Orphan Black S02 E05 – All ability to even has been lost.

Previously: Helena escaped the science-loving Proletheans (who grow scarier by the episode) and saved Sarah from certain death at Daniel’s hands. (By murdering him.)

Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est

Sweeney: The morning after the clone-twin murderunion, Rachel’s apartment is now a crime scene, albeit an internal Dyad-run-crime-scene. Rachel arrives, not having anyone suggesting Daniel’s body is too gruesome for her to see. She closes his dead eyes and the tender moment is cut short when she corrects Aldous’s suggestion of Daniel’s loyalty: “to you.” Everyone’s instantly aware that this is Helena’s work, not Sarah’s. There is security footage of the twins leaving together. There’s a cryptic reference to whatever happened in Taiwan, but we only learn that Paul did his job well. Rachel finds the home movie of hers that Sarah watched. Aldous suggests that all of this has only happened because of her heavy-handed tactics, but Rachel says she’s “only just begun.


Felix’s Frisky Flat. Felix is not a huge fan of having Helena in his apartment. He thinks that Sarah needs to cut Helena lose to keep herself from being pitted between two psychopaths. Helena hisses at Felix when he goes to get her food. It’s kind of endearing.

Lorraine: Like in a crazy way. Also, now that they are in with Helena, can someone help her hair?

Sweeney: PLEASE. Those roots are a problem. I’m a little confused by the fact that her roots have been at the exact same level for the entire duration of the show. Is she just casually touching it up while leaving the crazy roots? Please explain.

Sarah tells Helena that she needs to be kinder to Felix as he’s also family to them. Helena objects to being called “meathead.” It reminds me of when I was a little kid and how my brother could always upset me not even so much with what he said as how he said it. I wasn’t always sure what he was saying but I knew it was bad based on how he said it. I remember the moment that I stopped fighting with him when he said, “You’re the favorite!” because I was finally old enough to realize that this wasn’t actually a particularly potent insult. Once I stopped letting that statement antagonize me, he stopped. ANYWAY, Helena accepts the idea that Felix is “seestra,” and agrees to wash up and do as Felix says. Sarah’s still not sure what the crazy cowboys did to Helena, but she’s confident that she knows someone who can handle her as long as Felix can buy her a tiny bit of time.

Sarah takes a laptop from Felix so that she can talk to her daughter. We segue magic to said daughter, having an adorable conversation about socks with her father. We get further suggestion that Cal knows a thing or two about being shady when we see that he’s got a hideaway draw with weapons, lots of cash, and other IDs.

Lor: I am both happy he might be able to protect Kira but also sad he’s got secret compartments. NO SECRETS, CAL. STOP IT.


Dyad. Paul is being offered a “promotion” in which he basically takes over for Daniel as Rachel’s bodyguard, monitor, and, I don’t know, whore? It’s way beyond weird but Paul doesn’t feel like he has much of a choice. I don’t entirely remember the Afghanistan thing that they’re holding over him, but I feel like he’s well past the point where he should just say, “Fuck it, I’ll go to jail for a few years.” (L: OKAY, RIGHT? I’d at least take my chances running away…) Regardless, Aldous is coming along with a new stem cell line which can probably be used to treat Cosima. Rachel wants him to shut it down because Cosima’s health is now going to be held hostage in Rachel’s war with Sarah.

Making Crazy Science Lab. Cosima is Skyping with her former lab buddy, Scott. He’s explaining that this patenting jam was pretty common when Dyad patented their DNA (although I doubt he knows he’s looking at Cosima’s DNA) and it’s likely that Dyad was really just a contractor on some military project, though there’s no real way for her to look into it. He wants to stop being a poor broke blogger and come work for Cosima “on this super sensitive shit.” I feel you, bro. Cos asks Delphine why he can’t and she says that they’d have to kill his whole family and then hangs up the call. Delphine’s got something more important: she was sent a file about how the stem cell is basically ready for Cosima to be treated but it’s clear that this file was actually mean to go to Aldous instead of her, in spite of the fact that Aldous is supposedly sharing everything with them.

Lor: I have a hard time believing anything Delphine says. That’s one hell of a convenient mix up. I mean, I’m not even sure why she would lie about that, BUT I BET SHE’S LYING.

Sweeney: I was so eager to accept her as being totally sincere with Cos, but after that weird line about how it’s good that Cosima forgets that Delphine is her monitor I have resumed being suspicious of her every move. YOU’RE BREATHING HOW A LIAR BREATHES.

