Orphan Black Review by Henry Tran

Orphan Black 2.03: Mingling Its Own Nature With It

Orphan Black 2.03: Mingling Its Own Nature With It

Written By:
Alex Levine
Directed By:
TJ Scott

This was the first episode of this show where I noticed that we should be fearful of anyone or everyone around the clones. Some characters recognize this fact (mostly Felix), though most can't help but be in proximity to all of them because they are so curious. That curiosity speaks to the still-mysterious nature of the clones. What makes them unique? Why were they even created? Those are the most basic questions that the show continues to try and answer.

Mysteries like what makes Sarah the only clone who can have a child tap into the deeper, more philosophical inquries about each clone's purpose and why each copy is somehow unique. Sarah's unique nature still makes her a target who is much desired. Alison thought she could be anonymous but her paranoia flag comes up when Angie "befriends" her unexpectedly. Cosima gets to examine a dead clone that was in the same kind of condition she has now: afflicted by a mysterious disease with no known cure. That leaves Helena, who has the storyline I can't quite get a handle on. There is the notion that she will be impregnated by one of the Proletheans after being baptized here, which seems like a sensible direction for the plot.

Sarah is on the run with Kira and Felix in tow, hiding out at the home of Cal, an old friend of hers. Felix puts the pieces together before all of us do and confirms that Cal is Kira's father. The show doesn't explore the ramifications of this revelation, mainly because of a time crunch, but this is something big. What makes him so special that he was able to impregnate Sarah where others have failed? The fact that he is the father and that Sarah chose to run to his home puts him in immediate danger, though. Sarah is being hunted throughout the episode, with the whole shoplifting escapade in the general store magnifying their scent when they should be hiding from the public. They just make it so obvious that by the time the man hunting them catch up, he's directed to their precise location.

There is an inevitability to how it all plays out. Sarah is radioactive right now, able to inflict damage to pretty much anything she touches. Yet Cal begs her to stay, perhaps to get to know Kira better since Sarah ran out on him in the past. Their sleeping together practically seals the fact that the bad stuff is coming. So it's no surprise to me that Kira is put in danger (once again) and only through some makeshift improvisation by Sarah does she get into the predicament that ends the episode. The series has always shown that Sarah doesn't think a lot of things through. She operates on impulse more than anything. This is just the latest evidence to fortify that thinking. Was the car accident intentional, set by another party who wants Sarah for her unique quality among the clones?

Alison has largely been off by herself since she signed the contract from the Dyad Institute at the end of last season. The only pressing issue she has is avoiding a tipoff to her husband monitor. Her uptight nature is a source of much-needed levity for the episode. Her incessant vacuuming in front of her husband is just the type of thing Alison would do, either to work out her mounting anxieties or just to keep Donnie off her scent. A new problem crops up when Angie decides to take matters into her own hands and try to find out what's up with this suburban mom who apparently looks like Beth. Angie's approach worries me. The cops on this show haven't gotten the best of things, largely because they're the only ones who are in the dark about the true nature of the clones. 

This whole thing with Angie trying to investigate Alison by being a fellow suburban mom (which Alison seems to be seeing right through on) might not end well. If Alison is able to murder Aynsley in cold blood, then there remains the real possibility that she can do so with Angie. Lost in all of this is the fact that Felix leaves Sarah's volatile situation and may come back around to Alison's side. Felix has become a valuable wild card that can be applied to any situation. He provided some sensible advice for Sarah, which she rejected, and now could be a valuable resource for Alison to use. We'll see if that's what will happen.

Cosima's plot brings concerns that are self-evident. She's being killed slowly by a disease that could accelerate at any time. It's unpredictable so there would be a palpable sense of urgency in her reeaserch. What is really unsettling is the fact that the Dyad Institute has her studying the files of previously sick clones. This particular clone, Jennifer, looked like she was intentionally killed for the Institute to study the effects of the disease on her body. They go so far as to bring out her body for Cosima and Delphine to do an autopsy on. It's really a horrifying prospect for Cosima so it's understandable that she wouldn't want to look at the body as she's trying to study it. That could easily be her fate soon enough. Her impending death -- if they don't succeed in finding a cure -- could cause her to rebel against the Dyad Institute or do something rash in order to save herself.

There's no real tangible way to see how this is all going to work out. That would be the same thought process with Helena and the Proletheans. That whole plotline has a series of really disturbing imagery tied to the Proletheans' overt religious philosophical bent. Helena has a largely murderous mindset, one that is like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off at any time, so she could easily kill everyone on the farm on a whim. I don't think she would take to forcibly carrying a child all too well. If the more innocent elements of the Proletheans do take hold (like Henrik's daughter), then she might be saved from the unsavory side of her personality. Everything is too unclear at this point to be firm on that prediction. Nevertheless, this show continues to be an enjoyable, if at times puzzling, long-form mystery. It delves into arenas other shows would likely avoid if possible. I like that ambition in a show.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Paranoia continues to build up nicely
  • The mystery of the clones deepens
  • Tatiana Maslany. 'Nuff said.
The Bad:
  • The revelation about Cal was a bit weak
  • Alison's musical is just plain awful

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 - 5/8/2014 5:38 AM274 views

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