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'Orphan Black' 'Governed as It Were by Chance' recap: Blessings in disguise

Orphan Black, Season 2, Episode 4, Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) and Kira (Skyer Wexler)
Orphan Black, Season 2, Episode 4, Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) and Kira (Skyer Wexler)
© Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA, used with permission

The Saturday, May 10 episode of "Orphan Black," 2x04, "Governed as It Were by Chance," sees Sarah dig into the past and uncover information about Project LEDA – and Rachel. Meanwhile, Alison finds herself in rehab, Cosima's still sick, Helena gets a look at her new home and Mrs. S looks for answers.

It's like this show doesn't know how to do a bad episode. Each week, it just gets better and better. Sure, there are some moments that aren't as good as the others (and that musical was just plain bad), but when you look at an episode as a whole, each one is just as important as the last. There are no filler episodes. That's true of "Governed as It Were by Chance."

With the number of clones and storylines in "Orphan Black," not every one can be explored in every episode. Sometimes, one or more characters have to either fade to the background (like Cosima's illness, which is only briefly shown) or be absent completely (like Paul, Delphine, Dr. Leekie and Rachel). Sure, we miss them when they're gone, even the characters we may like less than others, and sure, we want to know what's happening, but this show manages to handle its multiple storylines in a way that gives us just enough about the ones it does focus on in an episode that we don't miss the others too much.

Now let's get to what happened in this episode:

Alison's wake-up call

After that horrible opening night, Alison wakes up to a terrible morning, and it's only after she's thrown up (booze and pills will do that to you, even if you're a clone) that she notices she's wearing a sling. When a woman comes into her room, she demands to speak to Dr. Leekie, thinking she's at Dyad and they're violating her contract. Instead, she gets a rude wake-up call: She's in rehab.

When Alison sees Felix, she tries to get him to help her get out of there, but he informs her that rehab requires some form of consent. The thing is, Alison doesn't even remember the curtain going up on opening night. He suggests that she take a week at rehab to get away (bonus: no Donnie!), and she agrees. After she gets a rundown of the rules (no drugs, alcohol, relations with another resident, etc.), she finds Donnie waiting in her room. He gives the whole "I want what's best for you" spiel, and it ends with letting her know he's spoken with his lawyer about keeping her from their kids if she leaves before the program is finished. Wow, Donnie.

Escape from Prolethean hell

Gracie still doesn’t like Helena (or "it," as she refers to the crazy mirror clone), but it's not like Helena is exactly thrilled to be there, or like she has much of a choice. "Your life is here now with us," she is informed, but when Gracie tries to smother her with a pillow, she learns that she picked the wrong clone to mess with, as Helena grabs her from behind in a chokehold as she's leaving the room. Helena escapes, but she finds herself in some sort of medical/science room and has flashes of men performing some type of procedure on her. Helena gets out of there ASAP, running right past Art, who's still taking photos (which Henrik knows about and is just ignoring), and leaving him to handle Mark and his men. Art does a pretty good job of that, at least forcing some of them to leave their guns behind.

So what exactly did they do to Helena? Well, as the episode ends, Bonnie and Mark join Henrik in that room and inform him that Gracie's asleep and Helena's gone. But that's okay, because it looks like he took an egg from the clone. "Just when the night is darkest, he shines a light, and a new life begins."

Getting answers about Project LEDA

The episode begins right where last week's left off, and we quickly learn that Cal's the one who crashed into Daniel's car. He can only stand by as Sarah, checking and finding Daniel to be dead, covers the car, and they have to hit the road. He has access to an RV not registered in his name, so once he ditches his truck, Sarah, Kira and Cal are on their way. He wants answers, but she only tells him she's dealing with a very powerful corporation. She texts Rachel as Daniel saying that he's returning with Sarah, using that to keep the proclone in the dark for the time being.

While Cal picks up the police radio, Sarah updates Cosima and shows her the Project LEDA photo. Cosima gives her a quick rundown of the myth of Leda and the swan (Zeus came down in the guise of a swan, hooked up with Leda, and she has twins, half-human and half-god), and she notes that Project LEDA is military-speak, but there's a soldier in the background. How is the military involved? Cosima tells her she'll focus on looking into LEDA. Sarah leaves Cal and Kira behind to go looking for answers about Mrs. S.

Elsewhere, Daniel gets out of the car. Yes, he's alive. Uh-oh.

Felix joins Sarah at Mrs. S to do some digging and updates her on Alison and Cosima. They find a photo of Carlton, who brought Sarah to Mrs. S. He got 15 years for his smuggling business. There's also a newspaper clipping in the photo album, about an explosion at a laboratory that killed six people working on an experiment spearheaded by Professors Susan and Ethan Duncan. Yes, Duncan as in Rachel Duncan. Sarah sends Felix to Cosima to look for answers about the Duncans, while she sneaks into Rachel's apartment after fooling one of her assistants into thinking she's the proclone wanting some housekeeping done at her swanky place.

