‘Orphan Black’ recap: Rachel tightens the noose and widens her net

05.17.14 4 years ago 7 Comments

BBC America

I know a lot of people do not have a fondness for Helena. I understand that completely, as she seemed more feral cat than human when we first met her. But when she “died” last season, I had to admit I missed her collection of murderous quirks and her devotion to Sarah (if not her birth mother). Now that she's back, she has become a loaded gun Sarah can turn on any of her enemies — an asset not easily dismissed. 

Rachel, not to be outdone, has an asset of her own — Paul. Watching Rachel demand to see Daniel's body, I saw a flicker of what may have been emotion, or it could have been gas. With Rachel it's just so hard to tell. Despite the softness we've assumed exists deep within her based on that crusty old video tape she has (and watches obsessively and impassively in this episode), her marshmallow center is otherwise buried so deeply I wonder if anyone will be able to dig it out. I'm not sure if Paul is the one to do it, despite the kinky, heated sex he has with her this week. Whoever said monitoring doesn't have its perks?

I'm never entirely sure whose side Paul is on, but he was awfully convincing when he pressed a gun into the back of Felix's head, then wiped the poor guy's hand on that cop-killing gun. Poor Felix. Not only does his hot date with Colin get shut down, he might go on trial for murder. It's not easy being a brother-sister.

Though Rachel is going to the wall to make Sarah compliant, what also became clear this week were the cracks in the Dyad infrastructure. As Rachel explains to Paul, Leekie is the soft touch when it comes to the clones, and that was apparent in his dealings with Cosima and Delphine. The idea that he would defy Rachel in order to give Cosima the treatment for whatever this blood-puking ailment is promising, but I'm not expecting him to take to the streets picketing for clone rights anytime soon, either. Yes, he does admit to Cosima and Delphine that the original genome was destroyed in a fire, but how much he knows about that fire is less than clear.

After Helena is deposited with Art like the guy's a high-tech babysitting service, Helena eats everything in the house, wiggles out of her handcuffs using a tin lid, and escapes. She also leaves a handy trail of clues behind her, ones that require a level of creative inspiration and reasoning I think can only come from a number of writers sitting in a room and thinking about old spy movies. Still, I do love this quirk of Helena's, even if it defies reason. 

I also found Maggie Chen's enormous locker, full of doll heads and detritus, to raise unwelcome questions (who's been paying the rent on that place since Maggie and Tomas died, Henrik? When does Helena have time to collect that many doll heads?). Still, it was a stroke of good luck that Helena just leaves helpful stuff all over the place, like that photo of Swan Man (Professor Ethan Duncan, to be all formal about it). We now know Rachel's father didn't die in the fire that destroyed the genome, which suggests so many possibilities. 

And yet when Sarah presents the photo to Dr. Leekie in the hopes of securing Fee's freedom, he promises only to “countermand Rachel” and continue Cosima's treatment. While it's implied, he doesn't explicitly say he'll get Felix sprung — and when Paul shows up, he either tries to cover his tracks or admits the truth. It's too soon to know.

He tells Paul that Sarah is off chasing ghosts, and maybe he should have checked in with him before Rachel. I suspect the Swan Man might be more important than he's letting on, though. If nothing else, I'm sure he holds answers for Sarah and the rest of the clones — and I have my fingers crossed that he salvaged something from that suspicious lab fire.

On the truly creepy front, we had Henrik and Bonnie doling out punishment for Gracie. At first I thought they'd simply stuck her in a locked room, which seemed harsh but not truly unnerving — and then they opened the door. Sewing Gracie's lips shut was an image ripped from many a horror movie and countless nightmares — but the truly scary part came when Bonnie informed Gracie that if she didn't get to stepping and bring Helena back into the fold, she'd be the one carrying the test tube baby. I will say, Henrik is nothing less than practical, isn't he? I wonder if Mark (CreepyBuckle) would ever consider springing Gracie, but I doubt it. 

It seems Rachel is well aware of Cal's presence, but I think we all have much to learn about Kira's daddy. He may just be a nice guy tech millionaire, but he also has a gun and a fake I.D., and now I'm wondering if he just might be too good to be true. Still, I think Sarah could not have a better person looking after Kira, burnt spaghetti or not. You know Felix would just sneak her into gay bars and forget to feed her.

Finally, we got a pretty amazing scene between Sarah and Helena (with Art waving a gun in the background). Helena had snatched her sniper rifle, her Barbie head and had a target trained on Rachel — so it was up to Sarah to talk her out of removing the “problem.” Telling Helena she needed her help didn't get her to drop the gun, but telling her about the loss she felt after shooting her did. I'm not sure if Sarah is such a talented scam artist she can cry on cue, but if not I think she may actually have more of a twin connection to “Meathead” than we realized. Watching them walk off arm in arm was both sweet and unexpected — and the expression on Art's face pretty much said it all. Even when they're made in a lab, twins still have a connection the rest of us don't quite understand. 

With whom do you think Paul is really siding? What did you think of Rachel and Paul's sex scene? Do you think Swan Man will have secrets to tell? 

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