Orphan Black Review by Henry Tran

Orphan Black 2.04: Governed As It Were By Chance

Orphan Black 2.04: Governed As It Were By Chance

Written By:
Russ Cochrane
Directed By:
David Frazee



Sarah's curiosity gets the best of her. She's relatively safe and away from Daniel's clutches after a horrific car accident (intentionally caused by Cal of all people) and Kira is safe. So it's a questionable decision at least to go back into the lion's den to find out more information about Project Lida and Mrs. S. Even she acknowledges to Cosima that she has largely been making things up as she goes along. That kind of mentality constantly gets her into trouble.




She will go through with some brilliant improvisation like pretending to be Daniel while texting a clueless Rachel and then she's put in a position where Daniel is likely to kill her. In fact, all of the clones are put in rather vulnerable positions throughout the episode. It is Helena who ends up being the unstoppable force, the one who fights her way out of her predicament and is set loose on the world once again. The fact that she has an unclear agenda should make for a terrifying prospect to the other clones out there.



A large portion of the episode is built on fear or terror. Sarah, Alison, and Helena start their respective plots unconscious and in the middle of a situation where there is little chance of escape. It's mainly in the way the camera frames its shots. They're designed to leave both the character and viewers disoriented. We're not really sure if Sarah is going to fire the gun at the police car that races by the scene of the accident. Alison looked like she was in some shady motel room, suddenly possessing a sling on her arm. Who put that there? Helena gets smothered by a pillow because Gracie fears her presence on the Prolethean compound.




Sarah is putting herself (as well as Felix) in more and more danger as she continues to dig deeper into Project Lida and how it connects to Mrs. S. There aren't many clear answers on that front because all Mrs. S does in the episode is have a tryst with Carlton in a hotel. Sarah does work her way to Rachel's luxury apartment through guile, but it certainly plays like a situation straight out of a horror movie. Sarah is stuck in the apartment when Daniel returns to fill Rachel in on what's been happening. Normally, Sarah would find a way out somehow, but the show subverts that expectation by having Daniel knock her unconscious. Then he actually cuts into Sarah!



That was definitely a shock, only because Sarah has been largely invulnerable for much of the series thus far. Daniel certainly can't kill Sarah, but torture isn't off limits. Only, some background music draws Daniel's attention. Sounds of a struggle ensue, yet the camera stays with Sarah's point of view. Obviously, the person who was hiding in Mrs. S's house followed Sarah and somehow got into the room without being seen. It turns out to be Helena who saves Sarah, still fully convinced of their "connection" to each other as "sisters." Since the Proletheans are searching for Helena, that means we're headed for some kind of clash between them and those loyal to the Dyad Institute. That could end up being a bloodbath.





Helena proves here to be her own kind of terror to those around her. The very end of the episode shows that she did meet her purpose by providing a viable, growing embryo in a petri dish. Where that plot point is going is left up to question. But what is clear is that Helena can't be held down on a bed. The fact that she was faking being dead after Gracie smothered her (not the first time Helena has played dead for someone) and then sneaked up behind the girl to kill her was not surprising.


Like Sarah's plot, the scene is filmed like a horror movie, facing Gracie from a low angle as Helena pops up behind her to snap her neck. She leaves the body as a warning for the Proletheans as to her unpredictable nature and capabilities. Art would be wise not to follow her. He should continue to investigate the Proletheans, although I think it would be hard for him to get probable cause to search the ranch.





Alison's situation is a more personal nightmare for her. It doesn't have a lot to do with the bigger overall picture. Her fall from the stage and alcohol binge lands her in a rehab facility of all places. It looked like a hotel room that someone (maybe Felix) set her up in just to sleep off the blackout. That is not the case when one of the rehab supervisors enters her room and proceeds to give her the rules of the facility. It's a move clearly done by Donnie as an easy way to keep tabs on her.


She can't very well tell those in charge of the rehab facility that Donnie is a monitor because that would make her sound even crazier than she is now. Felix gives her some sensible advice (that one week at the facility could refresh her), though there's the real worry that Donnie is doing all this to keep her children away from her. Just the simple fact that her children will be in the sole care of Donnie is a legitimately terrifying prospect to Alison. How is she getting out of this predicament? How are all the clones going to get out of their predicaments? That's what makes the show so satisfying, if a bit frustrating, to follow.



Our Grade:
A-
The Good:
  • Helena is terrifying
  • Sarah's curiosity gets the better of her
The Bad:
  • The Mrs. S subplot is relatively weak

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 - 5/14/2014 6:34 AM307 views

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