Orphan Black S02 E07 – This is a thing.

Previously: Vic the Dick is spying on Alison and Siobhan found Papa Duncan before Sarah did.

Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things

Sweeney: At Alison’s They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab & I Went Facility, she and Vic the Dick are doing an arts and crafts project – place settings for Family Day. Alison explains that her friend Aynsley thought she was better than her and, as such, deserved what she got. She hesitates, but after pressing from Vic, Alison confesses to sleeping with Aynsley’s husband aaaaaand kind-of-sort-of killing her.

Ali reflects on Ainsley clawing at the countertop and then takes a deep breath and tells Vic how great it feels to say it out loud. Vic’s, “Well, shit,” face is one I share. Also, Alison made him some gloves and if he knows what’s good for him, he’ll be damned excited about them.

Lorraine: Vic’s face makes this scene. When she confesses that she slept with Aynsley’s husband, he’s all, “oh.” And then when she keeps on that she watched her choke to death, the graduation to “well, shit,” face is perfection. Guard those gloves with your life, boy.

Sweeney: Absolutely. Way to give good face, Vic the Dick! But trust us on the gloves.

Papa Duncan’s Hoarders House. Sarah and Siobhan tear up the house helping Papa Duncan find some box that he insists he must have before he can leave. Sarah complains that this man is nuts, which makes him a questionable ally. She considers making a friend out of Rachel or, at least, trying to play both sides for a time.

Facility for Rehab & Foolish Confessions. Alison finds that Vic did not, in fact, know what’s good for him and left those gloves behind on the chair. (L: Mm. First mistake.)  She goes to his room to return them but overhears him talking to Deangelis on the phone about the massive dirt he has on her. Alison hurries off before she’s caught. Nothing good ever happens to people who reject Ali’s gifts.

Lor: Also, those who LEAVE DOORS OPEN while having super secret conversation. Second mistake.


Runaway RV. While Kira sleeps, Cal does some digging on Dyad. He tucks her in and when he returns to the laptop he finds that its camera is on and he’s clearly been spied on.

Hoarders House. Ethan Duncan finds his magic box and it appears to mostly be full of old junk and Sarah’s pissed. More bad news: Cal calls to inform her that he’s been found out by way of having his computer hacked. He assures her that he’s throwing them off right now, though. Siobhan wants to know who the mystery babysitter is, but Sarah’s not quite ready to trust her with that information. Sarah also doesn’t particularly trust Siobhan with Papa Duncan, but doesn’t have much in the way of choices. She warns him to watch his back with her and leaves.

Making Crazy Science Lab. Cosima’s starting surgery as Delphine comforts her and it’s all very sweet and feelsy. They kiss and Delphine talks Cosima through everything that’s happening, though she can see it on a screen. Delphine promises that this is the beginning of getting her well.

Felix’s (Jinxed) Frisky Flat. He’s awoken in the middle of the night by Alison hwo is whispering because she’s using the reception desk after hours. Alison explains that Vic the Dick is in rehab spying for Deangelis and Felix promises to be there in the morning. Tread lightly Alison; Sarah gets a bit moe leeway to inadequately appreciate Felix because family.

Speaking of Sarah, she meets Cal at his new location. He freaks out because he has no idea how Dyad even caught him in the first place – he was super careful and thought he was untraceable. He’s now pretty confident that Kira’s a fairly valuable prize for them. He also shows Sarah the picture Kira drew of her “aunties” and adds that they came with a super weird story. Sarah dismisses it as a child’s overactive imagination. Cal takes a deep sigh and then gets to the part where they’re cute and happy to see each other.

Lor: I hope they aren’t too happy. Happy people are dead people.

Sweeney: Definitely true in Los Angeles. Mostly true in a few other places. Maybe that’s not the case in Canada, though! They’re so friendly up there!

Probably not? OK…

Dyad. Paul comes to Leekie to say that he followed Sarah and she came up empty – no sign of the scientist. Paul isn’t sure what to tell Rachel and Leekie says to tell her “the truth,” though he says it with a hint of suspicion as to whether Paul actually told him the truth. Paul leaves and Leekie calls an assistant to say he needs to make an emergency appointment with Marian Bowles.

Hoarders House. Papa Duncan is reluctant to leave, but Siobhan forces him out the door. He nearly forgets the box of trinkets until she reminds him. He grabs the box and empties its contents. Underneath the bottom of that box is a stack of disks. I don’t question that stealthy plan quite so much as I sideeye this particular reveal moment. It feels weird and contrived solely for the, “See, he’s not entirely crazy after all!” moment. But that moment is had as he tells her that the disks contain, “Absolutely everything.

