[This is a review of Orphan Black season 2, episode 2. There will be SPOILERS.]
Even though episode two of the new season of Orphan Black still attempts to cover just as much ground as the premiere, ‘Governed By Sound Reason and True Religion’ is a tighter experience because there’s more depth to each clone’s situation and they’re becoming more and more intertwined. Should that trend continue, season 2 could rock quite the build.
We’ve known for a while that Kira, Sarah's daughter, is special. Clones can’t reproduce, but for some reason Sarah can, so naturally her offspring is one of a kind and therefore highly valuable to the various interested parties.
Watching Sarah react to Kira’s disappearance has been gut-wrenching, but by ditching the missing Kira plot early on, we can get to the juicer parts of her curious situation. And it's those juicier parts that are responsible for the large majority of the connective tissue between scenes, scenarios and characters in ‘Governed By Sound Reason and True Religion.’
Alison is still off on her own, moping about Aynsley’s death, drowning her sorrows in booze, song, and dance, but the rest of clone club is going after the same thing – more information regarding what makes Sarah and Kira different. Cosima’s working with Leekie and Rachel and is tasked to examine Sarah’s sequenced genome for answers; Henrik Johanssen (Peter Outerbridge) and the Prolethian extremists are resorting to deadly tactics to support their cause; and then there’s poor Sarah, simply trying to evade everyone.
For the most part, we know who Sarah needs to steer clear of in order to keep Kira safe, but ‘Governed By Sound Reason and True Religion’ marks an unprecedented turn for Mrs. S. that comes with loads of answers, but just as many questions, too. There’s been suspicion that Mrs. S. knows more than she has let on ever since Amelia came around. And even though this episode does offer a better sense of exactly what Mrs. S. is capable of, it in no way confirms which side she’s on.
Sarah’s relationship with Mrs. S. served as a safe haven of sorts throughout most of season 1, so when that trust was rattled, Sarah’s fear and unease became more tangible than ever. In this episode, however, it’s not so black and white.
The doubt regarding the character’s intentions remains, but Maria Doyle Kennedy is also still radiating with that same sense of comfort from season 1. Now, not only does the character keep you on your toes in terms of what she's capable of - apparently, she's a badass killer - but she also makes you yearn for her to be on the right side.
Felix, however, is in the exact opposite situation. Thus far, Felix bears zero weight on the progression of the season 2 narrative. He’s there a lot, but rarely has something worthwhile to contribute beyond a few quips. Hopefully, the upcoming road trip with Sarah and Kira will give him more purpose because, thus far, he’s feeling less and less like a legitimate source of support, and without that, he’s reduced to the comic relief of the show and nothing more.
Regardless, ‘Governed By Sound Reason and True Religion’ is still a big winner in that it takes the pieces from episode 1 and deftly brings them together through the war between the Prolethians, Neolutionists and everybody else.
Thus far, the weaker components of the show are those that are not active and efficient parts of that battle like, for example, Alison and Felix. However, both still have potential, Felix via the road trip and Alison through what’s to come with Angie.
Other than that, everything is already on the right track. Characters have clear agendas and they’re connected, so when we lose, say, Cosima to devote more time to the Prolethians, we never forget Cosima because we’re always considering how the Prolethians agenda will affect her efforts.
Orphan Black continues next Saturday with ‘Mingling Its Own Nature With It’ @ 9pm on BBC America.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.