Orphan Black Visits Planet Alison

Alison election
Steve Wilkie/BBC

We finally got an Alison-centric episode on Saturday’s Orphan Black, and just in time too! After mourning the death of Paul last week, “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate” was a welcome relief.

“We’re going to dismantle that b***h” — Felix Dawkins

Not that Alison’s life was any less complicated than her sisters’. Not only was she getting ready for the school trustee election, she and Donnie also had to pay their dues to the local drug lord and convince Alison’s mother to sign over her shop to them. And let me tell you, Alison’s mother (Little Mosque on the Prairie‘s Sheila McCarthy) was a real piece of work. I definitely understand now why Alison is so uptight.

The Leda clones have been doing their own thing for most of this season, so it was nice to see them coming together again. The Cosima/Alison interactions were especially enjoyable. I’m a sucker for the identical twin switcheroos–I’ll never get tired of them! Have all the Leda clones played each other now?

Let’s see:

  • Alison as Sarah
  • Helena as Sarah
  • Sarah as Alison
  • Sarah as Cosima
  • Rachel as Sarah
  • Alison as Sarah
  • Sarah as Rachel
  • Cosima as Alison

And that’s not even counting Sarah masquerading as Beth and Katja in Season 1. Think about it, though: there are so many combinations still left for Tatiana Maslany to play with! Wouldn’t you love to see Alison play Cosima, or Sarah pretend to be Helena? Or Helena pretend to be anyone, for that matter?

It’s incredible the way Tatiana is able to convincingly play one clone playing another without us getting confused, but how amazing are Felix’s Master of Disguise skills? He is to the Leda Clone Club what Q is to James Bond, basically. Not only does he know how to get the hair and dress right for each of his clone sisters, he has their distinct mannerisms down to a science as well.

Of course, even Felix’s considerable skills were put to the test with Alison popping in and out of the election event. When Cosima dive-bombed while she was trying to give Alison’s campaign speech, I expected Alison to come on stage and confess that Cosima was her twin or something. It would have almost been easier to explain than Cosima’s disastrous attempt at public speaking.  But Alison’s “something Marci said got stuck in my throat” comeback was masterful. One thing this girl does well is bounce back!

I have to say, the boys of Orphan Black were bringing their A game this episode. It’s always a delight to watch Donnie play off of Alison in their scenes together. Their twerking scene of last week will forever remain an iconic moment of TV. This week, I loved watching him fume in jealously as Alison interacted with her old flame Jason Kellerman, and his hilarious attempts at conversation with Pouchy–yes, that Pouchy–while he was being held as collateral for their drug money. Donnie is such a bumbling teddy bear of a man, but he’s definitely not to be underestimated, as his awesome scenes last season proved.

Speaking of which, it was interesting to see him still acting as Alison’s monitor, though. I had forgotten she had made a deal with Dyad to regain some measure of her freedom. That must make for some awkward pillow talk at House Hendrix, though.

And Josh Vokey, as Cosima’s lab partner Scott? Such a cutie! Every time I see him onscreen, I fall in love with him a little bit more. He started out as this nerdy throwaway character but, this being Orphan Black, he has so many more layers now than the usual friendly neighbourhood science guy TV trope. Scott is a bit more reserved than the other characters on this show, but he has a quiet Buddha-like presence and he seems to centre Cosima a bit. He sensed when she was still hung up on Delphine or when she was trying to hide how sick she really was. And he proved this week that he can be pretty sneaky too. Scott handled the whole negotiation with Rachel like a pro, even though he admitted to being creeped out by her. By the way, Agricola is totally supposed to be Settlers of Catan, right?

Oh, and we finally find out where Project Castor’s Rendition Camp was located! Or we could kind of deduce it’s location given the seedy bar Sarah and Helena ended up at. I’m 99.9 per cent sure they were somewhere in Mexico. All this time I thought they were somewhere in the Middle East or something, but I guess it makes sense that the Castors elected to stay pretty close to North America.

Sarah (TATIANA MASLANY) and Helena (TATIANA MASLANY)
Steve Wilkie/BBC

The girls were expecting one of Mrs. S’s contacts to pick them up, but Mrs. S came herself instead. It was great to see her and Helena try to make peace, albeit an uneasy and violent one, but I’m not sure how long it will hold. For one thing, don’t know if I totally trust S yet. I believe she has Sarah’s best interests at heart, but if she were faced with a choice between saving Sarah and saving Helena again, who do you think she’d choose?

And for another thing, Helena has every reason not to trust S after what she did, not to mention that Helena doesn’t trust anyone easily, not even her own twin. I hope it works though, because Helena will need her family around her now more than ever, especially when she is finally ready to give birth.

So the Leda clone family is slowly drifting back together again (maybe now Kira and Cal will return from abroad?). That’s one of the things I love about being on Planet Alison. She may be bossy and high strung and overachieving, but Alison definitely understands the importance of family. As she so eloquently stated in her speech, “Sometimes family is more than just the people under your roof.”

Next week…

  • Is there a flame rekindling between Alison and Jason? And what is Donnie going to do about it?
  • Rachel thinks Delphine is trying to get rid of her. Will the other Ledas move to protect her, considering she tried to have them all killed?
  • Krystal Goderich makes a reappearance! Can’t wait to see what Tatiana Maslany does with this new clone…

Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America and Space.

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