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Orphan Black – S1E6 – Variations Under Domestication

Previously on Orphan Black, ‘Conditions of Existence’ 

The episode begins with Alison snoozing next to Donny in some swell pink PJs with matching eye mask. Of course Donny snores. She looks just about as sick of him as I am, and heads downstairs to watch the surveillance tape from her nanny cam. We get a not-so-glorious peek at Donny in his tighty-whities as he sneaks out of the house at 4am. Alison is not too happy about this discovery. She confronts him about, and when he won’t tell her where he went she takes the sensible route and hits him in the head with a golf club, knocking him out. Oh, and they’re hosting a party that afternoon.

At Beth’s we are learning a little more about G.I. Paul. It seems that he’s only a monitor because he got blackmailed into it. He’s also being quite pas-agg about the whole ‘Sarah pretending to be Beth’ thing, which is a little pot-calling-the-kettle-black if you ask me. She pretends to be stripping down for a shower, but instead sneaks out the backdoor in her bra. She jumps in the car and calls Cosima.

Cosima is in the library and acting all flirty with Delphine. Sarah tells her to keep her distance, but Cosima does not seem keen to take that advice. In her defense, I think anyone would have trouble keeping away from a monitor who looked like Delphine, or Paul for that matter. Alison really missed out in the monitor department.

On the subject of Donny, Alison is busy trying to deal with her whole unconscious husband situation. She sends her kids off to the neighbours and calls Sarah for help. To get him out of the way, she clips a helmet onto Donny’s head and pushes him down the stairs. She’s a real problem solver this one.

Paul is eating toast! And, more importantly, he is tracking Sarah with a GPS! Uh oh, I think she’s heading to Alison’s.

Alison has (the rapidly regaining consciousness) Donny tied to a chair in her craft room. She threatens him with a pair of safety scissors, and then pulls out the big guns. Hot glue guns to be exact. When he won’t tell her what was in his special box, she sends boiling hot glue onto his chest hair. No one can look sane in pink flannel pajamas with a glue gun.

Over in Minnesota, Cosima is going out of her way to ignore Sarah’s advice. Her and Delphine head to see a lecture on ‘neolution’ together. I already don’t trust the lecturer. His name is Dr. Leekie, which is clearly a sinister name.

Orphan Black S1E6 Delphine and Cosima

Paul is being creepy. He calls Sarah and leaves her a message telling her to come round and talk, but his peacemaking words are belied by the fact that he is grinding up pills and mixing them with the liquor in the cupboard. Plus he’s wearing gloves inside, which is never a good sign.

Back at Alison’s torture palace, her questioning is interrupted by a knock at the door. She gags Donny with a tea towel and heads upstairs. It’s just Sarah. She is pretty shocked by the husband in the cupboard, but before they can get into it, Alison’s neighbours start arriving. Alison is understandably pretty stressed and she gets started on the wine. Also, of course, the spice girls are playing. The girls make a plan. Alison will go upstairs and play hostess, and Sarah will stay downstairs and question Donny. What could go wrong?

Orphan Black S1E6

Alison gives Felix a call, and interrupts what seems to be some good old-fashioned prostitution. Upstairs, Alison is burning the sausage rolls and failing at small talk. She is definitely drunk already. Sarah, as always, does a great impression.

Paul meets up with Olivier, and pulls out a pretty good story about Beth being depressed again. Olivier seems to buy it. Paul seems to be plotting killing Sarah and making it look like suicide.

Sarah-son asks Donny about how the monitoring works, but he is sticking to the “I’m just a regular guy” routine. He tells her that he got up in the middle of the night to watch cricket. A likely story. He starts yelling about PMS and Sarah lays down the law, telling him that he needs to treat his wife with more respect.

There are a lot of oddballs in the lecture with Cosima and Delphine. Dr. Leekie’s lecture starts of a pretty nifty audio visual display. It’s been a few seconds in and I already think this guy’s a wanker. He is talking about how neolution is self directed evolution, and I’m trying to pay attention because I’m sure it’s important to the plot, but I just have an irrational hatred for this guy and cannot listen.

