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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Orphan Black S2E6: To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings.

Orphan Black
To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings.


I've never been on a roadtrip. This is because I live in the UK, and if you're in some manner of motorised vehicle, chances are you'll be at your destination within eighteen hours, even if you started at Cornwall and are trying to get to Dunnet Head. Even if the traffic's bad from literally start to finish, it's not going to push twenty-four.

Canadians are so lucky.


We left our intrepid adventurers after an – uncomfortably non-consensual sex scene between Rachel and Paul, as Sarah and Helena set off for Cold River, which for some baffling reason I just wrote as 'Cold Falls,' to find 'Swan Man.' Meanwhile, Cosima is retrieving treatment for her Mysterious Clone Respiratory Disease – which should probably now be called Mysterious Clone Uterine Disease.

As the episode opens, Sarah and Helena are in a tent, doing some sisterly bonding. It's a sweet scene: Sarah is concerned over what the Proletheans did to Helena, and Helena wants to know if she could have children, as well as complimenting Sarah on her mothering abilities. Eventually, Helena distracts Sarah with a shadow puppet of a happy wolf and they go to sleep. Just in time, it turns out, for Paul to break into their car and rifle through their stuff. 

Your shadow wolf powers are strong, Helena.

I'm really starting to hate Paul. I'll hate him more by the end of the episode, mark me well.

I'll say this for Sarah, though, she has the patience of a saint. I mean, I'm a pretty irritable person, so maybe I'm not the best measure of this, but I think after about ten minutes of Helena switching radio stations and singing and I would just deliberately crash the car. I am quite strongly of the opinion that unless you're a professional singer, you should not sing in cars, because everyone else is trapped in a fast moving metal box with you, and it's just cruel.

As this is all afoot, Cosima finds out that Nameless Geneticist Lad has now joined her science team, and she's not pleased. She becomes even less pleased when he announces that he knows about the clones.

Meanwhile meanwhile, Alison is at a rehab group therapy session, where she is told she has no choice but to share. Has – has there ever been a rehab group that works like that? Really? Because that seems to be a strategy not liable to produce accurate results or genuine improvement. I'm really doubting the efficacy of this rehab centre. I – I don't think the staff are doctors, I think they may just be random people who wandered in off the street.

At this group, she meets … she meets … Oh, god, what is his name? I can't even call him Sarah's douchey ex, people will think I mean Paul.

Right, his name is Victor. Alison meets Victor, who coincidentally is going to the same rehab group. He's apparently gained some intellect in his absence, as he realises that she's not Sarah, and asks if they're twins. She informs him that they're clones and, naturally, he doesn't believe her. He also appears to have become a Buddhist, but not a fun Buddhist, an annoying Buddhist whose conversations all devolve into grabbing you by the lapels and screaming 'I AM A BUDDHIST' at you.

Alison, understandably, has little desire to associate with him, due to his being the kind of person who hits women, and also probably due to his having a very nasally voice.

Long story short: They bond, become friends, Victor is actually working for Angry Ineffective Police Detective, who continues to use the methods she apparently learned at the same police academy as the cast of Hawaii Five-0 and stranger seasons of The Bill. Good, with that out of the way, let us never speak of this subplot again.

(I really don't like Victor.) 

Could you tell? I thought I was being pretty subtle about it.

As this is happening, and as Art and Felix begin what I can only describe as a beautiful partnership in crime-solving, Sarah and Helena arrive at a small village with a church – the last place Swan Man was seen. Sarah goes inside and quickly finds what she was looking for: Records in the church's archive from the Cold River research centre.

She finds, as you might expect, horrifying but nondescript stuff – stuff that isn't really plot relevant, but does indicate that there were a lot of failures before they had their success with the clones. She contacts Cosima about it, leading to a nice scene in which Sarah's all concerned about Cosima's welfare, and they vow to get Alison out of rehab when they come back. I like scenes which show the clones being friends with each other: A lot of shows seem to forget to show that their characters actually do care about each other, so it's pleasing to me that Orphan Black never does.

Meanwhile, I am – nearly as creeped out by what's afoot with Helena as I was with Rachel and Paul last episode, as she is having a romance subplot! With a dude who we shall call Hatman, but whose name is Jesse, as his hat helpfully informs us. It's a very sweet romance, I'm not going to lie. He seems like a nice lad. But if there's one thing this episode has been showing us from start to finish, it's that Helena has the maturity of a child. She's hyper-competent at killing things, but in all fields except murder, she is mentally in single digits, which just makes a romance weird.

