‘Orphan Black’ Review: “Things Which Have Never Been Done”

By  · Published on June 16th, 2014

BBC America

The penultimate episode of Orphan Black’s second season takes the somewhat unusual tactic – for this show anyway – of actually wrapping up story-lines instead of inundating viewers with dozens more. The biggies are still left dangling of course, but two of the clones have their immediate threats dealt with in some fairly conclusive (and highly entertaining) ways.

The remaining three – Sarah, Cosima and Rachel – see their story threads intertwined even tighter as the race to use the medical miracle that is Kira leads to her abduction. It’s an understandably dramatic moment, but some sloppy writing mutes some of its effect. Still, we’re set for one hell of a final episode next week as a mother’s wrath kicks into overdrive.

We’ll start with the two clones who reach at least something resembling closure.

Alison and Donnie contnue bonding over their respective acts of manslaughter as they try to deal with Dr. Leekie’s dead body. After deciding they can’t go the Dexter route and dump the stiff in the bay they choose to bury him in their garage. The pair jackhammer their way through the concrete, dig a corpse-sized hole, dump him in and cover it up like nothing ever happened. The kink in their plan comes in the form of Vic who’s still working with Detective Angie DeAngelis to crack the clone case.

This was never all that exciting of a story-line, in part because of Angie and in part because we’ve been through all of this before with Art. Happily though it may finally be done with thanks to a rather unlikely source. That’s right, Donnie becomes a man, and it’s about damn time he stepped up for his family. Sure Angie and Vic are left alive, but Donnie makes a compelling argument for why they should drop it. “If you come near my home or my family again, I will bury you.” Capping it off with “Have a shitty day” is a nice touch too. I guess what I’m saying is, yes, he deserves some “nasty” sex against the freezer (that recently held a dead body).

Helena meanwhile returns with a vengeance this week after being two weeks absent. The fertilized eggs – her eggs fertilized by Henrik – are inserted back into her so she can experience the joys of motherhood. She’s a bit slow to catch on to the big picture though so when Gracie undergoes the same process and seems less than thrilled Helena finally gets brought up to speed. Henrik is not only the father of the child within her but also of the one within Gracie. And also of the dozen or so rugrats running around the farm’s nursery.

Mark, who we discover is AWOL from the military, comes to his senses too when he realizes how unhappy Gracie is with the situation. It certainly took him long enough didn’t it? Signing on to the idea of a marrying a girl who’s been impregnated by her own father takes a special kind of willful ignorance. And has there been anything creepier than Henrik saying “it’s time for Gracie to bear fruit” this season? I mean, besides seeing him diddling around in his daughter’s bajango of course.

All of this leads to the episode’s most exhilarating sequence as Helena decides she’s no longer interested in farm life and Gracie leaves with her. Henrik catches them of course and gets the drop on Helena – remember when she was a badass who could take care of herself? – before locking up Gracie. This is Mark’s cue to take his bride-to-be and bolt leaving Helena to clean up this prolethean mess.

And it is glorious.

“Do I look like I’m trying to be funny?” she asks a restrained and clearly stressed Henrik. Oh, yes, and he’s also pants down, legs up in stirrups. For a second I thought they wouldn’t actually go through with what Helena was clearly planning, but happily they most assuredly do. Cow babies for everyone! My only question at this point is… do you think Helena got all those little kiddies away from the farm before torching the entire place?

With Alison and Helena free of their immediate oppressors we’re left with the main story involving a sick Cosima, a tricky Rachel and a constantly one-step-behind Sarah. It’s here where the episode revealed itself to be a bit of a mixed bag. In the neither here nor there department, we finally learn the specifics of how/why the clones are mostly infertile. Duncan and his wife made the walls of the clone’s endometrium unstable and incompatible with pregnancy. It means little in the grand scheme, but it’s an interesting detail chosen because they thought it would be the least detrimental overall.

Rachel shrewdly promotes Delphine to Interim Director of Dyad knowing that it will look like an act of goodwill on her part. She’s a sweetie that Rachel. Her goal of course is to get Delphine to convince Sarah to donate some of Kira’s bone marrow in order to (hopefully) save Cosima’s life. But there’s more going on in Rachel’s messed-up head than she’s letting on as evidenced my her alone time in her media room. Martini in hand, she watches old home movies and goes from laughter to tears to who knows what in a matter of seconds leading her to put a plan in motion to abduct wee Kira.

She kidnaps the child and sets her up in Rachel’s own childhood bedroom – presumably in the Dyad building – but I’m compelled to point out the ridiculous nature of the plan. Not only does she time an email arrival for just as Delphine is behind the computer, but she also knows that Delphine will choose to warn Sarah down in the parking lot? Why presume that, and why wouldn’t Delphine make the effort to actually go upstairs? And how did neither Mrs. S nor Felix notice that Sarah’s straight hair was now wavy? And how did Rachel know what kind of clothes Sarah was wearing? And why were Mrs. S and Benjamin apparently hanging out so far away from Kira’s room that they wouldn’t see Rachel leaving? And why can’t Rachel just adopt a goddamn orphan if she wants a kid of her own so badly?


The non Alison/Helena highlight of the episode was the brief video conference call between Sarah, Cosima and Alison. Even though they weren’t all together in the same room it’s still always nice to see them interacting. I’m expecting that Helena will be absent for much/all of the season finale, but maybe Alison can join forces with Sarah and Cosima in tracking down little Kira so we can at least get a little more family time before the long wait for season three begins.

Do we think the season will end with Kira still missing? Will Cal swoop in to help locate her using his sweet hacking skills? How can Cosima and Delphine make an argument to stay at Dyad past this point? They could easily take Duncan and Scott and all of their combined knowledge and head to a hospital elsewhere couldn’t they? Answers people, answers!

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.