How ironic that I am moving to the UK and will no longer be able to see this BBC America show. Wait–is that irony? Alanis Morissette has completely ruined my ability to discern irony. Whether it’s ironic or not, it’s definitely annoying and stupid. I really love this show. I think it’s a good show, and I think Tatiana Maslany is spectacular. The fact that she hasn’t been nominated for an Emmy at this point is an actual crime.
There’s a scene where Sarah is handcuffed to a shower (happens to the best of us), and Helena appears with a massive knife. I’ve never seen anyone look as afraid as Sarah does in this scene.
Season one ended with a focus on Sarah and Helena, who are apparently twins, born to the same surrogate mother. We also saw the inner workings of the Dyad Institute, including the clone-in-charge, Rachel. Season two begins with Mrs. S and Kira gone, Cosima and Delphine ‘infiltrating’ the Dyad in order to learn more about the clone program. Alison is turning to drugs and alcohol to deal with the fact that she let her friend die–note to self, never run the garbage disposal while wearing a decorative scarf. Or any scarf, I suppose. Most disturbingly, Cosima is starting to show signs of the illness that killed Katja. I swear, if they kill of Cosima I’m done. She’s my favorite.
Helena is a close second. Helena is amazing.
She goes through some shit this season. Kidnapped by a creepy Eugenics cult that seemed to combine the most horrifying parts of Mormonism and Nazi medical experiments. Very very gross. Forced to wear horrible clothes out of Little House on the Prairie, and injected with (her own) eggs fertilized by the creepy prophet/cult leader. Nope, nope, nope. On the upside, she gets to have a dance and a kiss with a guy in a bar, and she eats a lot of food.
The season focuses on a few things. Rachel, the uptight psycho who runs the Dyad Institute and treats herself and her fellow clones like subjects in a science experiment, but secretly harbors extreme anger over her loss of her parents, and her inability to have children. Major rage issues. The clones all learn more about themselves, both through Cosima’s work in the lab and by finding their ‘creator’, who also served as Rachel’s adoptive father, before he went into hiding. They (and we) learn that the clones are infertile by design (Sarah and Helena are the only known exceptions), and the respiratory problem (caused by tumors) can be treated with stem cells–from Kira. We also meet Kira’s father, who looks and acts like Aiden from Sex and the City, but clearly has something to hide. The question is, what did he know when he was dating Sarah?
I love all of the characters in this show, and I really enjoyed the plot. Shows like this have to walk a tightrope. Reveal too much and you lose audience interest. Reveal too little and you frustrate everyone (e.g., Lost). Orphan Black does a great job answering questions and keeping interest. You feel like you’re getting somewhere, even if the somewhere you’re getting is into deeper trouble for all the characters.
My only real complaint about the season is the same as everyone else’s, I think. Tony.
Look, I have no issue with seeing transsexual characters on TV–it’s great for improving acceptance. But this was not well done. Tatiana Maslany didn’t do that bad of a job with the acting itself, but there were a few big issues. One–the terrible pasted-on, barely-there facial hair. No. Do better. The look overall, actually, was quite badly done in my opinion. Look at Boys Don’t Cry for better examples. Actually, that terrible Amanda Bynes movie She’s the Man made a more believable male character. Of course, Tony isn’t actually male (anatomically). He’s a pre-op transsexual, if memory serves. He’s taking hormones, which would account for facial hair and a deeper voice. But I was thrown by the long hair and feminine eyebrows they retained. But other than just the appearance, the writing of this character was not good. He wasn’t likeable, and the pseudo-flirtation between him and Felix made me feel a bit gross, just because…Sarah is Felix’s adoptive brother and best friend, and this is basically Sarah’s twin. I find it weird when people date their best friend’s family, particularly if they look similar. Part of why Harry and Ginny bother me as a couple. The whole episode just made me unhappy and it broke the cognitive dissonance and left me cringing. I was also annoyed by his appearance, his possession of cryptic information, and then *poof*, he’s gone. Annoying. I’m ready for him to never come back.
Setting us up for next season, they also introduced Marion. Marion is above Rachel in the Dyad Institute and whatever else they are connected with. I recognize the actress from her turn on True Blood, so I was all ‘Danger, Sarah Manning!’. She cannot be trusted. Or killed, if she’s anything like her True Blood character.
Charlotte is the little girl in the foreground of this picture. Marion tells us that, after hundreds of attempts, Charlotte is the only clone they’ve produced since the first batch. Sarah’s face kind of says it all–imagine coming face to face with your 8-year-old self.
I’m going to have to figure out a way to watch this next year, because I really like it. It surprises and amuses me, and how often do both of those things happen in a TV show? That being said, I hope Tony only makes one more appearance, relaying a cryptic but important message before being tragically killed.