Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried

Posted on June 23, 2014

Orphan-Black-Season-2-Finale-Review-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLOTatiana Maslany in BBC America’s “Orphan Black”

 

Oh, great. It looks like we’re going to have to be the ones to be jerky about the much-loved dance scene, aren’t we? Fine. Get your ripe tomatoes out now, but let us plead our case first.

We’ve been rewatching Lost this month, from first episode to last. We started out simply curious to see whether the story still held up. Turns out? It totally does, even knowing how it ended. But as well-crafted as the show was, there were still plenty of episodes where everyone seemed to be running from one end of the island to another, for no discernible reason. And when it came time for some exposition to explain things to the audience, we tended to get long stares and silence, when any normal person would’ve just started talking. It was the Number One complaint about the show (before it became supplanted by the avalanche of complaints over the series finale) and we were reminded of those complaints more than once during this episode. We once jokingly called Orphan Black  “Feminist Lost,” but we’re starting to fear that it’s picked up more of that show’s predilection for terrible plotting than its facility with genre storytelling layered over relatable characters.

We’ve noted once or twice before that this season appears to have been put together in order to secure Tatiana Maslany an Emmy. And hey, we’re all about that, because she’s been doing truly impressive, truly unique work that deserves recognition. But it took us all season to finally come to the conclusion that the creators’ “Let’s give Tat the spotlight” plan for the season resulted in a right mess of a story. We have absolutely no idea what happened during that finale. Or more accurately, we can watch the scenes unfold (as we have three times now) and note exactly what occurs, but once it was all over, we couldn’t tell you a thing about the story. Not really. Is Dyad neutralized? Is Rachel out of the picture? Who knows? What exactly is Paul doing? Who is Marion? Are Henrik and his Prolethean cult done? Are Angie and Arthur completely extraneous to the story now? What’s the deal with the baby clone and the boy clones? Sure, it’s a good thing to have questions. That’s how you keep an audience hooked. But we’re not even sure what the questions are supposed to be. Even Lost knew to throw out answers every now and then, even if it just meant showing you a polar bear cage and asking you to figure it out. We don’t know what we expected from this finale. We certainly didn’t expect it to wrap anything up, but it would’ve been nice if it had felt like an actual story was being told here.

Yes, things happened. Sarah turned herself into Dyad and shot Rachel in the eye in a scene so unlikely and impossible to believe that it took us right out of the story for a second. Paul and Cal met … for some reason. And then Paul… did something? Marion? Duncan kills himself because…? Cosima kinda dies, and then … doesn’t? We don’t know. If felt like all of the creative energy of the finale was poured into that dance scene – which is why we didn’t enjoy it.

Okay, that’s not true. It brought smiles to our faces for a minute. Then it went on for another minute. And seemingly several minutes after that. It’s not a crime to indulge in a scene like this. Certainly, the audience wanted and probably needed to see the clones all together like this. But instead of using the opportunity  of this meeting to at least hash out what’s going on, they opted to show off Tatiana’s character-building skills as an actress. And as much as we’ve been singing her praises as an actress since last season, it’s time for the creators to stop being so impressed with her and start telling a story worthy of her talents. When we look back at season 2 as a whole, we just see a mish-mash of plotting dotted with a few great scenes of Tat showing off her skills. That’s not enough, no matter how impressive those skills are.

 

 

[Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA]

    • Joe Schmartin

      Agreed!

    • RussellH88

      I didn’t mind the finale, it just didn’t feel too much like a finale. But I think Duncan killed himself to keep the information that Rachel wanted away from her, knowing that he gave Kira the book with all of the clone information in it.

      One thing I did like about the finale was that is really expanded the overall mythology of the clone conspiracy, which is setting up an interesting development of Rachel being out for blood, yet having to work outside of the Dyad since someone who ranks above her let Sarah go. I really hope this leads to Eyepatch Rachel going rogue and setting up her own planning outside of the cold corporate environment she always seems to exist in.

      But as an actual season finale, I do admit that it was a bit disappointing. It felt more like a penultimate episode than anything.

      • Deedles

        Or even take it a step further… Eyepatch Rachel with a DIY lobotomy of the left frontal lobe…

    • JaneG

      Yup the dance went on too long. I liked the hugs between the sisters, and Sarah and Cosima talking on the bed scenes better.
      I also dont understand what happened to BDPaul. So he just up and left Dyad? And he couldn’t do that before because?
      Still of course I dreaded watching the finale because after going through GOT and OITNB like a box of chocolates, I know I’ll go into withdrawal, curl like a baby and cry myself to sleep.
      I exaggerate… Or maybe not.

      • In_Stitches

        I think Paul was an undercover agent from the military clone division, keeping tags on what the Dyad was up to with their female study.

        • Dave Hime

          Yes. This makes sense and is the smart explanation for why Paul would have been involved with Dyad.

          • In_Stitches

            And closes the loop on what the hell happened between him and Rachel in her apartment.

      • Grumpy Girl

        I agree the dance went on too long. And I was unexcited with the reintroduction of Paul–was wondering if he was in part a red herring to make us wonder in the scene with the male clones, if HE was one.