Lor: It did make me wonder if the Hoarders House was more strategic, if meant to hide some disks in a lunch box.

Or if he’s just crazy.

Sweeney: It would certainly keep people away. Remember the pilot episode of Hey Arnold when Arnold taught us that if bullies think you’re ultra crazy, they’ll leave you alone? Being a recluse probably gets you left alone because people think you’re weird. Also, the hoarding is good to block windows and stuff.

Or maybe he’s just crazy. Either, or.

RV for Runaways & Reunions. Sarah wakes up with Kira who is sleepy but super glad to finally see her mom again.

Dyad. Cosima is making her way back to the Making Crazy Science Lab and overhears Delphine yelling at Scott about the importance of keeping his revelation about the stem cells a secret. Cosima calls Scott out with Delphine still standing there. Scott shuffles about awkwardly for a beat.

After a cut, Cosima and Delphine are fighting. Cosima is furious that she was given Kira’s cells. Delphine tries to explain that the cells were planted for Delphine to find and she didn’t know the source until after she knew they were a match. Cosima isn’t assuaged by this, what with it being her body and her decision. Delphine says she has no decision to make, with this being the only way forward. That excuse doesn’t quite fly for Cosima or the Snark Squad. (Because I know she’s curious how we feel about her choices.) Delphine adds that they got the baby tooth from Kira when she was in the hospital after getting hit by a car in the S1 finale. This means it’s a finite source – “unless you bring her in for more,” Cosima adds. Cosima tells her to get the fuck out through rage tears because this is her lab and, more importantly, her body.

Lor: That line really reminds you how much is on the line. Cosima told Sarah that scientist have no idea; they just poke at things and look for explanations. Cosima is both the scientist and the subject. “I’m the science,” she says and it’s a very loaded statement. I want to hug her.

Sweeney: I’ve spent most of this season wanting to hug Cosima. This recap, in particular has several moments where I checked myself because I realized how many imaginary hugs I doled out last time and decided it was getting weird and I needed to stop.

Rehab. Alison finds Vic the Dick and says she needs to speak to him. He follows her back to her room where they find Felix waiting to chew him out. Vic says he really is sorry for doing this to Alison, but he’s got his own past to get out from under. He’s unswayed by Felix’s arguing and leaves but stops short when Felix calls out that Sarah’s not pleased.

Dyad. Leekie has his important meeting with Marian. She’s wearing a really faulous white coat. It’s like science lab chic. (L: Super accurate. All the best in evil scientist wear.) (S: It’s the cousin to Bad Girl Styling.) Leekie brought her down to tell her that Ethan Duncan is alive and has been tracked down by Sarah. “Well, this is a thing,” she responds. This woman is obviously an evil Dyad lady, but she’s endearing herself to me with things like fierce coats and her use of gifable vocabulary that I can use all the time in my internet life.

Well, this is a thing.

The important thing here is how Rachel will react to this. Leekie thinks that Rachel is now taking things too personally, and Marian says that if Rachel’s become too entangled they’ll have to step in. On her way out, she adds that their now infrequent meetings are almost always in some way related to Sarah Manning. “We need to look at that.

Lor: Man, bosses are always saying vague crap like this. BE MORE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR DELIVERABLES, BOSSES.

Sweeney: Hideaway Pier. Sarah and Cal are getting hotdogs from a truck and he suggests that Reykjavik is the answer to their problems – he has people and can get papers. Sarah laughs off the suggestion. He’s frustrated but doesn’t press, switching instead to noting that in all his recent shady internet dealings he’s heard a lot of troubling chatter about Dyad. He doesn’t clarify, but it’s clear that she’s uncomfortable. He makes a big dramatic speech about how he’s just going to say her big secret out loud but he merely guesses that she’s a Pisces and says he doesn’t care either way and gets in the car. Sarah’s green clone phone rings and it’s Felix and Alison beckoning her over to rehab.

After a Not Break, we’re at rehab and “Love Is All Around” plays. Delightful! Something tells me that this song is a lie and that love is, not, in fact, all around these characters.

Sarah meets Felix out back. Vic awkwardly pretends that he hasn’t been anxiously waiting for her when she enters Alison’s room. Sarah takes a seat and Vic says he has to atone before pulling out a paper so he can remember to declare her a rock in his stream, blocking his flow. He apologizes and Sarah’s all, “Great, cool, bye!” Vic’s not content with that and wants to know if Sarah’s got an apology for him. Not really, it seems. Vic says he wants to have a conversation with her, but you can’t really have much of a back-and-forth if the other person isn’t interested. That’s part of why refraining from accusatory language is an important part of any remotely successful attempt at an intervention. Vic doesn’t care much about that, though, because he’s changing the terms of his deal with them re: Alison.

