Orphan Black: Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est review

Helena takes center stage in this week's episode of Orphan Black. Here's Marc's review...

This week is a total Helena-centric episode which means some disturbing and oddly cute goings on in the world of Orphan Black. Like Helena’s fractured mind, there is a great deal of noise and chaos, but rest easy, we’re here to sort it out with you.

Let’s start with the crazy person in question, the fright wig haired Helena. Helena spent the episode making new friends. Last week, Sarah was shocked to find her clone sister, whom she believed she killed, alive and not so well, but Helena did save her life and Sarah is nothing if she is not loyal to those that have helped her, particularly when that someone is family.  

The first of Helena’s new friends was good old Felix, the most loyal person in Sarah’s life and bosom buddy to the missing/in rehab Alison. Felix and Helena didn’t exactly bond. In fact, Helena hissed at him like an angry cat and was not quite clear on Felix’s gender, but Sarah keeps the peace and asks Fee to care for the Ukrainian madwoman.  

Felix pawned Helena off on good old Art, a cop who is no stranger to partnering with and helping clones. The good part of Helena meeting Art is that she gave him some leads on the Prometheans, the nutball religious science cult that he is trying to bring down. The bad news is Art is not ready for the type of window licking crazy that is bundled up inside Helena and after eating Art out of house and home, she escaped. By the way, Helena likes to chow down on eggs, pickles, powdered donuts, mustard, and sardines. I guess Art was out of fish fingers and custard.

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Now, let’s talk about my favorite subject for a second, Tatiana Maslany. Really, if I didn’t know any better, I would swear that Rachel and Helena are played by different actresses. Maslany’s Helena is twitchy and stricken but oddly cute with her mismatched socks and big, sincere eyes, but Rachel is robotically cold yet sexy in an Isla, the She Wolf kind of way. When Rachel seduced her new head of security, Paul, this episode, it was the frostiest but hottest seduction I’ve ever seen. Let’s just say, Rachel is definitely a top.

But Rachel had some interesting revelations other than that she’s a total dom. Firstly, she didn’t like the fact that Sarah viewed the video of her happy childhood, it seemed Rachel wants to keep her happy past hidden. Secondly, Rachel is a dangerous woman to cross, as Sarah finds out when the ice clone goes right after the one person she can find closest to Sarah, Felix.

Poor Felix was just trying to enjoy a romantic evening with his chosen beau. Seriously, this show is not afraid of the coitus which is why we love it. We have girl on boy, girl on girl, boy on boy, and we’re eagerly awaiting clone on clone (I’ll be in my bunk). While Felix was having his bedroom romp, Paul burst in and things turned very dark, very quickly. In one hell of a performance by Jordan Gavaris, Felix’s vulnerability was driven home with razor sharp precision as Paul forced Felix down, face first into the couch, and forcibly pressed a gun to his hand. Now, Rachel and Dyad had Felix’s prints on a weapon used to kill a cop. Rachel and Paul knew that Sarah would do anything for her family, and now she’ll have to.

With Rachel and Paul on a rampage, it’s a good thing that Kira was safely ensconced in her newfound dad’s hipster RV. In fact, Kira was calling Cal daddy, much to Sarah’s chagrin. It’s good to see Kira, finally being cared for by a suitable father figure which is why when the camera focused on a hidden gun, it made one’s heart sink. It seems there’s a lot more to Cal than just his acumen with an acoustic guitar.

As for the twin clones Sarah and Helena, their bond came full circle from mortal enemies to trusted allies, well, as trusting as it can be when one of the parties involved likes to slice off Barbie doll heads and tie them to the scope of her sniper rifle. Sarah longs for familial bonds: with Mrs. S, with Felix, with Kira, even with the newly rediscovered Cal, so it’s no surprise that she wants a sister, even one as unpredictable as Helena. This bond is intriguing and how it evolves should decide many of the most important aspects of the show.

For now, Helena wanted to kill Rachel but Sarah needed her alive so Rachel will stop the frame job on Felix. One of the most tense moments came when Helena had Rachel in her sights, while Sarah begged her not to pull the trigger. If she did, then it would be Felix who would truly suffer. The one person not suffering during that sequence was Paul, getting the coldest lap ride in history by Rachel.

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We have not seen much of Paul this season. Last season, he was a hapless pawn in Sarah’s cons but grew to be her ally and protector, but now that Sarah has dedicated herself to her family, Paul has found himself rudderless. Now he is Rachel’s head of security and lover, replacing Daniel, who was murdered by Helena last episode. Paul has competed his turn to the dark side by violating Felix, forcibly framing the physically weaker artist under Rachel’s orders. Rachel seemingly has Paul by the short hairs, but even that comes into question when it is revealed that there is a working relationship between Paul and Dr. Leekie, a relationship that may thrust Rachel into the same status as observed experiment as Cosima, Sarah, Alison, and Helena.

Helena is in good hands this episode. From Felix, to Art, and back to Sarah who promised to find the clones’ creator in order to get Helena to agree to not kill Rachel. No matter how bleak things got for the clown hair clone, at least she’s not still under the control of the Prometheans, who just get creepier and creepier every week, and not in a kooky, fun sort of way…more in a Mason Family meets Mengele sort of way. Remember lil’ Gracie who tried to kill Helena last week? Well, the patriarch of the Prometheans, good old Hank, sewed Gracie’s lips shut as punishment. The Prometheans are giving Ramsey Snow a run for his money in the sadism department.

So we end with a new bond of trust between Helena and Sarah, poor Felix in deep legal trouble only Rachel can fix, Paul as a son of a bitch whose true loyalties are ambiguous, Cosima still dying but given a treatment that may spell hope for everyone’s favorite science clone, and Kira who is in the hands of a man who may be a harmless hipster or may be so much more.

And poor Felix never got to finish his booty call. It’s no fun to be framed for murder and have blueies.

The good

Rachel’s form of seduction, that’ll keep the engine revved.

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Helena’s socks. How can someone so freakin’ deadly be so freakin’ cute?

The show’s dedication to pushing sexual boundaries week after week.

The bad

No Alison!

Not much story movement on the Cosima front.

The ugly

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Helena’s diet.

Paul as the world’s most passive bottom.

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4 out of 5