ORPHAN BLACK: “Ipsa Scientia Potestas”

If Tatiana Maslany is not nominated for an Emmy this year, I’ll eat my hat.

You do realize I am going to have to paint this to come to terms with it?

– Felix

Business Suits Never Looked So Good

Rachel is seeing red after returning to her ravaged apartment in wake of the events of last week’s episode. Paul assures her that Daniel’s death – and the blood finger paintings on the walls – was certainly not Sarah; but no worries, Dr. Leekie and Rachel recognize Helena’s handiwork. Question: Did Sarah just hang out and let Helena play in Daniel’s blood before escaping the place? It’s not like the frizzy-haired maniac had much time to draw before finding Sarah in the bathroom…maybe all the pain and fear Daniel put her through made her shrug off Helena’s “idiosyn-CRAZies.” Moving on… Rachel offers Paul the chance to become her new monitor, essentially taking over Daniel’s role. In every way? I have the feeling that answer is a resounding yes. Business Lady like her booty calls. Still hot over the death of her former booty caller, however, Rachel insists Leekie shut down the stem cell research that could very well save Cosima’s life until Sarah comes to her and into the fold. That, Ladies and Gents, is what we refer to as hardball.

Science. F-yeah.

Speaking of Cosima, she gets further information on genetic patents from old lab partner Scott, believing that anything involving something as advanced as synthetic DNA would have to be registered with the military. If that isn’t revelation enough for one sitting, Delphine discovers some information that was meant to go to Dr. Leekie, something Cosima was never meant to see: they have found a compatible stem-cell donor.

They head to Leekie’s office to find the stem cells for themselves but are immediately caught by the man himself. When confronted, Leekie says he absolutely has the data, but Rachel is standing in the way. Leekie tells Cosima that the original genome was destroyed in the fire that claimed Rachel’s parents; it no longer exists. When she tells him she does not know what Sarah’s up to, Leekie, though skeptical, agrees to continue with the research and try to save Cosima’s life.

The Odd Couple

Sister of the Year thirty years running Sarah Manning drops Helena off with Felix, in order to figure out what the Fish Cult Freaks (I hope the name sticks) wanted with her. Felix couriers Frizzy Maniac (I’m so on with the nicknames today) to Art’s place for safekeeping. I hope they interviewed these two for the new “Odd Couple” reboot. Once alone, Art grills Helena on Maggie Chen’s murder, the Prolethians, and everything else under the sun while Blondie plays with his fish tank (get it?). Don’t think that’s quite going to work out for you, there, Detective Bell, unless you speak crazy. He later takes Felix’s advice and offers her food to get answers. Helena starts spilling her whole life story over what appears to be the entire contents of Art’s fridge, albeit in her own riddle-laden language. Something about a “Swan Man?” Maggie Chen’s old locker? Devils in her belly…just fun, fun, stuff.

Making Good on Promises

Rachel makes it clear to Paul that, though he may report to Leekie, he works for her. Leekie has a tendency to get too close to his subjects, Rachel included, and she does not want Paul to exhibit the same humanity. She gives him Daniel’s gun, the one that can be traced to a police officer’s death. It is time for Paul to make a choice: Rachel or Sarah. Rachel – rather ingeniously on the writer’s part — peppers this choice with the insinuation that Sarah and Cal share not only Kira but a strong history, one that Paul is not a part of. I get that Paul is jealous, and he’s always been a bit of a wild card, but would he really completely jump ship over to the Dark Side? What loyalty does he have, at all, to Rachel? File that under Character Motivations that Are Still Undefined because he takes said gun to Felix’s apartment with the cops — busting up a date with the guy from the morgue – and forces it into Felix’s hand for fingerprint evidence. Paul then calls up Sarah with the news and gives her a choice: give Rachel what she wants or Uncle Felix goes down for murder.

Sarah calls Art for help, but Helena’s just gotten the upper-hand. When Sarah arrives back at Art’s, he’s handcuffed to a beam. Helena left clues for the duo to follow, however, and they find Maggie Chen’s old locker. Inside, Art finds a picture of the “Swan Man,” as in Leda and the Swan…Sarah believes it to be Rachel’s father, especially after they find a recent photo of the man. Rachel’s father – the clone’s creator — did not perish in the fire, after all. And Sarah thinks she might be able to trade this information for Felix’s safety. Oh, and Helena took a sniper rifle from the storage locker to kill…Rachel? Well, killing clones is what she does.

While Helena watches from the building across the street, Rachel orders Paul to pour two glasses of wine while she gets her self all seksie. Frankly, I thought this is where that would end, but nope, we see how rough Rachel likes it, as she orders Paul to undress and slaps him when he takes his initiative in trying to touch back. “Did Daniel like that?” She snaps back, “did Sarah?”

Sarah and Art race to Helena, but she’s already got her gun put together just as Paul’s, er, gun comes out to play. They find Helena right as she is ready to fire on the coupling couple, but Sarah pleads with her not to as they have Felix. She stands in front of Helena’s gun, begging her. She needs her. Art is not amused as the two share a clear bond and walk away, leaving Rachel and Paul safe for now.

Those Fish Cult People

I thought we might make it the whole episode without them, but alas, those pesky Pescotarians Prolethians Crazy Fish Cult People popped up long enough to get, well, crazy. They’ve stitched Gracie’s mouth shut until she will tell them what really happened with Helena. Pop quiz, Audience: who are the bad people? (In case we didn’t beat you over the head, it’s these guys.) Mark brings Gracie some milk – with a straw, of course – and tells her to confess; it heals all, then he gives her a kiss. I’d give you another pop quiz on creepiness/ick-factor, but what’s the point? Once Henrik cuts off the stitches, Gracie confesses but relays to him Helena was dangerous; she was only trying to protect the family. But her sentence is far worse than she could imagine: if the Fish Cult People do not get Helena back, Gracie will carry the clone-baby herself.

In Other News…

Back at Daddy Daughter Day, Cal and Kira hang out, and we see that Cal has guns, money, and IDs stashed away in a hidden compartment on the RV. But seeing as trust flows so well in the Manning line, Kira is already calling him Daddy. When Kira starts drawing Alison, Helena, and Cosima, she gives him a little too much information for a new character on the show. And what are you hiding…Daddy?

Everybody Wants Paul

In light of Leekie’s willingness to help Cosima, Sarah meets up with him at her bar and offers information on Duncan, “the Swan Man” in exchange for Felix. But during the meeting, Sarah remembers she’s not the only Clone in Clone Town when he tells her of Cosima’s illness. “If anyone follows us, I’ll sic Helena on all of you.” Knowing this is not an “idle threat,” Leekie concedes to help her and lets her go. And, of course, Paul had followed them there. Leekie tries to get Paul on his side…ayayaya.


Grade: A. Tatiana Maslany continues to amaze, having to act opposite of herself in some scenes to clear emotional heights. Though this episode was less pomp and boom as last week, it had quieter moments that jettisoned the plot forward and gave Ms. Maslany Emmy bait. Orphan Black proved me wrong when I feared the show was losing steam. I have faith.

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