Orphan Black Review by Henry Tran

Orphan Black 2.09: Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done

Orphan Black 2.09: Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done

Written By:
Alex Levine
Directed By:
TJ Scott

This episode makes more sense. It's a good recovery from the previous episode's mess. The clones are much more active than reactive to their circumstances than before. Of course, this is the product of the season coming to a close, but it makes following the plot much more fun.

There are some really dark directions to go with many of the stories that the clones are involved in. Helena makes a return after two episodes of being away and the dynamic changes. I figured she would acquiesce to being a broodmare for Henrik and the Proleatheans. Like much of the season whenever it focuses on the Helena character, the subplot ends up feeling like something out of a horror movie. Alison and Donnie rediscover their odd chemistry as a suburban couple by burying Dr. Leekie in their garage. The biggest plot development belongs to Rachel, who makes a daring power play involving Sarah and her daughter that is completely unexpected. It comes on the heels of a touching decision to try and save a dying Cosima, who doesn't look like she will last very long.

The conditions of Helena's storyline were certainly ripe for a rebellion. When we last saw her, she had resigned herself to being under the thumb of the Proletheans so that they could impregnate her with her own embryos. Here, we see that procedure come to pass. It's certainly not the most ideal way to get pregnant and start her own family (the thought of Helena as a mother to a small child is terrifying image, frankly). And it's definitely not easy to watch as she submits to the procedure. She even seems intrigued at the possibility of little versions of her growing in her belly. The reality is that the Proletheans have seemingly gone off the reservation entirely. Helena sees this first hand in her brief encounter with the lady who harshly scolds one of the children. That earns Helena's scorn, and I would have no doubt that she would carry out her threat in the worst way possible.

Part of Helena is disconnected with reality, though, and it takes sharing a dungeon with Gracie to snap her out of that state. When Gracie tells her that Henrik is the father of those embryos, that sparks the rebellion. It's more horrifying that Henrik would go so far as to impregnate his own daughter with his embryos, thus ensuring that his progeny live on in both Gracie and Helena. So suffice it to say, Henrik had his punishment coming. 

The scene where Helena sodomizes Henrik was a bit much, but Helena has always proven to be an unconventional character from the start. She's a terrifying force of nature, proof of which comes in the form of her burning down the entire Prolethean ranch. She will most likely return to her "sisters" but the question will be what they will do with her burgeoning pregnancy. The Prolethean subplot was largely directionless (they seemed little more than simple antagonists to whatever the clones were doing), but the payoff at the end was something to behold.

I think Alison and Donnie's situation was the most fun of the episode. It's really simple, yet the show spins things in a way that keeps true to what has happened to the Hendrix family so far. Burying Dr. Leekie's body was a twisted form of marital therapy for them. From keeping the kids away from the horrible sight of a dead body to dealing with Vic and Angelina, Alison and Donnie rediscovered what was attractive in the other. Alison is one to just barrel ahead regardless of the consequences, which is represented by the rather pointed symbol of the jackhammer she easily handles in order to get the necessary space to bury the body.

She finally has something concrete to do instead of mulling around in a rehab facility or performing in a community theater play. Donnie somehow grows a spine in coming face-to-face with both Vic and Angelina. His telling off of Angelina and the agents in the van was a highlight, simply because it was so unexpected of him and hilarious in every way. It's as if Donnie's accidental murder of Dr. Leekie has set the both of them free.

Dr. Leekie proved to be an obstacle to Rachel's plans as it turns out. Looking back on the season, I'd say that I severely underestimated her capacity for evil. Like Dr. Leekie's murder at the hands of Donnie, it would seem that the murder of Rachel's monitor combined with the brief reconnection with her biological father set the wheels in motion for her part of the plot. I don't think she has been planning to kidnap Kira from the beginning, but there is that moment in this episode where her mind was working out what to do. It's a brave little plan, too. She had to fool a number of people close to Kira as she recovers from the bone marrow extraction. Her use of the fact that she's a clone is much more cunning than Sarah has done to this point, mainly because Sarah doing the same in the first season was out of survival and desperation. Rachel gets the hair just right, her faking of Sarah's accent just close enough to fool Felix, then initiates the plan.

Sarah now has to deal with the loss of her daughter once again, and this time it looks like she'll be without Kira for a much longer period of time. If Rachel intends to indoctrinate Kira to her way of life (at least that's how I interpreted the end of the episode), then that will have to be the case. Kira's kidnapping is much more of a punch to the gut this time because Sarah had spent so much time being worried about Kira during the voluntary procedure. It may be worth it if the bone marrow ends up saving Cosima (that's up in the air at the moment), yet devastating if Kira ends up as the ultimate cost.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Clone Club is more proactive
  • Helena's subplot is horrifying in all the right ways
  • Alison and Donnie make a good double act
The Bad:
  • Cosima's fate may not be very positive

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Orphan Black by - 6/18/2014 6:59 AM199 views

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