Orphan Black Season 2 Premiere Recap: The Death Chakras

Orphan Black

Nature Under Constraint and Vexed
Season 2 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

Orphan Black

Nature Under Constraint and Vexed
Season 2 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Steve Wilkie/BBC America

Hello! I’m Danielle. There’s nothing I love more than feminism, television, and watching people get kicked in the face, so Orphan Black is the heart-quickening apex of my ball-breaking dreams. I used to write Feminist Ryan Gosling and, before I left graduate school, a ton of papers, but now I’m the Arts & Culture editor for The Stranger here in Seattle and I write about television for Vulture (Scandal, Orange is the New Black, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and other things). I think of recaps as a good base for your in-depth comments and observations, so I’m incredibly excited to dig into this show with you each week.

The frantic uneasiness of Sarah’s search for Kira in the rain-soaked streets is tempered by the very Wong Kar Wai-ish red and green tones in the diner she ducks into, but if the well-established relentlessness of the first season has taught us anything, it’s that quiet moments are precursors to shit getting fucked up REAL GOOD. I thought the threat of the first act would be the too-nice line cook, but then Smooth Face McGee and Bolo Tie Jones slinked in to ask about domesticated eggs, wreak havoc, and chase Sarah away. She was smashing through damp drywall with a fire extinguisher to make her hasty escape before the credits even rolled, which is how you know this season is going to be great.

Since she desperately needs his help and everyone’s phone numbers are disconnected, of course Sarah found Felix wearing assless chaps, knee-deep in a puddle of boys, and off his tits. He was sober enough to convince Sarah that Rachel was probably tracking her cell phone, but not sober enough for the task of getting a gun from Alison and her “bouncy” gingham pajamas. Unwilling to give up a gun registered to her, she instead offers to get an unregistered gun from her teenage dealer Ramone, and sets up a meeting with Sarah for later that day, which is botched when Art and Angie pick Sarah up for the crime of being a clone. They let her go, but Alison still has her gun inside the community center while rehearsing for the “wipe, wipe, wipe away the plasma!” play. Good thing she got the lead—I thought she was going to snap back into rare form and murder the director when he switched her part. I sort of love watching Alison become unhinged, and hope this “best behavior” act fades away spectacularly as the season carries on. Ramone eventually brings the gun to Felix’s place, vacuum-sealed and covered in flowers and glitter, as only Alison would do it.

Paul, the Monitor With a Heart of Gold™, agreed to talk to Sarah on a yellow bridge made of spirals and wishes. He told her about the Dyad event that evening, but she almost got nabbed by Daniel and ended up on a bus with a budding misogynist who asked if he could touch her boob in exchange for using his phone. I guess being a clone is still a higher rung than being a woman on the ladder of humanity.

Cosima is letting Delphine help her suck blood out of her body for research, and Delphine is still trying to get Cosima to join Dyad. Cosima is way too busy filling every room with candles and trying not to die of her mystery clone illness to think about Dyad, but she does throw down the ultimatum that none of her blood should ever go to Leekie … which is why Delphine immediately brings it to Leekie. Goddammit, Delphine, you beautiful blond double-crosser! Leekie might think you’re invested in him and Dyad, but Cosima is going to die of a broken heart before we ever figure out what’s really killing her.

One of my favorite scenes was the rendezvous at Felix’s apartment when Cosima and Sarah were talking to Alison via Skype. Not only do you get to see the varied personalities at work, but you also get to marvel at the frenetic genius of Tatiana Maslany as she whips through each personality with lightning speed. I instinctually want to group them together as sisters, but the extended time with a few of them in the same room brings them more into focus as a bunch of weird aunts or long-distance cousins. It’s here that Sarah hatches her plan to set Daniel’s people on Alison as a deflection while she cosplays as Cosima and sneaks into the Dyad party. You’d think the chunky braids in lieu of dreadlocks should have been a dead giveaway, but Sarah had Delphine going for much longer than someone with an intimate knowledge of Cosima’s holes should be fooled.

After Sarah steals Leekie’s ID card, Delphine sets her in the direction of Rachel, who is busy telling a grip of businessmen that she’s moving on with the next round of patents. That could mean anything from another set of women kept in the dark about their origin to a brigade of thrashing rock biters raised to do her bidding due to Rachel’s terrifying detachment from emotion or sympathy. She doesn’t seem interested in “biological goldmine” Kira, which makes me think she’s already got what she needs to take this experiment to the next level. Sarah pistol whips Rachel as soon as she finds her,  leading Rachel to reveal that oops, they don’t have Kira and Mrs. S, that was just a lie she told Sarah to get her to show up.

So who has Kira and Mrs. S?

When Sarah showed up at Art’s house, he was quick to tell her that Smooth Face McGee and Bolo Tie Jones are part of the same group of religious extremists that made Helena the spectacular creep she is. Helena is alive, as it turns out, and somehow dragged her gunshot-riddled body to the hospital. Smooth Face McGee watched as a flock of doctors ran to her — maybe he’s the one who brought her in? Or does Helena have a monitor of her own? 

Unanswered Questions

  • Who was brushing Kira’s hair and taking her picture? Is Mrs. S dead?
  • Is Paul a hostage or an unwilling participant in Rachel’s hierarchy?
  • Why isn’t Rachel more disappointed with the disappearance of Kira? From a purely scientific point of view the kid is a miracle, and Rachel has a vested interest in keeping her close.
  • Nothing creeped me out as much as Leekie standing in his ghoulish light and proclaiming Dyad employed “27,000 souls.” There’s no question here — just yucky feelings I need to put somewhere.
  • Are we judging Donnie’s evilness this season by the color of his tighty whiteys?

Next week, Aynsley is finally laid to rest and Alison confesses to her semi-murder, Cosima considers a job at Dyad, Sarah talks to Kira on the phone, and, hold on to your sixth chakra, Art might arrest Daniel. See you then!

Orphan Black Season 2 Premiere Recap