Sabrina Petrafesa ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly President
“Let the Children and Childbearers Toil”
This week’s episode of Orphan Black has answered some questions created in the first episode of the season but hasn’t answered or even touched upon since. Much of this episode was Siobhan (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) going on their own mission to find out more about Neolutionism’s past. Maslany and Kennedy’s dynamic continues to be one of the most compelling relationships on the show. The relationships between mothers and daughters are portrayed in such different and dynamic ways, but none more than Siobhan and Sarah’s. They are the best example of a normal relationship you can have with your mother. It’s complicated and it’s interesting and there is obvious love and respect mixed in with the occasional frustrations.
Nothing exemplifies this more than when they worked together in the bar to get close to the doctor so they could steal her ID. The two sat at the bar talking about what they were doing before Sarah seamlessly started a scene that would attract the attention of the doctor who was having problems with her own daughter. The transition happened so quickly and so naturally you realize that the conflict is real but also exaggerated for show. These characters have such a profound history that come in handy when they are doing things like this.
The biggest reveal was finding out Virginia Coady (Kyra Harper) is still alive and has been trapped in a mental hospital. Remember Coady the military leader of the Castor clones and was responsible for the death of one amazing Paul Dierden (Dylan Bruce)? Castor and Leda obviously were connected but this episode revealed that Coady and Susan had been working with Westmoreland for a long time and together they did some monstrous things. Including creating the thing that’s been running around the woods outside of the village on the island. This just enforces the theory that the creature in the woods is a clone gone wrong. They obviously started out as human, until they got experimented on by Coady, Susan and Westmoreland. Although, we don’t get much more than that from Coady we now have some answers on the monster in the woods and it wouldn’t be Orphan Black if we got all the answers all at once.
The whole episode Siobhan is keeping her sources quiet and making sure Sarah doesn’t know who her contact is. Sarah is obviously very fed up with this but trusts her mum enough to leave it. This reviewer thinks that maybe her source is Delphine from the way she just popped in a couple episodes ago telling S not to tell any of the clones of their meeting.
This episode really brought the show back to the relationships these characters have with each other. Everyone really is a family and that is what is most important at the core of Orphan Black.
Episode Grade: A
“Ease for Idle Millionaire”
This episode of Orphan Black saw the return of Delphine (Evelyne Brochu). We saw her trying to run the show and sort of succeeding? She’s arrived at the village and is managing to play PT Westmoreland (Stephen McHattie) and Rachel (Maslany), presumably because they are severely underestimating her and her love for Cosima. Over the course of the whole episode Delphine has been playing both sides all to make sure that Cosima when all said and done will be safe and far away from all the madness, but for now they both need to play the game.
This episode also comes with a lot of insane revelations. Cosima (Maslany) has been researching the tooth Charlotte gave her from the woods. Comparing that to new research Delphine provided her she was able to discover the specific gene that Westmoreland has earmarked as the “Fountain of Youth” gene: LIN28A.
With this information Cosima gets a dinner invitation, forcibly, where she has to break bread with Susan and Rachel as well as Westmoreland and Delphine. Westmoreland forces Delphine and Cosima to get dressed in a room filled with old-timey clothing. Luckily, there are suits that Cosima can wear, which both looks fantastic on her and tells Westmoreland that she’s gonna be playing his game her own way. This dinner is awkward at best showing the viewers exactly how cruel Westmoreland and Rachel are. It’s during this dinner that Cosima realizes that the experiments on Kira (Skyler Wexler) are to harvest her eggs. Not only is this horrifying because Kira is a child, it’s terrifying because it takes all autonomy away from Kira. Westmoreland and Rachel has over 1,000 people ready to carry Kira’s children.
The episode ends with a confrontation between Westmoreland and Cosima. The monster in the woods, who we know is named Yannis (Andrew Musselman), has come back to the house to come back home to the cage he used to live in when he was being experimented on. It’s an incredibly sad moment and Cosima tells Westmoreland that what he did was unethical and inhumane. He aims a gun at her before forcing it in her hand and telling her to end Yannis’s misery then. Cosima instead puts the gun down and goes to Yannis to help him. While that’s happening though, Westmoreland shoots Yannis right in front of Cosima and locks her in the cage.
Maslany gave a great performance in this episode. Cosima was deeply affected by everything she learned in the episode and the confrontation with Westmoreland was heart wrenching. Cosima just wants to help people and this is not the first time she’s has to watch someone die in front of her. Death, unfortunately, follows her and it is a testament to her character that she is still so deeply affected by it. Maslany knows her characters well and knows how to give a performance that will not only leave you amazed but will also make you want to cry.
This episode at its heart was about humanity. Making sure you keep your humanity no matter what. Orphan Black has always been a show that transcends its genre. Orphan Black may be about clones but it’s never been a clone show, it’s been about women and their individuality, their deep relationships with the other women in their lives, and their relationships with their families. Above all it’s a show about being true to who you are and grasping your independence and your autonomy with everything you have. This episode was a good reminder of everything deep and personal about Orphan Black that keeps people watching week after week and will be sorely missed when the show makes its inevitable departure at the end of the season.
Episode Grade: A+
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 10PM on BBC America.