Previously on Orphan Black, “The Few Who Dare”
After a slow yet steady premiere, “Clutch of Greed” kicked Orphan Black into high gear.
The episode was packed with plot, the pacing of which was exciting and never overwhelming. In a short amount of time we learned it’s been a week since Rachel thwarted Sarah’s attempt to get off the island, that she (and Kira) have been brought to DYAD, and that all her sestras (minus Helena, who is presumed missing) are cooperating with Rachel. Sarah agrees to Rachel’s terms, for Kira’s sake, but the minute she arrived back at home with Mrs. S and Felix, they were already planning a way out. The episode doesn’t slow down once from there, and leaves you feeling breathless in the best of ways.
“Clutch of Greed” saw two clones seeking escape. One attempt, Helena’s, was a success, delivering both shock and amusement. The other was a failure, but gave us the pleasure of watching Sarah pretend to be Rachel, and MK pretend to be Sarah pretending to be Rachel. Along with Cosima we finally met the sestras’ maker, the 170-year old PT Westmoreland – who doesn’t look a day over 120, if we’re being honest. The brutal murder of MK was both alarming and heartbreaking, even though we barely knew the Clone Club’s most recent addition. Delphine showed up at Mrs. S’ door, acting as shady as ever. And Kira finally addressed what many fans have wanted to know since the beginning: why is she different?
Granted, we already have some clues as to why Kira could be special. Her existence itself is the first of its kind – the offspring of a clone who was never meant to reproduce. The many “abilities” she’s presented since the beginning of the series, though, have gone unanswered thus far. How can she tell the difference between clones? Why does her body heal quickly and, some might say, miraculously? How does she always seem to sense when something bad is just around the corner? And what connection does she have to the clones that made her feel the exact moment when MK had died? These questions may once have only been in service of understanding more about Kira, but with Helena’s babies on the way – and the knowledge that at least one of them can also heal their own wounds – getting to the bottom of it all is a much more central concern. Unfortunately, Rachel and Neolution will be the ones privy to the mysteries of Kira before any of the good gals, which makes it all the more difficult for Sarah to accommodate.
“You’re gonna have to let go.”
On the surface, Kira’s words to her mother at the beginning of the episode serve as foreshadowing for her protests to running away. Whether Sarah was dreaming or it was an actual vision, she should have seen her daughter’s choice coming. But the quote serves a larger purpose to the entire episode, as well. It’s kind of a running theme. Both Alison and Art have no choice but to go along with Rachel, since they’re under the thumb of Art’s new partner, Maddy. Though Cosima makes it clear she would never work for a man like PT, or an organization like Neolution, she has to put those feelings aside if she wants access to their lab. It’s nothing Cosima hasn’t done before in pursuit of a cure, but this time definitely feels different; there are higher stakes involved. Aside from obliging Kira, Sarah also has to let go of saving MK. And the circumstances of MK’s death may be something that weighs on Sarah for quite some time.
Ferdinand, too, is being forced to let go of something: the Rachel he once knew. She is really selling this whole “new year, new me” act, especially when she seems genuinely upset by the death of MK. It’s hard to know if she’s legit, or if it’s all thanks to Tatiana Maslany’s never-ending talents. He knows he could never overpower Rachel, even with her limp, so when he sees MK disguised as his former lover he takes advantage of the situation. Orphan Black has never shied away from violence, but there was something particularly affecting about Ferdinand taking MK’s life. Of course, it was a brutal and graphic way to go, but there’s more to it than that.
Despite knowing fairly little about MK, and therefore not having the same depth of connection to her, her death is nearly as painful as one of our main clone’s deaths would be. This is where the work of the previous four seasons really shines through. First, there’s the fact that we can understand MK’s vulnerability from her illness because Cosima is going through the same thing. We also know what it’s like for these clones being constantly on the run, because both Sarah and Helena have done that in the past. MK shares not only the same face but also the same struggles as our beloved clones. This is what makes her loss so affecting on numerous levels and, perhaps, it should be a sign that we need to prepare for more heartbreak in the coming eight weeks. There have to be a few wins for our clones yet to come, but with so much happening at such an early stage in the game, anything is possible.
- From my notes: “THE NEEDLE IN THE FACE AND MOUTH! AND THE TONGUE OMG!” Yes, Helena, you definitely have a firm grasp on what “puncture” means. Also, “Oh, Delphine, why are you still acting so shady? I want to like you!”
- Elyse Levesque, who plays Art’s new partner Maddy, needs to restrain her performance a little. We get it; you’re the enemy, no need to twirl your mustache while telling Alison to get a jump-start on Christmas cards.
- It may not seem like a lot in the moment, but the scene of MK and Sarah switching clothes is very technically impressive. I can never say enough about Tat’s excellent work, but her body double and the creative team behind this show deserve ALL the awards, too.
- I hope we get at least a couple more scenes between Felix, S, and Sarah before the show is over. As much as I love all the sestras, there’s a real spark between these three characters. They feel like a real family, with real history, and that makes all of their interactions so enjoyable.
Orphan Black S5E2
"Clutch of Greed"
Starring: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kristian Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Skyler Wexler, Josh Vokey, Ari Millen, Evelyne Brochu