Orphan Black: Variations under Nature

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Sarah’s still trying to get the money from Art while the police find Katya’s body ground up in a quarry. She’s unrecognizable but there’s still the problem of fingerprints that will show results for Sarah who’s meant to be dead and who will look like Beth.


Cosima’s trying to break the news about being Clones gently to Sarah but Allison ruins that.

Allison thinks Sarah is a low life grifter who probably pushed Beth in front of the train. She doesn’t want to believe Beth killed herself because Beth was a cop so what chance do the rest of them have at coping if she couldn’t.

Sarah asks how they’re related, Allison says they’re not but Cosima says they’re related by nature not nurture. Allison loses her temper and just blurts out that they’re clones. They’re someone’s experiment.

Felix is still waiting out in the car and is told he can’t wait there by the ‘bitch that guards hell’. He gets tired of waiting and enters the back garden.

Allison pulls a gun on him but Sarah gets in the way and tells Allison it’s fine and he’s her brother. As soon as she puts the gun down Sarah slaps her and drags Felix away.

Cosima hands the phone back and says she broke the first rule of clone club while Felix stands in the background looking like he’s in shock.

Back at Felix’s flat Sarah’s in denial and probably having an identity crisis. (Felix looking through the photos and calling them soccer mum Sarah and scientist Sarah can’t be helping). She repeats ‘they’re not me’ and doesn’t want to get involved. She wants to stick to the original plan to take the money and Kira and run.

Felix’s more realistic and thinks she can’t escape it because the clones are being hunted and Cosima said the blood samples are a matter of life or death.

Sarah puts on her Beth face again and tries to convince Art to give the money back but in the next second she’s reinstated so now he’ll give it back but he doesn’t have the money on him or in the trunk (which later turns out to be a lie).

A body’s been found at a quarry so they’ve got to go investigate. Sarah struggles to put the gun harness on and doesn’t load it.

In the car she also doesn’t know how to use the radio or how to respond properly.

They pull up to a quarry and there’s Katya’s body that’s been ground up by the machines so she doesn’t really have a face anymore. She’ll have to be identified by fingerprint.

Sarah phones Cosima to find out if that’s going to be a problem. Cosima says their fingerprints are close enough and asks if she’s got a criminal record. Sarah answers wasted youth, assault and fraud. But they’ve got a bit of time before the results come through so Sarah’s got to intercept them.

Art finds out that Sarah’s gun’s not loaded and is so not happy about that. Sarah decides this is a good time to ask about the money again. He threatens to shred it if she asks again.

Sarah meets Cosima in a bar. She says she doesn’t believe in clones and Cosima asks how many of them does she have to meet. Apparently Katya had collected samples from European clones who have been killed.

Sarah hands over the briefcase and makes a joke. Cosima says it’s good she’s still got a sense of humour, Beth couldn’t keep hers.

Art books Sarah in for the gun range because she didn’t have her gun loaded. While Katya’s killer phones the police station with a voice changer and tells them the spot where Katya was killed.

Sarah can’t log onto the work computer or do anything else really. So she befriends a tech guy and gets him to reset the password and tell her the procedure for fingerprints. She then deletes the fingerprint results.

Art goes with another cop to where Katya was killed. They find motorbike tracks and the head of the Barbie doll from the hotel

Sarah goes to talk to Mrs. S who asks her about her new identity and how she’s doing it. Sarah says she’s going to take Kira but Mrs. S says clothes and a new car don’t make you a mother. She threatens to tell social services that Sarah hasn’t been in Kira’s life if she doesn’t prove she can stay in one place.

So onto dealing with the next problem and it turns out Allison knows how to shoot so can teach Sarah but needs someone to watch her kids. They get Felix, who asks where the alcohol is and gets the children cross dressing.

Beth taught Allison to shoot so they were close. Allison says she’s doing the best she can with what her life has become but her children can’t know their mother is a freak. Allison thinks someone is wiping out their illegal experiments.

