The Saturday, June 7 episode of "Orphan Black" season 2, episode 8, "Variable and Full of Perturbation" sees a new clone introduced. Plus, Cosima's health worsens and Alison and Donnie deal with the aftermath of last week.
There is no show on TV right now smarter, more complex or more entertaining than "Orphan Black." This series has a tendency to throw a lot of information at you every week in a way that prevents filler episodes but also means you have to pay attention every single moment or you might miss something crucial, and "Variable and Full of Perturbation" is no exception.
Right at the start, we meet a new clone, whose backstory is pretty much given to us in a series of fast-paced exchanges, and while we enjoy Tony's introduction and Tony as a character, something just seems off and very much not right about his and Felix's flirtation, perhaps because of Felix's relationship with Sarah and the relationships he has formed with the other clones. However, while he says farewell at the end as he leaves to try to escape the craziness of it all, we can't help but hope he returns to explore how he interacts not only with Sarah, but with the other clones as well, after he's had time to process.
Meanwhile, Cosima's storyline seems to almost slow down for most of the episode until she collapses. Elsewhere, Alison and Donnie's scenes may have been the most entertaining parts of the entire episode. Then there are the characters who are MIA at the moment, like Paul and Helena, but the show manages to find to bring them up in a way that’s not forced. Sammy was ex-military, so it's not too much of a stretch that somehow he and Paul could maybe be connected. Kira is the kind of person who would be the one to wonder where Helena is.
Even as the show introduces new elements, it doesn't forget about what has made the show so good since the beginning. Sarah and Felix's relationship will probably always be the best part of the series, and while they've had their ups and downs this season, this episode acknowledges that not only is Felix maybe the most important person of Clone Club and responsible for holding it together most of the time, he's also someone Sarah needs in her life – and she doesn't forget that. Then there's the clones' relationship, and even though Sarah only shared scenes with the new clone in this episode, she still backs her clones, agreeing to let Ethan go to Dyad upon learning that he could cure Cosima.
Now, let's get to a recap of what happened in tonight's episode:
A killer couple
Alison makes her way home from rehab and finds that the reason Donnie didn't pick her up is that he took a page out of her book and took up drinking. (Though, really, given what he's been through, you really can't blame the guy.) At first, Alison thinks that the Donnie she's seeing in front of her is because he's found out his wife is a clone, but it turns into confession time when she finds him packing up to leave.
Donnie apologizes for pretty much everything – the porn, hating her mother, all his terrible mistakes – and curses Dr. Leekie and his big face. Alison then figures it's time to share her own past mistakes, including her part in Aynsley's accident, and her husband's reply? "I killed Dr. Leekie." Unfortunately, unlike Alison, who only stood back and watched, Donnie got his hands (and the car and Alison's gun) dirty, as he shows his wife Dr. Leekie's body in the car trunk. Alison is going to have to do some major cleanup, STAT. Oh, and she's also going to have to visit her gun locker because Donnie used her gun and put it back. Oh, Donnie. Alison really does have to do everything, including the killing, in this family. At least he told her so she can take clean up his mess?
Felix's loft, the (temporary) home for wayward clones
The episode begins with a new clone watching another man bleeding out from a gunshot wound, courtesy of men in suits, and that dying man has a message for none other than Beth Childs. Yes, Beth, as in the clone we really want to see explored at some point. Unfortunately, that time isn't now, but instead, this is where Art comes in, as he's the first member of Clone Club to meet Tony, the trans clone. Art then calls in Felix, who gets tasked with keeping Tony there while not telling him about being a clone and trying to get the message for Beth out of him while Art goes to check out the new guy's story. What follows is this weird flirtation as Tony pushes his buttons, tests his boundaries, and even kisses Felix.
Just as Tony's had enough and is about to leave, he bumps into Sarah in the hall, and with that, it's time to sit down and chat. Oh, and to finally hear Sammy's message for Beth: "Tell Beth keep the faith. Paul's like me, he's on it. He's a ghost." Well, that brings Paul back into it on their side, maybe. After that, it's time to send Tony on his way and get him on a bus and out of there, because really, if there's even a chance to escape this madness, do it immediately. Tony doesn't leave without kissing Felix again, and Felix doesn't let Tony leave without giving him a clone phone, so this may not be the last time we see him.
