Why is Sarah screaming? It's because she's witnessing one of the major moments from last night's Orphan Black. And it's not even the episode's biggest shock. Spoilers ahead!
Last week's episode left us fearing the worst for Helena, and even early in the episode, it looks like she has been subject to a forced insemination. But she has a more pressing problem since she is still Henrik's prisoner. For all of Henrik's talk of family and how Helena is now part of his, Henrik's daughter Grace isn't having any of it. She still refers to Helena as "it" and is still convinced that she's an abomination. This sect of the Prolethians is pretty murdery; first Mark and his cohort shot that guy in the diner and now Grace is smothering Helena with a pillow. Oh, Grace, you haven't been on the show long enough to know this, but that's not going to kill Helena.
Helena ends up smothering Grace right back (though she stops short of killing her), and flees the compound on foot. And she's aided by an unlikely ally: Art, who has been photographing the Prolethian compound from the adjacent public land. I love how seamlessly Helena has gone from the subject of Art's murder investigation to an asset who must be protected. Art is one of the most adaptable characters on the show, and it's so gratifying to see where his strong inner compass leads him. It's also gratifying to see him stop the Prolethians not with violence, but by simply pointing out that they're on public land without the proper weapons permits. It also highlights an important difference between Dyad and the Prolethians; where Daniel will shoot a cop without a second thought, the Prolethians are willing to lose Helena rather than engage in a conflict with Art. The Prolethians may be violent, but the Dyad is untouchable.
Meanwhile, Alison wakes up with a nasty hangover and the feeling that she's been kidnapped, too. At first, she assumes that she's being held by the Dyad, but the truth is more humiliating: she's in rehab. Apparently, she doesn't remember her tumble off the stage. She doesn't even remember the curtain going up. If Alison wasn't on a television show about her being a clone threatened by an evil corporation, then rehab would probably be a very, very good thing for her. An overachiever like Alison would probably ace rehab, go home, make her amends, and, as Felix puts it, reclaim her dignity. But Alison is a clone, her husband is her monitor, and now he's hanging the only thing she truly cares about—their kids—over her head. I'm tempted to start drinking on Alison's behalf. I really hope we get to see some of her therapy sessions in the meantime.
Last season focused on Sarah, Alison, and Cosima (and to a lesser extent, Helena) forming a sibling bond, but this season is much more about their isolation from one another. Alison was at her best when she's being a mother or a den mother, and now her life is falling apart. Cosima is hiding her illness from Sarah, Felix, and Alison, and is relying only on the treacherous Delphine for emotional support. It's heartbreaking to watch her smile through her pain when talking to Sarah over video chat and hurry their conversation along so that she can let out the cough that she's been holding in for so long. Everyone else is making of Cosima—believing that she's been blinded by her affection for Delphine and her scientific curiosity—but she is long overdue for a hug from Alison, Sarah, Felix, or all of the above.
Cosima is slightly off in her retelling of myth of Leda and the swan (Leda laid two eggs containing four children; Castor and Clytemnestra were mortal, while Helen and Pollux were half-god, but the children also had two different fathers between them), but the implication is clear: at least part of the cloning project was aimed at producing superhuman women. And Rachel's parents were deeply involved.
They also wrote a paper on the "Genetic Recombination of DNA in Hybrid Cells." Interesting.
Rachel doesn't make an appearance in person this episode, but she still manages to be the most fascinating character, especially as Sarah sees her as the road not traveled. Cal pulls Sarah from her car wreck (which he caused, and initially seems to have killed Daniel) and whisks her and Kira away in his fancy RV. We still don't know if we can trust Cal, but Sarah does; she's willing to leave her precious daughter with him as she heads back to Toronto. I'd like to think that Kira is safe with her father, but the musical cues that sound when Sarah tells Cal about the Dyad have me worried.
Sarah and Felix dig through Siobhan's things and find clippings about Carleton (who smuggled young Sarah through his trafficking pipeline as a child) and an explosion at the Project Leda laboratory, a project spearheaded by Susan and Ethan Duncan. We don't know exactly what Mrs. S knows about Project Leda, but I'd wager that she and/or Carleton had something to do with that explosion. Sarah, never one to stay out of the lion's den, decides that she'll go to Rachel's pied-à-terre and learn more about the enemy. But her presence in Siobhan's home hasn't gone unnoticed…
Siobhan's revisiting the past as well. Carleton has been released from prison and Siobhan hopes he has answers. She ends up getting makeouts in the process. While Carleton may be the one who brought Sarah to Siobhan, it seems that she knows far more about Sarah's background than Carleton does.
While Cosima tries to profile Rachel according to stereotype, imagining that Rachel was raised by emotionally distant parents so that she could become the ultimate corporate executive, Sarah finds a video cassette that paints a much more illuminating picture. Rachel was a happy child, one whose parents played in the leaves with her and laughed and videotaped ordinary days not as part of some experiment, but because that's what you do with your kids. These are the people who could have been Sarah's parents. Sarah was never going to be Cosima or Alison or Beth, but she could have been the girl on that tape, and that realization shakes Sarah. It also offers some clues to Rachel's behavior. I've suspected that Rachel desperately wants a child, and it may well be so that she can replicate her own happy childhood. If she lost her parents at a young age, that may also explain her apparent intimacy with Dr. Leekie; he may well have been a father figure after her parents died.
Unfortunately for Sarah, Rachel isn't the only one living in the apartment. Daniel comes home and, while he's not allowed to shoot Sarah, he decides that torturing her will do just nicely. Sarah tries to appeal to what she assumes is his affection for Rachel, hoping that he won't hurt someone who looks like his slumber buddy, but Daniel has been humiliated and frustrated by Sarah several times over, and he's ready to take out those frustrations on her skin. But just when he's ready to get started, this happens:
I scream, "Yes!" at my TV set while Sarah just screams. Look, Sarah, you've got a nigh-unkillable, mentally unhinged twin sister for a guardian angel. You may as well go with it.
Helena is relieved to be reunited with her seestra, but she senses that something terrible happened to her back on the Prolethian compound. She vaguely recalls the wedding, but she's more distressed by the idea that she took something from her.
WHOA. So when Henrik and Mark put the drugged Helena in gynecological stirrups, they weren't putting genetic material in her; they were taking it out of her. Brrrrr. The whole marriage business, I suppose, made Henrik believe that he had dominion over Helena if not sexually, then at least biologically. I'm assuming that he has fertilized Helena's egg with his own DNA, but who is going to carry that embryo? Not leaving Helena to carry it seems smart on Henrik's part; Helena's too unpredictable, too hard to control. But I imagine that Grace isn't going to want to carry her father's abomination baby.
Prolethians, you are still winning at being creepy.
Next episode: What happens when you put Felix, Art, and Helena in the same room? Hopefully not stabbing.