NOTE: There will be spoilers. A special note of thanks goes out to the Tatiana is Everyone Podcast. Listening to the most recent episode helped me flesh out some of the ideas I discuss in this article. We’re now halfway through the second season and our “certainties” list has now grown enough that it makes sense to break it out and examine a few specifics more closely. For that reason, this review will be less of a “scene by scene” breakdown. Currently the Clone Galaxy consists of a few main planets – Alison, Cosima, Rachel and Helena – who all seem to be orbiting the sun that is Sarah and Kira. Characters like Delphine, Art, Paul, Cal, Siobhán and Felix are all in orbit around one, or many, of those five primary figures. “Very pretty, dirty sexy Rachel.” Here’s what we know about Rachel at this point: Her parents are Susan and Ethan Duncan, and were involved with (founded?) Project LEDA. She is, to our knowledge, the only self-aware clone. She technically outranks Leekie, yet still requires a Monitor to send regular medical/biological data to Leekie. Leekie was something of a guardian to her after her parent’s death. Her previous Monitor was Daniel, she has since appointed Paul to be her new Monitor (and boy-toy). Her father is still alive and known as “Swan Man.” Throughout the first season the primary conflict was built up to be Sarah versus DYAD. While this conflict continues to gird the storyline this season, it has taken on a new facet with Rachel moving to the fore. Sarah and Kira are anomalies compared to Sarah’s sisters. Therefore they are highly valuable to DYAD’s research. Rachel sees their capture as something much more personal. From the start of the episode Rachel makes it clear that she is the one calling the shots. She even goes so far as to instruct Leekie to stop his treatment of Cosima until Sarah surrenders. The video footage of young Rachel and her parents provides a sharp contrast against the backdrop of her apartment. The smiling, laughing, carefree child in the video does not resemble the cold, sterile and controlling woman who was watching. At some point Rachel became, as Leekie noted, “heavy handed” in her approach to things. Unfortunately, while Daniel’s fate appears to have softened Leekie somewhat, it only further steeled Rachel’s resolve. Something happened to that little girl that transformed her into a raging narcissist once she reached adulthood. As Cosima noted last week, Rachel’s self-awareness seems to have given her a feeling of being unique and elite when compared to the other clones. It is likely that she views Sarah as a threat to her status, since Sarah appears to be actually unique among the clones. Her jealousy would explain her decision to quickly replace Daniel with Paul, and her subsequent borderline rape/coercion of him. The only way I can really describe that scene is to call it “non-consensual” with a heavy dose of creepy. Rachel wasn’t trying to make love to Paul; she was taking possession of something that used to belong to Sarah. “Rachel is problem. I fix problem.” This episode was very much a return to form for Helena. She’s spent most of this season wounded or drug addled. In many ways, the Helena in this episode was very much like the Helena from the second and third episodes of the first season. Here’s where we stand with regards to Helena so far: She’s alive! She might be magical (this might be conjecture, but I’m sticking by it!) She’s deadly. Her treatment at the hand of the Proletheans was brutal. She is a “mirror” twin of Sarah, with her organs exactly the reverse. She had some of her eggs extracted by Henrick’s Prolethean Sect. She is referred to as Leekie’s “White Whale” by Rachel. Her number one desire is to be a family with Sarah (and Felix, if she must). She doesn’t like the name “Meathead.” She knows of the “Swan Man,” Ethan Duncan. Most of what Helena does is equal parts adorable and scary, whether it’s hissing at Felix or cutting the hair on a doll’s head while pretending it’s Rachel. Helena speaks, and possibly thinks, in a series of riddles that sound like disconnected nonsense. Yet, beneath all of the gibberish, she repeats “seestrah” and “family.” We’ve seen a great deal of emotion from Sarah as this season has progressed and some of the most emotional moments were interactions with Helena. Sarah admits to Helena that she genuinely felt remorse for having shot her; she felt the loss of her sister. Sarah doesn’t want to waste a chance to start over. We are able to watch as Helena’s rough edges are smoothed by Sarah’s love and affection. There is a tangible change in Helena from cold-blooded assassin to doting sister. Helena’s “resurrection” this episode also brought back the name “Maggie Chen” and her Prolethean ties. Helena’s rambling leads Art and Sarah to a warehouse where they discover a large collection of Maggie’s research, as well as one of Helena’s safe houses. Among various drawings of families, and a frighteningly large collection of doll heads, Art and Sarah find a photograph that appears to be of Ethan Duncan, aka Helena’s “Swan Man.” Helena refers to him as trying to “play God,” perhaps indicating closer ties between Project LEDA and the Proletheans. Based on Helena’s description it seems possible Henrick isn’t the first Prolethean to perform in vitro experiments. “She can rot.” Helena’s tales of abuse at the hands of Tomas and the Proletheans are universally cringe-worthy. Her discussion with Art about being kept in darkness, and her subsequent revenge, seemed even more believable, and frightening, after seeing how Grace was being treated. I’m not entirely sure that Bonnie knows what it means to give up the “old ways.” I can’t fathom how sewing someone’s mouth shut is considered “modern.” I guess she could be a Genitorturers fan, but I find that highly unlikely. When Gracie finally succumbs to the torture she refers to her actions as “protection.” She compares Helena to a coyote that has gotten into a chicken coop. Isolationism, exclusivism, and authoritarian rule are common cult traits and the Proletheans are no exception. Ironically, Gracie’s actions were probably in accord with the laws of the cult. However, as Bonnie so crudely pointed out, incubating the