It’s one thing to host the neighborhood potluck party and run low on chips and wine glasses. It’s quite another to muck things up by leaving your freshly tortured husband tied up downstairs, then having your clone’s ex popping in to demand a cut of the scam he thinks must be going on, then have another clone’s ex (who is now the previously mentioned clone’s, um, buddy) stop by. I think we can all agree that it’s not easy being a clone. Or having a potluck for the neighbors when you are one. It’s a shame, really, because you’d think things would be a lot easier having many “yous” on hand, but, as Homer Simpson once learned, there’s always a price.
Last week we explored the whole issue of monitors, which added a new level of creepiness to our clones’ lives. Given that the gals (ladies? Genetic identicals?) were able to confirm that Paul is watching over Sarah (having thought she was Beth), it’s understandable that Alison would think her husband Donnie is also being paid by some mysterious organization or person to keep tabs on her. Alison is incredibly high strung (she’d give Martha Stewart a run for her money, easy), so I also suspect she is eager to have an outlet for her pent-up rage. Thus, she whacks Donnie with a golf club, drags him downstairs, and duct tapes him to a chair. This is not an easy process, and really, I thought she’d killed him when she lets him bounce down the stairs like a bag of fertilizer, even with the football helmet. Nice touch, by the way.
Speaking of nice touches, this has to be one of the more intentionally funny episodes of “Orphan Black,” because it’s all kinds of delightfully twisted when Alison threatens Donnie with her craft scissors and then pulls out her glue gun. While he jokes that she’s going to slap sequins on him, it isn’t so funny when she drips hot glue on his chest. Alison seems alternately horrified and crazy, but the scene never turns into camp. Admittedly, it gets pretty close, but the possibility of the wheels coming off the wagon and Alison’s secrets being exposed to the whole neighborhood (which seems to be rife with nosy neighbors) keeps the tension level high.
When Alison recruits Sarah to come over to help, then begs her to pretend to be her (and continue torturing Donnie), we discover that these women are, in some ways, better at fixing the problems of their clones than they are their own. It’s Sarah who manages to make a point that Donnie will remember — that Alison is the rock of the family, and it’s time for him to really think about what’s at stake. She also thinks Donnie is just Alison’s high school sweetheart and not a monitor, but I’m not convinced. Just because he’s a doofus doesn’t mean he couldn’t be dangerous, and there have been too many secret phone calls suggesting he’s up to something. Though he tells Alison that his “private” box was just filled with love letters to a woman with whom he had an affair, I’d still keep an eye on the guy and his tighty-whities.
Before Sarah goes to Alison, Paul tells her part of his story — that he’s a private contractor, and he’s watching over Beth (now her) because he has to. He asks for her to be as honest with him, but no luck — she’s soon out and over to Alison’s. Because Donnie isn’t available for obvious reasons (didn’t you love the Off Limits sign, complete with curling ribbon?), Sarah recruits Felix to play bartender. He sends home a seemingly satisfied paying customer and jets right over. Alas, soon Vic, having broken into Felix’s place and determined his location, is off to Alison’s.
It’s all a recipe for certain disaster or a wacky sitcom, but there are more complications to add to the fun. Alison gets drunk (after taking a handful of pills) and passes out, and as Vic is threatening to blow the lid off of Sarah’s new “scam,” Paul shows up, pretending to be her new boss. Sarah (dressed as Alison) plays it off as an impromptu reunion with an old college buddy to her friend Aynsley, who seems about as confused as you might expect. The idea that Aynsley might be Alison’s monitor gets bandied about, and it makes sense — Alison certainly seems tight with her, but it makes me wonder if the clones only have one monitor each or many.
Paul takes care of Vic in heroic fashion, threatening him with a nail gun and, yes, firing one into the poor guy’s good hand. Ultimately, faced with a far superior bad guy, Vic coughs up Sarah’s last name — Manning — but nothing else. And so Vic, after muttering about how much he loves Sarah, is shoved out the door and given his walking papers. We’ll see if that sticks, of course.
Sarah seems grateful to Paul, but if she has to pick an adversary, she’d be better off with a dunderhead like Vic. What she doesn’t know is that Paul has already set it up with Olivier so that, if Sarah were to unfortunately off herself, he wouldn’t get in trouble for it. To that end, he dumps a handful of pills into a bottle of whiskey, one he doesn’t pour this episode — after Sarah confesses she’s a clone — but could someday. Paul is handsome and yes, he and Sarah have great chemistry, but he clearly can’t be trusted.
As for Cosima, her life isn’t anywhere near as messy as Alison and Sarah’s, but it’s shaping up to be tricky in the near future. Even though she suspects the charming French Delphine is her new monitor, she doesn’t care. “What am I, the geek monkey now?” she whines when Sarah tells her to keep her distance. She and Delphine attend a lecture on Neolution hosted by Dr. Leekie. What’s most exciting about this is the producers have shown off their scifi cred by casting Matt Frewer, the former Max Headroom who’s been on “Star Trek TNG” and was Moloch on “Watchmen.” But anyway, Dr. Leekie is pushing the idea of self-directed evolution — and we later see that he’s in cahoots with Delphine. Is Dr. Leekie in with Olivier and the other monitors, or have we brought in a whole new entity to get wrapped up with the clones? I hope it’s the latter, and if so? Can’t wait.
What do you think Dr. Leekie is up to? Do you think Vic is gone for good? And who else could possibly be a monitor?