Orphan Black season 2 episode 1 review: Nature Under Constraint and Vexed

Review Kaci Ferrell
21 Apr 2014 - 08:08

Orphan Black is back, and just as gripping as ever. Here's Kaci's review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.1 Nature Under Constraint and Vexed

It seems a strange compliment to pay, but the season two premier of Orphan Black is relentlessly negative and that's a very good thing.

We pick up right where we left off: Sarah, panicked, desperately calling everyone she knows to try and figure out how to get Kira and Mrs. S back. No one's picking up, so she wanders into an empty diner, where the kind line cook offers her a free cup of tea. And just when you're smiling over the kindness of strangers, two goons wander in to tell Sarah they have Kira and will arrange for their reunion, if Sarah gives herself up to them immediately. The kind bar owner stands up to them, and gets himself killed for his troubles, but not before taking out one of the goons in return.

And in case you'd forgotten that Sarah Manning is perhaps the most badass of all the badasses, she gets away from the remaining bad guy by literally breaking through a wall to get to freedom. Everyone else can go home now. The award has been won.

She is finally able to get Felix to go talk to Allison about getting a gun and Allison literally says it can't be DYAD because, "We agreed to a code of conduct," like this is the world of The Venture Bros. and there are rules to arching that the antagonists always obey. And, probably, in her world, they do. And anyway, she doesn't want to get involved in this business because she's finally getting her life back together. She's even doing a musical, to which Felix deadpans, "Oh my God. Not Cats?" Felix and Allison's friendship is among my top three favorite things about this show and I'm so glad we're already getting more of it in episode one.

Perhaps because Felix is a persuasive guy or perhaps because she knows what it's like to be a mother and willing to do anything to protect her children, she does finally relent that she knows a "gun enthusiast" named Ramon who can get them an unregistered weapon. When Felix shows surprise that she knows a gun dealer named Ramon, Allison assures him that Ramon has many jobs and is very hard working. And while officially I do not have a favorite clone, I will tell you that sometimes Allison makes it really hard to remain neutral.

Meanwhile, Cosima surrenders a blood sample to Delphine for testing before swinging by Felix's place to help Sarah come up with a plan for infiltrating DYAD. Allison has Ramon deliver the gun right to Felix's front door but insists they leave her out of the planning, since she wants plausible deniability. This gives Sarah and idea, so she calls DYAD and sends them unknowingly after Allison instead, while she impersonates Cosima at a DYAD party.

And as if it weren't already abundantly clear that Tatiana Maslany is acting circles around every other person on the planet right now, pay attention to her scenes as Sarah-as-Cosima at the party. Playing two different characters is hard, but playing one of those characters pretending to be the other, while still making it clear that it's not the second character, it's still the first...that's really challenging, and she nails it perfectly.

Delphine, of course, sees right through this, but she's not exactly innocent herself this episode, given that she gave Cosima's blood sample to Leekie, against her promise. She does, however, give Sarah tips on getting to Rachel, who Sarah believes to have ordered the kidnapping. But when Sarah finally gets there, Rachel drops bombshell #1 on our heads: Dyad didn't take Kira. They simply allowed Sarah to believe her own suspicions in order to get her into the office.

Sarah is, naturally, infuriated, and nearly shoots Rachel and Paul before Paul finally agrees to let her go. And finally, Sarah realizes she can trust Art and seeks out his help. He reveals that he thinks the religious group Helena was a part of are the actual kidnappers, and insists Sarah tell him the truth. She actually seems ready to.

Meanwhile, bombshell #2: Helena comes stumbling into a hospital, horribly wounded but still very much alive, and tells the nurse that her sister shot her before collapsing to the ground. Meanwhile, the goon who survived the diner encounter watches on, all but confirming Art's suspicion.

It was a long break, but the show is finally back and just as breathtaking as ever. I can't think of any other shows on TV that consistently make me hold my breath in anticipation every week, and it's great to see that Orphan Black hasn't lost that quality during its hiatus. See you next week, Clone Club, and hit up the comments to share which reveals hit you the hardest.

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