Oct 28 2013 10:00am

Orphan Black Rewatch: “Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner”

Orphan Black Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner “Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner
Written by Tony Elliott
Directed by Brett Sullivan
Season 1, Episode 7
Original Airdate May 11, 2013
Re-air date: September 28, 2013

What Happens: Sarah and Cosima are skyping once again, and realize that “this is the new normal.” They decide that even though Paul is a monitor, he is likely on their side. Sarah tells Cosima to stay away from Delphine, whom they both suspect is Cosima’s monitor. Sarah warns Cosima about what happened with Alison and Donnie, who are now on a trip “repairing their marriage.”

Jump to Olivier and Paul in the back room of a club (Neolution owned by Olivier): Olivier is asking about the shooting. Paul tells Olivier if he reveals why he’s asking the questions, perhaps he can help.

Helena is laying down and a strange man is dripping water on her head before he wipes her face. We again see the ring with the winged fish emblem—this is the guy who picked up Helena after Sarah allowed her to escape.

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Sarah and Felix pull up to the club where Paul is meeting with Olivier. She expresses concern to Felix that Cosima will get too close to Delphine because she’s blinded by science and that Paul may be selling them out to Olivier. Sarah wants to go into the club to investigate, but Fliex thinks she’s too recognizable so he pretties himself up and goes instead. He name-drops Olivier with the host, who has two different colored eyes. This club caters to people with physical augmentations, including Olivier and his tail. Yes, ladies and gentleman, a tail.

Scene flip to the police station…“Identical,” Art says. Janice the coroner claims Jane Doe, Katja, has the same blood/DNA as the crazy killer Helena. Deangelis thinks somebody with access tampered with the evidence. The Captain tells them to go over everything again before asking about the facial recognition.

We jump back to Olivier who asks about Paul and “Beth’s” sexual intimacy. Paul stresses that it is hard for him to help Olivier if he doesn’t know what’s going on. Olivier finally reveals that somebody is “killing our subjects.” Whilst dancing, Felix spots Paul and follows him outside the club. Paul turns on him and threatens him before Sarah breaks it up.

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Meanwhile, the convalescing Helena tells the strange man that Sarah is different than the others. This man, Tomas, stresses that Sarah is an “it” before slapping away Helena’s cup then embracing her. Tomas thinks they can use Sarah in their hope to remove the other clones, but once Sarah’s usefulness expires, Helena is to kill “it.” As a form of penance, Tomas gives Helena a razor, which she uses to trace more cuts on her back. Helena emerges from her “sanctuary” as Tomas tells her she is the original, she is the light.

Paul and Sarah rehash what they each know back at Paul and Beth’s apartment. Paul is less than trusting of Sarah’s knowledge. Not of what Sarah’s telling him, but whether or not Sarah knows the full story…she might be a little too trusting. Sarah reiterates to Paul that she believes he isn’t trying to kill them. He gives Sarah his keys to hide from the killer, but Helena still manages to sneak up on her in the garage.

Over lunch, Helena tells Sarah she dreamt they were friends. Helena acts like a child who hasn’t gotten out much. That’s because she grew up in a convent in the Ukraine, as she tells Sarah. Helena also asks for her flying fish knife back and informs Sarah she’s supposed to kill her. Helena asks Sarah for the names of the other clones, saying that she’ll spare Sarah.

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(Side note, Sarah’s eyes seem more green hazel in this episode than in previous episodes)

Deangelis complains about the quality of “Beth’s” paperwork as she and Art review the evidence a second time before heading out to the morgue.

Olivier is doing some taxidermy when he gets a call from Dr. Leekie.

Sarah and Cosima are chatting on their clone phones, debating their situation; what to do about Helena, what to do about their respective watchers, and Dr. Leekie’s Neolution movement, which happens to be the name of Olivier’s club. Could this be a coincidence? (Hint: nope.) Sarah again tells Cosima to stay away from Delphine before they both hang-up the phones and call each other bitch. A knock on Cosima’s door reveals Delphine.

