"Orphan Black" season 2 begins on BBC America on Saturday, April 19, with "Nature Under Constraint and Vexed," and this is one of those shows that has a lot to live up to after its spectacular first season. (Spoiler alert: It's still spectacular, amazing, and all those kinds of adjectives and more.) Sarah is on the run, trying to find Kira, Cosima is facing the fact that she's sick and Alison is…concentrating on the community theater musical?
"Nature Under Constraint and Vexed" recap
Things get off to a running start in the first six minutes of the premiere, as Sarah only gets moments to get out of the pouring rain and with the kindness of a man working in a diner before her world once again goes to hell. With Felix's phone going to voicemail, Alison and Cosima's phones out of service and Rachel on Paul's phone telling her to surrender, she hesitates when two men (one of them being Mark) join her at her booth and tell her, "We've come here to take you to Kira." That doesn't last long, however, when Mark shoots the guy working there and chases her into the bathroom. She only barely makes it out of there.
Sarah finds Felix in a club (in a pair of chaps we can't do justice for with a description), and the five-way he's in the middle of is why he hasn't been answering his phone. However, he's on board once Sarah updates him, and the next move is to set up a meet with Paul – and only Paul. Meanwhile, Felix has a side trip to make, to Clone Club's go-to-gun-girl Alison, but since all of hers are registered, she has to contact her gun enthusiast, very-hard working friend Ramone, and she meets him in the parking lot of an econo-mart. Let's put it this way. Ramone's trunk is full of the goodies Alison loves and used to love – pills, more "natural" options, guns and who knows what else.
Sarah sets Paul up on a bridge, sends a phone to him and finds out that Rachel's getting on a private plane with Kira tomorrow – but there's a big Dyad event going down tonight, and the pro-clone will be there. The only problem is Daniel, who has been tasked with bringing Sarah in and never leaves Rachel's side. Sarah once again gets the one-up on the pro-clone and her men, and she's running and catching a bus just as they think they've tracked her down.
Elsewhere, Delphine draws blood from Cosima and tries to get her on board with Dyad, but Cosima doesn't want Dyad to have her samples or know that they know about the patent. However, when Delphine returns to Dyad and Dr. Leekie, the monitor has brought him a sample and tells him that 324B21 is showing symptoms. Congratulations, Dr. Leekie. Delphine is invested.
In one of the few amusing moments of this episode, Alison becomes the lead in the community theater's musical, and the big number Art gets to see her rehearse involves everyone helping her character clean up after an unfortunate death. (Hmm, sound familiar?) "It ain't "Cats,"" he says of the musical when describing it to Deangelis. They catch a surprising break when Sarah shows up to collect the gun from Alison, and they cuff her, but they're not bringing her in. Instead, they head to the diner to check out her story, and while Deangelis talks to the feds inside, Sarah tells Art that they took her daughter. Since the case doesn't actually exist, they can't exactly hold her, and they have no choice but to let Sarah go.
Meanwhile, Dr. Leekie is practicing his speech for the big Dyad event, and while that's going on, Rachel's going to be using his office for a meeting with both Koreas. She assures him that none of this, including what's going on with recovering Sarah, is his concern. It's his big night. And it is a big night, but not in the way that Rachel expected. Sarah, desperate to do whatever she has to in order to get to Kira, comes up with a plan, arranging a meeting with Daniel that ends with him and his men accidentally picking up Alison, who fights back with her feet, elbows, pepper spray and rape whistle, until they realize, oops, wrong clone, and going in to the Dyad event as Cosima.
Sarah-as-Cosima asks for her own lab from Dr. Leekie, using the opportunity of a hug to grab his ID to use to sneak down to his wing to find Rachel, who's meeting with the Koreans. "The recent supreme court decision characterizing the legal status natural versus synthetic DNA was the successful result of our lobbying strategies," she says. "We are proceeding with the next trench of patent claims."
Once the office is clear, Sarah enters, and Rachel reveals that they found Mrs. S' place just like she had. They don't have Kira, but she wants to work together to get her back. Sarah's response? A backhand and a threat with a gun to her. "You don't own us," she tells her. Paul intervenes, Sarah knocks out the pro-clone and he tells her that they were both played. Sarah hits him too, and he tells her to go while he figures out what to tell them.
Sarah then goes to see Art, who knows that Dyad doesn't have Kira. The feds are calling what happened in the diner domestic terrorism, and the cowboy who took the shotgun blast was a religious extremist like Maggie Chen. These are Helena's people. It's time for Art to find out if he really wants to know what's really going on.
