Orphan Black season 2 episode 10 review: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried
Orphan Black's season 2 finale leaves us with more questions than answers. Here's Kaci's review...
This review contains spoilers.
2.10 By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried
Welcome to the season finale, Clone Club. It’s going to be a long hiatus.
We open with Sarah turning herself in to Dyad (and, echoing last week’s discussion of consent, we have Sarah pointing out that her “consent” given by signing the forms for Dyad to experiment on her are, in fact, not consent at all, given that she’s their prisoner). It’s heartbreaking to watch her turn herself in so immediately, because of course they got to her in the only way that would’ve made her run right into their arms. Even when they threatened Felix with a murder charge, she didn’t give in; only for her daughter would Sarah do literally anything.
While Sarah’s in Dyad’s clutches, Kira manages to call Cal and ask for help, which leads to the brilliantly tense meeting between him and Mrs S., who frankly is not used to being around anyone with as vast a network of contacts and information as hers. It’s amazing. I’d watch an entire mini-series of just the two of them trying to one-up each other with their underground spy network. Fortunately, they manage to work together long enough to reach out to the person who spied on Cal through his webcam all those episodes ago. It turns out to be Paul and Marian, who are working as double agents inside of Dyad to find out the truth behind all this cloning business. Marian’s confident she can get Sarah and Kira out of Dyad’s clutches, but she wants to meet with Sarah privately to discuss a matter of mutual interest.
Meanwhile, Rachel continues to cement her place as The Worst by sending Delphine away without the chance to say goodbye to Cosima and assigning Cosima a new doctor. She’s also holding her father prisoner and rewatching tapes of her childhood with him while insisting that she doesn’t remember the feeling of being loved. Any chance she might have of that changing in the future is immediately halted when Duncan literally picks his poison and takes his tea with a side of cyanide. Tatiana Maslany, who always does an impeccable job as every single clone, really hits this scene out of the park: as Rachel realizes her father is dying, she drops to her knees in front of him like a small child and begs in the tiniest voice imaginable that he not leave her again. For all that Rachel insists she can not remember being loved or loving, some subconscious part of her must: she becomes so instantly child-like in this scene, a little girl begging her daddy not to go away. It is, in a word, perfection. I know we all were angry last year when Maslany was not even nominated for an Emmy; if they snub her again this year, it will be a crime.
Cosima takes none of this lying down; together she and Scott rig up a device that will shoot a pencil out of a fire extinguisher in the hopes that it might give Sarah a chance to escape. Indeed it does; when Rachel enters the operating room Dyad has prepared to remove one of Sarah’s ovaries, Sarah is able to shoot Rachel in the eye with it and flee. I have been wary of Scott since he came to work for Dyad, because on this show virtually no one can be trusted outside of the Clone Club and Felix. However, if anything could change my mind and teach me to trust him, it would be his utter dedication to Cosima in this episode. He advocates for her when Rachel changes her physician; he helps her rig up the device; and when it becomes clear that Cosima is too injured to execute the plan, he takes over without a second thought at great personal risk should he be caught. Scott, like Donnie, has earned a spot in my good graces this season.
And so the clones escape and meet up at Felix’s loft, where they are reunited with Helena as she meets her sisters for the first time. I’m pretty sure my heart grew three sizes during the ensuing dance party as, for the first time in what feels like forever, everyone is happy. For one shining moment in time, we were able to forget that Helena is impregnated with Henrik’s child, that Cosima is deathly ill, or that Dyad still wants to destroy them all. It’s beautiful and cathartic and absolutely what we all needed.
Unfortunately, this is still Orphan Black, and so naturally Helena is kidnapped and taken by Mrs S. and Paul to the military for unknown purposes while Cosima nearly dies in her sleep only to have a vision of Delphine urging her on. It gives her the strength to wake up and read to Kira, whereupon she realizes that the key to Duncan’s cypher is in the copy of The Island Of Dr Moreau that he gave to Kira.
Sarah makes good on her agreement to meet with Marian and finds that Marian is raising a new clone; it seems that Dyad tried over four hundred times to replicate the cloning process, but without the Duncans, only little Charlotte survived. But she’s not done yet; the cloning experiments were initiated by the military, who contracted out the female clones to Dyad. The military themselves kept the other half of the project — Project Castor — and cloned males. And it’s really too bad that Henrik is dead because he’d probably wet himself with excitement over finding out just whose face those male clones are all wearing — Mark’s, who has just married Gracie.
I think it’s safe to assume that no one knows Mark is a clone since, if anyone did it would’ve been Henrik, and life at the Prolethean farm would’ve been very different indeed. It does beg the question of if the male clones have health issues like the female clones’ respiratory problems or if the military was able to work around that. It also brings up how much of a role Mark and Gracie can play in the next season, given that they’re completely separated from everyone else. And why would the military want Helena? We can assume it’s probably for something related to Project Castor, but why her? What could they need a female clone for? Given that Paul seems to have arranged it, are we back to not trusting him again?
So many questions and so long to wait for season three. Hit up the comments, Clone Club, and tell me what you thought of the finale.
Read Kaci’s review of the previous episode, Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done, here.
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