The creations of Professor Duncan
Sarah and Kira return to Mrs. S' house, and Ethan immediately notices the child of one of his creations. However, Sarah doesn't care for his questions and lets him know that she's none of his concern, but Kira's the same age Rachel was when Dr. Leekie took her, so it's no surprise that he's taken by her – and reads her the same book he read to his own daughter, "The Island of Doctor Moreau," as we learn when Mrs. S agrees to Delphine's request. Delphine comes by to inform them of Dr. Leekie's death (but despite Rachel telling her he had a fatal heart attack, the scientist believes otherwise) and that Ethan may hold the key to a gene therapy cure, one that doesn't require Kira's stem cells, for Cosima.
Last time, when Rachel was face to face with Ethan, she called him "father." This time, it's purely professional: "Professor Duncan." She apologizes for being overly emotional last time, and while he's been dreaming for this way for 20 years, she has not. It seems that Dr. Leekie's death has had quite the impact on her, and the Rachel we see speaking to her father seems very much like a mask when compared to the Rachel we see trashing the office. When Rachel asks why Sarah, the "unmonitored tramp," was the one who could successfully reproduce, Ethan reveals that Sarah is, in fact, a failure. They didn't want the clones to reproduce. They were supposed to be barren by design.
When Ethan leaves Mrs. S', he leaves his book in Kira's care and tells her that he's no one's pawn. As the episode ends, Kira wakes up, takes out that book and settles down to read Ethan's notes. Just how smart is Kira?
The clock is ticking faster and faster…
When Delphine first arrives at the lab, her keycard doesn’t work, and that's because Cosima has locked her out – and she doesn't care that she can override the lock at any time. "I just really don't want you here," Cosima explains, taking the package from Sarah from her. So for now, it's Cosima and Scott in the lab with Kira's tooth, and Scott points out that bone marrow would be a more effective treatment.
Like all the other clones, Cosima needs a break at the moment, and so it's the perfect time for her to be her geek monkey self and show Scott and his friends that she can beat them at their games from across the room. However, when Delphine comes by, it's time to clear out the lab, because Cosima's fulfilling a promise she made when they first met: get Delphine completely baked. It's then that Delphine tells her, "Je t'aime," and Cosima explains that she has to love all of them. So Delphine does, and Cosima warns her not to betray them again. Oh, and tells her she loves her too.
But the good times can only last so long. As Cosima and Scott prepare to meet Ethan, Cosima tells him that she's 324B21, and Scott's reaction makes us want him to stick around, which means he's probably going to be killed, he has a major secret we're going to hate or something terrible will happen involving him. However, after the introductions and as Cosima's telling Ethan that Scott's new but indispensible, she begins coughing up blood and seizing. They need help ASAP.
After seeing that last scene with Kira, we only have one question: Kira is totally going to solve everything, isn't she?
Is Cosima going to die? It seems almost too obvious, so could that mean that something's going to happen to one of the other clones, or are they just going to stick with following through with the heartbreak of watching Cosima die?
Can Alison and Donnie get past all the secrets, lies and murder? Even if their marriage can't survive it, it looks like they're going to have to at least be partners in crime in dealing with Dr. Leekie's body.
Can Art and Felix continue to work together? We absolutely love their scenes.
"Wow, girl fights are mean." – Scott, watching Cosima tell Delphine she doesn't want her in her lab
"You're drinking alcohol the day I get back from rehab? Are you insane? …You're supposed to be supporting me!" – Alison, hitting Donnie with pillows,
"My work as child smuggler is done for the day." – Felix, saying goodbye to Sarah as he leaves Mrs. S' house
"Art's a cop. He's suspended, which is the only kind of cop I like." – Felix, aptly describing Clone Club's cop
"We need auntie Alison, stat." – The only appropriate reaction to Sarah and Kira's crafting
"Please don't think I'm horrible." "I killed Dr. Leekie." – Alison tells Donnie about her part in Aynsley's death, Donnie responds accordingly?
"Tell Beth keep the faith. Paul's like me, he's on it. He's a ghost." – Sam's message for Beth
"This is not at all well-wrapped. I'm going to make a new liner." … "You used my gun?!" – Alison is not happy with her husband's murder cleanup skills
"You're the very best of us." "I know." – Sarah says what we all know to be true about Felix
"Later, sister kisser." – Tony says goodbye to Felix
"It's an honor, Cosima. An honor to be working with you." – Scott finds out the truth about 324B21
"Orphan Black" season 2 airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on BBC America. What did you think of episode 8, "Variable and Full of Perturbation"?