We discuss the eighth episode of the second season of Orphan Black, “Variable and Full of Perturbation.”
Someone with a message for Beth Childs gets in contact with Art, and he looks to Felix for help in getting the information. After learning of Cosima’s illness, Sarah struggles with turning over a crucial piece of leverage to Dyad. Meanwhile, Donnie wrestles with guilt and facing the consequences of one of his actions just as Alison gets home from rehab.
Tony & Felix
- Trans* clone!!! Stephanie had been hoping for a male-identified clone to show up at some point, and we’re really pleased with how the show handled Tony as a character. Kudos to the writers and, of course, to Tatiana Maslany.
- He didn’t have to tell his transition story.
- He didn’t have to reveal whether he had had top or bottom surgery.
- He generally didn’t have to explain himself. Felix did most of that.
- He pushed some gender boundaries with his appearance and his attraction to Felix.
- (Not related to him being trans*, but) He was very working class/blue collar, which is interesting.
- Great to hear a mention of Beth again
- Exchange between Felix and Tony – Tony might be the most overtly sexual clone we’ve met, with perhaps the exception of Sarah.
- The Kiss: did you think it was weird? Sexy? Both?
- You can check out our friend Dawson’s posts about Tony here.
- Twiddling her thumbs a bit this episode
- Has to float the whole clone thing to Tony, who reacts rather well
- Awesome shot of Sarah and Tony circling each other in Felix’s apartment
- Tony finally reveals Sammy’s message – “Take heart. Paul is like me – a ghost.” (And Paul seems to be pulling his ghost act since he’s missing in this episode and even Rachel can’t seem to find him.)
At Mrs. S’s house
- Trying to be a good mum to Kira
- Tells Kira that she had to leave Helena to fend for herself, but that Helena asks after her (But that’s all we see/hear of Helena! Two episodes in a row without our favorite little assassin!)
- Sarah is still not a fan of Delphine’s.
- Mrs. S has to convince her of the prudence of handing over Ethan Duncan (and his synthetic sequences) to Rachel and Dyad
- Seems to trust Mrs. S again – they have a cute reunion.
- Doesn’t appreciate Sarah monitoring her reading habits (We love Kira.)
- Has the formulas for the synthetic sequences in the copy of The Island of Dr. Moreau that Ethan Duncan gave her
- Trying to sell the company line that Leekie died of a heart attack and has taken over Leekie’s office
- Meets with Ethan Duncan and apologizes for her emotions at their last meeting
- Asks about the clones’ fertility and Ethan reveals that the clones were designed to be barren
- Rachel hulks out (in actuality? just in her mind?) and we get a sense of how much her infertility pains Rachel
Cosima & Delphine
- Cosima locks Delphine out of the lab – harsh
- Geek(monkey)ing out with Scott and his buddies over Runewars – challenging some gender stereotypes there
- Delphine brings news of Leekie’s death and Cosima decides to let go of her anger
- Weed + helium + science jokes = Delightful
- “Je t’aime.” Mon coeur! Pourtant j’ai envie des bisoux. J’ai besoin des bisoux.
- What kind of dirt does Cosima have on Delphine?
- Why did they put Cosima’s collapsing in the promo?!? Now we have to worry for another week!
Alison & Donnie
- Sweet, honest communication between the two of them
- Bonding over their accidental murders
- Disposing of Leekie’s body and hilarity ensues
- Title comes from Francis Bacon’s The New Organon
- Since Beth knew about Tony, we wonder again if Beth know about Sarah. (Thanks to Annette for bringing that up!)
- Art! Wish we had seen more of you
- From Lisa:
The whole subplot with Tony in episode 8 confused me. I don’t get how Tony delivering the message for Beth fits into the story, and frankly, Tatiana Maslany dressed as a transgender guy looked kind of ridiculous. The facial hair was so bad! It felt to me like a jump the shark moment. I desperately hope it wasn’t; this show is so well done.
- From Brooke:
I was surprised but appreciate the fact that Sarah and Helena were mistakes in being fertile….I had thought that they were successes and clearly the other clones saw them as such too. Even Rachel takes issue with the fact that Sarah had a child while she cannot. I loved that they showed Rachel’s clone-like freak out as her fantasy of letting go. I completely believe that she would think about destroying things without actually carrying out the actions of it. That loss of control is not something she seems prone to allow.
- From Dan:
I absolutely loved the reveal that the clones were “barren by design.” I called it way back before the end of season one, when we were first learning most of them were so, and then when we found out Sarah and Helena got away from the system very early, I thought the infertility might be intentional. I’ve seen a few complaints around the ‘net (not many yet, though) that the answer being “by design seems too easy,” but I disagree….I think…it slaps our heroines with the agency, bodily autonomy, and reproductive rights questions right in the face. Look at Rachel’s reaction, and she’s been the most emotionally controlled (or just bottled up) clone we’ve met so far.
- From Colby:
So where does the battle go from here? What is the battle? I think things will now flow according to an emerging Helena-Rachel symmetry that I mentioned last time. Helena was raised by the Proletheans, but eventually came to reject them after she met Sarah. But now Helena returns to the cult because of her desire to be a mother. Rachel was raised by the Neolutionist Leekie, whom she eventually disowned. She now feels the full force of betrayal with Ethan Duncan’s revelation that the clones were all designed to be barren. But she stays within the Dyad world because that is the only way that she can recover her fertility. Of course, Sarah was key to both Helena and Rachel learning the truths about their origins and upbringing, so there will be at least a detente, if not full alliance formed between Rachel and the other sisters.
Of course, the Proletheans won’t just let Helena have a child and go free. They will seek control over her and her child/children. And the Neolutionists within Dyad likely have no concern for Rachel’s desire to bear children, and in fact may act to prevent that outcome. So it would seem that the story arc will have Helena and Rachel burning down their respective nurturing domains.
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