Orphan Black: Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things review

It's intrigue within intrigue and clones upon clones in the latest episode of Orphan Black. Here's Marc's review...

All of our favorite clones have their familial connections, which create bonds that motivate them and inspire them. Sarah has Felix, Kira, and has built a family unit out of her own clones. Alison has her adopted children and even her portly waste of a husband, Cosima is desperately trying to build a familial connection with her lover Delphine, and Helena is drawn into the Prometheans web by the promise of family. Even cold as ice Rachel once had a loving family in the clone mastermind Dr. Swan and his slain wife.

Really, it takes a show as brilliant as Orphan Black to make something called “Family Day” so ominous. As Alison is stuck in rehab, she and her new BFF Victor prepare for Family Day; a chance for Alison to show her family that she is still their stable mommy but, like her community theatre debacle, disaster is foreshadowed at every turn. Alison wanted to forge new bonds of trust so badly that she confided in former abusive drug dealer turned Buddhist turned police informant Victor that she slept with her old BFF’s husband… and then kinda sorta murdered her.

Victor sat in wide eyed terror as Alison summoned her inner Helena and told exactly how she stood by as Aynsley choked to death…and then she gave Victor mittens. Awesome.

When Alison discovered that Victor was going to rat her out, she killed him using a washing machine. Not really, I made that up, but imagine? She actually, calls on her true rock and confidant, good ‘ol Felix. It’s nice to know that some bonds in this show remain true blue. The pair confronted Victor who demanded to see Sarah in return for not ratting out Alison.

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Poor Sarah had to leave the comforting arms of her hipster boy toy Cal to bail out Alison. Everyone is looking for familial bonds, and Victor wanted Sarah back in a romantic way. Despite the heartbreak and finger loss, Victor wanted to be Sarah’s beau once again. Felix took care of that with a well placed roofie in Vic’s tea. Good old Felix, he’s like the James Bond of timely Mickey slipping.

Things got a bit Three’s Company as Sarah pretended to be Alison while the real Alison and Felix had to hide the (covered in glitter and drool) drugged carcass of Victor. Well, between the medical rape and clone cancer, the show was due for some lighter moments. The zany continued with Sarah as Alison having to role play with stupid, stupid Donnie. So, Sarah pretended to be Alison pretending to be Donnie, and the look on Tatiana Maslany’s face was priceless as she had to play three layers of characters at once.

Meanwhile, Angela, the cop Donnie was reporting to, was looking for her informant. Who was found, with narcotics in his system, passed out and covered in blood and glitter. So much for the Buddha.

The strength of the episode stemmed off the fact that all this wackiness actually led to a game changing moment. It wasn’t just comedy for comedy’s sake. After all the role-playing and drugging, Donnie finally saw Alison and Sarah together marking the first time Donnie has been in the presence of any of the other clones. Donnie’s look of surprise betrayed the fact that he had no clue about the clones (and most other things) and he was just being used as a patsy for Dr. Leekee. He had no clue about the clone conspiracy, and he did not react well to being the cause of Alison being biologically violated.

Speaking of Leekee, this week we got to meet another head honcho of Dyad, Dr. Marion Bowles played by Battlestar Galactica, The Killing, and True Blood’s Michelle Forbes. Forbes was at her best as a domineering scientist who seemed to make even the usually controlled Leekee nervous. In Bowles, we seem to have a new big bad in Dyad. This week, all Leekee’s sins came back to haunt him as Rachel confronted him about the murder of her adopted mother. Rachel later dismissed Leekee from Dyad and allowed him to live despite the orders of Bowles.

Without Leekee, where do Cosima and Delphine stand? Will Marion and Rachel allow Cosima’s life saving procedures to continue? Will Michelle Forbes ever play a fully altruistic character? Things have certainly been shaken up inside Dyad.

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The science drama continues with Cosima and Delphine. When the Prometheans stole Helena’s eggs, the medical procedure was the ultimate violation. The whole sequence was fevered and nightmarish and laid bare the worst aspects of science. This horrific moment was contrasted this week as Cosima underwent an implantation in her uterus that would hopefully cure her of the genetic breakdown she was suffering. Delphine’s tenderness and pure love contrasted the harsh brutality of the Promethean approach. Between Delphine and Cosima the procedure was beautiful, as Delphine oversaw a surgery that explored the depths of Cosima’s womanhood in hopes of curing her.

This type of dual storytelling and thematic exploration is why this show rules. There are no political stances or agendas, just character moments that share motifs, and this was a beautiful sequence that was a break from the constant machinations and betrayal. Sadly, it was a beauty that did not last as Cosima discovered that the process that was curing her was made possible by using stems cells harvested from Kira, a finite harvest that would soon need to be replenished.

Mrs. S continued her machinations making a deal with Leekee. She would hand over Dr. Swan if Leekee agreed to leave Kira alone. Things looked good for Kira, until Leekee was displaced as head of Dyad. Bowles does not seem as constrained as Leekee which could spell major trouble for all the clones.

The clone in the greatest trouble (other than Helena who we don’t check in with this week) was Cosima. Cosima reached out to Sarah and spelled out the situation, that she needed more raw DNA from Kira or she will die. Sarah is hesitant, but Kira showed her good heart by pulling her own tooth for Cosima to use in her studies, much to the confusion of Cal. Kira’s good heart continued to bond the clones and keep them close in the face of all the paranoia, machinations, and betrayals.

So as we exit, let us bid farewell to Dr. Leekee who is confronted by stupid, stupid Donnie who was angry he was forced to play the role of Dyad’s patsy all those years. Leekee dismissed Donne who Pulp Fictions the good doctor when his own pistol misfires during a fit of frustration. As Leekee’s brains ooze down stupid Donnie’s car window, so many questions emerge.

How will Dyad function without Leekee? What about Cosima? Will the new head of Dyad honor the deal with Mrs. S? What will Rachel’s next move be now that the man that killed her mother is dead? And will Victor ever get all the glitter off?

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The Good

– The inclusion of Admiral Cain herself, Michelle Forbes.

– Felix and his ninja sedation skills.

Sarah pretending to be Alison pretending to be Donnie.

The Bad

– No Helena.

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The Ugly

– Victor’s future prospects.

– Donnie’s ability to handle a weapon.

– Family Day.

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4.5 out of 5