Paul is getting out of the shower in the middle of the day and finds that Olivier and Miss two-colored-eyes (Astrid) have snuck into the townhouse. Olivier asks where Beth is, Paul says out with a friend. Olivier warns that Beth isn’t who he thinks she is. Paul says “like a twin?”

That evening, Paul and Beth’s townhouse is empty, which allows Helena to enter with no problems. She pokes and prods things, picks food out of the fridge and rolls around on Paul and Sarah’s bed.

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At Mrs. S.’s place, Kira is playing the piano for Sarah. Felix says she was good, but Mrs. S. says Sarah didn’t work hard enough at it. BACKSTORY TIME…Mrs. S. hands Sarah a photograph and tells her, “England was burning … Thatcher … sacked social security, the Unions…What do you remember about Brixton?” Sarah was in a safehouse at one time, a place for deportees, orphans. She points to a photo of a man name Carter, who was a “fine man” and often brought children to Mrs. S. to hide. One of them was Sarah, whom she adopted to legitimize Sarah. Carter stressed to Mrs. S. that she needed to hide Sarah, get her away from whatever it was Carter took her away from so she left England with Sarah and Felix.

Cosima and Delphine are sharing a fancy dinner when Dr. Leekie enters the restaurant. Delphine invites Dr. Leekie, Cosima seems a bit uncomfortable. When Dr. Leekie arrives at the table, he asks if they are familiar with his work at the Dyad Institute, including the patenting of transgenic cells. Delphine compliments Cosima so Dr. Leekie asks if either of them thought about working for the Dyad Institute. Leekie seems to be flirting with Cosima a bit, which Delphine doesn’t seem to like.

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Deangelis and Art are back in the coroner’s office; Deangelis is fascinated with the dead bodies.

As Sarah and Felix are leaving, Mrs. S. seems to be a bit more understanding of Sarah perhaps needing to “go back to go forward. I can keep Kira safe just like I kept you safe.” They hug, Sarah sheds a tear. Her phone rings.

It seems Olivier and Astrid took Paul back to Olivier’s club; Olivier informs Paul about the European killer. He thinks Sarah is the killer, but Paul says the killer is Helena. Olivier lays out some seemingly incriminating photos of Paul in Afghanistan, stressing that Paul should cooperate. Astrid hands Paul his phone, Olivier tells him to put it on speaker and to call Beth. After a few words through gritted teeth under the watchful gaze of Olivier and Astrid, Paul tells her “They know you are not Beth. RUN!” A slight physical altercation between Olivier and Paul ensues, which is cut short when Astrid sticks a needle in Paul’s neck.

Sarah and Felix are in Paul’s car outside of Oliver’s club. Sarah blames herself for what’s happening to Paul and has a plan to fix it. She calls Helena who, in her latest bit of crazy pants obsessing, is playacting with a photo of Paul in Paul and Beth’s apartment. Sarah tells Helena to meet her at Olivier’s club. As Sarah enters, she gives Felix Art’s card and instructs him to tell Art “everything” if she doesn’t get out of the club. Felix implores her not to die again because “you’re first funeral was agonizing enough.” Sarah is skulking about the halls of the building when two-colored eyes Astrid confronts her.

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Paul is tied up being punched by Olivier who tells Paul he knows how bad it can get. They are interrupted by Astrid who has “Beth” to see him. Astrid also hands over Helena’s knife, which Olivier turns over in his hand knowingly. Olivier is very pleased to see “one of them in the flesh.” Sarah tells Olivier the killer is Helena, describing her. She tells him she knows about his tail, he asks if she wants to see it. He claims the tail is merely performance art compared to the clones, specifically Sarah.

Olivier’s phone rings, it is Dr. Leekie. He tells Olivier to get “her” ready to travel. Astrid puts a bag over Sarah’s head and escorts her out. Paul notices, over Olivier’s shoulder whose back is to the security camera, that Helena has entered and whaps Astrid on the back the head. However, she chokes Sarah until Sarah reveals the names of the clones. Olivier threatens Paul with Helena’s knife, until he turns to see Astrid knocked over on the security camera. Olivier goes to investigate but is taken over by Crazy Helena who wishes to see the tail. She cuts it off as a “message from his master…from Tomas.”

