Orphan Black “Variation Under Nature”

Oh good.  I can stop pretending I don’t know why all these identical women exist.

Yes, for those new to the show that just didn’t watch the “next time” bit during the closing credits of the second episode, it turns out that Sarah is a clone.  Of whom?  No one knows.  Alison and Cosima are also clones, but aside from that, the three couldn’t be more different in terms of personality.  Sarah is still thinking of pulling a con and taking the money and running even as Alison and Cosima opt to trust her.

Well, Cosima does.  The American clone is incredibly friendly, open, and helpful.  Alison, by contrast, is wary and does have a gun she pulls out as needed, like when she realizes Felix is nosing around her backyard after he was told off by a neighborhood watch person that he couldn’t just sit in Sarah’s car.  Then again, when Sarah gives Alison a good slap for drawing on her brother, the suburban soccer mom does seem a bit shocked, so she may not be as tough as she lets on.

Sarah’s problems are multiplying anyway.  Art does eventually return the money, and she has another fight/make-out session with Paul (Felix, watching that one, approves).  But then someone finds the German’s corpse, and Sarah-as-Beth gets pulled in to investigate a murder of a clone identical to herself.  Art sees “Beth” screw up enough to force her onto the gun range and to take another cop to really work the case.  As it is, Cosima is good to run some online interference while Alison can show Sarah how to shoot a gun.  Plus, the money was to investigate in places Beth couldn’t even as a cop.  Sarah would still consider taking the money and running, but…

It’s easy to forget in the early episodes how freakin’ scary Helena was.  She never quite becomes “tame,” but at least she’s not hostile in later seasons.

Who is Helena?  Though unnamed in this episode, she’s the one who killed the German.  Art and “Beth” go to investigate an apartment in the Ukrainian side of town and Sarah just manages to save Art from a gunshot before she gives pursuit to a hooded figure.  Said hooded figure gets the drop on Sarah and the only thing that keeps the dirty blonde dye job version of herself from killing Sarah outright is Sarah shouting she isn’t Beth.  Oh, and stabbing her attacker with an iron bar.  Said attacker gets away, and when we see her later, we see she extracts the bar and is crisscrossed by tons of scars across her back.  She even has her own discordant theme music.  The scare was enough to convince Sarah to return the money.

That’s Helena.

Oh, and on the lighter side, Sarah did get shooting lessons from Alison, but Alison’s chubby husband Donnie was unable to babysit, so Felix ended up doing it.  He taught Alison’s kids (who are clearly adopted) all about the wonderful world of crossdressing.

Don’t change, Felix.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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