. First, when she had to make the choice between protecting Kira from Dyad and keeping Cosima alive. Moving forward, Sarah is on Marion’s radar in a bad way and old Admiral Cain isn’t going to make life easy for Sarah. I don’t think Rachel is done impersonating Sarah, either, which is going to complicate things as the real Sarah tries to rescue Kira and dismantle Dyad in the process.

Sarah back on mission is a good thing for Orphan Black. Can’t wait to see what next week’s season finale brings.

Here is this week’s clone by clone rundown:

Cosima: The half-dead living search engine is in a bad way. The growths that started in her uterus have taken over her lungs and are rapidly spreading to the rest of her body.

Ethan’s gene therapy is still months away but it could have been longer if Scott and the Dyad lackey hadn’t been able to scrounge up those old Apple II parts. (Was it just me or did the lackey totally remind you of Jonathan, Jack Donaghy’s assistant on 30 Rock?)

Her sickly pallor and supplemental oxygen brings her sisters to tears during their Skype powwow.

To hold off the icy scythe of death long enough for Ethan to reverse his design mistake, Cosima needs more stem cells than a baby tooth can provide. She needs a bone marrow transplant from Kira, but no pressure or anything.

Alison: The king and queen of the involuntary manslaughter prom are trying to dispose of Leekie’s body in the most Tarantino way possible.

Type A personality Alison is grinding away at the problem of cleaning the car and finding the right shower curtain to wrap the body in. Donnie doesn’t have the stomach or “pitter-patter” for the task.

They manage to put the corpse in cold storage while figuring out how to ultimately dispose of it. Donnie suggests dumping it in the lake (Dexter style) but Alison shoots that down for a number of logical reasons. Alison settles on the John Wayne Gacy method which means burying him under the garage floor.

At this point the Truce Romance homage really begins. Besides being an ace with ribbons and glitter, Alison is also handy with a jackhammer as she and Donnie dig the hole.

While using a jackhammer in their garage attracts no attention from their neighbors, Vic happens by under the guise of seeking therapy closure but really doing more snooping for Det. Deangelis. Alison manages to shoo him away at first, but Vic comes back to spy some more.

Vic gets caught by strapped up Donnie and led into the garage. Donnie has learned his lessons and is clearly in his element, breaking Vic down at gunpoint (safety on!) and making him rat out Deangelis’ plan. Donnie escorts Vic back to the unmarked van, confronts the rogue cop and calls her bluff. After snapping a blackmail pic, Donnie struts back to the house a new man before finishing the job of burying Leekie.

Once the final bit of concrete is smoothed over the hole, Alison and Donnie can’t keep their hands off each other and start getting nasty (which in Alison’s mind is non-missionary position sex) on the deep freeze. I half expected to Alison ask Donnie to call her Alabama, but instead Donnie mooned us all.

Helena: The Ukrainian eye-gouger is back after a couple of episodes away and her special brand of mania was really missed. Her portion of the episode was a greatest hits compilation of Helena quirks: eating, animal noises, taunting, being tender and funny, then it’s all capped by an eruption of murderous rage.

We first see her in the Prolethian honeymoon suite of horrors getting her babies implanted as Henrik explains the process of how their babies will be born.

Helena is then led to the nursery house, where she develops a playful connection with one of the little girls there. That little girl dawdles too long before nap time because she wanted to touch Helena’s wild mane and is threatened with a beating by the cult’s midwife.

The midwife gets a taste of her own medicine when Helena grabs her and threatens to gut her if she ever does that to a child again.

Meanwhile, Mark gets permission to court Gracie, but Henrik warns that it’s time Gracie to start pumping out little Henrik babies of her own.

Gracie and Helena end up in the same recovery room together and decide to bolt after even Helena realized just how screwed up things are when she learns he is going to try and populate the world with little Henrik-Helena offspring.

Of course, Henrik is lurking in the shadows with a shotgun, then KOs Helena and locks Gracie in a stall for her insolence. Mark arrives during the melee and debates the issue long enough to distract Henrik until Helena comes to and pounces.

Gracie and Mark escape while Helena is choking Henrik out. The cult leader and animal husbandry enthusiast regains consciousness strapped to the impregnating table inside the suite of horrors. Helena has ransacked the lab and discovered all the embryos Henrik harvested from Helena and fertilized for future use. She’s not real happy about it.

After a shot of animal semen (?!?) and a posing with a pipe like some hellish version of a Norman Rockwell painting, Helena lubes up the egg harvesting syringe and gives Henrik some anal karmic retribution.

We last see Helena leaving the area bathed in the orange glow of the compound fully ablaze (with the women and children still inside?).

Sarah: Once again Sarah is faced with an impossible choice: expose Kira to Dyad’s evil clutches or let Cosima die before a cure is found.

Thankfully, Mrs. S finds a compromise - an independent doctor who will perform the bone marrow extraction, if Kira is cool with it. Sarah lays out the situation do her daughter, and being the most mature person on the show, Kira agrees to help Cosima.

They take Kira to the hospital where Sarah is by her daughter’s side the whole time, except for a few crucial seconds when all hell breaks loose.

Rachel: It looks like there is more than one grifter in the club, and Rachel is desperate to have a family of her own. The video wall where she watches the old childhood movie and studies the surveillance pictures of Kira are a dead giveaway.

She hatches her plot by putting Delphine (a known clone ally) in Leekie’s old position as the head of Dyad. When Admiral Cain (Marion) questions that strategy, Rachel counters that Delphine is camera friendly and has a deep connection to the project she is leading. Rachel and Marion try to out-frosty each other during a discussion about Sarah’s vexing existence, but Rachel’s con is in full swing.

She leaves a red herring clue about one of Mrs. S’s goons for Delphine to see and promptly report back to Sarah. Delphine warns about the potential betrayal from within downstairs outside the hospital. Upstairs, “Sarah” barks orders and moves people around to be alone in Kira’s room. After an ill-timed phone call, Rachel reveals herself and she drugs Felix (Dexter style) and makes off with Kira. When the real Sarah gets back upstairs, Mrs. S realizes they’d been hoodwinked and the little girl is gone.

Kira wakes up in a room that manages to be both girly and sterile at the same time. Rachel is bedside and tells Kira she plans to raise the child to grow up to be just like her.

Next time: Sarah faces her darkest day.

Craig Wack could have done without the bare Donnie ass, but Alison said she wanted to be nasty. Please follow his Twitter.