1×07 – “Parts Developed in an Unusual Matter”
“Parts Developed in an Unusual Matter” is a stark return to the cop-plot, refocusing on the hunter who’s on the chase, Helena. Orphan Black moves fast (ten episodes of complete and utter insanity- all of which make me wonder just how this show was pitched), and so in episode seven, we get all of the background.
While episodes six and seven focused on the complications around the idea of the clones having monitors in their lives, people inside their inner circle that were working for the enemy- and the emotional outcomes of that- episode seven gets right back into the action, and tells us why exactly Paul and Helena are the way that they are.
Our complicated characters get unraveled.
Paul’s still meeting with Olivae, held there under crimes that he committed in Afghanistan, but he’s not giving Sarah up. He’s still pretending that she’s Beth, and even when he’s told the opposite… He keeps up the lie. He says that he didn’t know, and he continues to say that- until Olivae has him tied to a chair, Sarah on the phone facing the truth.
And even then, he tells Sarah to run. There are feelings involved between the two, and it’s for that very reason that Sarah goes back to rescue Paul. He’s in the basement of neolution: a club that- you guessed it- has great connections to professor Leekie, the founder of ‘self-directed evolution’. And the clones, it looks like.
And speaking of Professor Leekie, Cosima gets awfully close to him tonight, Delphine inviting him to their dinner: a connection that tips Cosima of even further to Delphine’s true identity, but still, doesn’t deter her. Cosima makes a move, and Delphine rejects her: but this isn’t the end.
Mrs. S, meanwhile, provides us with information on Sarah herself this episode: she was a child in the black, back in England. An orphan black, if you will. Sarah was a child that needed hiding, and Mrs. S. moved her out of the country because of it.
But it’s Helena who steals the scenes in “Parts Developed,” (mostly because Alison’s away at ‘marriage counselling’) with her hilarious attempts at eating jelly, and her concentrated efforts to get Sarah to be her friend. Her terrifying, concentrated efforts. Helena’s something wild and brainwashed, and we see why in this episode, with the emergence of Tomas, one of the religious extremists who directs Helena in her mission to ‘cleanse’ the clones.
She makes Sarah an offer: the names of the others, or her own death. So, Sarah gives her two names. Olivae’s, and her own.
So it’s not just Sarah that saves Paul, Helena making the real moves when she cuts off Olivae’s disgusting, genetically modified tail, distracting him while Paul and Sarah escape. It all ends with Helena partying into the night with her new trophy (…of sorts), but not before Felix makes a call.
And just like that Art’s got two new leads: someone else has information on what’s going on with Beth, and someone who looks just like her, Sarah Manning, just came up through DNA retesting of Katja’s hand.
1×08 – “Entangled Bank”
And now, for the fall-out. Alison’s back from counselling, and she’s decided that she wants a divorce. And alongside that decision, she’s also come to the conclusion that Ainsley is most certainly her monitor.
So, she ruins that relationship when she feels threatened by Ainsley’s controlling nature, by sleeping with her husband, Chad in the carpark of their kids’ skating rink. Ainsey made it her business to sneak in Alison’s life, so Alison… got high and screwed her husband.
Cue one of Orphan Black’s best scenes: Alison drunk and singing to Alanis Morisette, right before she and Ainsley have a throw-down in the middle of the street. Alison truly is a bitch, mother, lover, sinner and saint: and so are all of our clones. They’re all more than one thing, and none of them are the same despite biologically being so. She turns up at Felix’s, and that’s when Sarah decides that it’s time to tell Mrs. S. the truth.
And that includes the tale of Helena, Mrs. S. finding out about the danger that they’re all in, just as Tomas is telling Helena that she needs to kill Sarah- and take Kira away from her.
But first, Olivae: Professor Leekie kills him off, proving just how dispensable those connected to the clones can be, after he realizes that the footage from that night in the club was doctored. There were two clones there that night, and one of them was the infamous Helena, Leekie’s ‘white whale.’ Helena’s a villan, sure, but there are bigger ones in play. Something that Art should probably be aware of, as he and his new partner get closer and closer to some sort of truth, going so far as to visit Mrs. S. to declare Sarah dead, before pulling “Beth” into the station to talk about her connection to Sarah. Of which, she claims she has none.
So, he visits the morgue and sees Beth’s body up close – only he doesn’t realize that it’s really her… But in a way, he has that realization all the same, because of how truly similar they look, and because of how unfamiliar Sarah-as-Beth has become to him. It’s sad to see someone who cared so much about Beth realizing that so many of the things about her were lies. Art’s one of the only people that both Sarah and Beth trusted, and it is that trust that’s keeping him in the loop, the phone call Felix made to him on Sarah’s wishes last episode keeping him on the trail at the end of the episode.
And he’s not the only one gaining new information, Delphine sleeping with Cosima and sending her out for food afterwards, so as to sneak through her laptop and report back to Leekie. And what she finds is the truth about the contact Cosima has had with her fellow clones. She gives him all the names… But she leaves off Kira. Because Delphine knows just how important she is, something that we learn too at the end of the episode, Helena inviting Kira out of the house so as to take her to Tomas, only to let her go back home, when she bonds with her.
It’s just a pity that in going back home, Kira runs straight into oncoming traffic.
- “Oh, sorry, couldn’t afford lattes for Bonnie and Clyde.”
- “He knew I wasn’t Beth from the medical tests! You said our DNA is identical!” “It is! You know, maybe it was your sunny personality that gave you away.”
- “I Got You Babe” playing in the background of Helena and Sarah’s dinner date was genius. Genius.
- Helena alone in Beth’s apartment, mimicking her relationship with Paul (or any normal relationship, sadly) was kind of hilarious: “How was your day, Paul? …Yes, I also had pleasant day. I went working and shopping.”
- Kira and Helena: “What happened to you?” “…I don’t know.”