[This is a review of Orphan Black season 2, episode 3. There will be SPOILERS.]
Storylines still aren’t coming together just yet, but the lack of character crossover in Orphan Black season 2 is no longer an issue, because in episode 3, ‘Mingling Its Own Nature With It,’ every single clone’s situation becomes so robust and all-consuming that there’s no time to think about anything else.
At the start of the episode, Sarah, Felix and Kira are seemingly lost, roaming in the middle of nowhere for a safe place to lie low. However, little do Felix and Kira know, Sarah is familiar with the area and even more so with a certain someone in it.
Kira’s father was bound to come into the picture at some point and now we’ve got Michiel Huisman’s Cal. Even though he’s only been in a single episode with limited screen time, Cal’s already bonded with Kira, hated Sarah, come to accept her and then slept with her. The change of heart might not justified, but with Felix off to buddy up with Alison and Mrs. S’s loyalty up in the air, Sarah’s going to need someone, so Cal’s arrival comes at an optimal time.
Even though Cal is meant to be the unforgettable game changer of the episode, Jordan Gavaris steals a good deal of his spotlight. Felix was the comedic relief all throughout season 1, but he also functioned as an effective sidekick, too. In the first two episodes of season 2, however, Felix has been all humor and nothing more.
That’s not the case with ‘Mingling Its Own Nature With It,’ though. Not only do we get the pleasure of seeing Felix and Sarah operate as a team again, but then he gets the chance to show some range and emote. This has nothing to do with the clone situation. Sarah lied to Felix and it hurt, and that little bit of honesty and heart goes a long way in this episode.
Back at the Dyad, Delphine introduces Cosima to another clone named Jennifer Fitzsimmons – or at least what’s left of her. Not only is Cosima forced to autopsy a corpse that looks exactly like her, but she’s also investigating the condition she’s got herself. Cosima could be heading down the same exact path as Jennifer, and thanks to Maslany’s thoughtful and nuanced performance, you never forget that.
This portion of the show also suggests Orphan Black may manage to avoid a potential sci-fi pitfall. When you’re dealing with clones and currently out-of-this-world science, there’s always the risk of taking things too far, but in the autopsy scene in particular, the writers prove that they have a firm handle on the anatomy of the clones and how to convey those details in a clear, relevant and grounded manner.
Even though Alison is still busy working on her show, the road to opening night takes a darker turn, finally pushing her back toward Sarah, Cosima and the fight for answers and survival. Episode 3 marks the start of what looks to be a rather vicious downward spiral for Alison, one that leaves her frightened and vulnerable, conjuring a great deal of suspense regarding her next move.
Anticipation is also sky high for Helena and what the Prolethians have in store for her. On the one hand, there’s Henrik, who’s hell-bent on achieving his goals; on the other, you've got his daughter who doesn’t appreciate him making Helena one of his own; and then there’s Art and Daniel, both of whom could topple the sect structure at any moment.
And who knows what Helena’s capable of at this point? She’s definitely weak from whatever was in her food, but between her misplaced organs and healing abilities, Helena could come back full force in an instant and at that point, if she IDs the Prolethians as her enemies, she could decimate Henrik’s confidence and poise.
As expected, season 2 is coming together. Episode 1 reintroduced viewers to the world and set the stage for what’s to come, episode 2 put a little more meat on those plotlines’ bones and now Orphan Black is in fighting form. Sarah, Cosima, Alison and Helena are entrenched in interesting, engaging and exhilarating situations, all of which subvert expectations through innovative plot progressions, but also bear a relatable quality, keeping the show human at its core.
Orphan Black continues next Saturday with ‘Governed As It Were By Chance’ @ 9pm on BBC America.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.