Orphan Black: Unconscious Selection, Review

We keep watching and loving and wanting only more. Only one episode to go...


When Orphan Black began, there was a question posed, since Sarah was a pretty unapologetic low life crook, how would she find overcome her past transgressions to find redemption? Seemingly the answer is, she won’t. In the early episodes, Sarah tried to run a con by pretending to be dead cop Beth, the first clone Sarah met right before Beth’s suicide by train. Without worrying how it would affect the people Beth was close to, her partner Art or her lover Paul, Sarah leaped head first into her con. Since that time, Sarah has learned selflessness and honor by living Beth’s life and meeting her other clones. Since then, Sarah, whether as Beth or in her own identity, has helped soccer mom clone Alison, scientist clone Cosima, bat shit crazy Serbian clone Helana, and has found a life of honesty and honor, this gaining the trust of her daughter, Kira. Yet, none of this makes up for what she tried to do before Sarah started down her path of honesty. Now these sins are coming back to haunt her, as Art has discovered the extent of Sarah’s con via camera footage of Beth’s suicide.

This is bad for Sarah, for the hopes she has of living peacefully with Kira, and for the other clones who need Sarah to find the truth of their birth. Now that Art has made this discovery in the latest episode, Sarah’s life is in danger of imploding and taking the rest of her clones with her. Speaking of the other clones, they certainly had their own drama going as Art was making his discovery.

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The stand out scene in this week’s penultimate episode was Alison being forced into an intervention by her suburban brethren. The show explores the idea of living in the suburbs is like being part of an endless scientific experiment, which is of course ironic because, as a clone, Alison herself is a scientific experiment. Alison is observed by her neighbors under every condition. She is judged as she responds to emotional stimulus, and as the intervention shows, some of her actions are judged to be wanting. She is accused of adultery, alcoholism, endangering the welfare of children, and the greatest sin a suburban mom can commit, she is judged to be an outsider. Lucky for Alison, she had Sarah’s vampish gay brother Felix with her, and in a hilarious sequence, Felix was judged as an unwanted outsider, until he told the suburban jury that he was an acting coach, a very accepted role for a gay man. Suddenly, he was welcomed into the proceeding and coached Alison into sharing his devil may care attitude. Needless to say, this gave Alison the courage to expose each of her accusers in turn, as she finds herself free from the suburban cage she was locked in. As viewers and Felix revel in Alison’s victory, there is a sense of dread that she will be caught up in Sarah’s fall.

Another clone that seems to be bound to Sarah, for good or bad, is bat shit crazy Serbian clone, Helena. Last episode, Helena was responsible for a horrible accident that almost killed Kira. Helena abducts Kira but lets her go, sadly, while running towards Sarah, Kira is struck by a car. Orphan Black has not shied away from the taboo and this moment was shocking even for a show that does not shy away from the horrific. Of course, Sarah blames Helena for the accident. While Sarah is in the hospital, Helena is caged by her mentor, an abusively religious man who lied to Helena, telling her that she was the original and the rest of the Orphans are unholy monstrosities and must be purged. Helena resists and is caged like an animal for her trouble. Meanwhile, Kira makes a miraculous recovery due to her enhanced genes. It seems Dr. Leakee, the founder of the Neugenics movement who is somehow connected to Sarah’s origins, wants Kira for her enhanced genes. Another shadowy faction that controls Helena’s handler wants Kira as well. Helena manages to get her cellphone and call Sarah, who defies Paul and Mrs. S and goes to Helena, neither Sarah nor the viewer completely clear if she will help Helena or kill her, but after meeting Helena’s handler, she sees the abuse Helena suffered and takes pity on her. The handler tries to seduce Helena with the idea that Kira is rightfully her daughter, but Helena rejects this idea and tries to tear him to pieces. Eager for answers to who this man was and how he is connected to the conspiracy, Sarah saves him. All this shows that Sarah is acting beyond her own impulsiveness, a state that starkly contrasts the Sarah viewers first met.

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Meanwhile, Cosima discovers the truth about Delphine. She finds out that Delphine has been working for Dr. Leekee and was responsible for breaking Cosima’s confidence and reporting the whereabouts of the other clones. This is Cosima’s moment of tragedy as it seems that Dephine truly loved her. Cosima tried to keep the conspiracy at bay, but the whole thing is too large to ignore and now she is left exposed and alone as she realizes her actions have exposed Sarah and the others. Now, she only has the clones to turn to, but has she provided the means of their destruction? Cosima is the only clone that did not follow Sarah’s path and paid for it, now that Sarah’s ruse as Beth has been discovered, how will that affect Cosima?

Meanwhile, at episode’s end, Sarah meets her birth mother, thanks to Mrs. S, a South African woman hired to carry Sarah and her twin sister to term, her twin sister being Helena. Even in her selfish days, the one thing Sarah valued was family as she always cared for Felix and her dream was to live in peace with Kira. Now, Sarah and Helena have a familial bond, a bond that Sarah is seemingly loathe to break. As the conspiracy unravels, and Sarah makes new and deep connections, Art and the police she attempted to con are closing in. One episode to go to find out if Sarah is redeemed or if her past sins are too large for her to escape.

Overall, this episode was an examination of how much Sarah has grown as a character, and how her growth has helped Alison and Helena, and how her growth would have helped Cosima  if she wasn’t blinded by love.

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The Good:
Sarah’s growthAlison’s potty mouthHelena’s redemptionFelix and Alison as besties


The Bad:
Only one episode to go


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The Ugly:
Cosima’s love lifeSuburbiaFelix’s toilet, boy, what are you eating?


Den Of Geek Score: 4 out of 5 stars



4 out of 5