        I don’t understand, either, why Mrs. S was so surprised/impressed that Sarah could attract both BDP and Cal–I think the element of adrenaline junkie is something that attracts her to men, so she’s going to wind up with this wiley guys, and why shouldn’t they be hot? Not like any guy in her position wouldn’t have hot chicks only. And, everyone’s loyalty in still a question. I wouldn’t trust any of them (BDP, Cal, Siobhan, Delphine, Duncan, etc.) Only Lab Boy–I do believe he is amazingly and refreshingly loyal to Cosima.

        • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

          Yes, Lab Boy was amazing – I always thought he was a bit too geeky to be as awesome as he was in this ep!

      • MilaXX

        I got the impression that Paul was a double agent for the military sent to infiltrate DYAD.

        • heybethpdx

          That’s probably the case, that Paul was a double agent – but it does open up a bunch of questions that probably won’t be answered, mostly variations on: HOW did they get him in as the monitor? I’m going to assume we will never know, though.

          I initially assumed that the story was as they’d portrayed it, and eventually he opted to go back to the military and face the music, but it makes more sense that he was under cover all along.

          • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the military “hung out” a few potential monitors to see if Dyad would pick any. After all, Tony’s monitor was aware of who Paul really was…

            • heybethpdx

              Oh! Great point! I forgot about Tony’s monitor also being military.

    • In_Stitches

      Spot on detailing of the issues that dog this once unimpeachable show. I find myself not even recommending it anymore, not wanting to get people hooked on what could end up being Lost 2.0.

      Poor, poor Helena. Is she off to brood mare for the military now? Birthing the progeny of not one clone, but two? What will their super genes combine to form? Batman?

      The prospect of another clone, while exciting, leaves me worried. If they try to charm the audience with the same old tricks (one actor, many different stories and characteristics), I don’t think it will go over well.

      Mrs. S? Do we know her whole story yet? Do we know any of it? She knows that we don’t know, but we don’t know how much she doesn’t know we know. It’s like that episode of Friends. I get that having her straddling both sides is an easy crutch for the writers, but it is ludicrous at this point that Sarah hasn’t sat her down yet, potentially with a gun in hand, and asked for the whole truth.

      The world keeps expanding, spiraling wider and wider with few answers given. I’d like a solid info dump of an episode next season please.

      • kimmeister

        I thought Helena was inseminated with Henrik’s material, not the boy clone?

        • heybethpdx

          If the girl clones are designed to be infertile, it’s possibly the same case with the boy clones -but I can definitely see the show runners digging into that angle.

      • littlemisstiny

        I can see there being less variation between the male clones (if the show’s emphasis on nurture being a great factor on how people turn out is anything to go by). I imagine the military male clones were all bred together and lived in a barrack together to become super soldiers. I also think they grew up self-aware, like Rachel

    • AMurray

      Boo! Disagree, but I love you both!

    • Flowersplease

      I enjoyed the finale. I think it did give us answers, like how Marion is tied in, and set up some interesting new plots. I liked Cal one-upping Mrs S in the information department and how smart Helena showed she is (leaving her eggs for possible Cosima cure). I don’t know it just felt like there was better progression and I walked away happy about it.

    • gabbilevy

      I enjoyed the finale and felt like it gave us some much needed answers (while still withholding quite a lot), but damned if I could explain it to anyone else. My sense is we understand as much of what’s going on as the clones do, which is… not a whole hell of a lot. But as they learn, we get a little more.

      Still, there were moments that tipped into fan service, including the dance scene, for sure, but also Paul and Cal meeting. Unnecessary for the plot, but totally worth it for Mrs. S’s reaction.

    • Hermione

      Sorry, I disagree, except for the shot in the eye scene which I also thought strained credulity even in the sci-fi fantasy context.
      (Also, and with apologies to T & Lo, I have a confessedly-completely-irrational dislike for the use of the nickname “Tat” for TM. Of course she does call herself that . . . I still dislike it.)

    • Vanessa

      Can I ask about the hair? I know it helps distinguish the characters, but I am having trouble with the fact that Helena and Cosima’s dye/perm/dreads never grow out, despite the fact that the plot line would seem to preclude regular visits to the hairdresser and since genetically they all have the same hair color/wave underneath.

      • TropiCarla

        Well Cosima seems like the type to maintain her dreads herself. All she would have to do is some maintenance (re-twisting) on the roots a few times per month. With their length, she would be an old pro at it by now — not very time consuming. I don’t know much about dye jobs, but Helena’s black roots have been looking progressively shittier to me as time passes, so that seems like her dye job is growing out.

      • MilaXX

        The hair doesn’t bother me. I don’t have an issue with Cosima’s dreads. They really are low maintenance and don’t necessarily require hairdresser appointments. Locs aren’t plaits, they don’t unravel and you can retwist/interlock/whatever method of maintenance yourself. I’m loc’d and probably go to the hairdresser 4 times a year. Helena’s also isn’t a big deal. That a fried home bleach job. You know she’s either buying or shoplifting a kit and doing it herself. I don’t need to see that anymore than I needed Sarah shampooing her hair or Rachel going to the salon to maintain her perfectly coiffed bob.

