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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Orphan Black S2E7: Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things.

I feel it in my fingers,
I feel it in my toes!
Love is all around me,
And so the feeling grooooows. 


Orphan Black
Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things.

This episode contained a lot of rehab-centre hijinks, which meant a lot of Vic, and – ugh. Just, ugh. I've never liked his character, I will never like his character, I don't feel like anybody likes his character, and not in a 'love to hate' way, in a 'this is just exasperating' way. But I do love Alison, Sarah, and Felix, who also feature prominently in this episode, so that's something.

As the episode opens, Alison is talking about Aynsley, which proves to be a poor idea when after a little prodding, she confesses to sleeping with Aynsley's husband and then killing her – or manslaughtering her, anyway, since the death was caused by intentional negligence. As much as I dislike him, Victor's expressions during Alison's confession are absolutely golden, like he isn't sure whether to just flee or not.

His ruse is quickly dispelled as, having left behind a pair of gloves Alison made, she goes to return them to him and hears him talking to The Worst Detective, saying that he'll give her the dirt on Alison tomorrow at family day.

Alison calls Felix, who promises to be there first thing in the morning to get this sorted out. The next day, Alison takes Victor to her room, where Felix is waiting to rant at him. Victor is unrepentant, because he's pretty much an awful person, but Felix manages to make him stay by telling him that Sarah will be coming by.

As this is happening, Mrs. S and Sarah are searching through Duncan's belongings, trying to find a red box that he asked them for. Duncan himself is no help, acting more or less like you'd expect a grumpy absent-minded Englishman to act. Mrs. S and Sarah discuss possible plans, with Sarah suggesting they divide and conquer – ie; pit Rachel and Leekie against each other using the information that Leekie killed her mother and tried to kill her father.

They do eventually find the red box by happy accident involving a rat, whereupon it is revealed to be full of random junk. Well, what were you expecting? The two of you have been talking about how he's mad, and he seems more concerned with his birds than just about anything else, so of course the red box he absolutely must have is filled with knick-knacks – by which I mean 'junk', not 'those crisps from the nineties'.

Well, I feel better about my own house.

Sarah gets a call from Cal, as when hacking the Dyad Institute apparently on a whim, his own computer was hacked. He assures her he's throwing them off the trail, which seems to be 'attaching his still switched on computer to a bomb.'

All of which begs the question, just who are you, Cal? At this point, I trust you less than Delphine and Mrs. S, and last episode I was comparing one of them to the Devil. At least we have some inkling of what's going on with them: You just claim to be a computer engineer with anti-establishment leanings ('anti-establishment leanings' seems to be the go-to euphemism for 'possibly a spy', Mrs. S used it too), when we know that you have fake passports, several guns, the ability to hack a massive company, and apparently both the ability and willingness to build bombs. Also, as we learn later in this episode, international connections such that you feel confident about being able to smuggle two people to Iceland. 

Cal, this is hardly the time for cheap shopping.

I don't trust you, Cal. Not one bit. Weren't you meant to be on your way to Yunkai anyway? 

Your large nose will not sway me, lad.

The next morning, Cal and Sarah are getting burgers when he suggests going to Iceland, pulling out all the usual 'I have connections, tin foil hat types but good people' schtick that, well, Mrs. S was pulling out last series before that particular house of cards fell in on her. Sarah, why do you not realise that you are essentially dating your mother with stubble? Why does this seem like a good idea to you?

Sarah rejects his offer anyway, and shortly thereafter gets a call from Felix and Alison.

Which is how we end up at the aforementioned hijinks. Sneaking in on family day, Sarah meets with Victor, who at first apologises before indicating that actually he was expecting her to apologise. While incredulous at first, Sarah does, eventually, apologise, if only to get him to go away, which is a sentiment I can get very firmly behind. It's still not over, though, as Victor now announces he wants to get back together with Sarah. I think Felix and Sarah's expressions of absolutely exhausted, dull surprise kind of sums up what the audience are feeling at this point.

Sarah Manning as the entire audience.

It doesn't last much longer as, mercifully, he collapses unconscious, breaking the table and caking himself in glitter as he falls. Felix cheerfully admits that he spiked Victor's drink, and everyone hails him as the Messiah.

Adoramus te, Felixe, et benedicimus tibi.

A comedic misunderstanding causes Alison and Sarah to switch places, with Alison now forced to help Felix with Victor's unconscious body, and Sarah having to impersonate Alison at some kind of … family day speech and roleplay.

Do rehab centres really do this? Really? I was under the impression that there was an understanding that rehab is a very private, personal affair, and that the process of rehab was one that involved a certain amount of seclusion from the outside world, for reasons of recovery as much as for pragmatic reasons like patients not necessarily wanting friends and family members to know they have addiction problems.

Thus, a very public performance of recovery in which a recovering addict gives a speech for a reasonably large crowd and then performs a frankly awkward roleplay with a family member seems to run entirely counter to the way that these places operate. If you have experience of rehab centres and have encountered something like this, please leave a comment to say, I'd be fascinated to hear about it.

(This rehab centre makes a lot of questionable decisions. A lot.)

The whole process is painfully awkward, especially the role-play, as Donnie is as overbearing as ever and Sarah finds herself getting irritated on Alison's behalf, her impression of the other woman momentarily lapsing. She makes up an excuse to leave and, it seems, never has to go back, as Alison and Felix manage to dump Victor in reception, where Angela finds him and assumes he's overdosed.