Alison, for her part, is greeting her family and successfully fawning over her children while icing out her husband.

Lor: His name tag isn’t even decorated. Cold.

Sweeney: In Alison’s room, Sarah and Vic are fighting. Sarah finally says that she is sorry for her share of them being train wrecks. Vic wants her back, but that’s a no. “Don’t tell me that Nail Gun Ken is still in the picture?” (You know, because she can’t just not be interested because of how she’s not interested.) Felix adorably adds, “No, but you should see the new one.” (A fair point. I mean, this makes you eskimo sisters with THE MOTHER OF DRAGONS, Sarah.) (L: A+) Vic tries to insist that Sarah really belongs with him, but he struggles with his words and eventually passes out, crashing hard into the table and sending Alison’s arts and crafts flying. Felix confesses that he spiked Vic’s tea. Guys! Drugging people is also not the correct way to solve our problems and get out of conversations we don’t want to have. Bad form all around.

(But also I’m obsessed with Felix trying to restrain his laughter in that last gif.)

Lor: His lashes also look outstanding in this scene. But, um, bad Felix! Bad!

Sweeney: Dyad. Siobhan shows up at Leekie’s office. She explains the contents of Duncan’s disks – in short: their missing science. She laughs at the idea that she’d outright answer the question of where it came from. The important thing is what he’d give to get that information. That would depend largely on whether he could authenticate it with Duncan himself. Siobhan proposes that she trade Duncan for her and Kira being left alone. Sarah “insists on fending for herself,” and isn’t part of the deal. COLD.

Back in rehab, Felix is trying to defend that choice to Sarah when she gets a call from Siobhan who says she was there to fact-check. Also part of the divide-and-conquer mission. I’m torn between my desire to take her at her word and, as such, assume she wouldn’t have made that deal and my belief that everyone ever is about to have some shady as fuck reveal around the corner the second you dare to trust them. Siobhan now knows that Rachel doesn’t know about Ethan Duncan, but adds that it’s not clear who will be wiped out by dropping that bomb. Sarah doesn’t care – either/or works for her.

There’s a knock on the door when, for no reason other than PLOT!, Sassy Pants couldn’t find Alison up on the floor where she totally was and Sarah has to come stand in for her, since she volunteered as tribute.

Lor: Sarah covering her forehead with a hand is such a TV thing to do. “Nothing to see here! Definitely not a lack of bangs behind my hand…”

Sweeney: Contrivance: bringing people together since forever.

Alison returns to her room once Sarah’s gone and flips out because Vic’s unconscious body can’t still be in there during family tours.

Sarah steals a red cardigan and takes a seat in the back of the big presentation. She only sits for a minute before Alison is introduced as the voted on speaker for Family Day.

After a Not Break, Sarah takes a deep breath and tries to improvise her speech. It’s so focused on the impersonation that it ultimately doesn’t do Alison a lot of favors. Jokes about how they didn’t choose to be there and an extended list of pejoratives for addicts.

Elsehwere, Deangelis is arriving. Elsehwere, elsehwere: Felix is carrying Vic on his back, following Alison who explains that she needs to hurry back for the roleplaying demonstration.

Segue magic to that: Donnie is now standing up front with Sarah as Sassy Pants tells them it’s time for roleplaying to begin. Donnie begins to impersonate Alison and Sarah’s confusion gets the better of her so she asks Sassy Pants if, “he’s being Alison and I’m being Alison being Donnie.” You’re kind of supposed to keep the “I’m being Alison” part to yourself, Sarah. That’s maybe not the FIRST rule of Clone Club, but it’s a pretty important one.

Roleplaying continues, intercut with shots of Alison and Felix sneaking about with Vic. Donnie gets in a jab about Alison “withholding affection,” and Sarah goes the you’re-the-monitor route, but she can’t keep the whole thing straight. Admittedly, she’s got a few other things to worry about. When it’s clear that she’s lost the thread, she excuses herself to the bathroom.

Alison and Felix are nearly caught by Angela, who only misses them because she’s looking at her phone to call Vic. She hears the ring, though and goes to investigate. They think fast, though, and send Angela a text from Vic saying that he’s outside.

