Apr 21, 2014


One of the few noteworthy conspiracy science-fiction dramas, Orphan Black, returned last Saturday with the brand new episode Nature Under Constraint and Vexed. First of all: wow! This is how you start the second season! This is how you pack the first episode with action, without leaving your viewer confused.

If you haven't watched the first season, I suggest that you do. It's a very unusual blend of various TV genres: one moment it goes like a police or CSI-ish procedural, the next it turns into a real action drama, dark comedy or a thriller. Unlike most conspiracy series or films, the story of Orphan Black is rather coherent and does not feel in any way far-fetched. Okay, maybe cutting a piggy tail off one man's ass was little too much.

It is also very interesting to watch Tatiana Maslany, who plays more than half of important characters on the show, and her seemingly limitless ability to transform into numerous personalities. Her acting talent is especially apparent in those scenes, where one clone is supposed to impersonate the other. 

Aaanyways, here is how it goes:

Sarah is wondering around the streets, looking for her daughter, who has disappeared along with her foster-mother Mrs S at the end of last season. Sarah walks into a diner and orders tea. She can't reach any of her sister-clones, so she dials Paul and leaves a message on his voicemail, asking whether Neolutionists kidnapped her family. Shortly after, she receives a callback from Paul's number, but it's Rachel, the bitchy clone, talking. She tells Sarah that she'll only get her loved ones back if she signs the patent contract.

Right about this time two neat men enter the place with the intent to take Sarah "to Kira" (yeah, right). The diner owner tries to intercede by pointing a rifle at the freaks, but gets a bullet in his head. As he falls down, his rifle goes off and takes one of the men out. This gives Sarah a chance to escape. She locks herself in the bathroom, breaks the wall with the fire extinguisher and gets the hell outta there.

To get her daughter back, Sarah needs a plan or, at the very least, a gun. Luckily, she knows just the right person to turn to, so she sends her foster-brother Felix to the suburbs, to Alison, who's right in the middle of pulling her act together. No alcohol, no pills; she's now channeling her energy to an amateur musical Blood Ties (surprisingly, it's a real musical), where she plays the main part that used to belong to her friend Aynsley, whom she watched getting strangled by the garbage disposal.

She doesn't want to know anything about the clone conspiracy or let Sarah shoot people with guns registered under her name, but she knows this guy named Ramon (of course, she does), who could get an unregistered piece... maker. So she contacts him and sends him to Sarah with the hand-made card. Oh, Alison. Thoughtful and cordial, as ever.

Having obtained the gun, Sarah distracts Neolutionists' security dispatch by making them chase unsuspecting Alison (who showed those bastards how the real housewife can use her pepper spray), puts on Cosima style make-up and braids and runs off to face Rachel, who's meeting some important Koreans (both South and North) at the Dyad party. After the meeting, where Rachel admits her corporation made some lobbying efforts to convince the Supreme Court allow patenting synthetic DNA (a clear reference to the recent real-life decision), is over, when Rachel is left by herself, Sarah points a gun at her, demanding her daughter released. At first, Rachel tries to play cool, but a bullet just inches from her ear make her realize that Sara means business. She confesses that she's lied about having Kira, someone else had taken her. Sara hits the bitch and considers shooting her, but Paul interferes. She knocks Rachel out, and Paul lets her run free afterwards.

She turns to Art asking for his help in finding Kira. Apparently, it's Helena's religious nuts who kidnapped her.

Speaking of the devil, Helena is alive (I was supposed to be shocked by this turnout, but I simply forgot that Sarah shot her). So she must be having so special healing abilities. Leaving blood stains all over the place, she enters a medical center and passes out at the front desk. The neat guy from the opening scene appears there too, overlooking her hospitalization.

And what about Cosima? Nothing comforting, she is still sick of the unknown respiratory disease, and Delphine tries to convince her to start working for Dr. Leekie. Cosima says she does not want Neolutionists to get her bio material, but her lover takes her blood sample to Leekie anyway and tells him that Cosima has developed the same symptoms as the other two subjects (one is German Katja, the other one is "unknown" for now). At the Dyad party, disguised as Cosima, Sarah accepts Leekie's offer. So, most probably, the scientist clone will start working for Neolutionists after all. 

As I said in the beginning, this was a very solid comeback for the series. Intense, exciting and hilarious - everything one needs to get entertained. The show does not go too deep into the characters' like, let's say, Breaking Bad, Fargo or True Detective (at least for now); there is hardly any point it tries to prove, any philosophical idea it explores. It's just a fun series to watch, which is not a bad thing - I'm all for diversity. Besides, it gave me a new favourite expression "what the Dickens?", what more can I ask for?

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