Orphan Black #CloneClub Recap: “The Mitigation Of Competition”
"Did you just step up to me, Little Triplet?" - Adele
This week’s Orphan Black finally sees Clone Club make significant progress on several fronts. The Leda clones finally give Evie Cho what-for, Alison has a crisis of faith, we’re ever so much closer to a cure for Cosima, HELENA IS BACK, and Adele proves to be pretty damn awesome and savvy despite her penchant for putting hard drugs into her hard cocktails and sucking it down like drinking is her job and she’s getting paid by the swallow! Welcome to Episode 9 of the season, “The Mitigation of Competition.”
**THIS IS A RECAP—SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**
- Rachel is still having swan visions in her new eye, in addition to visions of someone I thought was her father with a beard somehow, but I guess isn’t? In any case, this bearded old dude seems to be leading Rachel somewhere. It’s not a “glitch,” it’s a message. Meanwhile, she and Ira watch with the world’s most subtle eyerolling (seriously, these two betray NO EMOTIONS EVER) as Evie Cho is on the news talking about how BrightBorn’s facility exists in her struggling hometown of Tisdale because she wants to help the economically hurting city to rebuild, when really she just wants a part of town with people desperate enough to let her experiment on them for cash. But before Rachel can ponder that for too long, Sarah and Felix show up, ready to begin their awkward partnership. (Felix with awesome looking hair this episode!)
- Sarah and Felix agree to find and bring back two BrightBorn “clients” that escaped the facility. BrightBorn is looking for them, because one of them has a video of BrightBorn doctors euthanizing babies in which they caused defects. Evie’s also concerned with the fact that she hasn’t heard from Detective Duko since he went off to find Sarah. Rachel wants to find the escaped patients to encourage them to speak out against BrightBorn and take down Evie Cho, allowing Susan to take over Neolution again. Sarah agrees to help, but insists on using her own people her way. Rachel agrees. She also remembers that Sarah put a pencil in her eye (to be fair, Rachel tried to kill Sarah several times). She has a contingency plan in place.
- Donnie gets out of jail on bail and is all about trying to make up for no conjugal visits with Alison, but Alison’s not really in the mood with everything going on. Their kids are in Florida with Alison’s mother to keep them safe, and Alison is losing touch with her faith. They go home to meet up with Adele, who will be advising Donnie on proceeding with his case.
- Sarah is disappointed in herself that, though she’s supposed to be bringing Clone Club together, her sestras are as far-flung right now as they can be. However, as Felix goes off to monitor Adele’s visit with the Hendrix’s to keep her blissfully unaware of Clone Club, Art and Sarah get a lead on the whereabouts of the two escaped BrightBorn patients. One is pregnant, and the other is running with a newborn. Art and Sarah go follow the lead.
- Cosima is on the Island of Doctor Duncan fertilizing a Leda egg with Castor sperm, and feeling really squicky about it. She tries to engage Susan in an ethical debate, but Susan distracts her with a copy of On the Science of Neolution, which Cosima is immediately intrigued by.
- When Sarah and Art get to where their lead was sending them, they’re in for a horrific surprise. The pregnant patient was dead. A “suicide,” apparently, but clearly it was BrightBorn. The other patient with a newborn, Kendra, has run off and no one knows where. Thank goodness, as there’s yet another crooked cop working for BrightBorn — Det. Troy Collier who seems to be both helping to stage the “suicide” and shadily trying to gain information on Kendra’s whereabouts. Thankfully, Art picks up on the shady vibe and doesn’t reveal too much.
- And then HELENA CALLS SARAH! She’s off in the wilderness living in a huge dwelling that she has seemingly made out of branches and animal pelts and trying to keep away from civilization to ride out the rest of her pregnancy. The Wilderness Girl look suits her, and I have zero question in my mind about Helena being able to sustain herself in the great outdoors. When Helena asks how everyone is doing, and Sarah sounds troubled, Helena isn’t convinced that “everything’s fine” the way Sarah says.
- Sarah, however, insists that things are fine and gets off the call with Helena only to see Goth Neolution Girl standing outside the crime scene. Apparently, she knew Kendra, and so Sarah, as Beth, questions her and finds out that Kendra probably ran to an empty house that she knew about…in Tisdale. Detective Collier tips Evie off, not only about Kendra heading to Tisdale, but that Sarah is looking for Kendra, too.
- At the Hendrix’s, Adele attempts to advise Donnie on his case, but starts getting suspicious when Donnie lets slip that Duko “won’t be a problem.” There’s no way that any of them could know that, but when Adele starts to question what’s going on, Felix convinces her to let the Hendrix’s have their space. Adele might be a lush, but she’s not stupid.
- Rachel and Ira contact Sarah asking for progress on finding Kendra, and Sarah reminds them that she will call them with any developments. However, Ira has found information on Kendra’s other son that they propose Sarah use “if she needs to.” Kendra’s son is hidden away with friends, but Ira has tracked down his address. Sarah hangs up before the conversation can go further.
- Cosima bonds with Charlotte as they talk about the Neolution book. Charlotte points out a map of the island they’re on that’s depicted in the book, showing Cosima their exact location.