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Sarah rushes back into rescue Paul. Unfortunately Felix assumes the worst and that things have gone awry, so he calls Art to tell him about Beth Childs until Paul and Sarah run up to the car causing Felix to end the call.

Helena is dancing in the club with Olivier’s tail in her hand then drops it.

Back at Felix’s apartment, Sarah reveals the name she gave to Helena – her name. Paul and Sarah are definitely getting closer, which Felix realizes as he leaves to go to the bar.

Cosima is pouring wine while she’s holding Dr. Leekie’s Dyad business card. She isn’t alone, as Delphine walks into the room. Cosima sensing something, moves into kiss Delphine which drives her out of the apartment.

Art is about to leave the precinct when Deangelis finally gets a match on Katja’s fingerprints – Sarah Manning. “Who the hell is Sarah Manning and why does she look like Beth?” asks Art.

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Commentary: Remember how I said the flip-flopping of the multiple story threads of the clones was well done in this show? Yeah, I still believe that, but it makes writing these recaps a bit of a challenge especially this one, but at least two of those flip flops converged at the end.

Some real interesting gender things going on in this episode; one woman rescues a man, while another woman performs what felt like a pseudo-rape on a man before performing a pseudo-castration. Paul, who spent previous episodes in a position of power and control (specifically stepping into the Vic/Sarah thing at Alison’s), is clearly the one being controlled and later saved in this episode. When he’s tied up in Olivier’s office, he leans on Sarah showing an affection that seems quite genuine. Another role reversal is that Sarah is telling Cosima to be cautious with her monitor, whereas in the past Sarah was the one who was told to be cautious in dealing with her monitor Paul.

Alison is completely absent from this episode, but we get Helena back. Not exactly a fair swap if you ask me, I thought initially. However, the necessity of getting Helena involved and off the sidelines is critical. The ruse worked perfectly to get Olivier in front of her, even if it seemed a tad choreographed. (Then again, I’m looking at this critically now rather than just being along for the ride as I was when I initially watched it six months ago). The little things Helena did in the episode helped to make her more than just the “Crazy Clone” and more than simply a foil for Sarah. Her yearning for a positive human connection of any kind with her “sister” or Paul, then turning the tables on the creep Olivier in defense of Sarah felt a natural progression of a warped attempt at seeking that connection.

Cosima is not heeding her own advice or the warnings of her clone sister—she’s falling for Delphine and continues to be intrigued by what Leekie has to offer. Of course she has no clue that he’s a puppeteer in the clone games being played this season, but the geek girl whose character on a superficial level is defined by science and facts is being swayed by emotion.

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Mrs. S opened up a lot. This helped to reveal a great deal of Sarah’s past as well as her own, and most importantly the brief recap of how she, Sarah, and Felix came to be a family who left the UK to settle in Canada. At this point, I don’t think Mrs. S. knows everything about Sarah, but I also think she’s not revealing the full hand of cards she’s holding. Not exactly a full balance of answers and questions on this part.

Frewer’s recognition, I think, may work against the role he’s playing. I like him fine in general, but more often he’s played the role of comic relief (his character on Eureka) or at the least, an unhinged character (Trashcan Man), but not a character who is a controlled, calculating, egotistical, mad scientist.

Then there’s Olivier’s tail. I really don’t know what to say, it could be the plot point that turns some people away. For me; however, its revelation was couched with a lot of strange science in the show’s narrative before the reveal in prior episodes so it felt a natural progression of the mad science going on in the show. If nothing else, it gave us that great scene of Helena dancing with it in the club which more than anything, kind of symbolizes Helena.

We also don’t get much on Tomas, Helena’s captor/handler so at this point, he seems to be just a cardboard cutout of a religious whack-a-doo.