You're adorable stop it right now.

I mean, one of her conversations with Hatman perfectly sums this up, as she claims to have been a police officer who then left the force to become a brilliant scientist before coming to Canada after her marriage broke up for reasons of substance abuse. It's the kind of fantastical story an admittedly very warped kid would tell.

Other characters seem to acknowledge this: Sarah, Felix and Art all treat her like a child, because that's functionally what she is. So it makes a romance plot, especially one that eventually culminates in her making out with the be-hatted dude in question, a bit weird.

It's in the bar where this subplot is taking place that Paul encounters – dear god, the number of characters whose names I don't know is frankly shocking – Weird Eyed Prolethean. They flirt, they cajole, and Paul, being a tremendous idiot, says that he'll happily let said Weird Eyed Prolethean abduct Helena, and he'll just wander off and abduct Sarah.

Actually, I think the term he uses is 'you can take yours, and I'll take mine'. Good job, Paul. In a conversation with another man, you've just referred to two women as property, and yes, recent events in the news have made me more sensitive to men acting like women belong to them, why do you ask?

Another man starts a fight, and Helena proves her Random Murder Generator chops by gouging out his eyes – or trying to, I don't think she actually succeeds before she gets dragged off him. She's arrested by the police just in time for Sarah to see her being arrested.

This part confuses me slightly. When we next see Sarah, she's on the road again, having called Art to ask him to pull some strings and get Helena released. But wouldn't you want to stick around until she was released so that you didn't have a murder specialist with impulse control issues running around some sleepy Canadian town having dalliances with random men and gouging out other men's eyes? I would.

The fact that she doesn't ultimately leads to problems, as Gracie arrives from the Proletheans and convinces Helena to come with her, which is an impressive feat when you consider that she tried to kill Helena, although attempted murder is how Helena greets people, so maybe not.

On the road, she discovers from Art and Felix that Swan Man stole the identity of a dude named Peckham. With address in hand – well, in mind – Sarah sets off to find him. 

I'd watch the buddy cop show.

Meanwhile, Gawky Geneticist Lad tells Delphine that the stem cells being used to treat Cosima must have come from a close relative – which in this instance, probably means that they come from the child or grandchild of the woman who was the original genetic template of the clones. Since Leekie said only last episode that said genetic template was lost, Delphine is understandably shocked. What she does next makes me question if she's actually evil even more, as she asks Gawky Geneticist Lad not to tell Cosima.

Sarah reaches the house in question, and upon the door being opened has the reaction that we probably all had at this moment: Oh god, it's Mrs. S, how does she do this, how does she manage to be everywhere, are there like twenty-six of her all representing different letters and they just swarm about Canada being moderately diabolical.

Luckily, Swan Man is there too, being all harmless and old-man-ful and apparently not realising that the 'S' in Mrs. S is increasingly likely to stand for 'Satan'. As Sarah talks to him, he rambles about the science involved, and she pushes for him to help her, bringing up how badly Rachel has turned out, Cosima's illness, Alison, and how he has a responsibility to them. 

I'm including this picture mostly because it looks like he has
a bird perching on his shoulder.

Meanwhile, Mrs. S goes outside and meets with Paul, still following Sarah. I actually really love this scene, more for Mrs. S (who I adore) than Paul (whose actions in this episode have left me feeling rather sour towards him). Mrs. S is just so wonderfully, cheerfully super-spy-ish, while at the same time offering him tea and biscuits. She also wins the award for best line in this episode, as when Paul says he's working for Dyad, she immediately shoots back 'Hardly an answer, Dyad's a hydra,' while offering him his cup of tea. 

I love you, Mrs. S, but you're literally the devil and you
will kill us all.

Eventually, she seems to convince him to side with her, though, while in the house, Swan Man reveals why he went into hiding: The explosion that killed his wife (Rachel's adopted mother, remember) and was presumed to kill him was actually a murder, orchestrated by none other than our friendly neighbourhood scientist, Aldous Leekie.

Dun-dun-duuu wait, didn't we already know that Leekie was evil?

Pretty sure we already knew that.

I mean, he killed a man for failing him once, that's a pretty sure sign. 

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