Also the money is Allison’s. It was how she could contribute and they’d buy information. They’re hoping Sarah realises she can’t run away from this. Good luck with that.

Allison comes home and the children don’t want Felix to leave. He calls them ‘dragsters’.

Back at Beth’s and Sarah’s still determined to take the money and run but Paul turns up so Felix has to hide. Sarah distracts him with sex or potential sex because he decides to run hot and cold with her like she’s doing with him and leaves.

At the gun range Art and Sarah discuss the murder. They get a call of a bike matching the description of the APB Sarah got tech guy to put out for her.

They go to the flat and the door’s open. Sarah does her best at pretending to know how to enter and be cop like.

While they’re searching Sarah hides an ID of Katya that she found in a bible. There’s a big bible quote. Sarah spots the killer and pushes Art out of the way but he gets shot in the neck. He tells her to pursue and she does but she doesn’t try to catch the person just stays close enough so she can follow.

She looses them and calls Art to tell him where she is. She gets attacked and they’re about to kill her when she says ‘I’m not Beth’ and the person pauses. She lifts her hood to reveal another clone. Sarah stabs her and the clone picks up a gun but doesn’t shoot instead running away.

Later Sarah says she never saw his face and Art feels guilty about telling her to pursue him. He gives her the money and he did have it in the trunk.

Sarah goes to Mrs. S and watches Kira through the window but can’t bring herself to snatch her own child. She can’t leave her clones without telling them about the murderer clone.

Meanwhile the blond clone is removing the metal pipe from her side. She’s got whip marks all over her back. She’s religious so I’m guessing the whip marks are from penance or something similar.

This episode is so good. They just keep pilling on the problems. I love how conflicted Sarah is. She wants to be selfish and ignore the clone thing and steal Kira but her conscience gets the better of her. I like that Sarah’s not always likable because it’s so rare with female characters to be in between but I think we needed Sarah to do the right thing here and show she’s a good person.

And now we’ve got another clone added to the mix and Tatiana Maslany is so good at this one as well.

I think my favourite clone is Cosima but I’m starting to really like Allison as we get to see a side to her other than uptight. I don’t think there’s a character I hate and that’s such a rare thing for me.

Previous Orphan Black: Instinct                                              Next Orphan Black: Effects of External Conditions

Orphan Black: Instinct

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Sarah buries Katya’s body, retrieves her briefcase from the hotel then comes clean to person on the phone she’s not Beth while still having to deal with Beth’s life. Meanwhile Felix has to go along with Sarah’s crazy plans.


The person on the phone, who we later find out is Cosima, tells Sarah someone is killing the clones once she says the German is dead on her back seat. So now she’s got to find Katya’s briefcase and deal with the body.

I like that Cosima thinks Beth will know how to deal with a body because she’s a cop and her only advice is to buy a shovel.

So Sarah buries the body as Felix is stuck at her wake pretending to mourn. Vick talks about Love but ends up attacking Felix when he tells him it’s his fault she killed herself. Vick is pathetic and hilarious. Felix has to toss him out the next day when he’s still drunk and still feeling sorry for himself. Sarah comes back as Vick’s leaving almost getting caught.

Sarah wants to know if Kira thinks she’s dead or not and fails to mention everything that’s happened in the last day to Felix.

They discover that Art has taken the seventy five grand and Sarah goes on a mini rampage around the flat just trashing stuff. Felix sits there not looking impressed and resigned to this tantrum until she comes to destroy a painting and he tells her no. At least she can control her temper. There are lines she won’t cross.

She arranges to meet Art and so goes back to Beth’s place to get clothes and put on her Beth face. But she’s in Sarah’s clothes when she enters and runs into Paul who’s had enough and is going to stay with a friend for a while. He calls her a punk rock ho and instead of getting defensive and coming up with an excuse she gets angry back. That’s always the best way put the other person on the defensive.

Felix goes over to Mrs. S’s to find out what Kira knows. They have a conversation and it sounds like Sarah’s caused a lot of trouble in her life but that’s not surprising. Kira’s also a sneaky little girl and listens in on their conversation.