Right, lots happened, so until next week, here’s the regular tallies:

Clone Count (episode): 3 — Sarah, Cosima, and Helena
Clone Total (series*): No change from last week, still at 6 — Sarah, Beth (deceased), Alison, Cosima, Katja (deceased), Helena
*I’m only counting those we’ve met in a physical sense, not just names on a sheet of paper

Clone Layers: Helena pretends to be Sarah under the black hood. Sarah pretends to be Beth when she first encounters Olivier.

Sexy Time: Some touching between Sarah and Paul is as far as it gets this episode.

Hey, it’s that guy/gal!: Tomas is portrayed by Daniel Kash who has been making the rounds for quite a while. Most recently, he was on an episode of Defiance as a Castithan weapons maker. He also portrayed “Justin Morningway,” Harry Dresden’s uncle on the cancelled-way-too early adaptation of The Dresden Files, and had a role as “Private Spunkmeyer” in the seminal military SF film Aliens. Also, like a lot of actors on this show, was in an episode of Lost Girl and a few episodes of Alphas.

Rob Bedford lives in in the farmlands of NJ with his wife and dog. He reviews books for SFFWorld, runs a blog about stuff, and contributes to SF Signal. If you want to read random thoughts about books, TV, his dog, beer, and hockey, you can follow him on Twitter: @RobHBedford.

Christopher Bennett
1. ChristopherLBennett
I so hate the word "Neolution." It's such an etymologically inept coinage. Not only is the root "-volution" rather than "-lution," but it's Latin and "neo-" is Greek. But then, maybe it's supposed to sound silly and pretentious.

I did like it that the clone-killers turned out to be a separate group from the masterminds behind the experiment. It made things more ambiguous, blurred the sides some.

I've mentioned before that the show stresses nurture over nature, making the Identicals very distinct from one another despite their shared genetics, and few things drive that home as much as Cosima being lesbian while the other Identicals we know of are heterosexual. I guess that fits with what science suggests about the basis of sexual orientation, that it's influenced by epigenetic factors and the hormonal environment of the womb during development.
Adam S.
@1 On the other hand, there are similarities between the various clones seen in each episode, like Sarah and Beth both falling for the same guy, Sarah and Helena's "connection"...actually, they pretty much all make bad choices in the sex/relationship department...The clones' similarities are gradually revealed, letting us see both nature and nurture at work.
Del C
3. del
The man's name is Carlton, a realistic, if stereotypical, black British name in the 80s.
Rob Munnelly
4. RobMRobM
@3 - Wasn't Carlton the name of Will Smith's housemate in the Prince of Bel Air?

Fun but scattershot episode that pushes plausibility more than some of the other episodes (i.e., would a secret organization actually conduct nefarious doings at a semi-public nightclub named after the group)? Love the Helena confusion over which way to go (love or kill), love the Mrs. S backstory that begins to come out in dribs and drabs, love the police investigation that keeps uncovering confusing new evidence. Good times.

Nice observation about the role reversals in this episode. Hadn't thought about them in quite that way.

Agree that the differences/similarities among the clones is both informative and amusing. All risk takers, all prone to ups and downs in mental status, all abuse drugs to some level (at least we assume so of Sarah given her past with Vic even if nothing is on screen yet). Curious whether this will be a focus in later seasons - are they trying to get a certain package of skills through the clone program?

Thanks for the nice write up, Rob.
Christopher Bennett
5. ChristopherLBennett
@4: Neolution isn't secret. It's a philosophy that Dr. Leekie promotes openly in his books and presentations. They're very public about their existence, and actively seek to proselytize. But they have other stuff going on behind the public facade. Would they do it at a nightclub? Why not? It's probably going to seem pretty innocuous on the outside.

Are the Identicals really "all risk takers?" Alison strikes me as someone very uncomfortable with risks and dangers, someone who reacts very badly and extremely to things that shake up her status quo. Sarah deals with novelty and being thrown out of her comfort zone far more adaptively than Alison does, because she has more experience with that state, whereas Alison has led a more sheltered life.

