Orphan Black Recap: Variable and Full of Perturbation

Orphan Black Recap: Variable and Full of Perturbation

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen Orphan Black Season 2, Ep. 8 – “Variable and Full of Perturbation.”

“You can’t fence this shit in.” — Tony

Just when it looks like Orphan Black is focusing and pulling together its many disparate storylines they throw a new clone into the mix.  And to add to the clone fun, this time it was a boy clone. I’ve read fan theories that Felix could be a clone with a Y chromosome, but Tony was the answer to that theory: even with a Y chromosome a clone will come out full Maslany.

New clone aside, “Variable and Full of Perturbation” felt stalled. The past few episodes have done a great job of building momentum heading into the tail end of the season, but this week that momentum was left idling. Meeting Tony was interesting and further proof that Tatiana Maslany can do absolutely anything, but there was no forward movement towards establishing a big bad, nothing but more vague clues in the various mysteries surrounding the clones and still absolutely no Helena or her new prolethean family.

But as usual we’ll break it down clone by clone, starting with the newest member of the Clone Club.

Tony: In case anyone was wondering what Tatiana would look like with a beard and a mullet, now you know: still adorable. When contemplating what the next clone would be like I never thought of a shady trans man from Cincinnati. And yet, here we are.

Tony waltzed into the story when his partner, Sammy, died and used his last words to get a message to Beth Childs. Of course there was no Beth to receive the message so Tony wound up with Art and Felix. Art dipped out to check out Tony’s story and Felix settled in to enjoy a delightful, if slightly disturbing, flirtation with his sister’s clone.

And for once, when the time came to reveal Tony’s origin, he took it in stride. Thanks to his previous identity crisis, Tony took the news he was clone better than any other clone to date. He mostly shrugged, pointed out how hot he and Sarah were and hopped on the next train out of dodge.

Though he did stay long enough to deliver Sammy’s message to Beth, “keep the faith. Paul is like him [Sammy]. He’s one it. He’s a ghost.” And wouldn’t you know, Dead Sammy was right. Paul disappeared without a trace this week. Will we ever see him or Tony again? Does the fact both Paul and Sammy, a possible monitor for Tony, are ex-military mean something or everything?

Rachel: Rachel did not take her bad news nearly as well, though it’s a little hard to tell since she has the emotional range of a goldfish. Believing her efforts to keep Leekie alive were successful she settled into her new position of power and started making her moves; namely bringing in her father, Ethan, to fix the genetic problems killing off the clones.

But Ethan made it very clear that the clone’s inability to conceive isn’t a flaw to be fixed; leaving the clones barren was the plan all along. Sarah is the one with the flaw. And Rachel did not take that well at all.

I find it strange that Rachel, a woman who thought her restrained reunion with her father was too emotional, would care this much about having a child. We know very little about Rachel, but her desire to carry a child has been a guiding motivation throughout the season. It doesn’t quite fit, but its all the character development we have for her, so I guess we’ll go with it.

Cosima: Cosima has had nothing but bad news this season and the hits just kept coming this week. She received the tooth Kira pulled for her and set to using it even though bone marrow would really help the most. She also deigned to forgive Delphine, realizing her lies were told out of a desire to protect and save Cosima, and celebrated their love by getting super high.

It looked like there might finally be good news for Cosima. Ethan, the original geneticist was coming and held the secret to curing the clone disease. But the minute Ethan made his triumphant return; Cosima collapsed to the ground and began seizing.

That can’t be good.

Sarah: Meanwhile, the clone sister who may hold the key to saving Cosima’s life had a rather uneventful week. She and Sibohan were left waiting to see how Rachel would respond to their moves. Rachel responded by demanding her father in order to save Cosima (and who knows how many other clones). Obviously Sarah couldn’t refuse any help for her clone sister, especially since she is denying her Kira’s bone marrow.

I’m not sure what moves Sarah and Mrs. S. have left. They’ve given up Ethan in order to protect Kira, but if Ethan fails they no longer have any leverage to protect Kira. And I’m still not sure what Ethan has up his sleeve.

He claimed the key to fixing the genetic flaws were on floppy disks, but the pages of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” he left with Kira looked like they held a few keys as well. He, like pretty much everyone else, seemed overly interested in Kira and told her he was nobody’s pawn. So what is his plan and who does he feel more used by, Mrs. S. or Rachel?

Alison: Once again Alison was off in her own little plotline. She finally got out of rehab and came home to find Donnie drinking her airplane bottles of booze in bed.

Her sudden turn towards wanting to stay with Donnie and work on their relationship also felt like an unsure step forward. For the last two seasons she has despised Donnie, tortured him and tried to leave him. Yes, she recently found out that he was monitoring her without knowing why, but he was still monitoring her. That’s a pretty big lie to build a relationship on and it seems like something should come between distrust and devotion.

But, she has deiced that working on her marriage is her next step and you know what they say, the couple that disposes of bodies together stay together.

Next week on Orphan Black, we got some answers (hopefully), Felix says delightful things (obviously) and the epic return of Helena and her embryos!

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