Now, let's get a look at how one last clone is doing. Helena somehow survived (!) and has dragged her bloody self to a hospital with enough breath left in her to tell them her sister shot her. Mark watches from down the hall, and would you look at that very familiar fish symbol on his belt.
Finally, we get a look at Kira. Whoever has her brushes her hair and takes her photo.
Season 2 premiere review
Like we said above, this show is still the best show on television. While the premiere was not perfect – some of the humorous moments, such as Alison's musical theater rehearsal, seemed a bit out of place and slowed down this otherwise fast-paced episode – it was what it needed to be. It picked up right in the middle of the action, like the time between the season 1 finale and the season 2 premiere was just a moment where you stepped out of the room for moment before returning to the story, right where it had left off.
"Nature Under Constraint and Vexed" briefly introduced Mark and the religious extremists he is part of, with that same fish symbol as the knife, but it was only a tease to leave us wanting to know more. There is only so much that an episode can reveal in 44 or so minutes, and the premiere did its job in leaving us wanting to know more about them, especially when it comes to seeing how their group, Dyad and Sarah's groups all collide.
One of the more interesting relationships to watch develop in season 1 was that between Sarah and Art, considering for most of the season, he thought she was Beth. He became someone she could trust, and now it's looking like he's going to be one of the ones "in the know," at least somewhat, depending what Sarah tells him. Honestly, this was something that they could have drawn out a few more episodes, so it was a very welcome part of the premiere. Not only that, but Sarah's line about Art not wanting Deangelis to know seems like something that could come back in a future episode.
One of the coolest parts about season 1 was being able to tell when Tatiana Maslany was playing a clone playing a clone by her mannerisms, and once again, that move came into play as Sarah went to Dyad as Cosima. Eventually, that might not be as easy to pull off as it has been, but for now, we're enjoying seeing it play out.
Paul and Delphine's motives are still in question. Paul may have let Sarah go in the end and offered to cover for her like he has done in the past, helping her out, but he is still in Rachel's camp, and as previews have shown, he's going to continue to be there. Then there's Delphine, who went against Cosima's wishes and brought Dr. Leekie her blood. Yes, she may be "invested" now to try to save Cosima, but as long as she's reporting to Dr. Leekie, it's hard to trust her. Despite their loyalties to the clones, there are too many questions surrounding them, and that's something that works with this show. No one in the clones' lives can really be trusted (except Felix; if he turns out to be fooling us all this time, that would be the biggest shock of the entire series), no matter how much they may prove themselves.
Finally, there's Helena. Yes, she's still alive, and the big question is how. Considering what we saw Maslany do with the role in season 1 (and honestly, how much more there is to explore of the character of Helena), it would be hard to imagine "Orphan Black" not finding a way to bring her back.
Who has Kira?! We have our theories, especially considering there is someone we haven't seen yet whom we know is going to be a big player, but anything is possible.
Did you notice two special cameos in the Dyad party scene? Dr. Leekie is seen with series creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett.
Is Art going to know the whole truth after his and Sarah's conversation? How is he going to handle it? What is this going to mean for him going forward work-wise? It's hard to imagine Deangelis getting clued in to the Clone Club.
How did Helena survive? No, really. How did Helena survive? Could it be linked in any way to how Kira survived after she was hit by the car? Will her saying her sister shot her be just one more thing Sarah has to worry about on top of everything else?
Is Cosima the next clone to die? Unfortunately, it looks like she needs Dyad right now, as much as she may not want to need it.
What are the repercussions going to be for Alison for signing that contract? She still doesn't know that Donnie is her monitor. Considering he's fooling her into thinking he's just a lump, could he have known Felix was in the craft room with her?
"This is my biology. It's my decision." - Cosima
"Apparently I'm the go-to girl for guns." - Alison
"What's with the balls of your thumbs? They're so bouncy." "Felix, are you high?" Well, I didn't know there was going to be a huge emergency, did I?" - Felix and Alison
"I have a friend. Let's call him Ramone." "You know a gun dealer named Ramone?" "He's a gun enthusiast. He has many jobs. He's very hard-working." - Alison and Felix
"Hey, can I borrow your phone?" "Can I touch your boob?" "Cheeky." - Sarah and boy on bus
"Be careful playing for the other team, Delphine." - Dr. Leekie
"It ain't "Cats."" - Art describing Alison's musical
"Normally I'd say don't do anything rash, but rash seems to be a genetic trait." - Alison
"You don't own us." - Sarah to Rachel
"In the face?" "Sorry." - Sarah and Paul
"Orphan Black" season 2 airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on BBC America. What did you think of the premiere, "Nature Under Constraint and Vexed"?