NOTE: There will be spoilers. Following standard television rules, Orphan Black should be leading up to a big climactic season finale where they tie up loose ends and, possibly, introduce a new “big bad” for the next season to build towards. Most of what we’ve learned so far should be fairly set and there will only be a few reveals. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what we know, starting with the Clone Club. We know that Clone Club consists of: (thanks to the Orphan Black Tumbr for help with this list) Aryanna (Passport from Season 1) Danielle (Passport from Season 1) Katja (Deceased) Jennifer (Deceased) Beth (Deceased) Helena Alison Cosima (Current Status Unknown) Rachel Sarah TONY (!?!?!?!!?!) “Holy Tilda Swinton.” Certainty is a cruel mistress with regards to Clone Club. With only two episodes left this season “Variable and Full of Perturbation”introduces a BRAND.NEW.CLONE! Up to this point any new clones have been discovered post-mortem. Antoinette/Tony is the first living clone we’ve met in quite some time, possibly since Rachel made herself known at the end of the first season. A few responses to the episode criticized it for feeling like “filler” with Tony only introduced for the shock value of a new, transgendered, clone. While I’ll grant that this episode seemed to have a few disparate items come in to play, it felt more like setting up pieces in a particular order. To date most of the information we’ve been given comes into play at some point. For instance, Victor, a character who seemed a disposable representative of Sarah’s past, became the first of many dominoes that led to Leekie’s death. Nothing on Orphan Black happens in a vacuum. I would agree with some of the criticism about the pacing of the show if I believed that the events would be contained to this episode. However, it’s much more likely that Tony’s appearance simply laid the groundwork for a much bigger piece of the puzzle. This won’t be the last we see of him. “My mom always said they made a mistake down at the IVF clinic…” The concept of “children” continues to be an undercurrent throughout this season. The last episode has quite a few parent/child reunions, this week the focus, although much more subtle, seemed to be on “mothers.” In particular, Tony mentions his mother claiming the IVF clinic made a mistake and Alison tells Donnie that everyone hates her mother. Both of these lines stood out as being more telling than they seem on the surface. Tony’s comment is the first time I recall fertility clinics being mentioned. Amelia claimed that she agreed to be a surrogate in exchange for help with her move to London. But the particulars surrounding Amelia, her deal, and her decision to give up the girls, all seem to indicate that she dealt somewhat directly with Project LEDA, not a fertility clinic. Although, as Delphine has previously noted, “there are benefits to being a multinational.” Could one of those “benefits” be funding, or operating, fertility clinics from which you are able to seed clone eggs?? As pointed out on this Reddit thread new mothers also make fantastic monitors, even if unwittingly. Babies and young children usually need regular medical checkups, which makes it easy for a company with DYAD’s resources to keep track of their progeny for quite a while. This kind of arrangement would allow DYAD to operate in the shadows, and, learning from the mistakes with Project LEDA, also help prevent any more situations like Amelia’s. Alison’s opinion of her mother, which seems flippant and quite normal for Alison, actually carries quite a bit of weight. It implies that Alison still has some sort of relationship, most likely unpleasant, with her mother. Aside from Siobhan and Amelia, there hasn’t been a lot of discussion about the other clones mothers. We know that Susan Duncan raised Rachel, but there hasn’t been any indication that she gave birth to her. Alison’s mother is the first time we hear about a clone mother who doesn’t appear to have a tragic history. It seems to be likely that Alison’s mother went through the in-vitro process, which lends credence to the idea that the clones mothers were their first monitors. “No, I’m Harry friggin’ Potter.” Tony’s character seemed designed to throw everyone off. The appearance of a new clone this late into the season seemed inconceivable, let alone the existence of a transgendered clone. While Tony’s transition was handled very deftly in the script, his differences were played to great effect. Even Felix, who usually manages to remain composed in his own snarky way, found himself without a retort up against the Tony’s sharp and street wise repartee. Tony didn’t necessarily enunciate so much as he spoke in short bursts punctuated with general irritation. The only time his walls came down, albeit only slightly, was when he met Sarah. Learning about the clones prompts him to “cut the shit.” He tells Sarah that Sammy’s message to Beth was to “keep the faith” and refers to Paul as a “ghost.” The message is as cryptic to Sarah, Art and Felix as it was to Tony, and is to the audience. Despite all that he has learned and