Alison’s room. Alison and Sarah are both pretty flustered by what just happened. Before they can get into it, though, Donnie arrives. Sarah and Felix are concerned, but Alison just brushes it off, telling him to calm down and introducing, “Sarah Manning, the runaway clone.” Alison assumes he’s about to run off to call Dr. Leekie and Sarah and Felix assure her that Donnie’s reaction is clearly the reaction of someone not previously aware of the clone thing.

Lor: Which is probably something they could’ve sussed out by Paul, original flavor monitor, also having no idea what he was monitoring.

Sweeney: EXACTLY. If super spy Paul had no idea what he was monitoring, why the fuck would they assume that Donnie knew? The show made a vague attempt to fake us out on this count, with that phone call following last season’s close call on getting found out, but they have already covered the all-important double blind component of the research. This should have been a given by now.

In the lobby, Angela combes back inside to see that a crowd has gathered around the main desk and doctors being paged. She pokes her head through the crowd to see Vic passed out, bleeding, with a face covered in glitter. It’s all very Ke$ha.

Siobhan’s House. Paul and Rachel arrive. Siobhan explains that the deal is that they will have 15 minutes together and if anybody else in her employ shows up at the house, she will put a bullet in his head. There’s a rare emotional moment from Rachel during the extended pause as she and her father see eachother for the first time in twenty years. They sit at Siobhan’s table and talk while Siobhan and Paul have their own conversation. Siobhan asks how Leekie is doing, adding that this information is going to force both of their hands. “I guess that’s where Sarah gets it – her knack for burning things down.” Paul adds. Before we leave this scene we see Rachel crying.


Lor: I like Siobhan’s smile. It’s a little proud like, “yeah she gets that from me.” Professional fire starters.

Sweeney: Ke$ha Rehab. Donnie’s explaining that he was recruited into this long-term study by a freshman sociology professor. It was supposed to be completely benign, but it was essential that subjects remain completely unaware. Alison asks if the men coming into their home was “benign.” I’m curious if Alison’s data weren’t a little easier to obtain through actual doctors, though, given that Donnie has no idea what Alison is talking about. Sarah and Felix quietly see themselves out. Whether the home invasion part actually happened or not, Alison’s furious because she truly loved him and the secrecy and spying ruined them. Worse yet, he destroyed them without even understanding why.

This, of course, is an important detail. Even his smaller scale understanding of what he was doing is still super shady. I’m also a little unclear on why she never conversed with Donnie upon signing the contract with Dyad, but I suppose that can be most simply explained as being necessary for plot development part of some sort of non-disclosure agreement. (I can’t see those words without cringing a little, because ruined.)

Dyad. Leekie returns to his office to find Rachel waiting for him. He plays dumb, but Rachel doesn’t give him time for that: “My father sends his regards.” He tries to tell her to think carefully about her next steps. He says that the Duncans (careful not to refer to them as her parents) left them no choice, not only by setting the science back with their sabotage but also when they tried to run away with her. Rachel tells him that it’s already over, though. She places a call, on speaker to Marian, who asks if “it’s done,” noting that he lost his way with Sarah Manning and they probably should have known better than to put “the lab coat in the big chair.” They hang up and Leekie panics. Rachel tells him to go now – just not to his car or home – and he might survive. “It’s foolish to spare you, but you raised me. Nurture prevails.” Leekie awkwardly kisses her on the forehead and then runs.

This is an intense little bit. This episode endeared me to Rachel a fair bit. I’m still solidly biased towards Sarah, but Rachel had some heavy shit to process in this episode. It’s a lot easier for me to accept the turn we’re seeing in Helena’s story because of how thoroughly heinous her childhood was, but this episode breaks down just how twisted Rachel’s life has been too. It’s a reminder that being self-aware didn’t actually exempt her from the high-level manipulation of this whole thing. It’s not entirely analogous – for starters, Helena’s mental health makes me feel like her agency is a slightly different story – but kudos to this show for reminding us that Rachel was just as much a science experiment as the others. She just happens to have been able to seize the opportunity to take over the lab from the inside.

Lor: Well said. Additionally, this whole thing really shows us what a hydra Dyad really is. I thought for a second there that maybe Leekie had more power than we first thought, but that proved false. I still have no idea who is calling the shots here, and that is as worrying as anything else.

Sweeney: Exactly, and that’s a point Siobhan tried to make clear to Sarah, but again we see her short-temper getting the better of strategic thinking on that front. The bomb has gone off and it’s still very hard to say what kind of consequences that will have for Sarah and Kira.