        • CPT_Doom

          Not to mention it hasn’t been that long (maybe a month at most?) since Beth’s suicide, so there wouldn’t be too much growth anyway.

    • DeebaCee

      I, for one, unabashedly liked the entire clone club dance party. It was a nice break of the non stop tension, yet at the same time there was some looming tension (is Cosima going to fall out and die on the ‘dance floor’??). At the end of it, I let out a sigh of relief that Cosima was still alive and was just happy at the cute moment that the clones shared (also, the first of such moments for all of the clones together).

      • kimmeister

        My husband and I felt the looming tension during the dance scene too, but it had to do with Kira clapping happily in the background. I was afraid Helena was going to slip away with her while the other clones were too distracted boogieing down.

      • MilaXX

        I liked the dance club scene too, but I think for many the issue is “yeah it’s cute, but so?”. It did little to advance the plot even though it was a really nice moment.

        • DeebaCee

          I agree. I guess it just doesn’t bother me that not every second of the show advances the plot.

          • MilaXX

            I think if the rest of the episode had provided a few more answer then the dance scene would have felt more like a welcome reprieve instead of .the show just showing how clever it can be. I posted earlier I enjoyed the dance scene enough to buy the song. That said, I totally understand why many didn’t care for it.

      • heybethpdx

        I liked it too, though I did have to check the time to see if this was going to be the end of the episode – it was a sweet note, but it probably could have been a bit shorter.

        • Grumpy Girl

          Exactly. It needed editing, and it needed to lead to something. It may have been trying to mislead us into expecting Cosima to collapse/die, but it needed something else, even if it was “now we giggle and try to count the clones of which we knew” as they faded to a commercial.

    • CPT_Doom

      I am worried the show went right off the rails last night, but I still have hope. The concept is so good, and Ms. Maslany such a talent, that it can hold up even in the less coherent second season.

      It seems like the creators love giving the sisters an enemy and then taking that enemy away just to replace it with one worse. We started with the “they’re trying to kill us” and the fear of Helena, but she turns out to be nothing compared to the threat of Rachel and DYAD, not to mention the sickness, and all that may may be nothing compared to the threat of the military and it’s parallel Castor program. I just wish they’d answered some basic questions before throwing us even deeper into the conspiracy.

      Some thoughts:

      1) I think Rachel is dead, both because her character hit a brick wall of horrible-ness with the destruction of Kira’s bone marrow and threat to Cosima and because the show already pulled the “we think she’s dead but she’s really not” with Helena this year, and I don’t think they’d go that way again. Also, that would mean the Cosima and Sarah were equally responsible for Rachel’s death, and all the remaining sisters would have a body count.

      2) It seems to me the ultimate point of both the LEDA and Castor programs was to create a super race of humans, so I think Helena is going to go to an even worse place than the Prolethean compound, in terms of forced pregnancy that is. Such a point would continue the theme of women’s agency and control of their bodies, even with the introduction of the boy clones (who are unlikely to suffer from the same sickness as the girls, given both their different reproductive system and the lower likelihood of someone in the military having Duncan’s ethical concerns about reproducing clones). Won’t they be surprised when they find she is pregnant with Henrik’s babies (or are they Mark’s and did Henrick know Mark was a clone?). It also leaves Kira at some risk, as well as the embryos in the nitrogen and any successful pregnancy for Gracie.

      3) The code in the book Duncan gave Kira should be the code to cure Cosima and the other sisters, if they get sick, but that will also likely mean they are fertile, and more female clones could be created. One challenge for season three would be to help Cosima without giving away the key to either fertility or the ability to create new clones.

      4) There may still be problems with the cloning technology, though, as we see Charlotte with a disabled leg and a clearly messed up Mark clone in Marian’s basement. Could be that Castor was not as successful as LEDA.

      5) We know that Paul didn’t know about the clones while he was Beth’s monitor. We also know DYAD was using him because of something he did with the military. Makes sense that to get away from Rachel and DYAD he went back to the only other institution that knew his background and could protect him from DYAD. It is possible he knew Mark, or one of the other clones, when he was in the military and either figured out the boy clones’ existence when he met Mark at the bar with Helena or was let in on the Castor project once the military knew he was aware of LEDA.

      Meanwhile, I can’t believe the uncles didn’t pick up on the best line of the entire finale – Mrs. S looking at Cal and Paul and wondering how Sarah got both of them.

      • Badriya Al-Badi’a

        I wonder if Mark has been undercover among the Proletheans all along–there was a hint in his backstory of having gone AWOL, but he didn’t seem to be that concerned about getting caught when he was out in the larger world. Also, in the scene in the bar where he’s there to collect Helena and Paul is there to collect Sarah, you’d think they’d have been more antagonistic towards each other, but if they were secretly on the same side, then they’d stay out of each other’s way, as they did.

        However I think Mark will be a wild card factor in all of this, since from what we’ve seen his clone line isn’t the most mentally stable. It wouldn’t surprise me if Gracie convinces him that they need to rescue Helena.

        • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

          Oooh, I hope that pans out! After Henrik ruined my Gracie-Helena buddy cop movie, I’d be happy to accept a Gracie-Helena-Mark buddy cop movie. :)

      • Vaniljekjeks

        I am so freaked out/ amazed by the Mark clones. I am not a cranky bitter kitten and I loved the finale… but holy shit was not expecting psycho mohawk Markclone… Must know more….

      • elirt

        There’s the underlying “these clones are superhuman and can heal on their own” aspect that they’ve touched lightly on when Kira was hit by a car, but not a scratch on her and same with Helena getting beat to shit, but able to leave the hospital (well… kidnapped). Rachel will be well and since she’s with DYAD, there’s a good chance she will also get a new eye.

        • http://BikePretty.com/ Bike Pretty

          oh yeah! I thought Rachael was dead, but you bring up a very good point. She’s going to make her own eye from stem-cells, probably.

    • Paula Pertile

      And who was that guy at the end? (the clone) I know we’ve seen him, but I can’t remember who he is.

      • Grumpy Girl

        Mark the Prolethian–the guy who ran away with Gracie. Sarah recognized him from when he was sent to capture her (in the diner.)

      • kimmeister

        He’s the fish cult guy who just married Gracie.

        • Paula Pertile

          OK, d’oh! I didn’t recognize him for some reason – he looked so scary. And I was thrown by Sarah saying she knew him. Waaaaaaaay too much going on in this show now methinks.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      I know I’m being dense here… the nitrogen tank that Helena left at Felix’s place… did that hold frozen embryos? If not, what did I miss?

      • kimmeister

        Ha, I just asked the same thing.

        • ShaoLinKitten

          Someone below mentioned that Helena left her embroys in case Cosima needed them for her cure. Helena didn’t know that Kira had the genetic code from Duncan hiding in the Island of Dr. Moreau book, so it makes sense that she would leave her embryonic stem cells.

          • kimmeister

            Ah, good point. I forgot that she had taken all of those vials from the cult. Also, I think I’m just used to expecting something sinister from her, like it would be a bomb that was going to be rigged to explode or something.

            • Grumpy Girl

              I think that first impression of something sinister, vs. embryos was intentional. But I do think it is the embryos. And I don’t know that she left them as a cure, so much as to be somewhere she perceived as safe? And I don’t know what she told them about what she has, if they will realize what they have.

            • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

              I agree that she left them there because it was a safe place to leave them. Am hoping that they’ll put two-and-two together and figure out that Helena was taken (otherwise she wouldn’t have left the cap on the floor).

            • ShaoLinKitten

              My first thought was bomb too! Then I was like, can you make a bomb with liquid nitrogen? No, you freeze stuff with it. Ah, probably embryos… but why? Now I get why, so it makes sense. I did think she was up to something sinister, slipping out that way. Why did she run away? What would have happened if all four of them had walked out at the same time in the morning?

            • Grumpy Girl

              Yeah, that is a good question–the only thing I could think of for why she left, was to go search for Jesse, with whom she supposedly fell in love? But wierd plotting. I mean, given her food-driven characterization, It would have made more sense if they had her checking cupboards and then heading out, as if for a food run.

            • MilaXX

              I got the impression that she was going in search of Jesse.

            • ShaoLinKitten

              Definitely, but why leave in the middle of the night to do that? Why not get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast, then say goodbye? Also, why keep her pregnancy a secret? That was some LOST action right there– people doing weird, kinda stupid things, and withholding important info from each other for no good reason.

            • Grumpy Girl

              And I wasn’t sure if her pregnancy was a secret, or if they didn’t show the whole “this is what happened to me” discussion the sisters should logically have had. I mean, the dancing was cute, but it seems like it should have led to some catching up. For example, Cosima complaining about Leakey dying on a plane of a “heart attack” and blaming Rachel–because i believe that is part of the reason Cosmima felt so ready to be violent towards Rachel; and seeing Alison blanche. And a chat about who to trust, etc. Because Helena did talk about falling in love with Jesse, or has my memory misplaced that reminiscence?

            • TropiCarla

              I actually don’t think Cosima and her lab-mate necessarily intended the makeshift weapon to be used against Rachel. More like whoever was in the room preventing Sarah from her escape – likely the new creepy “I’m about to cut out your ovary” doctor. I did not think Rachel’s attendance was necessarily planned – they did sanitize already for the procedure, then had to clear the room when she showed up.
              Helena told Art and Felix about Jesse I think.

      • MilaXX

        Yes.Helena’s from the prolethean’s.

    • kimmeister

      A few additional questions:
      1) So Kira is not only weirdly precocious, she is also clairvoyant? Like a “Minority Report” precog?
      2) Helena leaving the canister of nitrogen at Felix’s place right before she left . . . what’s up with that?
      3) Mrs. S said Sarah would never forgive her . . . for what, exactly? I’m not even sure what S did.

