Orphan Black went on a road trip this week and it got drunk, flirted with a cute guy, and threw a few punches. It also revealed a very dark secret about one of our familiar characters. Is this our villain? Or is there something even worse behind this revelation?
If last week's episode was all about families, this week's episode was all about throwing unlikely pairs of characters together to see what happens. However, it was anchored by our main pair: Helena and Sarah. Last season, Sarah could barely sit across the table from Helena, but now they are sharing a tent and giggling like the sisters they never got to be. One thing that has been missing from Sarah's life up until now is a sense of fun. She might enjoy mocking people with Felix or having sex with Paul, but those things came with Sarah's hard edge, her alertness. Helena, on the other hand, has a highly developed appreciation for pleasure, perhaps because small pleasures were always so precious to her. She has always been the terror, the freak, and she has no reason to be anything but her goofy, childlike self—and that self is able to crack Sarah right up, to make her relax in a way we haven't seen before.
And it figures that sweet-toothed Helena's favorite song is "Candy Girl."
Also, the show wants to hit home that these two are yin and yang:
Helena wants to milk every pleasure she can out of this road trip, so when Sarah heads into the church where Ethan Duncan was last spotted and takes the keys (and thus the music) with her, Helena sneaks off into a nearby bar. In true Helena fashion, she orders one of everything, puts on airs ("I'm on vacation"), and sprains a dude's finger when he gets pissed at her for being rude ("Next one I break."). But something unexpected happens: Helena meets a guy.
Helena's brief flirtation with Trucker Hat highlights a couple of things about Helena's current state: One is how much she has longed for life like those the other clones have had. When she tells her life story to Trucker Hat, she pulls bits from Beth, Cosima, and Alison's lives, but she happily ends on the part where she's having adventures with her sister. The other is that the right person can bring out the best in Helena. She arm wrestles, flirts, does shots, and dresses. It all comes with Helena's particular brand of intensity, but it's pretty fun, normal day for her.
But it doesn't go unnoticed. Mark and Paul both show up at the bar and make a deal to stay out of each others' hair. They figure Mark will take Helena, Paul will retrieve Sarah, and they'll go their separate ways. Again, I find myself wondering about Paul's motives in all this. What would really happen if he got Sarah alone? Does he even know? In the meantime, he seems pretty amused when Helena gets into a bar fight. She nearly gave that one fellow the "darkness" she gave that nun back in Ukraine.
While this is all going on, Sarah is learning about the Cold River Institute and its creepy pre-cloning experiments. Sarah realizes something very important: the cloning experiment didn't spring up out of nowhere; it was built on the backs of some truly horrific scientific experimentation stretching back decades. But the Cold River information is incomplete; good old Maggie Chen, who has driven so much of the series' action despite dying before it ever began, walked off with some of the archives.
Fortunately, Sarah has a crack team deciphering the info from Maggie Chen's storage locker: Art and Felix, our next unlikely pair. Art is a cop through and through, needing to solve the entire mystery—and he likes having a partner to do it, even one as unwilling as Felix. Little does he know that Angie has made some progress in her own investigation.
Alison's doing a poor job going through the steps of rehab. She doesn't think she has much in common with people who blow their drug dealers in the parking lot, and she's not about to fess up about her pill habit in group therapy. But then she sees a face she wasn't expecting to see: Vic's. Yes, Sarah's ex is still following the program and he tells Alison that he thinks the godhead has put her in his path. Alison doesn't even suppress an eye roll over his apparent conversion to Buddhism.
Poor Alison. She's spent so much of the series concerned over who is monitoring her for Dyad, and she doesn't even consider that Vic might be more than just a loser junkie. In fact, he's just her latest monitor—but for Angie instead of Dyad.
Cosima also runs into someone unexpected: Scott, who has been accepted into the Dyad and has figured out that Delphine and Cosima have been studying clones—although he hasn't figured out that Cosima is one. Dude looks like a kid on Christmas morning when he asks if he can see a clone.
Scott has also figured out something important: those stem cells that are supposed to treat Cosima's respiratory ailment? They didn't come from a stranger or a clone. Instead, they came from a female relative, which means Dyad likely has Kira's baby teeth—teeth that Mrs. S likely supplied. I wonder what she got from the Dyad tooth fairy in exchange. Delphine wants to keep this detail from Cosima, at least for the time being.
Speaking of secrets, we finally learn for certain why Cosima hid her illness from Sarah and Alison. She didn't want to worry them, and she didn't want to give Sarah another reason to worry over Kira. Now, though, she admits that it's time for Clone Club to reunite. "We're stronger together," she tells Sarah. "Go figure."
When a cop tells Helena that her sister has come to pick her up, she isn't expecting Grace. But it seems an appropriate descriptor as Grace's life has certain echoes of Helena's. They were both raised by religious extremists—one who holds science above all and the other who believes it is the devil's work—and both badly abused for their disobedience. They might have a lot to bond over if they weren't trying to kill one another.
Grace knows how to bring Helena back to the Prolethian compound, however. She promises that Henrik will give Helena back her "children," her fertilized eggs. With a sudden biological imperative beyond Kira, Helena agrees to return to the Prolethians. The next time they meet, Sarah may have to rescue Helena.
Instead of bailing Helena out of jail, Sarah continues on to find Ethan Duncan, who is now living under the name Andrew Peckham. And this is the lady who answers the door:
Man, Mrs. S gets around.
Siobhan is typically vague, but she does fill in a few details about her organization. They got involved with this whole mess when they learned about experiments being performed on fetuses and they've opposed the owners of Project Leda ever since. That includes hiding Mr. Andrew Peckham, who defected after the death of his wife, Susan. The former Ethan Duncan is a bit addled; he initially mistakes Sarah for Rachel and he's vague on the origins of Project Leda. He reveals that the military was the original owner of Project Leda, but that Dyad took over before the cloned fetuses—the "proof of concept"—came to term. When asked what the point of it all was, he simply tells Sarah, "Babies. Little girls."
He's most lucid when he explains what happened with Susan and Rachel. He and Susan wanted to go public, to expose the cloning program to the world. But the Neolutionists inside Dyad wouldn't have it. It wasn't Siobhan's group that killed Susan: it was Dr. Leekie, the same man who raised Rachel after Susan's death.
Okay, so this raises a host of questions. Did Leekie want Rachel to be this ultimate corporate executive? Is he ultimately more powerful than Sarah inside Dyad? How much can we trust his medical treatment of Cosima? Did he deliberately lead Paul to Sarah?
Oh yes, Paul is still out there. Siobhan spots him sitting in his car and does what Siobhan does—brings him tea. She gets kind of fiercely maternal on Paul, offering him biscuits while reminding him that she's the mom in all of this. (Siobhan says that this is a fight she didn't ask for, but I still think it's possible that she's owner of the original genome.) And like a good mom, she's got eyes in the back of her head. She knows about everything, even Afghanistan. She tells Paul that he could probably use a new friend at this point in time.
Paul, would you say no to that face? I wouldn't advise it.