Sarah goes over the files to get her story of the shooting straight then meets Art. He asks about the money. She says she was going to run but came back to clear her name. Then he makes her go over the shooting and it turns out she called him before calling it in and he put the phone in the victim’s hand to cover her. So now she’s got a secret she can exploit but he won’t give the money back until she’s cleared of the shooting.

So then we’re back to Felix and Cosima phones telling Sarah she’s got to get the German’s briefcase form her hotel.

Apparently a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and a furry coat makes you look German. She also puts on a German accent and says ‘Guten tag’. I’m betting that’s the only German she knows.

Felix thinks she’s crazy for answering the phone and crazier for going to the hotel. I love watching Felix’s incredulity that’s she’s still playing along.

At the hotel people at the front desk try to talk to Sarah but she slips past them and once she’s up in the room it’s clear why. The room is trashed with burnt dolls and annotated passages from the bible. So it’s not just a thief, it’s a message which makes it personal. Then there’s a knock at the door and she’s got nowhere to go so the staff take her down stairs.

She explains the room by saying ‘Rock and Roll’ and they look at her in disbelief. Apparently the intruder broke the sink and caused $6000 worth of damage. I like how a pillow is listed at the end of the list of all the damage.

Sarah takes out the German’s purse but there’s only a few notes. There’s an awkward moment when you think she’s been caught but then she says they have Katya’s card on file and to charge it. As if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. She says she also wants her briefcase. Then another tense moment as she waits for the card to authorise because she doesn’t know how much money is in the account. Sarah’s going to have stomach ulcers from stress by the end of this.

She gets the briefcase open by force and discovers other ID’s of clones but she doesn’t know they’re clones yet. She still thinks they’re triplets or how ever many she’s come across by now. I can’t keep track.

She answers the phone and after a short exchange decides to stop pretending to be Beth because she has enough stress in her life.

When she admits she’s not Beth the woman on the phone asks her a riddle that’s probably the same as what the German said before getting shot. But I didn’t quite catch what she said. Sarah doesn’t know the answer and gets hung up on.

But Sarah’s got addresses now so she goes to stalk Allison Hendrix who turns out to be a soccer mum. So she follows her to a football game and surprises her while she’s cutting oranges for the half time snack.

Tatiana Maslany is really good at playing both characters. You believe they’re both different characters.

Allison’s main concern is that her perfect life will be ruined if anyone sees Sarah and she seems like she doesn’t cope with stress well.

Sarah is mostly concerned with the knife Allison is carelessly brandishing and trying to find out who they are to each other.

Allison refuses to tell her anything because that’s not her job. She tells Sarah to wait for a call.

Art then calls and tells her the therapist has labeled her unfit for duty so the hearing’s not going to happen until she’s better. So she’s not getting the money. So she can’t leave with her daughter.

She bluffs her way through the session with the therapist but it doesn’t work at convincing her she’s better. Instead she blackmails the therapist.

Apparently this is where Beth was getting all her medications and so if she was stoned when she shot the woman then the therapist has got some liability.

So the hearing goes ahead and it goes well but Art still won’t give her the money back until she’s cleared.

Then Allison phones and tells Sarah to meet at her home because she can’t get a babysitter.

Sarah takes Felix as back up who’s not happy with the entire situation even though he only knows half of it. She didn’t even tell him who she was meeting and she only tells him the German is dead as she’s getting out of the car.

He wasn’t happy about being stuck in suburbia in the first place. Apparently it’s got bad architecture that’s making him break out in spots. I wonder what he considers good architecture considering he lives in a loft with a big metal door and a telephone booth.

Sarah goes in and Allison pulls a gun but only as a threat in case Sarah reveals herself to her children. Sarah points out the irrationality of shooing her with the children upstairs but Allison seems very highly strung and beyond thinking straight.

Sarah says it sucks being your twin and Cosima comes out. The episode ends with Sarah asking how many of them are there.