Runaway Roadtrip. Kira and Cal are stopped at yet another idyllic empty countryside so that Kira can talk to her mom. I just took a road trip through middle of nowhere places and only had data coverage for about 40% of it. I could barely tweet, let alone hold lag-and-interruption-free video calls. In a fun bit of continuity, Sarah is at the bar where she met up with Felix in the pilot and the same bartender who worked there pops by to share the not-child-friendly name of the band playing that night. Kira’s passive aggressively angry with her mother for her abandonment, insisting that she’s no longer a monkey and quickly passing the call off to “daddy.” Who is actually there. Cal apologizes, but Sarah tells him it’s fine. She also informs him that he didn’t actually kill Daniel. Cal says they’re close enough to grab her whenever she’s ready.

Art’s Apartment. Felix shows up with Helena. There are so many characters in this show that I kind of lose track so in spite of how obvious it is, it hadn’t occurred to me that Art was the guy who could handle Helena. This was a fun bit. It gets better: Felix tries to insist that Helena can’t have any weapons as Art searches her anyway and finds a pen tucked into her boot. “I wanted to write letter.” Art remembers Helena taking a shot at him because that’s the kind of thing you remember. Art handcuffs Helena and is mostly threatening but ends by insisting that Helena is safe there. Felix promises that Art wants to help Helena and Sarah but sees himself out to get ready for a date when Helena starts making pig noises. LOL. Helena confuses my feelings because she’s a creepy, terrifying murderer, but also an awful things were done to her and she saved Sarah and she’s strangely endearing. Before Felix leaves he suggests that Art try food.

Lor: There have been a few characters we’ve had occasion to discuss on this blog who’ve been products of their shitty situations. Those people usually end up doing shitty things, and there is a certain amount that you can defend them because of where they come from, and what’s happened to them. That kind of thing makes me prickly, though. Less so in Helena’s case because the difference is that she’s been given very little opportunity to do better. She’s been taught little if nothing else.

Sweeney: Exactly. I get into this again later on in the recap, but yes, exactly. All of that.

Proletheans Who Heart Science Ranch. Gracie’s mother is gunning for that “taking the parent out of parenting” title in Traumaland Awards 2015, insisting that whatever punishment she’s been receiving for the last 12 hours will persist as long as she refuses to tell them what happened with Helena. I mean, Gracie did try to murder to Helena, but it’s clear that there’s a basic lack of maternal concern when punishment is her response to how she found Gracie. She describes it as “a punishment to fit the crime.

We cut to them unlocking Gracie’s cell. She turns her head and we see that HER MOUTH IS STITCHED SHUT. HER MOUTH IS STITCHED SHUT. ALL ABILITY TO EVEN HAS BEEN LOST. When asked if she’s ready to talk, Gracie just gives them the angry look of someone whose psychotic parents stitched their mouth shut. Her piece of shit mother decides that her daughter can rot and she’s locked back up.

Also, this reminded me of Hocus Pocus. (Which I think makes it crossover magic.) The mouth-stitched-shut thing is the thing I remember most about that movie because it haunted my nightmares.


Sweeney: In Rachel’s apartment she is watching her home movie over and over again when Paul walks in. Rachel notes that is reciprocating the interest in learning all about her. She then fills Paul in on her backstory with Aldous: he became a bit of a guardian after her parents died but she now outranks him in Dyad. She thinks Aldous gets way too attached to his subjects and can’t make hard calls. Paul has done some digging on Cal – which seems to suggest that he doesn’t have prior Dyad affiliation. He insists that he’s not bothered by Sarah and Cal getting back together. Rachel tells Paul it’s time to officially make the call between Dyad and Sarah, presenting him with Daniel’s gun which can be tied to the murder of the police officer at Cal’s place.

Art’s Apartment. Helena is too infatuated with Art’s fish tank to listen to or answer his questions. Art’s trying to figure out how Helena went to murdering clones for Maggie Chen to running from Proletheans. We get flashes of Helena’s memories of the gross science experiment they performed on her, but she says nothing. Finally, Art gives up, saying he’s just going to make himself a grilled cheese sandwich. Helena suddenly seems interested in him.

Abusive Parenting Prison Cell. Mark [Smarmy Hipster Cowboy] brings Gracie some milk with a straw. He apologies for not being able to help, and tries to get Gracie to confess. She turns her head away to show her disgust. Mark kisses her on the cheek and tells her it doesn’t matter to him what he does. Gracie smiles and Mark leaves.