Sarah, Alison and Felix meet up in Alison's room, where they are swiftly interrupted by Donnie. While Alison thinks the proverbial jig is up, it turns out that he really is as much of an idiot as he appears: He thought he was taking part in a study on social metrics, and had just never questioned the apparent need for total secrecy, having no idea about clones or anything like that.

While this has all been going on, Cosima has received her first stem cell treatment, and discovered Delphine's deception – and I was wrong last episode, the implication wasn't that the baby tooth had come from a child of the original genetic template, but actually that it had come from Kira, so my bad. Delphine's motives seem fairly pure, actually, as she explains that if Cosima had known she would have refused the treatment, despite it being their only viable option. Cosima is understandably outraged, pointing out that it's her body and she should get to decide what's done with it, before ordering Delphine out of the lab that is, similarly, hers.

Mrs. S, meanwhile, discovers that Duncan is nearly as deceptive as – well, as she is – as the 'random box full of junk' was a ruse. With Sarah gone, he reveals floppy disks at the bottom of the box that contain Dyad's early science. Paul, now acting as Mrs. S' agent, tells Leekie that Sarah didn't manage to find Duncan, although Leekie doesn't believe him. Leekie contacts one of his associates, who we shall term Evil Team Rocket Boss, and informs her of the situation – they decide that they will have to deal with Duncan, and with Rachel if she becomes a problem. As she leaves, Evil Team Rocket Boss (Giovanna?) raises the idea of getting rid of Sarah.

This is the face of someone who steals Pokemon and takes
over power stations.

Mrs. S is the next in Leekie's long list of meetings (busy man, that Leekie), offering him Dyad's early research in exchange for Kira being left alone – Sarah, she says, he can have. He agrees, but asks for Duncan too. It's all a ruse, however, as Mrs. S calls Sarah afterwards and tells her that the 'divide and conquer' plan is going perfectly. Which made me glad: It's always difficult to tell with Mrs. S as to whether her treachery is real or fake.

The plan continues as Paul brings Rachel for an emotional reunion with Duncan. It is genuinely quite touching: Rachel's cold exterior breaks slightly, if only slightly, as she sees her father again for the first time in twenty years. As the conversation continues, both of them begin weeping quietly. It's a very well done, subtle scene.

Leekie's penultimate meeting of the day, then, is an unplanned meeting with Rachel. She reveals that Evil Team Rocket Boss has sided with her, not Leekie, and says that Leekie should run, and avoid his car or his home, noting that letting him live is foolish, but she does have some affection for him. 

Probably not Leekie's favourite people right now.

Leekie never gets that far.

Before we find out what happens to him, though, we see Cosima call Sarah and explain the stem cell situation to her. Sarah wants to take one of Kira's baby teeth and send it to her, while Cal is firmly against it, but the decision is ultimately made by Kira and her eerie intelligence, as she rigs up a wire and a door to pull out an already loose tooth and offer it to Sarah.

I'm wondering what's up with Kira, actually. This series has alluded a lot to her being special somehow, possessed of a preternatural intelligence for her age and an intuitive sense of which clone is which. Could it be that she's some manner of Clone Superchild? When is Falling Skies starting again?

(Soon, apparently.)

Anyway, Leekie as he encounters his final meeting of this long, social call filled day: Donnie, in a car, although how he found Leekie in all of Toronto I don't know. Brandishing a gun, Donnie forces Leekie into the car with him, and demands an explanation. Leekie tries anger, cajoling, bargaining, and none of them calm Donnie down. Eventually, Donnie slams his hand down in emphasis, accidentally firing the gun into Leekie's head at point blank range.

It's – an ignominious end to someone who's been the main villain for nearly two series, but it's also hilarious, and obviously going to have a massive impact on Alison and Donnie's marriage.

We're in the final stretch of this series now, with the last three episodes coming up, and next episode it looks like an increasingly unstable Rachel will be taking control of Dyad, while Cosima's sickness worsens, and Beth may actually be alive. 


  1. Not understanding why you don't trust Cal. Some fake Ids and a gun? Sounds like a survivalist to me, and a good one at that. His tech abilities to hack computers? He's a smart guy and definitely tech savvy. Those aren't ominous reasons by themselves. I think his actions speak louder than those things. If he was bad, wouldn't he have already run off with Kira, brought her to Dyad, etc. Wasn't he the one arguing not to use Kira as something to be harvested? After all, she is being made out to be the 'prize', isn't she? Something special about her that everyone wants. He had plenty of real opportunities to do something bad. I'm of the mind-set that if Kira believes in him - then so do I - because yes, there is something really special about Kira. Well, at least I can hope my theories are correct!! LOL

  2. Well, partly it's that I don't trust anyone who's not a clone or named Art. I've suspected Felix a few times, too.

    But mostly, it's that he presented himself at the beginning as A Simple Guy Livin' In His Cabin, but he had fake IDs ready, and guns, and a favourable relationship with the police, and we're discovering now, connections with Iceland and the means and capabilities to build what definitely looked like a fairly complex bomb.

    We've seen the 'oh, I'm just an innocent simple folk with anti-corporate tendencies' thing before, and it was Mrs. S.