I liked this episode. Things just kept ratcheting up higher and higher for Sarah. Every problem gets worse and even though Sarah is working hard to keep everything straight it’s getting complicated really fast as she dives deeper into the mystery.

We haven’t seen much of Cosima other than her voice on the phone but Allison is really different from Sarah and Beth.

I hope next episode they explain to Sarah about the clones and things can get even more confusing for her.


Previous Orphan Black: Natural Selection                                      Next Orphan Black: Variation Under Nature

Orphan Black: Natural Selection

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

A woman commits suicide in front of Sarah so she steals her handbag and then her identity because they look identical. Then makes her brother go identify the body as her so she can escape her ex-boyfriend who she stole a load of drugs from.


The lookalike woman turns out to be Elizabeth Childs who seems to have a much better life than Sarah or at least more money. Quite a few things get revealed about Beth in this episode.

First she’s a cop, then that she’s under investigation for shooting someone and lastly that she already knows about the clones and is doing something dodgy with another clone called Katya. Who like Beth doesn’t live past this episode.

They don’t confirm that all the lookalikes are clones but it’s kind of obvious and I like that the show isn’t obsessed with hiding it or throwing us off so they can have a twist.

I love Sarah’s freak out about Beth being a cop. Mostly because she’s stuck in the police station but also because she’s got to give Beth’s statement at the hearing. She calls her brother Felix to get him to stop the plan to pretend she’s dead by identifying Beth’s body as hers but he doesn’t pick up.

That’s quite a lot of trouble she’ll be in if found out and I also like how she gets out of it. Downs a load of soap and throws up in the hearing on the table.

She lives in the moment and is a bit of a con artist so she’s quite good at bluffing her way through bad situations. Like Walking into a bank to pretend to be a woman she’s only seen on a video for a few seconds and then bluffing her way through conversations with Art who is Beth’s partner on the force and Beth’s therapist.

Sarah needs the money from Beth’s account so she can disappear with her daughter. This is when Art finds her and takes her to her hearing at the station.

There seem to be a lot of differences between Sarah and Beth but considering how everyone expects Beth to take off and not go to her hearing maybe they aren’t so different.

Sarah also runs away from her problems a lot creating new ones in the process. She abandons her child then pretends to be dead and doesn’t think how those things could conflict especially when she wants her child back.

She also ends up sleeping with Beth’s boyfriend when he gets suspicious as a way of distracting him. There was lots of Sarah nudity but there was also lots of male nudity.

You see Felix and his drug dealer friend then Beth’s boyfriend then Felix again and then a random large man in a towel stood outside. So there was actually more naked men than women. That makes a change.

Sarah’s support in all this is Felix her foster brother and drug dealer who takes all the crazy form Sarah in his stride. His response to her telling him she saw a woman kill herself is eww and he’s not that surprised she’s stolen the woman’s stuff.

You kind of think he’s going to be one of those people that enable and let the main character get away with everything. And he does to a certain extent but he also tells her when she’s crossed the line. He lets Vick have a wake even though Sarah told Felix not to because she didn’t want her daughter to find out.

Vick is so funny once he thinks Sarah is dead and I wish we could have heard all of his eulogy not just the first part when he says he’s got evidence to back up his statements.

Felix visiting the Morgue to identify Sarah’s body is strange. The morgue guy hits on him and then they flirt again when Vick is crying over the dead body. I sort of wonder if this is normal for the morgue guy.

The last five minutes of the episode is when things get really interesting. It turns out that it wasn’t just Art who was following Sarah but another clone called Katya who Beth was doing something with. They had a plan and were using Beth’s connections.

Katya eventually figures out she’s not talking to Beth but gets shot in the next second so there’s possibly a third person following Beth. And Sarah decides that at this moment with a bullet through her wind screen and a dead woman in the back seat that it’s time to answer the phone.

And that’s how the episode ends. I don’t know why I never got around to watching this before it’s so good.



Next Orphan Black: Instinct