[This is a review of Orphan Black season 2, episode 7. There will be SPOILERS.]
The material in the rehab center exemplifies what makes Orphan Black so special - it’s ability to strike a unique, entertaining and incredibly satisfying balance of honesty, humor and suspense. The show’s been busy building Family Day hype, the importance of Vic’s return and the threat of Angie’s determination to catch a clone - and in ‘Knowledge Of Causes, And Secret Motion Of Things’, all three come to a head (and at the very same time nonetheless).
The sequence has an extremely enjoyable madcap quality to it, but the risks and possible repercussions are always present. On the one hand, you’re giggling and cringing because Sarah’s got to engage in some brilliantly awkward role-play with Donnie (Kristian Bruun) in Alison’s place, but on the other, what if it goes too far askew? All Alison wants is to have her kids back and if Sarah gives off the wrong impression now, she could jeopardize that.
And the same goes for Vic (Michael Mando), too. It’s hilariously picturesque when he bashes his head, falls to the floor and sparkly craft items rain down around him, but now what do they do? Alison and Felix can’t let the facility staff find Vic and Angie’s on the hunt for him, too.
These situations aren’t just fleeting laughs and thrills. Every single one has a conclusion and they all move their respective storylines forward in a thoughtful, intriguing manner. Vic is dedicated to his recovery, but the hothead we met in season one is still in there. Will he strike back? Angie clearly will not give up anytime soon, so now that she’s lost her inside man, what’ll be her next move? And then there’s Donnie.
It’s tough to believe that Donnie could carry on for so long completely unaware that this long-term social metrics study he’s part of is bogus, but where that revelation leaves him in this episode makes it well worth the logic leeway. Just when you’re hyper focused on the shift in power at the Dyad and the threat on Leekie’s life, he hops in a car only to have Donnie accidentally blow him away. It’s unexpected, exhilarating and incredibly effective.
We already have a couple of characters that were presumed dead, but came back. Had Leekie actually gotten out of town before the Dyad goons tracked him down, there’d always be the question of whether or not Leekie will return. Instead, by putting an end to him right then and there, the writers keep the show tight and maximize the opportunity to explore new layers. Now that Leekie’s gone, what’s to become of Cosima’s work at the Dyad? Will Rachel put a stop to it? How will Donnie clean up this mess? Now that Donnie is officially in-the-know, will he leave Alison for good or eventually come around and join team clone? These questions are monumentally more interesting than wondering if and when Leekie will make his big return.
We’ve also still got Cal and Kira on the run (for a bit too long, I might add), Helena joining the Prolethians, Ethan Duncan and his precious disks, our new Dyad bigwig, Marian Bowles (Michelle Forbes), and Paul’s ongoing loyalty issues. It’s a lot to resolve, let alone touch upon in just three more episodes, but as ‘Knowledge Of Causes, And Secret Motion Of Things’ just proved, by keeping the leads in close proximity, Orphan Black is capable of strengthening each and every storyline without ever spreading itself too thin.
Orphan Black continues next Saturday with ‘Variable And Full Of Perturbation’ @ 9pm on BBC America.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.