Orphan Black: Governed by Sound Reason and True Religion review

Orphan Black continues to amaze...even during the odd musical moments. Here's Marc's review...

OK, we’re still not quite over the fact that Helena is alive. What an ending last week, Helena stumbling into a hospital, her signature dissonant music playing as she limps, broken doll-like, duct taped together, with dead eyes, a moment that was breathtaking and surprising and just another example of why Orphan Black rocks our world.

Pretty intense stuff, so thank goodness we have Alison to keep things light. Alison is stuck in the hell of jealousy and gossiping harridans of suburbia, but that’s not the only drama she must endure. Her husband/handler is still reporting on her and Alison is beginning to get suspicious once again. Alison was willing to stand by as one of her handlers, Aynsley, strangled to death, so hubby Donnie better watch his Ps and Qs.

We get to know the Promethean killer, Mark and his family, a rural, close knit family with some disturbing socio-religious overtones. Their treatment of the newly abducted Helena speaks to a disturbing underbelly of abuse and sickness. The character of the cowboy hat-wearing Henrik is particularly frightening as he has the basis of science to counteract his zealotry. He possesses a particular interest in Helena’s anatomy and her womb…an interest not shared by the other fundamentalist Prometheans.  

Sarah has been taken, abducted right under guardian angel cop Art’s nose, we assume by the Prometheans. Orphan Black continues to defy expectations as it wasn’t the Prometheans or Dyad that has Kira, but Sarah’s adoptive mom and her network of freedom fighters and agents. This adds another layer to the show’s already complex web. Mrs. S was an intriguing character last season, at times, she seemed like she was definitely a handler but at others, she seemed like she was Sarah and Kira’s staunchest ally. Welcome back Mrs. S, you and your brand of character ambiguity were missed.

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Checking in with Cosima for a bit, the sexiest science clone is being tempted by Dyad and Rachel by her own lab to discover the secrets of her genetic makeup and a cure to the sickness that threatens to kill her. Cosima is the only clone that has a true and meaningful love in her girlfriend Delphine, and one couldn’t blame her if she became Dyad’s company clone in exchange for the gift of life.

Life altering decisions by Cosima, the return of Mrs. S and the emotions that come with it, if things are getting a little too intense, not to worry, it’s time for Alison to sing some more show tunes. With all the violence and betrayal, the most terrifying thing the show has presented so far this season is mediocre community theatre. As if Alison’s singing isn’t disturbing enough, the play’s director is an utter permed scumbag who fondles Alison’s ass while teaching her how to theatrically breathe. Thank goodness Felix enters to save poor Alison from the grimy hands of Alexander the Slimy. Part of me really hopes Felix takes over this play from ‘ol Welcome Back Kotter hair Alexander.

The other bond that is close to re-forming is between Sarah and her stepmother. Mrs. S proves she is capable of protecting her daughter and granddaughter. There is so much paranoia permeating the show that even though Mrs. S has done nothing but help Sarah, there is more to her than meets the eye. As Sarah shows Kira the house she grew up in with Mrs. S and we get some insight into the happier days of Sarah and Felix’s former life, happiness provided by a character Sarah desperately wants to trust.

Things aren’t so good for Helena who is taken by the Prometheans and brought to the creepy ass farm which has a decidedly cult like atmosphere. To drive that point home, one of the Prometheans, Tomas, flogs himself over Helena’s recovering body. It is revealed that Helena’s heart is on the wrong side of her chest, which is how she survived being shot by Sarah last season. The Prometheans, who view Helena as their personal science experiment, seriously make me want to bathe even more than Alison’s touchy-feely director.

Helena is helpless, Sarah is confused on who to trust, but Alison is, as usual, capable and cunning. Donnie, Alison’s incompetent watcher husband, follows Alison to Aynsley’s grave. Alison traps Donnie and now knows she is under observation. God, I hope she hot glues him again. With Donnie revealed as the enemy, Alison is in a similar situation as Sarah, as she now has no one to trust, except of course, Sarah’s rock, Felix.

Like last season, Sarah must once again have Kira taken from her as Mrs. S wants to take the child out of harm’s way. Sarah cannot trust Mrs. S with the life of her daughter as trust continues to be the show’s central theme. Mrs. S has a past of her own as a freedom fighter, but the question remains; whom does she fight for now? Kira, who has proven herself to be more aware than an average girl, does not trust Mrs. S either, which forces Sarah to escape a place that promised to be a haven again. Sadly, Sarah tries to escape in the world’s oldest and loudest car, and Mrs. S’s people give chase. Mrs. S saves Sara and Kira, proving that above all things, Mrs. S is a mother. Shockingly, Mrs. S’s people have sold their souls to the Prometheans, and now we know for sure that Mrs. S can be trusted as she takes down her own network to save her family.

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The last of the Maslany Five makes her appearance, the severe, business maven Rachel. Clone meets clone as Cosima meets Rachel for the first time. Last week, Sarah, dressed as Cosima, kicked Rachel’s ass, so this should be interesting. Rachel is not only is surprised that Cosima is gay but she also reveals that she knows Cosima is breaking down genetically. Cosima is being tempted by a cure, but the price to pay is to find for her own life is to find out why Sarah can have children. Rachel is the serpent in the clone garden offering Cosima the fruit of knowledge.

At least Cosima has Delphine. Alison has no one now that Donnie has been revealed as a watcher. She turns to her one confidant, Felix, but Felix’s true loyalty always is with Sarah, and as he leaves with his sister and Kira, Alison stands alone as the most innocent of the clones and ends this week’s great episode with an air of loneliness and tragedy.

The Good

– Felix as an acting coach

– Mrs. S’s stunning turn

– The temptation of Cosima

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– The complex nature of Henrik, a character that is a perfect combination of the worst parts of both science and religion who turns on and kills Tomas, the self flagellating Promethean at episode’s end. What a character!

The Bad

– Touchy community theatre directors

– Alison is now alone, poor dear. You really need to stop drinking.

The Ugly

– The cattle rectal exams performed by the Prometheans. That does not bode well for Helena or her lady parts.

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4 out of 5