And remind me how Alison or Helena has abused drugs? I wouldn't doubt that Helena has been drugged by Tomas, but that doesn't seem like her choice. As for "ups and downs in mental status," who wouldn't go through those under circumstances like these? I don't think that can be attributed to genetics.
Rob Munnelly
6. RobMRobM
CLB @5 - re risktaking, even Allison acts on stage, putting herself out there for public view, and she did agree to impersonate Sarah back in Ep. 4 - a high risk activity. You also see more about her in later episodes, so I'll hold off for spoiler purposes. (Ditto re Allison and drugs. Word for the day is "Sharesies") Re Helena and drugs, agree it's hard to tell exactly what is up on that front but she seems to get her highs from all sorts of things (including razors).

I generally agree with your points re Neolution but it seems odd to base illegal monitoring of people at a well established club supporting a well established organization. No plausible deniability if caught.
Adam S.
We don't know how extensive the Neolutionist's movement is, yet. They clearly have some highly-placed allies and billions of dollars, plus I assume political the club may not be as risky as it appears on the surface.
Christopher Bennett
8. ChristopherLBennett
@6: Acting on stage isn't remotely risky compared to being a cop or living on the streets. I mean, heck, you could say that getting married or adopting children is a risk. Everyone takes risks of one sort or another, but the "risks" in Alison's life are extremely routine. You would never argue they were evidence of a risktaking personality in any other context.

And when Alison is faced with something genuinely risky, like getting drawn into the clone business or being confronted by Sarah or realizing she's being spied on, she reacts very badly and defensively -- indeed, overreacts in the name of protecting herself. Sometimes, under prompting and guidance by people like Cosima and Sarah and Felix, she can rise to the occasion and do things like impersonating Sarah, but she does so reluctantly. That's not a risk-taking personality, that's a vehemently risk-averse one. She handles danger and crises dysfunctionally because she hates being taken out of her comfort zone and doesn't know how to cope. Sarah, on the other hand, can adapt smoothly and intelligently to a crisis and doesn't go bugnuts.

And comparing Helena's razor use to something like Cosima's marijuana use is completely... ugh. Helena has been abused by Tomas, who's convinced her that she's a creature of sin and needs to punish herself constantly to purge the evil. That's not even remotely comparable to voluntary drug use. And it's absurd to call it the result of Helena's genetics. It's the result of her upbringing, the things that other people have done to her.

By the same token, Cosima's marijuana use is a natural thing to expect from a college student (for better or worse). As for Sarah, I don't think we've actually seen her using drugs. She stole Vic's drugs in the pilot, but she did so in order to get money, and she seems to have been clean since (unlike Felix). Again, she was exposed to drug use because of the environment she grew up in, living among criminals and the disadvantaged. But she's not an addict or a habitual user.
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
@8 Points taken, but my overall inquiry is directed to the writers - is there a sense that the clones are expected/bred to have certain characteristics? If so, what are they? One of the fun parts of the show is seeing the many differences among the clones (a triumph of nurture) and whether there is intended to be a core set of characteristics where nature is intended to bear fruit. I don't know but am curious where all this is going.

One follow up - re both Helena and Sarah, we don't see drug use on screen but I'd be shocked if Sarah never used and surprised if Helena never did (perhaps not voluntarily in her case, if course). And, no, I didn't intend to equate Cosima's casual drug use and crazy Helena's self abuse.
Robert H. Bedford
10. RobB
@3. del
Duly noted, must have misheard.

4. RobMRobM
Thanks! On one hand, it sort of makes a weird logical sense that a nightclub could be a front. It would be a great petri dish to observe.

Regarding the drug use, we've two clones using drugs to this point. Abuse is a slightly different topic.
Christopher Bennett
11. ChristopherLBennett
@9: If there are specific characteristics being bred for, they may be physiological rather than behavioral. I'd say more, but I'd have to spoil the remaining episodes.

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