Orphan Black hits the road for a sestra roadtrip that finds one sister uncovering the past while the other makes friends new and old.
Let’s bitch it out…Who knew that what we wanted most from Orphan Black was a Sarah / Helena (both Tatiana Maslany) roadtrip, complete with terrible singing, beans (and all of their byproducts) and tent camping? I seriously could have watched an entire hour of the sisters trying to get along as they drive around the country, so it’s a bit of a pity that the plot kicks in as soon as Sarah pulls up in front of the church.
Once the sisters go their separate ways, Sarah buries deep into the clone mythology, while Helena lets her hair down for some small town bar action. It’s a very different kind of show with Helena in the driver’s seat – a highly entertaining detour with an undercurrent of tension as we wait for the inevitable violence that follows her to come out. Thankfully her “vacation” is more fun than violent as Helena samples every drink on the menu, meets a cute boy (self-confessed Orphan Black superfan Patrick J. Adams of Suits fame) and – naturally – gets into a bar fight. The altercation ends Helena’s fun as the Prolethean crew, comprised of junior members Mark (Ari Millen) and Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison), use the opportunity to reel Helena back in with promises of reuniting her with her babies. It’s a commendable play by the Proletheans and likely the only one that could be relied on to bring Helena in quietly and of her own accord. And so ‘To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings’ sees Helena willingly return to the Prolethean farm. Let’s hope that some of that violence she carries around will be unleashed on these creeps in the near future.
Meanwhile Sarah spends the episode reenacting scenes from The X-Files, digging up uber-creepy photos of deformed children and patient casefiles from Project Leda back when it was operating out of the Cold River Institute back in the 1970s. Some missing files, combined with insight from Art (Kevin Hanchard) and Felix (Jordan Gavaris), allows Sarah to track down Ethan Duncan (Andrew Gillies) and Maria Doyle Kennedy’s Mrs. S (!!!) in a hoarders paradise. It’s interesting to see how proto-clone Rachel’s father reacts to Sarah: he miserably inquires about his monstrous daughter and refuses to listen to Sarah’s demands for answers. And then Duncan offers up the historical events that Sarah and the others have so desperately sought, and it is revealed that the true villain in their tale is not Rachel, but Leekie. Turns out that Aldous not only stepped in once Project Leda was condemned by an ethics committee to ensure the clone girls were carried to conception, but killed Rachel’s mother and sent Ethan on the run.
This revelation isn’t quite as shocking as the writers seem to think it is (we’ve always known Leekie is untrustworthy and his coda in the bar last week with Dylan Bruce’s Hot Paul hinted at nefarious actions). The news certainly reconceptualizes our notion of who is the villain in this drama, though. Certainly it’s easy to blame Duncan for his carelessness in creating – and ruining – multiple lives (many of whom are now sick) and it’s easy to blame Rachel for being such a cold-hearted bitch, but it appears that Leekie is directly responsible for both of their current states. The question is what happens now that Duncan has been found? And what kind of deal did Mrs. S (looking like a total gangster here, imho) have to strike with Hot Paul to presumably get him to drive away after trailing Sarah to Duncan’s home?
- In the long standing tradition of offering us pairings we didn’t know we wanted until we get them, Art and Felix make a good team. I particularly like drunken Felix and surly Art searching through Maggie’s files – it’s a buddy comedy with a procedural twist!
- After taking a week off, we visit Alison in rehab where she makes a surprising friend: Vic (Michael Mando). Naturally it turns out that he’s only befriended her in exchange for a clean slate from Detective Angela (Inga Cadranel), who remains determined to uncover the secrets Alison is hiding. I wish I could say that I’m interested in this storyline, but I’m really not. Heading into the back half of the season, Alison remains S2’s weak link.
- Finally, Cosima and Delphine (Evelyne Borchu) also get a surprise when Scott (Josh Vokey) arrives at Dyad to work with them. Apparently he’s been handpicked by Leekie, which is troubling (even moreso in light of Duncan’s revelation). For the time being the girls refrain from telling Scott the truth, but he’s already making startling discoveries: he informs Delphine that the sample subject (aka Cosima) has a sister or niece. How does that work?!
- Felix (drunkenly complaining to Art): “I’ve been demoted from babysitter to bargaining chip.”
- Felix (waking up to find Art still around): “Is that coffee? You’re the best date I’ve had in ages”
- Helena (returning the sentiment after her date compliments her eyes): “You have a nice hat.”
- Alison (when Vic says Namaste): “Don’t do that.”
- Mrs. S (seemingly recruiting Paul to her side): “You need a new friend, Paul.”
Your turn: did you want to see more of Helena and Sarah’s roadtrip? Are you concerned that Helena is returning to the Prolethean compound? Has Mrs. S recruited Paul? What happens next with Ethan Duncan? Can Cosima and Delphine trust Scott? And are you enjoying the Alison subplot? Sound off below.
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on BBC America