Thank You, Orphan Black

You helped me through a difficult night—and were damn entertaining in the process.

Felix, Kira and Sarah head out of town.

Felix, Sarah, and her daughter Kira go camping.

Sometime last year, I tried to watch Orphan Black (OnDemand) because everyone was talking about it.  I got as far as the second scene of the first episode, where Vic the Dick comes to Felix’s apartment looking for Sarah.  Then, last week, Natalie tweeted (or retweeted?) something to the effect of  “You know what I like about #OrphanBlack?  Everything!”  So I decided to give it another try.

I’m glad I did.  About the time Sarah discovered Beth was a cop, I was intrigued.  By the end of the first episode (when Katja was shot), I was hooked.  I’d planned to discipline my watching to one or two episodes a day.  Of course that didn’t happen.

Watching season 1 was fairly sane, taking perhaps 3 days or so.  Season 2, though, provided a much needed break from real life and my thoughts, and occurred more quickly.  In particular, it occupied my mind last Thursday night, when my cat Kimmi was in the hospital awaiting surgery the next day.  I watched well into the early Friday morning hours, in hopes of tiring myself enough to not toss and turn once I went to bed.  It worked (along with a dose of ZzzQuil).*

Cosima studies her computer while Felix looks on.

Braniac Cosima and clone-bro Felix: that’s a lot of laptop stickers!

I finished season 2 the next day, just in time for the finale on BBC America.  And now I’m standing alongside the millions of fans who have to wait nine months or so before season 3.

What’s surprised me most is how I’ve come to enjoy two characters I initially hated.  Felix (and Vic) were like fingernails on a chalk board.  Vic was indeed a dick, and Felix was nearly every other gay queen on television.  But Felix quickly grew on me.  Not only was he unconditional support for foster sister Sarah, he totally accepted all the clones, each with her own idiosyncrasies and problems.  Most surprising was his relationship with uptight soccer mom Alison.  The way he supported her through her various crises was endearing, and their relationship became one of the show’s many highlight.

Helena is fascinated with the fish in Arts fishtank.

The simplest things fascinate Helena.

Second on that list is Helena.  I was so thankful Sarah shot Helena in the season 1 finale.  I thought we’d be rid of her forever, but nooo.  When she staggered into the hospital in the season 2 premiere, I was not happy.  But her mid-season escape from the Proletheans showed us a new side to this strange character who’d been mistreated all her life.  She blossomed on her road trip with Sarah.  She even found a bit of romance with Jesse, the tow-truck driver.  (I’d love for Jesse to return next season.  You gotta love a guy who isn’t threatened by losing an arm-wrestling match with a woman!)

After season 1’s cliffhanger finale, I was quite worried about what would happen in season 2’s final episode.  For the most part, the clones ended the season on positive notes, yet there was still enough intrigue to keep us hanging.

Alison and Donnie bury Dr. Leekie's body in the garage.

Nothing says “I love you” like burying a body in your garage.

Alison and Donnie bonded last week by burying Leekie’s body under the concrete in their garage (and sealing it with a heart!).  Cosima found Duncan’s key to the synthetic DNA that could cure her illness.  Sarah ended the season reunited with her daughter, a new ally, and the discovery of a new clone (which Tatiana Maslany won’t have to play).  I think Helena left a nitrogen tank filled with her eggs or embryos for the other clones.  And Rachel was the recipient of a pressure-powered pencil to the eye.  In my book, that’s a happy ending for Rachel.

Things weren’t so fortunate for poor Helena, who was kidnapped.  Again!  Helena being tossed around and held against her will is getting old.  It’s possibly my one complaint with the show.

Both Art and Paul, series regulars who don’t appear regularly, showed up in the finale.  I was delighted to see Art, and totally surprised to see Paul in his Army uniform.  I think that’s a good fit for him.  Will Cal be a series regular next season?  I’d be fine with that.  I’m not quite as thrilled to have Michelle Forbes around, although she currently seems to be on the good side.  But with this show, you have to wonder if and how long that will last.

I think I’m going to spend the next few days rewatching all the episodes.  With all the twists and turns, I’ve somehow lost an understanding of the Bigger Picture.

In case you haven’t seen it, BBC America has a video of an extended version of the Clone Dance Party, complete with hints as to how it was all filmed.

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8 responses to “Thank You, Orphan Black

  1. I’m so glad you tried the show and enjoyed it! You and I don’t always have the same responses to things, so it delights me that we do this time.