Vic is back! Yay? He breaks into Felix’s apartment with a pair of bolt cutters. Felix has conveniently left Google maps open with directions to Alison’s place. I have no idea why he needed that, given that he took a cab, but I’ll let it slide. Sarah is highly amused by Felix’s suburban outfit.

Alison is very drunk and snappy. Luckily, Felix is here to save the day. He whisks Alison away from Ainsley and her possibly gay husband Chad before she can do any more damage to her social standing. Alison collapses on the couch with her liquor and bemoans what a terrible wife she is, before passing out. Paul has tracked Sarah to Alison’s house, and is watching from across the street like a stalker.

Orphan Black S1E6 Sarah and Alison

Cosima and Delphine have a chat with Dr. Leekie. He’s suitably skeezy. Cosima steals two bottles of wine from the function and her and Delphine run off.

Orphan Black Dr. Leekie

On the subject of booze, Felix has taken his job as bartender to mean bar sampler. Sarah comes up disguised as Alison, and the two size up the chatty Ainsley as a prospective monitor.

Cosima and Delphine run through the Uni hand in hand with their stolen wine. Delphine has a cigarette but Cosima abstains; she only smokes pot! The two part ways, but before exchanging some flirtatious banter. Cosima is a smitten kitten.

Alison is still passed out on the couch. Sarah approaches Donny and in her special Sarah way manages to con him into spending his time tied to the chair evaluating what he’s done wrong in their marriage.

Vic has arrived! He meets up with Sarah in the upstairs bedroom. Meanwhile, Paul sneaks in the side gate. He is very confused by the sleeping Alison. In her drunk, half asleep state she (unsuccessfully) propositions him. He hears some muffled screaming and finds the bound and gagged Donny tied up on the floor, next to the active footage from the nanny cam. He kinda tilts his head like a puppy when he’s confused.

On the screen he watches Vic and Sarah meeting. Vic thinks that Sarah is running a suburban scam. Paul comes in to get rid of Vic, but Vic has a gun. They head to the garage, but Ainsley interrupts them. She just wants to talk to Alison about her problems with Chad, so the boys head on.

In the garage, soldier boy Paul easily takes care of Vic and grabs the gun. He loads up a nail gun and begins to question Vic about Sarah. Sarah walks in and tries to calm the situation, but Paul is acting a little deranged. Alison’s little girl runs in to say hi to mummy. Sarah quickly gets her out of there. Vic tries to escape in the confusion, but Paul stops him with a nail through the hand.

Orphan Black - S1E6 Vic and Paul

Ainsley is snooping suspiciously. She finds the sleeping Alison, but doesn’t notice anything strange, and puts her to bed.

Sarah sends Vic off and tells him to never come back. Here’s hoping he listens this time! Ainsley comes into the garage but Sarah manages to make her back off by pretending that her and Paul are having an affair.

Orphan Black Variations Under Domestication

Night falls and Alison heads to bed with the recently freed Donny. Alison has done such a number on him that he ends up apologizing to her. He plays off the secret of the box as having letters from an old affair, but I still don’t trust him.

Paul and Sarah settle in and Paul is about to feed her some drugged scotch when she actually tells him the truth! He swaps bottles and they have a chat about clones. He’s pretty chill about it.

Delphine is dressed up pretty in some fancy hotel hallway! Oh no! She’s meeting Dr. Leekie and it looks like they’re lovers! This is the worst.

Next week on Orphan Black: Helena is back! And so are the cops!


About Alison Millward (103 Articles)
Alison is a big nerd living in Melbourne, Australia. She is a lover of all things television, particularly anything in the "hot young people in depressing sci-fi situations" genre. When not watching tv, Alison enjoys long walks on the beach, corrupting young minds, and actively avoiding thinking about her future.
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