Art’s Apartment. Helena is stuffing her face and finally talking.

Lor: It reminded a little of Eleven:

Sweeney: One day we will cover that and I will become hip to all the Doctor Who references. One day…

She asks if Sarah knows about “the Swan man,” who “played god” i.e., Project Leda. Helena also says something about Maggie Chen having a locker. She shakes her handcuffs at Art, asking how this helps. Helena gets very serious, saying she has something to tell Art: she likes the powdered donuts.

Felix’s Frisky Flat. We named the flat forever ago but it hasn’t been very frisky in a while. As such, it’s long overdue for this pre-sex montage. Felix gets himself ready for his date which turns out to be none other than Colin, the odd-duck morgue attendant. Montage continues with sexytimes. Just as Colin is lubing up, there’s a knock on the door and the ultimate cockblock in the form of a search warrant. (L: Felix is forever being cockblocked.) Colin’s escorted out the door, hands dripping with lube. Awkward. All the more awkward because these cops know him and I guess the gay morgue worker is easy pickings for some cops who were obvs the former high school bullies.

Outside the flat we see Sarah arriving and hiding just around the corner. Inside, Paul struts in and Felix basically calls him out for being an asshole. Paul pulls out Daniel’s gun and scares the shit out of Felix. Paul holds Felix down while he presses his hand around the cop murdering gun. Outside, Sarah gets a call from Felix, only it’s actually Paul. Basically, she has until morning to turn herself, Kira, and Helena in to Rachel or else the gun will be used to frame Felix for the cop’s murder. He says it’s not a game and Sarah’s response is a general, “Fuck you Paul, fuck you forever,” that we totally echo.

After a not break, Sarah calls Art. Helena listens as he tells Sarah not to worry and that he’ll call down to the station to see if Rachel’s bluffing or not. After he hangs up, he notices that a can he opened is missing the pull tab. He then gets jumped by Helena who quickly pins him and snatches his gun.

Proletheans Who Heart Rapey Science and Abuse Ranch. Pastor Shitbag Broody Cowboy is clipping the stitches on Gracie’s mouth. She confesses that she only tried to protect the family: “not taking a real life – like killing a coyote that wants to eat your chickens.” She apologizes. Pastor Shitbag says she’ll be forgiven if she helps them find Helena. His septic labia of a wife adds that if they don’t find Helena, Gracie will have to carry their science experiment fetus. WTF. While Gracie and the audience reel from that revelation, Septic Labia pulls the stitches out. FUCK. These people keep robbing me of my words with their shocking ability to get worse each time we see them.

Lor: I think it’s the totally calm veneer that makes it even worse. It’s pretty much the opposite of Helena. She looks batshit, but every time we see her, she seems to be more humanized. These people look normal, and every time we see them, CREEPY FUCKS.

Sweeney: Excellent point about it being the inverse of Helena’s situation. They seemed so sweet and harmless at first. I mean, their affiliation with the Proletheans (even though they weren’t super big fans) made it clear that they were shady but they keep pulling out levels of crazy that I truly did not see coming. Helena, on the other hand, was batshit from the outset and gradually we’re seeing that she’s also a person too.

Dyad. Cosima and Delphine are snooping around Aldous’s office in search of the mysterious stem cell cure, but he catches them. Cosima tries to cover but Delphine cuts her off and accuses him of withholding. He explains that it wasn’t him hiding things, but Rachel cutting him off because of Sarah. He holds up the Project Leda picture and asks if Cosima has seen it. She doesn’t answer and instead asks who the people in it are. They are two of the founders of the experiment. He goes on to say that there was a lab fire 20 years ago in which they lost several scientists, data, and the original genome. Delphine gets even more pissed because they made it seem like the original genome was just super! secret! rather than, you know, lost. “The entire project is essentially an orphan.” Importantly, they lost some of the synthetic sequences that make them possible – “the map,” as Cosima clarifies. Aldous sets the picture down and says that if Sarah has found something, he needs to know. He’s doubtful of this, but is willing to disregard Rachel’s orders and proceed with treatment as a show of good faith.