      • Grumpy Girl

        I wondered, too, if Kira is a healer to some extent, that her attention supposedly brought Cosima back to life. Count me with TLo in being disenchanted with this episode. Kira is too much of a magic button without enough explanations (and recognition of such by others. At least Mrs S or someone should be saying “Damn, Kira, she’s an amazing child in a way I’ve never imagined.”)

        • kimmeister

          Y’know, I wasn’t even referring to the Kira/Cosima scene, but that’s true there too. I was referring to her drawing of the fire extinguisher that led to Sarah setting off the pencil missile.

          • Grumpy Girl

            Oh, I though Cosima told her what to draw, as she was saying “lets draw about what we learned in our experiment.” But that is a good point, about how much she put together herself. And how did Rachel not catch on?

          • heybethpdx

            I think that Cosima coached her to draw the fire extinguisher – either she’d already made the weapon or knew she was going to. Definitely nothing mystical there!

          • Juliana Forbes

            Cosima was in the room when Kira did the drawing with the fire extinguisher and likely either drew it or suggested that Kira draw it.

        • marymaryk

          I have wondered about the healing thing for awhile, I agree – ever since she was essentially unhurt but very tired following being hit by a car, not to mention how helpful her DNA is for healing Cosima

      • Badriya Al-Badi’a

        Mrs. S gave up Helena to the military.

      • MilaXX

        1) I agree we need to know just how special Kira is because she’s starting to take on Starchild level of magical powers.
        2) Those were Helena’s frozen embryos.
        3) Mrs. S basically traded Helena to the military in exchange for Marion helping Sarah to escape.

        • Cammie

          MilaXX, do you know why Helena was traded? That has been bugging since I watched the show. I just don’t see why the military would want Helena (btw, my favorite clone).

          • TropiCarla

            I was trying to figure out if they wanted Helena specifically, or just any clone – the first one to walk through the door at that time. In support of the former theory – I think it makes sense since she was a potentially fertile clone and also the one with the most misdeeds in her past – hunting and murdering other clones. If they had to ‘sacrifice’ one of them, she makes a logical choice. However, an ambush kidnapping somewhat reduces the whole deliberateness of her leaving the embryos there.

            • Cammie

              Yes, Helena would be the one to fear, but they could have just killed her. I think it’s her value as a potentially fertile clone, as you say. There is also the question of how any of the seestras or Fee would know that Helena’s embryos are in that container.

      • marymaryk

        1) Not clarivoyant – Cosima had her plan already and guided Kira’s activity & art to suit
        2) Helena left her babies in a safe place – with her sestras, who she knows will protect them. That said, think how weird it must have been for her to greet them as sisters instead of the anathema she was trained to find and kill!
        3) Mrs S essentially sold Sarah’s sister! (Helena to the military, in exchange for Sarah & Kira’s freedom)

    • ShaoLinKitten

      One minor point that strained my disbelief. They took Duncan prisoner. He’s in prison clothing… but they let him have his tea bags? REALLY? I’d have preferred an old fashioned hollow tooth (as cheesy as that would have been) to the idea that Rachel & Co. would have let him serve himself Death Tea.

      • Grumpy Girl

        I wondered about that too. Why would he get to keep tea bags in his special little holder. Especially since Rachel could tell from looking at it that it was poisoned.

        • heybethpdx

          I didn’t think the teabags were obviously poison to Rachel – I thought she was noting that there was another teabag in there, as if he could have chosen a poisoned vs non-poisoned one and opted for the former. It is a little weird they let him keep some personal effects though, unless they assumed they were a harmless thing to allow him (possible).

          • Grumpy Girl

            Oh I thought when she looked at them, she had realized what he had done. So there must have been some telltale in the case–even if it was a strong almond smell or something. Because Mr Grumpy was still all “Call the dr; this is a test of Rachel’s loyalty.” While I was sure he had made certain to be a goner, because he had already seen Rachel as a failure of humanity.

            • heybethpdx

              That’s possibly true. It’s also possible they were just drawing a neon arrow to the teabags for the viewers, so we would know what was going on. In any case, his dying line (“you don’t deserve me” or words to that effect) was pretty harsh! I was trying to figure out if he possibly meant it kindly but I don’t think he did.

      • Cammie

        Hehe, that made me laugh.

    • Belvane

      I don’t need Orphan Black to be linear and wrap things up — not yet, anyway. The show it most reminds me of is The X-Files — a long game with a complicated mythology that reveals itself slowly.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        But god, please let it not fall apart completely like The X-Files. That show had an amazing 6 seasons, and then… it became a travesty of itself.

      • MilaXX

        I agree with @ShaoLinKitten:disqus. The show needs to be careful not to collapse under the weight of it’s own mythology.

        • ShaoLinKitten

          The real problem with the X-Files is that it went on too long. Chris Carter never really had his mythology nailed down, so it was inconsistent and never really went anywhere, well after the point that fans needed answers. As a result, many lost interest. Then Carter allowed it to keep running after Duchovny left, then Anderson. The show was never really about the mythology anyway. It was about the insane chemistry and tension between Mulder and Scully. I think the same is true of Orphan Black. Complicated, arcane plot lines are not why I watch the show. I watch it for Tatiana Maslany’s amazing work as the clones. The show runners would do well to keep the X-Files in mind as a cautionary tale about what happens when you forget your show is character-driven.