the confusion regarding Beth and Sammy, Tony isn’t very interested joining the Clone Club. His primary concern is his own well-being, and he has no intention of ending up like Sammy. Everything about Tony is deliberate, which I take to mean that his appearance wasn’t a one-off event. With Tony, like the recent detour with Donnie and Alison through rehab, I get the impression that we’re being set up for something much bigger that we simply don’t realize the scope of yet. In many ways it seems like he might be a bridge back around to Beth. His purpose at this point could be to create a link back to the very start of the first season. I almost wonder if things aren’t being set in motion for us to learn that it wasn’t Beth Childs who Sarah saw die that day. I like to think of Tony as the butterfly whose flapping wings kick off a tornado, or perhaps one of the “angels” on Kira’s mobile? “Of all of us, how is it the unmonitored tramp was successful?” Shifting the focus from mothers of clones to mothers who are clones, we learn that Sarah’s ability to have children makes her a mistake, not unique. Ethan Duncan informs Rachel that all the clones are barren by design. Learning this sends Rachel into a rage (and causes many fans jaws to drop). Duncan’s revelation is more interesting for what it doesn’t tell us than what it does. First, at this point we can’t be sure he’s even telling the truth. It’s in his best interest to tell Rachel whatever he thinks is most likely to insure his survival. We also know that, in spite of the floppy disks, a great deal of his research seems to be in his copy of The Island of Doctor Moreau, which is currently in Kira’ possession. Duncan also seems to take a very keen interest in Kira. This could be because Kira is about the same age Rachel was when he went into hiding. It could also be more clinical, and he’s curious about what mistake was made with Sarah. Or, could it be that it’s all a massive misdirect and children like Kira were actually the goal all along? Based on Kira’s various abnormal abilities, possibly including the ability to understand the notes in Duncan’s book, it seems plausible that the clones were just one part of a much larger experiment. Last episode Leekie mentioned his “hobby” of studying synthetic wombs. What if the clones were being bred to act as incubation chambers, synthetic, highly controlled, wombs, that could be used to produce more children like Kira? “Do you need me to beam you up, Scotty?” There were three fairly distinct “bombs” that rocked the Clones this week. The first was appearance of Tony and the second was that the clones are designed to be barren. The final bomb, which was nearly ruined by last week’s previews, is the status of Cosima. This episode showed us a more “human,” and less scientific or sterile, side of Cosima. We saw her kick a LOT of ass playing a table-top RPG as well as finally making good on her promise to get Delphine “totally baked.” All of which was a not-so-subtle build up to the end of the episode, when she collapses and experiences uncontrollable seizures. It appears that we have traded one clone for another, the arrival of Tony means an exit for Cosima. However, I have my doubts. Arguably, my reasons are about as flimsy as can be imagined, but I don’t believe Cosima has succumbed to the disease. I am of the opinion that if Cosima were actually dead then we would not have seen her collapse in last week’s previews. Also, I think the timing is extremely convenient. How better for Duncan to prove himself, and endear himself to the other clones, than to rescue Cosima from the brink of death. He’ll look like a genius to DYAD, proving he still has the skills with regards to the science, and he’ll come across like a savior to Clone Club. There might even be a case to be made that Cosima’s collapse has nothing to do with the illness and more to do with something nefarious on the part of Delphine. At this point, anything is possible. But, of all the things thrown at us this episode, the only one that I think might have been done for shock-value is Cosima’s collapse. This was another Helena-free episode. There are only two episodes left in the season and things just got raised to another level. I anticipate that the next episode will focus on the fates of Cosima and Helena as the Clone Galaxy continues to constrict. At some point, hopefully the finale of the season, we should see the apparent loose ends all come together. I’m interested to see where the Proletheans fit into Project LEDA/DYAD mix, as well as where Donnie and Alison’s antics land them once the truth gets out. With two episodes left, this is what we think we know: Alison and Donnie are conspiring to dispose of Leekie’s corpse. Tony had some connection to Beth. Ethan Duncan is working with (for?) DYAD. Rachel is angry. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry. Cosima is ???? Is it me, or is the list of certainties getting smaller each week??? Orphan Black 2.08 "Variable and Full of Perturbation"4.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... 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