The second episode this season delves a little deeper into the plot-lines hinted at in last week’s premiere thus some unanswered questions begin to be answered.
The Castor clones grew on me this week as the purpose for their sudden presence was revealed. A ‘Glitch’ that seems to be a result of the genetic meddling of the cloning experiment much similar to the illness that plagues the Leda clones is affecting Seth one of the named Castor boys. Therefore Rudy and Seth set out on a quest to find tissue samples to solve this and it would seem that their bond is much similar to Sarah and Helena which adds an interesting dynamic to the show. However their strange sexual assault/attempted threesome (anybody reminded of Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen? Albeit a much more sinister scenario) with an unsuspecting woman adds a creepy weirdness to their relationship that doesn’t quite make sense but is interesting nevertheless.
In a side story and perhaps the most amusing storyline to develop this season is Alison and Donnie’s takeover of Ramone’s drug (and other contraband items) business. They both seem like the most unlikely drug dealers due to their suburban lifestyles but with both characters each having inadvertently murdered another person and managing to cover it up (thus far) they sort of seem ideal in this line of work which will no doubt bring some great moments and much needed comedy to the shows otherwise bleak format.
Like Alison, Cosima had a separate subplot that very much mirrored some of her scenes from previous episodes as she and Scott work at probing the DYAD Institute for more information on the original Genome. Lost with the death of the Duncan’s the identity’s of the original donors remain a mystery which could very much impend on their research. Conversely, the fact that they have The Island of Doctor Moreau filled with Ethan’s annotations all may not be lost, only time will tell.
Helena is meanwhile subjected to torture and tests now that she is out of that box, and is still hallucinating about the talking scorpion which also became one the best scenes of the episode. While participating in a test that we see Paul (yes he’s back) perform on Rudy and Seth earlier, Helena interacts with the scorpion and doesn’t participate seriously, as when faced with a syllogism including Mangos the talking scorpion prompts her to ask ‘where are these Mangos ‘ which amusingly defies the whole purpose of the test. What makes this scene so good is that it is typical Helena and it reiterates how mentally unstable she really is. Also we are introduced to Dr Coady, who is part of the group that are imprisoning Helena she seems to be a little more sympathetic than her co-workers as she stopped the torture due to the clones pregnancy. Now it may be too soon to see her as an ally of the expectant mother as it may just be that Dr Coady has been enlisted to make sure that Helena delivers her child so that the military can examine it for classified research purposes.
The clone showdown at the end of this otherwise slow episode amped up the tension to breaking point with one of the Castor boys Rudy finding Sarah and holding her beloved daughter at gunpoint while at the same time just a few floors down Seth does the same with Cal (Sarah’s love interest and Kira’s father). To be honest in this moment I expected Cal to be killed but part of that may have been because actor Michiel Huisman also plays Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones, a show that is extremely notorious for killing anybody at any given moment which has perhaps conditioned me to expect the worse for characters in sticky situations. However this scene was also very well shot and with the constant cuts between both scenarios the tension is heightened. Moreover the technical execution of scenes proves to be one of Orphan Blacks strengths, as it would seem that the creators have an uncanny ability to make the audience squirm with anticipation which is probably why the show works so well that and the always brilliant Tatiana Maslany in the diverse lead roles of the Leda Clones.
All in all this week the episode seemed to slow the always fast paced show down slightly to build up the new characters as well as establishing how the season will continue which is undoubtedly going to be great.