Sabrina Petrafesa ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly President
Throughout Orphan Black Alison Hendrix has provided comedic relief, been the backbone of the Clone Club, and had some of the most awesome moments. This episode of Orphan Black centered on Alison (Tatiana Maslany) and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and gave us more depth to Alison’s character and provided a lot of insight to a character that has been written off as the “soccer mom clone.”
The episode opens with flashbacks to just after Alison met Beth and learned about being a clone. She’s hosting Aynsely (Natalie Lisinska) and Chad (Eric Johnson) – Alison’s best friend who she killed via scarf and garbage disposal and her husband who Alison slept with back in season one – for dinner when they ask Alison and Donnie to get high on shrooms that night. We’ve seen Alison drunk, we’ve seen her take a lot of downers, we’ve even seen her selling drugs, but this time we saw her get so incredibly high it was amazing. Until the reality of being a clone comes crashing down on her hard when Cosima (Maslany) shows up on Beth’s suggestion. Her downward spiral after that runs parallel to her upward momentum in present day.
Alison truly struggles throughout the entire episode. With her place in Clone Club, with her skills, and with her whole entire life. Everyone is telling her that she’s pointless, useless, expendable. So Alison does what she does best and she goes to the neighborhood fair to take charge and make sure everything runs smoothly. Of course when she gets there it is running smoothly under someone else’s supervision. Contributing to her downfall and leading her to fill an ice tea bottle with half a bottle of prescription drugs.
While Alison is at the fair Art (Kevin Hanchard) and Enger (Elyse Levesque) are searching the Hendrix household for any incriminating evidence. Even though Donnie warned Art to stay out of the garage Enger goes to the garage to plant evidence and notices where Leekie and the dead Castor clone are buried. Enger is close to the bodies and Art is fully prepared to add Enger’s body to that grave. Until Enger gets a call to stand down, because Alison swooped in and saved the day.
The episode builds up to the most amazing moment for Alison. She finally comes face to face with Rachel (Maslany). Alison has been dealing with the terrible decisions of everyone around her. When trouble comes knocking on her door she just pulls everything together and deals with it. Where Rachel has written her off, Alison not so kindly reminds her how exactly how long Alison has been in the fight, longer than Sarah even, and is not replaceable. She does this by dropping the severed head of Aldous Leekie demanding Rachel get those neolutionists out of her house because if she doesn’t those dead bodies will lead straight back to Rachel.
When all’s said and done Rachel tells Alison “I should like to put my hands around your neck and squeeze.” Alison responds, “Then we’re not so different you and I,” in the most intense and hardcore way. Alison Hendrix will not be trifled with. Alison Hendrix killed her best friend in cold blood and got off scot free and kept two bodies buried underneath her garage and only got caught because Rachel’s neolutionist lap dog was trying to frame her for something Helena did.
The episode winds down with a touching and tender moment between Alison and Donnie singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” right after Alison confessed to Donnie that she needs time to really discover who she is outside of being a soccer mom.
Alison Hendrix deserves all the love in the world and this episode gave her that. The attention was fully on Alison and how she felt, what her struggles have been, and how she’s been coping. The next episode surely will have a lack of Alison, but there is no way this is the last we have seen of such an amazing character. Surely by the time Orphan Black’s finale comes Alison will be back and kicking butt because Alison Hendrix will not stand down when her family is in danger.
Episode Grade: A+
Orphan Black airs 10PM Saturdays on BBC America.