Getaway RV. Kira is drawing a picture of her “aunts” who all alike but she can tell them apart. Cal is confused because he didn’t think Sarah had any sisters. There’s a knock on the door – it’s a cop, asking to see license and registration. Cal pulls out a license with his photo and the name Andrew, which matches the registration for the RV and places him as being from Seattle. He tells the cop he’s headed home. As the cop asks to poke around, Kira appears in a gas mask saying, “Trick-or-treat,” and she and Cal banter a bit. The cop is pacified from this and lets them go without being searched.

Inside, Cal notes that Kira is quick on her feet. It’s one of those things that’s equal parts, “yay!” and “sad.” Kind of like an infinitely less intense version of watching Arya in the early days. Here’s to hoping she doesn’t wind up a crazy murderer – those are much generally frowned upon outside Westeros.

Art’s Apartment. Sarah shows up to find Art handcuffed. They also find another one of those paper fortune tellers from Helena. More riddles. They assume it’s a coordinates clue like the last time she played this game.

We get a quick shot of Helena arriving at a big storage unit with a motorcyle inside. A bit later we see Art and Sarah arrive outside the same place, with Art recalling that Helena had mentioned a storage unit.

Inside, Art spots tire tracks and figures that Helena has already fled. They poke around the apartment and even though Helena’s not there, something eerily similar to her soundtrack plays. This seems to have been where Maggie Chen dropped information for Helena and also a place where she camped out. They find photos – another photo of the two scientists from around the same time as the Project Leda photo she already had, along with a later photo of a much older man which has, “Swan Man,” written on the back. Sarah decides that she needs to call Cosima because this is information she can use as leverage to get Felix back. They’ve got bigger issues, though, because Art notices an empty case for a sniper rifle. There’s also an LBD adorned headless Barbie – Helena’s off to kill Rachel.

In Rachel’s apartment, she’s in lingerie and tells Paul to get some wine. (L: EW.)

Over in a convenient nearby abandoned building, Helena is trimming the Barbie’s hair and talking to it about Rachel’s money. She puts red lipstick on its face and then her own.

Back in the apartment, Rachel’s drinking her wine, but ordering Paul not to drink his and also to remove his clothing. (L: EW.)

Art and Sarah are making their way to Rachel’s, but Helena has a 20 minute lead. Helena’s smooching her Barbie, and Rachel is ordering Paul around through more sexytimes. She slaps him when he tries to make an unauthorized move. Helena prepares her rifle. Paul asks if Daniel liked that. Sarah tells Art to pull over when she spots and abandoned motorcycle outside an abandoned building. As Helena finishes setting up her weapon, Rachel orders Paul to ditch his underwear and take a seat – setting up her own weapon. RIMSHOT.

Art and Sarah arrive at Helena’s murder stakeout as Rachel gets it in. Helena wants her to come see, saying that Rachel is a problem and she’s fixing that problem. Sarah says she wishes it were that simple, but if Rachel dies, they’ll keep Felix in jail. Sarah takes the binoculars, as requested, but tells Helena she doesn’t give a shit about Paul being “unfaithful.” Their relationship was always weird and she fucked someone else first. Plus, Paul is a fucking lunatic so you’re better off without all that mess, Sarah.

Lor: Paul has had sex with three clones. THREE. Two of them involved some dubious consent. Seriously, Paul. Run away.

Sweeney: Yup. I can’t believe I forgot to mention that. Lor and I watched this originally at the same time. She emailed me halfway through all, “FUCK PAUL!” and I was all, “I know. Also consent problems?” and now we’ve each gone and covered each other’s bases. Go us.

There’s a bit of a shouting match between Art and Helena – she threatens him to pull and see who is faster. Sarah decides to diffuse this by standing directly in front of Helena’s gun.

Sarah says that they can make a deal for Felix, but only Helena can help Sarah find Swan Man. Helena says Sarah only wants to use her and again my feelings are so confused on the Helena front. She’s a monster, but it’s sort of essential to the show’s thesis that is a monster who was made having been used and abused her entire life. Sarah starts to cry, saying that thinking she killed Helena was a moment of loss for her and all the worse because there was nobody that she could talk to about this tragic thing that she had lost. She was an orphan who suddenly found a biological family and then watched it burn. She begs Helena to put down the gun. She does and jumps off the table. Helena says that Sarah is making her cry and Sarah calls her meathead again. They walk off with their arms around each other’s shoulders while Art looks on, mystified.

Making Crazy Science Lab. There are tight shots of Delphine nurturing Cosima and Cosima’s anxious face and Aldous flicking a needle. It’s just a test at first, to make sure there’s no major negative reaction.