    I, too, disliked Fee and Vic when they were first introduced, and Helena was my least favorite of the surviving clones. But what I think is this show’s greatest strength is complexity of characters. There are very few cliches that survive the superficial. Helena’s way of looking at the world is intriguing, and she’s gotten hilarious.

    I wonder if she was taken because she was the first one out of the apartment or if they specifically wanted her. It feels partly that she was the trade because she’ll recognize the other clones, which serves the story but not necessarily the reality they’ve built. But it could be because she’s pregnant, though I’m not sure how they’d know that.

    Gah. I could speculate forever. I’ll stop. 🙂

    The showrunners used the word “infiltrate” regarding Paul’s role with Dyad, which clarified that a lot for me. We couldn’t quite figure out how he (and Afghanistan) fit. When we found out the male clone was Mark, I cried “noooo!’ I don’t know if it’s an insult or praise to the actor, but he creeps me out so much! Also, I’m so amazed by Tatiana Maslany and she hasn’t gotten enough credit yet (i.e. Emmy) and I’m afraid that a boy doing the same thing will undermine her achievement.

    But yeah. It kills me to have to wait until next April. IF they renew the show. Can you believe they haven’t confirmed season 3 yet?!

    • i don’t think our tastes are all that different. We don’t agree on everything, but we agree on more than not. Don’t we? 🙂

      Perhaps some of my confusion will be cleared up during my rewatch. It’ll likely take longer than the first run-through, but that just prolongs the enjoyment.

      • No, you’re right, I think we have similar tastes, but we don’t always respond to the finer points the same way. Just enough difference to make me happy when we agree. 🙂

        Definitely rewatching stuff like this makes a huge difference because you can pay attention to different things.

        • Wait! I’m the ISFJ (Myers-Briggs) who hates conflict. I don’t mind disagreeing with you though, because 1) we do civilly, and 2) it’s always good to hear someone else’s pov. (Of course, if I didn’t like you, I’d think your opinions were crap. haha!)

          I meant to add this in my previous reply: The Emmys are complete bullshit. They’re the most political of all the awards, going only with what’s main-stream popular and not what actually best. Hell, Allison Janney won Best Actress for West Wing when it was a supporting role over Jennifer Garner, who did it all in Alias. 😛 (to Emmys, not you)

          In other news, I think I might go see How to Train Your Dragon 2 tonight.

          OH! I was checking the local animal shelter for cats to adopt, and one of them had a trio of kittens named Astrid, Hiccup, & Toothless! (Only Toothless was male.) Could it be fate? Hmmm.

        • We are good debaters. 🙂

          The Emmys are like any other awards, but they’ve changed. I looked at last year’s nominees/winners when my friend said they ignore female-centric shows, and I thought the actress nominees had a pretty good mix. The typical network shows are not getting the nominations anymore. It’s the funky cable stuff that gets all the love. Like Bates Motel and Mad Men. But the only genre shows with nominations were Game of Thrones and American Horror Story.

          Enjoy the movie! And YES, it’s fate! You must get that trio!

    • Heh. I can’t reply to your last comment directly, so it’ll go here. (I may cut the comment depth back to 4, since the last one is v-e-r-y vertical.

      i’m not going to the movie tonight. I have to be up for an early-ish appt tomorrow in Herndon (takes about 40 min to get there in non-rush-hour) so I’ll plan for later in the week.

      I stopped by the shelter to donate some towels (and a soft blankie), then checked out the cats. I’d like to get an adult cat, but I think Shadow would make things very stressful. The folks there said 2 kittens would probably be best (and less stressful because they’ll have each other to play with).

      I didn’t get to meet the trio because they were out getting spade and neutered. And Astrid has been spoken for. 😦 There was another sibling pair that caught my eye, too. I played with one kitten who was quite active. When i came home I let Shadow sniff my hands. He wasn’t very happy! (When I went back online to check the kitties again, the one I’d played with was gone! But I’m happy. I just want them to find good homes.)

      Uh, I think that’s enough crazy ol’ cat lady talk. O_o

      • Aw, I thought it was destiny. 😦 But I guess there’s nothing stopping you from using a Dragons name on a new kitty, no matter what its old name was. 🙂

        I bet Shadow would adjust. Mine always did. Well, Frisbee hated BG, but she just ignored her, mostly.

  2. Pingback: Orphan Black Season 3 | SciFi Chick (s)

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