I realize that the surplus of questionable characters (I can't say villains, as the jury is still out on at least a few of them) paired with the relentless pace of “Orphan Black”'s second season thus far has some fans feeling shellshocked. It's been a lot to digest, I'll admit. Still, I hope everyone is keeping their Clone Club membership. I can't make any guarantees, but I feel confident that what seems convoluted to some of us now will unravel satisfyingly as the season progresses. And hey, there's reason to celebrate, isn't there? While this episode still leaves us with more questions than answers, one of those answers is the identity of Kira's dad. That's something, right?
Felix, Kira and Sarah are on the run, trying to put miles between themselves and, well, all the many people who are after them. While this makeshift family is stealing from convenience stores and breaking into cottages, Daniel is already sniffing around Mrs. S's not-so-safe hiding place, stumbling across the dead bodies of Brenda and Barry and lots of flies. Sarah was right to toss out Felix's credit card — I'm pretty sure Daniel would have found her in a heartbeat had they hit that greasy spoon Fee was so hot to visit. I'm also pretty sure that Kira has a future as a scam artist, aren't you?
While Sarah casually suggests they take a breather at some random, abandoned cottage in the 'hood, the one she picks isn't random or abandoned. It's the home of Cal (Michiel Huisman, “Nashville”), a one time love (and mark) from whom she nabbed $10,000, a car — and, in a sense, Kira. Yes, Cal is Kira's dad, a point that is conveyed without a single line of dialogue (if you don't count Felix mumbling, “Blow me down.”
I'll admit I loved Huisman on “Nashville,” and I'm inclined to like him just as much here — unlike his previous character, he seems less a bad boy than a nice guy who has a pretty rational reaction to a thieving ex breaking into his house. Still, it's clear that Cal has a soft spot for Sarah, and she for him, because even after stomping around and complaining about the money she stole, it's a hot minute before Sarah is admitting she could have robbed Cal blind — but didn't — and they're having sex. Luckily, Kira is in bed. It's all looking awfully cozy when Daniel shows up and grabs Kira. I'm surprised that Sarah doesn't immediately jump up when Sarah screams, but I'm not sure it would have made a difference. Daniel had no problem with shooting the poor local cop dead as a doornail. He was damned and determined to leave with someone in his clutches, and I guess we're just lucky that it's Sarah.
Daniel doesn't get far, of course. An old pick-up truck rams into the car, which could mean many things. While I'm hoping it's Cal behind the wheel, it could also be Henrick or Mark. While I was feeling a little more warmly toward crazy Henrick (or Henry, as the rest of the cult calls him) last week, this week I'm thinking that being captured by this guy would be a lot worse for Sarah (or any of the other clones) than facing off with the Dyad Institute.
Though Henrik and Mark (the creepy belt buckle guy) are tidy enough, cleaning up Brenda and Barry's bodies before setting their house on fire (a little scene Daniel stumbles across in his own clone hunting activities), this is not a case of cleanliness being next to Godliness. Henrik clearly was the “big money” that bribed Brenda and Barry, and while he's disappointed he doesn't have Sarah, the primo clone baby maker in his grip, he's willing to make do with Helena. And yes, making do is a euphemism.
The scene in which Henrik “binds himself” to Helena is upsetting for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is the fact Helena is pretty clearly drugged into submission. Whatever you feel about Helena, it's hard to watch her being carted off to what I'm guessing is the marital bed for impregnation. Since we don't see it (thank God), I probably shouldn't make any assumptions about what happens behind closed doors, though. As for Henrik, he shouldn't expect anything he does, whether he's an instrument of God “in the war for creation” or not, will produce clone spawn. Too bad he can't give Cosima a call to get the latest.
While Cosima seems happy to flirt ceaselessly with Delphine instead of put her science superpowers to use at the Dyad Institute, her monitor delivers a romantic buzzkill that should snap Cosima to attention. She shows Cosima video of Jennifer, another clone — one that died three days ago. She began showing symptoms similar to Cosima's six months before Katya did, and Dr. Leekie's medical intervention didn't stop her illness.
I can't imagine it was easy for Cosima to work on an autopsy of her clone, but what she and Delphine discover is that Jennifer had growths in her uterine wall that might have been the source of her problems, spreading to other parts of her body before killing her. It isn't conclusive evidence of anything (one autopsy does not a study make), but there's reason to wonder if this isn't occurring inside Cosima, and might be the reason why clones (other than Sarah) aren't popping out babies.
It's all a little intense in these corners of Clone World, so it's a relief when the storyline wanders over to Alison, our reliable comic relief. When Angie tries to buddy up to her, Alison assumes she's being double monitored and freaks out. On another show, Alison would blurt out something revealing to Angie, or start confessing her guilt about Aynsley, or just generally make a big mistake that Angie would latch onto like the case-gobbling piranha she seems to be. Instead, she tells Angie to leave her alone and stomps off. Unfortunately, that's the last good decision she makes in the episode.
Alison is very stressed out about “Blood Ties” (so tiny alcohol) which is dedicated to “dearly departed” Aynsley (so tiny alcohol) and this double monitor/cop situation is quite trying (so tiny alcohol) and she doesn't much like Donnie these days (so pills, followed by tiny alcohol) and it's all a delicious combination for her moment in the spotlight, isn't it? Of course she falls into the audience (in a seeming attempt to lunge at Donnie) and I'm really hoping she doesn't jump to her feet and try to finish the performance.
Someone who is in the audience, though, is Felix. He's broken up with Sarah to be with someone who really needs him — and yes, I think it's safe to say Alison really needs him. Still, it's wrenching to watch him tell Sarah how hurt he is that she kept the identity of Kira's dad a secret from him for eight stinkin' years — and then call her a “bloody wrecking ball, an exploding cigar.” Even though I don't think Felix would really want to babysit Kira forever, it can't feel good to be bypassed for the job by some guy who doesn't even know he has a kid.
Speaking of Cal, I have to believe his former gig — creating micro-optics for mini-drum pollinators in areas where bee populations have crashed, a technology now being used by the military to “kill people” — will come into play. Yes, it gave Cal a hefty nest egg (which was the honey that drew in Sarah all those years ago), but it's too precise a detail for Cal to just end up as Kira's loyal defender in upcoming episodes. I suspect he will be drawn into the plot on a much deeper level, don't you?
I'm also guessing we didn't spend so much time with Henrik's firstborn Gracie just to get fresh insight into female jealousy in religious cults. She obviously loathes the clone (will she ever stop calling her “it”?) and that could be a good thing (if she wants Helena gone, she might send her packing in the dead of night) or a very, very bad thing (these people seem awfully kill happy).
Does anyone think Angie's a one-note character so we won't mind too much when she gets bumped off? Do you love Cal? Who do you think is driving the truck?