Out on the street, we see a car watching Leekie leave. The car starts up and follows him.

After a Not Break, Sarah is returning to Hideaway Pier when she gets a call from a very distressed Cosima. Cosima says she really hates to make this call, but it’s about all of them and about Kira. We cut to a bit later when Cal and Sarah are fighting about why they could possibly need one of Kira’s teeth for one of the aunts she refuses to talk about. He’s also a little pissed that they’ve been running from those people all ths time and now Sarah wants to march Kira right in the front door. Sarah is freaking out because she’s not quite sure what to do.

We see Kira overhearing the fight and then a bit later it’s cut short when they hear her scream. They go inside to find that she tide a string to the door and her tooth to yank it out herself. A speechless Sarah envelopes Kira into a giant hug. It’s in this blog’s origins to pick on fictional children a bit, but also sometimes they’re really, truly awesome. Unfortunately Cal’s not done being the downer: “Whatever this is, it’s going to swallow you both whole.

Cal buckles Kira in and asks if she remembers his number, making her promise to call at any time if he needs anything. Sarah doesn’t do much in the way of goodbyes, though. She apologizes and drives off.

Leekie is still making his pedestrian getaway, unsuccessfully attempting to hail taxis. The stalker car shows up behind him. It’s Donnie and he orders Leekie to get in. Leekie tells him there’s no time for that and Donnie pulls a gun. Canada seems to share our gun control problems. Donnie freaks out at Leekie for lying to him, but Leekie says that he gave him his wife. Donnie screams that he quits, slamming the gun against the steering wheel and accidentally firing a shot right into Leekie’s head.

End credits. Those poor kids now have two murderers for parents. Which, you know, is a thing.


Next time: Rachel and Alison deal with the fallout of their respective struggles on Orphan Black S02 E08 – Variable and Full of Perturbation.

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.

Did you like this? Share it:

  • I’m glad for the explanation about Donnie, which makes way more sense than him knowing everything. He’s too dumb to have known about he clones the whole time, frankly. But this was also the first episode where I could see why Alison and Donnie were a couple to begin with and began to think they might be good together after all. Donnie’s face when he shot Leekie in the car? Reminded me of Alison so much.

    • Excellent point about that final shot of Donnie. Also totally agreed on that point about finally feeling like their relationship made some kind of sense in this episode.

  • Sarah pretending to be Alison pretending to be Donnie made me giggle so much. Also, how phenomenal is the gif of Sarah and Alison when you can see the two of them in the mirror in the background? Holy hell, this show is amazing when you think about how they have to film everything like a millionty times and then put it all together in post-production.

    Also, I’m a little unclear as to how an entire DNA sequence can fit on to three floppy discs with a capacity of 1.2MB each. LOLOLOLOL. Also also, based on my experience? Those discs would be corrupted as fuck and you wouldn’t get anything usable off them at all.

    • If you click through to any of the gifsets in this post and then check the tags for the episode on that account they have some great stills of Tatiana and her stunt double. It’s always so delightful to see.

    • Alex

      I just got to that point in the recap and came down here to the comments immediately to flail about that mirror gif. I can’t even begin to get my head around how they did that.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I guess it is all just DOS based numbers and letters so it shouldn’t be too big of a file but I agree that those disks would be corrupted as hell by now.

  • Regina

    Alison is so delightfully insane!

  • Wilhelmina Upton

    I love, love, love that Donnie didn’t actually meant to be a killer. He just killed Leekie by accident which is so interesting because he, again, does something he didn’t intend to do, like monitoring his wife.

    I keep wondering what Marian really is. Is she the big boss of DYAD or is there someone else? We still don’t know that much about her and it’s unnerving.

  • Policy of Madness

    No lie: when I bought a new laptop and it had a built-in camera with no shutter, I taped a piece of tinfoil across it so that it sees only darkness. Am I paranoid?

    The science in this show is like butter! Stem cells are not a magic elixir! You don’t just inject them into a person and they cure every illness! OMG. And any geneticist capable of cloning viable humans back in the 80s or whenever should be able to turn =any= stem cell line into an immortal line. So Kira’s stem cells should not be a limited resource. I’d like to think that Cosima is just being played, but Cosima should be enough of a scientist to know what is possible and I think the show just needs a science writer.

    You guys, I need a clear antagonist! It’s okay if the antagonist turns out to be on the side of righteousness in the end! It’s okay if allies turn out to be betrayers! I don’t know what to do with this plot that can’t make up its mind as to whether Leekie is an evil dude or not and then offs him like this!