    • Badriya Al-Badi’a

      Helena never told anybody she was pregnant, did she? I wonder if anybody else besides Mark and Gracie knows. I’m kind of assuming Mark was undercover with the Proletheans on behalf of the military, but maybe he hadn’t reported it yet, and now it seems like he’s on the run from the military himself.

      • heybethpdx

        I can’t figure out where Mark fits, really. He could be still in the military and embedded with the Prolethians (like Paul may have been with Dyad), and he could have had a crush on Gracie that was innocent but has become useful. OR he could be AWOL from the military and was really into the Prolethian stuff (and still had a crush on Gracie).

        I think a major factor is: does he know he’s a clone? We don’t really have enough information to be sure yet, but I am leaning toward him knowing he’s a clone and being embedded with the Prolethians. He’s only supposed to be 19 so the crush on Gracie was probably legit but has taken a convenient turn.

        • cfm

          The show creators have said Mark is unaware he is a clone.

    • Serena

      Honsetly, I think Orphan Black needs 15-17 episodes to tell the story instead just 10. Season 2 in general is not as awesome as first because we don’t really know whats going on with story which might be on purpose for season 3.

    • MilaXX

      I have to admit this season while entertaining did get a bit muddy with the plot. I enjoyed the finale, but the 2 biggest things that stuck out at me was how useless the Cal character is and the unbelievably of the pencil gun thingy. I did love the dance scene. The song was catchy enough to get $.99 from me on iTunes. I think Rachel will definitely be back crazier than ever and I get the whole Castor/Helen(a)/Leda mythology they are sorta trying to spin. I think the storyline needs some trimming. They can easily dump the Prolethians and blend the Mark/Gracie story into the rest of the tale more. My biggest concern is they get too clever with the intro of the male clones.
      It’s funny. I may be in the minority, but even after the ending I was never upset with LOST. I’ve been doing a lot of full season rewatches. It’s weird to see what shows hold up and which ones don’t.

      • kimmeister

        For you, what have been some shows that haven’t held up?

        • MilaXX

          I haven’t done a lot. QaF US to the surprise of no one is absolutely awful, whereas I quite like QaF UK if I ignore the second season. Most of the things I commit to rewatching are shows I really like. Leverage held up much better than I expected. Which disappointed me because the show ended because the network wasn’t making $$ of it. Heroes to the surprise of no one doesn’t work past season 1 which raises the question as to why it’s being brought back. Breaking Bad works, Mad Men works’s except for season 6 which felt like pulling teeth to rewatch. The Wire works. So far that’s all I’ve gotten to.

          • kimmeister

            We’ve been slowly watching Leverage on Netflix since we never got on that wagon when it first started. I didn’t know it had been canceled! Doing the same with White Collar.

            • MilaXX

              I’m up to season 5 of Leverage I actually like the show more upon repeat watching

      • heybethpdx

        Cal could be useful with all his alleged techno-wizardry, but mostly I’m happy to see him because he is so pretty and can actually act.

        There was really no excuse for the pencil gun – I thought it was going to be a bomb or fire-thrower of some sort. Ah well, I think this lets them hedge their bets about whether Rachel lived. On my first viewing I thought she was dead but on rewatch I don’t think it was clear.

        I also was totally fine with LOST but I know I’m not the most critical viewer!

        • MilaXX

          Cal is pretty, but he’s too convenient. Sarah & Fe are on the run, they suddenly locate Cal who Sarah hasn’t seen in 8 years. Despite the fact that Sarah stole from him and never told him she was pregnant he’s not only okay with it, but okay with hiding then going on the run with them. When Sarah wants the kid back he hands her over no questions asked, then swoops in like superman with his 4chan connections to save the day. There was the implied hints that there is more to him than meets the eye with the multiple passports and such, we still no nothing more about him than we started with, even after saving the day he seems content to leave with not so much as a question as to what happens next, when he will see his kid again or anything.

          • heybethpdx

            All valid points! See? I just see the pretty and am willing to go with it. He really is unbelievably (literally) willing to go with the crazy flow.

    • JP

      While not cliffhangery (to me, anyway), the finale left me more confused than ever. I honestly thought the boy clones would all be Pauls, not that other dude (though he seems to do a good batshit crazy whereas Paul is sorta cardboard eye candy), but still. what’s the point? And why did they take Helena?

      • Grumpy Girl

        Much agreement on this.

      • marymaryk

        I was expecting Felix, actually, paying off the bird-watcher question about these devil children Mrs. S brought into their lives

        • Topaz

          I wasn’t expecting that, but I do wish they’d give Felix more to do than just sidekickery. I mean, he’s a great sidekick and I realise that’s his role in the story, but I like all my lead characters to be integral to the plot and have their own internal worlds, needs and motivations – things they need to learn about themselves. As it is the actor’s talents permanently feel a bit wasted.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        This whole finale was built as one psych-out after another. You think Cosima is dead? Ha, she’s not! You think the male clone is Jordan or Paul? Ha, it’s that minor cultist character! Seemed like they were deliberately yanking chains like that.

