Orphan Black – “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed”

Season Two, Episode One


Grade: A

Wow! What a first episode back to the twisting and winding world of Sarah Manning and the clones fighting for their lives. We pick up right where the season one finale left off, with Sarah running through the rain right after discovering Kira and Mrs. S are missing. The shots with the moving camera following Sarah as she sprints down the street throws into the right tone of maddening distress that Sarah is feeling. But finally, she tries her best to cool down and think clearly as she drinks tea at an empty diner, until two suspicious men walk through the door.

At this point, Sarah has been through so much that nothing surprises her anymore. So when these two men obviously want to force Sarah to leave with them, she’s able to squeak out of there unscathed (with the help of the diner owner with a shotgun). But now what? Alison and Cosima’s phones have been disconnected. She hesitates before calling Paul because really, who trusts Paul? She meets up with Felix who gives her some good advice, ditch the phone because they’re probably tracking her with it. These are just some of the little things that Orphan Black does so well. Sure, it’s obvious to us that she’s being tracked, but in Sarah’s stressed state, something she should’ve noticed from the start never occurred to her.

Meanwhile, Alison gets a fantastic scene as she’s rehearsing in a musical where she winds up snagging the lead role after the death of Aisley. Quite poetic, don’t you think? And naturally, she sings and dances to a song about cleaning up after an unfortunate death with a mop. I just can’t say enough good things about Tatiana Maslany, but her comedic acting here is simply superb. There is meaning to this very funny scene though, and that’s how Art is still investigating Beth’s death and isn’t entirely surprised to see Sarah walking right where Alison is.

The episode builds up to when Sarah puts her plan in action to attend the Dyad Institute party as Cosima, which was a great little twist. Like I’ve said dozens of times, Maslany doesn’t disappoint. On top of her giving all of the clones their own personalities, she then has the talent to be a clone pretending to be another clone, without ever confusing the viewer unless it’s the show’s intent. Her conversation with Dr. Leekie was tense, but Delphine saw right through Sarah and her charade. Eventually, Sarah is able to get her one-on-one meeting with Rachel, who is as cool as a cucumber until Sarah fires a shot near her head. What we learn here is that Rachel doesn’t have Kira, but she knew that Sarah would come to her if she thought she had them. Pretty smart, but that still doesn’t prevent Sarah knocking out Rachel with her gun.

One thing that Orphan Black does very well is that it keeps us guessing which characters we can trust. Can we trust Delphine? Maybe. She seems to genuinely care for Cosima, but then again she did refer to Cosima as 324B21 when she hands Dr. Leekie the blood sample. How about Paul? Sure, Rachel and them are blackmailing him, but he does let Sarah go after she knocks out Rachel. But how will he react when they’re stuck in a much more difficult situation? Will he lay down his life for her? And then there’s Art, whom Sarah did say not too long ago is the only person she trusts. She was about to confess everything to him at the police headquarters, will she finally tell him everything? That’s the question we’re left with at the end of the episode.

If that isn’t enough, we see that Helena is alive! Sure, she’s stumbling around a hospital, leaving a blood trail until the nurses and doctors notice her, but she is alive and this is very interesting. During the first season, we were introduced to another factor dealing with the clones, the Church-crazed Proletheans. We find out that the two men from the diner who tried to obtain Sarah are Proletheans. And the straight-faced, man in the suit strolls into the same hospital where Helena is receiving help. This is an all-out war.

How much of this season will be about Sarah searching for Kira? What role will Art play with this? Sure, Sarah and her clone buddies could use some more assistance, but we don’t know how Art will react to whatever Sarah’s about to tell him. Then there’s the concern for Cosima as she continues to cough up blood. Is there a cure, or is she inevitably going to bite the dust from being a clone? And please, please, please, can we see the final production of Alison’s musical? Thanks.


One Response to Orphan Black – “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed”

  1. […] – Orphan Black – “Variation Under Nature” (S01E03) – Orphan Black – “Entangled Bank” (S01E08) – Orphan Black – “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed” (S02E01) […]

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