Orphan Black had a fast-paced, character packed first series, which oozed originality. After starting off as a typical ‘badass-criminal-steals-someone’s-life’ drama, the next episodes turned everything upside down. CLONES – done well! Not Mary-Sues with perfect jobs and boyfriends either; fully rounded and diverse characters who just happen to all look the same.
My main concern about the second series was just how good the first one had been. The finale had left a lot of questions: Who had taken Kira? Would Cosima be ok? Was Helena Dead? Can we trust Paul? Has Alison cracked? Does Mrs. S know more than what she lets on? Will Art finally work out what the hell’s going on? But most of all, what would happen now we know that the clones are property – literally an experiment that we don’t yet know the reason for…
The rather crammed series opener squeezed in threats from Art (he’s joined clone club!), Leekie (he’s still evil), Rachel (pro clone plus her sidekick Daniel) and Paul (still not interesting), as Sarah demanded to know who had taken her daughter. There are so many loose ends and little details that it almost feels like LOST – only with this show it seems the writers at least know where they want to go with this season. It was a little disorientating though, suddenly coming back to all these plot twists at once – even the Helena reveal at the end. Wow, they really wanted to bring the show back with a bang.
After a bit of a confusing mess with the first episode, things began to settle down. Much like the first season, characters appear and disappear over the span of episodes. They are only featured when needed and it makes the story flow really well because we only worry about something when it’s required of us. We found out that Mrs. S had Sarah’s daughter and was getting ready to flee the country. This was with the help of the same people that apparently helped to get Felix, Sarah and S to America in the first place. They helped before, they’ll help again! Or not – they were about to hand the kid over to the religious nuts who are doing experiments on Helena. The belief is that because she’s the twin sister of Sarah, she might also be able to bare a child – unlike the other clones. Of course, before that can happen, one of the Christians has to marry the unstable and injured Ukrainian; apparently it would be a sin otherwise. Helena in a wedding dress is a haunting bride-of-Frankenstein image that will make the series iconic to me.
Cosima being ill is a sub-plot at the moment, so I hope that it will become the focus of an episode soon. She’s seen the video diary of another clone that died just days ago from the illness half the clones seem to inherit. I get the feeling that there’s something else Delphine hasn’t told her lover about the research they’re conducting. I wonder if she’s still sleeping with Leekie. Her best moment this series so far was definitely her kiss with Sarah-as-Cosmia. That was A+ acting on both their parts and one of the most fun scenes to play out in series 2. The little hints Tatiana gives that she’s playing a clone impersonating another clone are incredibly detailed and well thought out.
Alison is having a little bit of a hard time after accidentally letting her annoying neighbour die. She thought that it was her monitor but alas, her husband Donnie is the guy who’s letting people experiment on her in her sleep. At least her musical is – oh wait, it’s not CATS. With Felix distracted by Kira, and Helena too controlled by Christians, Ally is our only real source for the comedy at the moment. What happened to Helena’s “baa” and Felix’s “fetch me something gay”? It’s getting a bit too dark right now, although it’s expected if you look at the crazy intense but GRIPPING plot lines in these first few episodes. Maybe we’ll get a light hearted break later on in the series – like the episode where Allison was obsessed with opening her husband’s apparent porn box. Her musical numbers do have their moments though, so let’s hope her opening night hasn’t ruined her smash at it!
Cal is a bit of a bland character – not unlike Paul. Sarah introduces Felix to Kira’s father and I was really hoping for a flashback scene. Not of Cal and Sarah but of the two foster kids – Felix and his sister – and the story of how they interacted when they were younger. There’s definitely room to explore what her life was like long before she knew she was a clone. Cal’s scenes with his daughter so far have been interesting though, and he seems like he’d be a much better parent than Sarah. Unless he gets killed by that car at the end of episode three…
Tune in to BBC Three at 10pm on Wednesday the 21st of May to find out what happens next.