        • JP

          Yep, which is why I think Rachel isn’t dead either. She’ll be a psycho-bitch in an eyepatch trying to bogart her sister’s eggs next season.

      • Cammie

        I think its a logical point. I was wondering when the role of the military would be shown. It’s isn’t surprising that after shutting down Project Leda, they worked on making their own clones.
        I agree, the Helena abduction made no sense, and I was sorry to see it happen : (

        • JP

          It makes me wonder if there was some sort of agreement that Dyad could “have” Leda and the military “have” Castor (which in itself is kinda sexist), but until these boy clones came up, there was pretty much no mention of military, so it strikes me as weird. I’m also getting a DARK ANGEL kind of vibe from that angle — cloning the perfect soldier (with patented DNA instead of a barcode on the back of the neck).

      • http://BikePretty.com/ Bike Pretty

        I’m not really into Mark so I’m kinda dreading a whole bunch of Mark-action. Then again, maybe there is more to the actor so it could turn out all right.

    • GeoDiva

      I love the clone dance party as it was the time we finally got to see all the clones together. While I am on the fence about the male clones, it certianly makes sense that there would be two competing programs. The question is who exactly is part of Topside and where do we go from here? While season 2 was good, it wasn’t as great as Season 1, but that is also the new car smell wore off a bit. The idea of the clones and some larger conspiracy was nothing new and those crazy fish people were confusing. However, you can’t bash a season which brought us the musical and the reconnection of Allison and Donnie. They were the best part.

    • Glam Dixie

      Well shoot. I thought I liked this episode until just now. I wasn’t a big fan of the dance scene either, it just seemed forced and a bit silly. I was excited to see the male clones. Dudes look cray-cray! lol I hope he’s up to the task. Tatiana has set the bar pretty high.

      • Grumpy Girl

        Yeah, I worry about the acting requirements. Although I would expect the boyclones to be bred moreso as fodder than for smarts? Or to work as a group. Wasn’t Cal’s technology originally about bee behavior in some way, so thinking the boyclones are more insecty, than the independent femaie clones. Or am I getting my insects mixed up? And notice that Mark is 19, rather than mid-to-late 20s like the ladies. (Or are they even older?) Does that mean there have been more waves of the boys, or that they started later.

        • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

          Or perhaps just took longer to get the science right?

          • Blueathena623

            Based on the little we’ve seen, the Castor boys seem to be in worse shape than the girl clones. We’ve seen 3. One seemed to be doing his job, one was the crazy dude who I think had scars on his face that Sarah saw, and one was Mark, who is a deserter, which is basically the exact opposite from what you’d want a military clone to do.

        • Blueathena623

          Mark went into the army at 19, but he’s not 19 now.

    • marymaryk

      For reference:

      Castor, in Greek mythology, was one of the twin sons from Leda & Zues (turned into a swan and raped her). So Leda is the genetic parent of Castor. Helen (of Troy) was anther child by the couple, and was kidnapped as a girl and rescued by Castor & his twin Pollox (together called the Dioscuri).

      So … hints of future plot directions? Perhaps?

      • http://sealsonthemove.blogspot.com/ Cecilia

        Helen/Helena? After reading this am wondering if Gracie-Mark and Marian-”Mark” will play a role in rescuing Helena.

      • http://BikePretty.com/ Bike Pretty

        I was hoping that the Pollox clue meant that Paul was actually the boy clone, because yum!

    • Inspector_Gidget

      This season they seem to be blowing through subplots with no real impact to the overall story. I also thought of the last season of Lost a few times, where all this stuff happened in waves the ultimately didn’t really matter at all… Dogen and his temple getting massacred before affecting anything, Elana wandering around the island and then getting killed off without doing much, etc.

      Same thing on this show. Dr. Leakey came and went, and could have easily not even existed without changing the overall story much. Kira gets abducted by someone every 2 or 3 episodes, then gets rescued right away and things return to normal. Mrs. S. keeps encountering all these people who do something mysterious and then vanish from the show without changing anything. Blips on the radar.

      It’s fun to watch, but starting to feel a little pointless to try and follow.

    • Suzanne Moore

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who is plot-confused! I would have difficulty trying to describe what happened on Orphan Black for most of the second season. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the reveal of male clones but the clone dance party did make me grin. Getting all the sisters together was fun but the writers missed a great opportunity for them to compare notes and figure out what to do next. I do hope Rachel comes back with an eye patch!

    • lvogt

      Orphan Black is so much fun and has so much good going for it that I can accept some imperfection. Who is infiltrating whom is complex. As far as the dance… I was totally into it. I even bought the music. On a bad day Orphan Black is better than almost anything else out there and lots more fun.

    • girliecue

      The introduction of the male clones absolutely infuriated me. It feels like the straw that’s going to break the camel’s back and I will be livid if OB is ruined! I enjoyed the dance party, not only because it was fun for all the dancers, but it was a celebration of their uniqueness and their togetherness. After it ended I felt like I could now say goodbye to any of the clones and have closure – although if Alison gets offed I will really, really miss her. Mrs. S. grates on my last nerve. How many shadowy organizations is she involved with? Sarah’s I-can’t-trust-you-but-I’m-going-to-anyway relationship with her is getting tired. Take a shit or get off the pot, Mrs. S. Pick a side. She, more than any other character, symbolizes the danger of having too much going on with too many people and not enough explication.