Lor: Extra limbs: not funny.

Sweeney: Cosima says that in light of what he shared earlier, “they” – as in Clone Club – have a proposition for him. “Do you like to drink beer?

Cut to later that night, Aldous is sitting in a bar. Sarah shows up with oh-so-cleverly hiding under a hoodie. She’s there to show him the recent photo of Professor Ethan Duncan, alive. She says it’s vital that her brother goes free in order to get details like his location. Aldous counters that if Sarah finds Duncan, he can try to counterman Rachel to continue Cosima’s treatments. This is news to Sarah as she hasn’t been informed of Cosima’s illness. I know we’re usually champions of “USE YOUR WORDS” but I totally get Cosima’s decision to withhold. Sarah was always wary of her involvement with Dyad and Cosima had to have always known about this risk – that she’d be used as a pawn to manipulate Sarah. I think it was equal parts about defending her choice and shielding Sarah from it. I still wish she’d have heard it from Cos, though, rather than being blindsided by Aldous. (For his part, he assumed she knew and tells Sarah that she’ll have to hear the rest from Cosima.) He says he can buy Sarah three days and Sarah says that if she’s followed, she’ll sick Helena on all of them, which he knows is not an idle threat.

Once she leaves, Paul stalks out from the shadows, having been sent there by Rachel. Aldous says that what Sarah finds on her “trip down Memory Lane” could endanger everyone, making it imperative that Paul go to Aldous first. Paul simply says he’ll be in touch and leaves.

In Mrs. S’s stolen truck, Sarah asks Helena how they find Swan Man. Helena is more interested in the comfort of the truck, but says that they need to go to Cold River – “the place of screams.” Fun for the whole family! End credits.

Next time: Find out how the cone twin road trip to the place of screams works out on Orphan Black S01 E06 – To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I spend too much time on YouTube. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.

Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

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  • Wilhelmina Upton

    I know I should be suspicious about Delphine but her hair is so pretty and she has the cutest french accent so I also want her to be genuine and care for Cos. This show gives one all the complicated feelings.

    I can’t imagine what it must feel like for Cosima to be told that the place she thought could provide answers and help her maybe not die in the next 6 months doesn’t know much more than she does. That the map to her creation has been lost.

    • Delphine is very pretty and I want her and Cos to be happy. For me, at least, it’s more that I feel like I have to be suspicious of everyone and they are just too much of a happily functioning couple for me not to feel like SOMETHING terrible is about to happen to them. I mean, “Buffy/Angel/GoT” collectively comprise the majority of this blog, so… Ruined, I tell you.

      • Wilhelmina Upton

        YES, that’s what I’m suspecting with Cal. He is too good to be true and well, Delphine and Cos are cracking a little in the next episode but it’s still weird. I’m naturally suspicious of all good things on TV because TV, you know?! I have spent too much time of my life watching it to not question everything that happens.

  • Oh Sweeney, I love it when you start getting super specify and detailed in your insult-names for people… Never change!

    Also, wouldn’t Paul be 3 for 3 with the dubious consent with clones? He was lying to Beth as her monitor, then he and Sarah were lying to each other, and now Rachel is basically blackmailing him. Not seeing a lot of informed and free decision making here…

    • I still regard “infected scrotum” as my finest moment in Fifty Shades blogging and I dedicated a good minute or two to trying to find an adequate female-anatomy counterpoint because that was the only way I could process that thing that was happening on my screen.

      I think we meant it more as 2 for 3 in clones only acquiring dubious consent from him, but yes, you’re right, he kicked the whole game off with Beth. WAY TO GO, PAUL!

      • That was immediately the association I made with it, so job well done, you succeeded! Or lost, depending on how you judge “ruined for life”…

        Ok, your score makes sense with that angle. But yeah, bigger picture says it’s pretty much all around Not Cool.

  • Policy of Madness

    I don’t think I would call the thing with Paul and Rachel “dubious consent.” I would call it rape, flat-out. I don’t know how any other interpretation can be put onto that scene. A boner is not the same as consent.

    Is it weird that Dr. Leekie seems to be doing a heel-face turn? I’m not sure I buy it. Not after his “wow, you’re a cheeky little experiment!” comment to Cosima back in season 1.

    I do trust Cal, but the fact that I do trust Cal makes me almost certain that trusting Cal is actually a mistake.

    Moving on …