While Sarah uncovers home videos of Rachel with her adoptive parents, Cosima gives her a brief history in the Duncans. Susan and Ethan were geneticists who both went to Cambridge for molecular biology. They wrote some papers and then disappeared, obviously working on something top secret, and then the explosion happened. Cosima suspects that Rachel was raised self-aware, explaining her sense of narcissism. She thinks she's elite. Cosima doesn't think she was raised with any emotional attachments, but the home videos seem to say otherwise as she tells her father she loves him. Sarah finds men's clothes in half of Rachel's closet, so she has someone in her life. Then Daniel shows up and tells Dr. Leekie on the phone to relax, he'll find Sarah, and Rachel never has to know. Sarah tries to sneak out, but he catches her.

Daniel ties Sarah up in the bathroom, a good place to talk since it's easy to clean up, and asks who else knows about the photo. Just because she's tied up doesn't mean that Sarah's just going to give up. Instead, she spits on him and tells him she knows he's sleeping with Rachel and therefore her monitor. The problem is, just because he can't kill her doesn't mean he can't inflict some pain, but fortunately, someone shows up and plays music elsewhere in the apartment before he can do more than cut into her a bit. Sarah can only listen to the sounds of a struggle before Daniel falls down, dying. Hello, Helena.

Sarah is understandably terrified when she sees Helena – she did, after all, think she killed her. "It's a miracle," Helena says before telling she needs her help because "he" took something from inside her.

Father-daughter bonding

While Sarah is off looking for answers, she leaves Kira in her father's care, and while Cal may be new to being a father, he's not doing a bad job. He hid Kira when he needed to to help Sarah, and it's nice seeing him get to know his daughter, with origami, the RV and his guitar, and assuring her that they'll talk to Sarah the next day when she doesn't come back. But it looks like he's also going to get to see just how intuitive Kira is, as she knows Sarah's not coming back and she doesn't have to be worried because she has an angel watching her.

Cosima's still sick

In the "clone jail" part of Dyad, Cosima watches more of Jennifer's videos, as Jennifer talks about the worst part of being sick being people's reactions, but she has to pause it when Sarah calls in. She hangs up with her moments before she begins to cough violently. She's still hiding it from the others. Poor Cosima!

Mrs. S' blast from the past

Mrs. S goes to Benjamin to get new papers to get to London, but he tells her she doesn't have to go anywhere; Carlton arrived a week ago. Mrs. S tracks him down at a bar, he grabs her from behind, they banter a bit, admit they missed each other, and after reuniting right there in the hallway (never mind the room around the corner), get down to business (the Sarah kind). All he seems to have is the ferryman, and he doesn't want to know what she knows about Sarah that he doesn't. She warns him that if Sarah digs, everything will unravel. Well, Mrs. S, it's getting to be too late for that.

Question time!

Sure, Cal knows about Sarah's grifter past, having been one of her marks himself, but does anyone think he takes it surprising well after he saves her from Daniel? And anyone think he might know something about Dyad? There's something about his reaction when he asks for the name of the corporation. Anyone else not sure if he can be trusted?

How soon will it be before the others find out Cosima's sick? "You look like you could use some sun," Sarah comments on the phone, and she's only going to get worse.

Did Sarah just not do a good job checking to see if Daniel was alive or is there something about him?

What exactly is Henrik up to on that farm of his? Is he going to regret not thinking Art is too much of a threat? Speaking of Art, how much is he going to uncover about the Proletheans with these spying trips of his?

Who's this next mysterious person Mrs. S is going to meet? What other secrets is she hiding? Will we get the whole story on her this season?


"Girl, you're in the middle of your wake-up call. You're in rehab." – Alison gets a reality check

"Go back to hell where you belong." "Shh, go to sleep now." – Gracie and Helena post murder attempt

"If you had, we wouldn't be talking right now." – Mrs. S explaining how she knows Benjamin didn't betray her

"I don't remember the curtain going up. Was I terrible?" "People got their money's worth." – Alison and Felix talking about opening night

"Brilliant. We'll celebrate with brunch and mimosas. Oh, god, or just brunch." – Felix makes plan with Alison for when she gets out of rehab

"How'd you find me?" "I heard you were in the neighborhood, so I looked for the nearest place to find a pint and a pair of tits." " I do have my weaknesses." "Well, let me go, or you'll have a few more." – Carlton and Mrs. S' reunion before their reunion

"Cosima and Delphine are locked in some kind of transgressive lesbian geek spiral bound to end in tears." – Felix updates Sarah on what she's missed

"Straight out of Cold Bitch Digest." – Sarah describes Rachel's apartment

"Well, at least she's got feeling somewhere in her body." "Yeah, just not in her soul." – Felix and Cosima on Rachel having a man in her life

"Orphan Black" season 2 airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on BBC America. What did you think of episode 4 "Governed as It Were by Chance"?

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