embryo takes precedence over everything else. And, unfortunately for Gracie, that means that she would have to carry it to term if they were unable to find Helena. “The entire project is essentially an orphan.” This episode showed us a whole new side to Aldous Leekie. Rachel’s scorched-earth policy requires limiting possible treatment to Cosima. However, notes about that treatment, notes meant for Leekie, somehow end up with Delphine. I’m convinced that Leekie planted that information as a setup to confide, or seem to confide, in Delphine and Cosima. Cosima’s treatment is his end-around play. He’s able to go outside of Rachel and build confidence with Cosima and the other’s as a result. Here’s where things currently stand with Cosima: She is working full time for DYAD on the clone project. She, or at least Delphine, reports directly to Leekie. She has the same illness that killed the other clones. Leekie is treating her using a new stem cell treatment, in direct opposition to Rachel’s orders. Cosima detected, and continues to research, the patented gene sequences in the clones. She provided the backstory to the myth of Leda, helping identify the importance of “Swan Man.” One of the most interesting things Cosima said was telling Leekie, “We have a proposition for you.” Delphine and Leekie are confused until Cosima clarifies that the clones are the “we” to whom she is referring. I can’t recall another time where one of the clones has spoken for the others as a group. Up until this point most of the clones are doing their best to look out for themselves, essentially fighting the battle as many individuals. Cosima’s proposition for Leekie and Sarah’s ensuing meeting marks the first time that Clone Club acts as a single entity. It’s very interesting, bordering on confusing, that it occurs to include Leekie as a confidant. It’s a risky maneuver on the part of Sarah and everyone else, in spite of the protection that comes from threatening to “sic Helena on [him].” Leekie’s encounter with Paul after Sarah leaves doesn’t bode well for the decision “We” made. Unfortunately, Alison was cooped up at the Rehab Center and didn’t make an appearance this week. However, here’s what we know about Alison so far: Donnie is her monitor, and she finally knows it. She has signed over her genetics to DYAD. She has an uncanny ability to get her hands on weapons and/or drugs. She is ANYTHING but a “typical soccer mom,” in spite of her desire to be one. She was in a musical, she’s now in rehab. She appears to have more room in her life for Felix than Sarah does. Donnie is threatening to cut her off from her children if she leaves rehab. She has, temporarily, been moved off the proverbial chessboard for unknown reasons. However, it’s doubtful it will be for long. Sarah and Kira have the strongest gravitational field surrounding them. This story all began when Sarah witnessed Beth’s death. More and more I find myself wondering if that was as oddly coincidental as it seemed at the time. Sarah has been at the middle of so much of this mystery that it’s hard to imagine that Beth’s apparent suicide wasn’t staged for Sarah to see. And, for as much as we have learnt about Sarah’s importance, it pales in comparison to Kira’s potential. Here’s what we seem to know about them so far: Sarah is the only clone to successfully have a child. Kira has an abnormally fast ability to heal from traumatic injury. Sarah seems to have been able to stay off DYAD’s radar thanks in large part to Siobhán and the Birdwatchers. Kira has frequently demonstrated above average intelligence and, possibly, precognition. Sarah conned a technologist named Cal, who might possibly be Kira’s father as a result of his tryst with Sarah. If Helena is Leekie’s “white whale,” then it seems that Sarah might be Rachel’s. At the end of this episode the stars are aligning for a Sarah versus Rachel standoff. Helena might be Sarah’s “mirror” twin, but Rachel is Sarah’s polar opposite. Unfortunately, the cracks in Sarah’s armor seem to be growing as Rachel is ascending. Kira is becoming distant, Siobhán’s allegiances are still unknown and Felix is being framed for murder by Rachel. This is why I think the inclusion of Leekie was such a risky move. Sarah may have been pushed to her breaking point and is just grasping at straws. Although, it’s also likely that she’s borrowing from Sun Tzu and moving to keep her enemies closer. Helena is a wild card, but she’s oddly predictable when it comes to protecting Sarah and Kira. Having berserker playing for your team is hardly a bad thing in this instance. Rachel’s tactics also run the risk of alienating her allies, which Sarah seems qualified, and willing, to exploit. At some point the immovable object that is Rachel will meet the unstoppable force that is Sarah. I think that’s the point where Kira’s role will be made clear. In that head-to-head battle, the advantage goes to the player with Kira on their side. “Quick on your feet, aren’t ya?” At this same point in the last season Kira was solidly Team Sarah. However, it seems that the longer Sarah is on the run and away from Kira, the more tenuous that bond becomes. Kira is growing closer and closer to Cal, she even corrects Sarah and tells her that she’s not a monkey, she is “a leopard now.” As strange as the circumstance might be, they’ve given Cal the luxury of time to be a parent to Kira. Sarah has been missing from a large chunk of Kira’s life and has once again left just as quickly as she had returned. The poor girl’s world has been turned over and over so many times it’s a wonder she’s remained as balanced as she has. Unfortunately, if Cal’s collection of fake IDs, cash and weapons are any indicator, I’m not sure that Kira’s world will be stabilized any time soon. The question is, what side of the battle does Cal fall on, if any that we know, and how will that affect Kira’s relationship with Sarah? If Sarah and Kira are the center of this universe, what happens if that sun splits and goes supernova? At the halfway point for Season Two, here’s the ONE thing we can be certain of: Whatever we think we know, we’re probably wrong! Orphan Black 2.05 "Ipsa Scientia Potestas"5.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.