      Tatiana Maslany, though, rules! I just hope they don’t work her to exhaustion. She truly is a rare, shining gem.

    • S-k-s

      For a show that started out with a lot of things to say about society’s treatment of their bodies and its views and portrayals of women, and which really developed great, strong, complex female characters, i think the biggest disappointment for me was how season 2 really devolved into rachel basically becoming unhinged because she couldnt sate her baby fever and army boy clones because girls could not be used for military purposes, and then whatever the hell danny was supposed to be.

    • mmebam

      I loved the dancing. It made me smile as much is the iconic Charlie Brown dance scenes. And I would’ve been satisfied had the episode ended there.

    • VioletFem

      I quite enjoyed the finale, although it didn’t answer too many questions about what this whole season was leading up to (and in fact posed a few more for next season). One of my favorite quirks about Siobhan is that no matter what the situation she always has a thermos full of hot tea. That woman is always prepared!

    • kalisa

      I thought it was weird that Marion basically warned her “Run.” and instead, they went back to Fe’s apartment for a dance party. Huh?

      • MaggieMae

        Exactly. Unfortunately, it’s as if the writers want us to go along for the ride, but never questioning too much. The minute one tries to piece together a plot, it’s doesn’t hold water. The show is entertaining, but doesn’t make any sense.

    • nannypoo

      The thing I loved about the dance scene was the way it illustrated Helena’s development. Just as she went from a feral outsider to a member of the group, when she began dancing she was curled up like a hedgehog and she quickly evolved into a pretty good social dancer. This show has been a lot of fun. The only time I thought maybe they had completely lost their way was the episode with Tony. And if Rachel is not dead I will be happy to kill her myself.

    • Man Dala

      I totally disagree with your review. I found the finale gripping and satisfactory on many levels, while still posing new questions to remain engaging for future season(s). The Club Clone dance scene is one iconic moment of contemporary television. I am hooked for season 3.

    • Markatha

      Well, I had kinda had the opposite reaction to you guys. I enjoyed the episode as always (I was expecting male clones eventually but, I thought Felix was going to be them) and thought the writers came up with a creative installment even without all my wonderful ideas about what the story should be.
      But then I watch this show for the fun & entertainment, and have left my critical hat off (which is the way I watched & loved LOST all the way to the end). You guys don’t have that luxury. Of course I don’t love every little detail of the show, Angie gets on my nerves & Tony was questionable. Still the show is unique and very fun to watch each week

    • zky

      As unbelievable as the pencil thing was, I think they wanted something that would make us all jump up and yell, “She blinded me with science…SCIENCE!” I want that OB T-shirt.

    • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

      I’m inclined to feel that the entirety of Season 2 was designed to be about the characters of the clones. The plot is secondary to this, and in my opinion, that is okay.

      …Now, since the writers had this season to develop character, they better get some of those plot lines tied up for Season 3… :)

      • Blueathena623

        But what did we really learn about each clone that we didn’t know in season 1? The only clone character who got some depth (or at least width) was Helena. Other than that, Alison was still uptight, Cosima was still groovy, and Sarah was still caring about her kid and scamming a little.

        • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

          Alison and Donnie finally learning to help each other and not lie about their biggest fuck ups is a pretty big character development for both of them; Cosima realizing that Delphine wasn’t to be trusted; Sarah finally understanding that her actions have vast consequences for her child (“What kind of mother am I?”)…

          Season 2 was effective as character development (with the exception of the weirdo episode “Variable and Full of Peturbation”)–the plot needs to be tightened up next season, but I have no issues with it being secondary to watching the clones and the people around them grow (or shrink, as the case may be).

    • Lattis

      Well said, T y Lo. Well said. My biggest worry with this show is that it well devolve into plot mush.

    • jayKayEss

      I wanted the Boy Clone to be another Felix. Is that so wrong?

    • mgarbowski

      I realize I’m two weeks late to this, but I feel a need to bring this up because to my surprise it hasn’t been mentioned. The dance scene didn’t work for me because for possibly the only time in the series I could see that it was fake. I watched it twice and I cannot specify what’s wrong: I can’t say the lighting is uneven or there’s a shimmer, or anything like that. But for the first time since I don’t remember when the fact that this scene was shot and stitched together in post glared out at me. But the use of green screen seemed obvious. It was distracting. Apart from TM’s astonishing skills, the technical side of the show has consistently amazed me. All the multi-clone scenes have been seamless: both those scenes where they’re using TM’s double and achieve the effect through careful camera placement and editing, and those scene where you see two clone faces at once and they must therefore be doing some post-production magic. Never has the effect seemed off to the point there it made me remember – this is being faked. But here it just kept jumping out at me. Very disappointing. Other than that additional observation I agree completely with out hosts about the episode.