One of the characters introduced in season 2 is Cal Morrison, Kira’s father. In this episode, Kris and Stephanie discuss Kira, Cal, and their relationship, as well as their relationships with Sarah.
- I was surprised that we met Kira’s dad so quickly, but I knew that would be revealed as soon as we saw Cal and Sarah argue
- Cal’s background: designed drones for pollination that ended up as military technology (commentary on science/technology breakthroughs and/or foreshadowing about the cloning project?)
- Do we think Cal’s apparent isolation is significant?
- Ready fake IDs, extra money. Is there more to Cal than we’ve seen or is he ready to disappear because of his hacking/anti-corporation interests?
- Forms a fast relationship with Cal, who despite his reservations is quite a nurturing parent
- Relationship with Cal causes tension in her relationship with Sarah, who keeps leaving her, while Cal who just met her sticks around (“I’m not a monkey anymore.” *STABBED THROUGH THE HEART*)
- SWEET, SELFLESS ANGEL – pulls out her tooth, gives bone marrow to Auntie Cosima
- Trust barometer: another reason we don’t like Rachel as much as Helena? Kira doesn’t seem to trust Rachel, has doubts about Mrs. S. She trusts Cal and Helena.
- Very intuitive, almost seems to have precognition
- Heals very quickly: But I don’t think Kira is a whitelighter. She did not bring Cosima back from death.
- Flirting with Cal – is this what Sarah looks like unburdened?
- Scene where she fesses up to Kira about Cal
- Sarah had practically all of her light moments with Cal and Kira in Season 2 (saying hi to Cal in the boatyard, buying food for Kira, clone dance party)
- From Jonathan
All I have to say about the Cal, Sarah and Kira family nexus is contained in one short sequence. It’s one of my favorite scenes from Season 2: the “reveal,” in Episode 3, that Cal is Kira’s father. In a sequence that lasts about 15 seconds and totals 5 shots, you get a complicated set of reactions and intimations about what this news means for the four people involved: Sarah, Cal, Kira, and Felix. If you watch that sequence four times, focusing on just the movement of the sightlines of each of the four characters, you come away with a new appreciation of how fine “Orphan Black’s” direction and acting can be. Then watch it again, as a whole, aware of how deftly the sightlines are made to dance and reveal something of each character. It’s as virtuoso a sequence, in its way, as the bigger moments: the diner scene in Episode 1, or Helena’s and Sarah’s reunion in Episode 4. This short quiet sequence goes like this:
The first shot is of Kira and Sarah. Sarah is looking at Kira. Kira is looking at Cal. Kira asks “Are you my Dad?” and Sarah’s gaze shifts uneasily to a vague middle-distance, off to her left.
The second shot is of Cal. He’s looking primarily at Kira, but his eyes shift a couple of times to Sarah – unsure, wanting confirmation from her, either way. His expression is questioning.
The third shot is of Kira, Sarah, and Felix. Both Felix and Kira are looking at Sarah (so all three characters are now looking at her, implicitly waiting for her confirmation of denial). Sarah, at first, is looking at Cal – then her gaze slides off again, vaguely to her left. She’s not answering the implicit question and her face isn’t revealing much, either – which is enough to provoke Felix to realize what she’s saying by not saying anything and to shift his gaze back to Cal exclaiming: “Blow me down!” When Felix speaks, Kira looks over to him and Sarah’s gaze shifts off to the right, towards Felix (who is behind her), before moving back to center on Cal.
The fourth shot is of Cal, now looking directly at Sarah, eyes steady. He knows.
The fifth shot is of Sarah and Kira, wearing uncannily similar expressions (mother and daughter for sure!), gazing straight-on at Cal, rock steady, no further movement in their sightlines. This shot comes like a resolution to all the previous motion.
This is a subtly and beautifully orchestrated 15 seconds! The interplay of shot/counter-shot, tied together through the weaving of sightlines, tell us all we need to know, without being directly told via speech. The only necessary line is Kira’s initial prompt: “Are you my Dad?” We see the melting of Cal’s initial incredulity; we see Sarah’s evasiveness; we see how hard it hits Felix (this plays out through the subsequent scenes) – all articulated through their sightlines and facial expressions. All that movement resolves into the unflinching steadiness of the last shot of Sarah and Kira, which has a quality which is hard to name – it’s not look of challenge so much as of adamancy. (It’s also one of the most stunning shots of Tatiana in the series.) Cal’s been recognized. He is Spouse and Father. Sarah’s and Kira’s joint look contains the knowledge and certainty that this is so, even if they are not yet permitted to share the same shot. The sequence plays out, writ small, the larger arc of the relationship as it develops through the rest of the season: Cal’s acceptance of, and real aptitude for, the paternal role; the working through of various levels of trust, truthfulness, and evasiveness between Cal and Sarah; the end note of seeming certainty that this is the guy for Sarah. While there is still a lot we don’t know about Cal (why is he so prepared to go fugitive?), and, for that matter, Sarah (what’s this clone business all about anyway?), their status as family seems set. It looks like they’ll come through.
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