- Back at Felix’s apartment, Adele starts bombarding him with questions about what’s going on with Alison and her “twin sister” Sarah and their clearly shady behavior. Then Helena shows up, and Adele is hilariously done with pretending that nothing’s up. “So, it’s triplets now. From different regions…in the same stomach. Are there different countries in there? Different countries?” Helena tries to leave after realizing that Felix clearly doesn’t want to let Adele in on any info, but Adele insists she stay to answer some questions…like whether or not she’s named her animal skin hat yet.
- Donnie finally gets his conjugal visit with Alison, which Alison immediately wants to follow up with prayer. It’s really troubling her that she can’t connect with God. She also wants to get out of town now that they have so much heat on them. Donnie is reluctant at first, and his passport was seized as a condition of his bail, but eventually agrees that they’ll go to Niagara with the kids.
- Sarah and Art find the house where Kendra is. At first, Kendra is suspicious of them, but they gradually gain her trust, telling her that BrightBorn is also after them. They almost convince her to go back with them when Rachel interrupts with a phone call like a jerk and unnecessarily threatens Kendra, telling her that if she doesn’t go outside and get in the car with Ira, they know where her son is, and he’ll be harmed. This coincides with BrightBorn’s favorite creepy EMT girlfriend and another BrightBorn goon showing up at the house, too. Kendra gets away with Ira, and Art and Sarah take down the goons.
- Adele tries to get information out of Helena and Felix, and reveals just how much trouble the Hendrixes are in. Helena is concerned. Once Felix safely gets rid of Helena, he convinces Adele to go to keep her “beautifully ignorant of all this shit.” Adele is disappointed that he won’t confide in her, but leaves him to his “real family” and goes.
- As Alison and Donnie attempt to pack to leave town, the other half of BrightBorn’s favorite creepy EMT couple shows up at their house to either get Sarah’s whereabouts, or implant a bot in Alison’s cheek. Before he can hurt Alison, Helena shows up with a bow and arrow and puts an arrow right through his neck! I’M SO GLAD SHE’S BACK.
- Finally, it’s the day of Evie Cho’s press conference announcing her revolutionary “gene therapy” treatment. Rachel, however, shows up to spoil it with a copy of the incriminating baby euthanizing video. She agrees to give Evie the only copy of the video, as well as Kendra, in exchange for “a seat at the table” at BrightBorn. Having very little choice, Evie agrees, taking the video. However, that was not the only copy of the video (it never is). Rachel uses their conversation as a ruse to get Evie to talk about euthanizing babies as she records it through a camera in her necklace. Back at their hotel room, Sarah watches as Ira records Evie’s incriminating statements, then sends both the video of the baby and Evie talking about what they really do at BrightBorn to all the members of the press at the press conference. As their phones start going off with alerts, they start watching the videos one by one, and start questioning Evie about them. She’s DONE.
- And Rachel proves herself a true (if unorthodox) Clone Club ally after all.
- Oh, and by the way….DELPHINE IS ALIVE AND ON THE ISLAND LOOKING TOTES MYSTERIOUS AND SMIRKING INTO THE CAMERA.
- DELPHINE! I knew she was alive, and I knew they’d have to bring her back soon! But what the hell is she doing with Neolution? I can’t wait to find out!
- Adele won the episode for me this week. She gave voice to everything that any of us would say in such a preposterous situation. I hope she’s not gone forever, and I hope that eventually Felix can open up to her. It’s not up to him to “keep her safe” and deny her the family she clearly wants in him. He should let her make that decision for herself.
- HELENA! This show has been less-brilliant without her. I love how, despite her violence, she’s learned how to channel that violence for good (well, as “good” as people can be on this show). I love how fiercely she loves her sestras, and that despite running away so as not to impose herself on the Hendrixes, she will return to defend her family if she knows they’re in danger.
- RACHEL! She has come such a long way. Clone Club still shouldn’t trust her entirely, as she’s still primarily concerned with her own well-being and that of her mother, but I had faith that Rachel was capable of separating herself from the past enough to do what’s in the best interest of her future, and I was right. I’m curious to see how her journey develops as she follows what The Eye is telling her to do. Will The Eye lead her to Delphine?
- EVIE’S COMEUPANCE! FINALLY! I have to say, as much as I hated that Rachel felt the need to go behind Sarah’s back to execute her plan, I have to say that her plan was carried out so elegantly and was so perfect. She ensured the most effective takedown of Evie in the shortest amount of time, and it was brilliant.
- I have a bit of trouble with Alison’s sudden crisis of faith. Yes, she’s active in her church, and yes she’s worn a cross on several occasions, but that’s always seemed to me more because it was expected of her, rather than her having any actual faith. You can’t have a crisis of faith if you never really had any to begin with. Meanwhile, Cosima the scientist is way more open to the possibilities of spirituality. A crisis of faith in her, to me, is more believable than one in Alison.
- Seriously, are there no good cops? As I said to my fiancee as we watched this last night, “Even Art’s a crooked cop, he’s just crooked on behalf of people I like.” *sigh*
- The pacing of this episode felt a bit draggy to me. It was light on plot as it almost entirely focused on the Rachel takedown of Evie, but that means that Sarah was pretty much redundant through the whole episode and had absolutely nothing to do with Evie’s comeuppance. Yet we were forced to watch her and Art drag around town following their own useless leads.
This week’s episode wasn’t as good as last week’s as an episode, but I loved everything that happened in it, if that makes sense? High marks for ideas and content, lower marks for execution. Still, it keeps me firmly on the Orphan Black train.
(images via BBC America)
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