Orphan Black 2×05 Review: Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est
This week’s episode of Orphan Black revealed a lot about the history of DYAD and the inner workings of their politics. There’s an odd power structure within the organisation filled with secrets, power plays, and divided loyalty. Now that so many clones are self aware, the organization is teetering on the edge. It’s like a house of cards just waiting for the slightest gust of wind to come by and knock everything down. With the way things are stacked so precariously, it’s not going to take much to blow it over.
I was somewhat surprised to learn that Rachel was aware that she was being monitored. I suppose it makes sense, though, because she’s been self aware her entire life so I suppose it makes sense that she’d be aware of that as well. She makes it clear to Paul that she’s the one in charge of the situation, though. I wonder if Daniel respected Rachel’s authority or deferred to Doctor Leekie. I am not a fan of Daniel and his conversation with Leekie on the phone two episodes ago makes me feel like he valued his authority more than Rachel’s. It’ll be interesting to see how Paul reacts to the power play within the organization. He already seems to be bending to Rachel’s word without question, even to the point of developing a sexual relationship with her as part of his job. I tend to really like Paul and I understand that they are holding a lot over his head, but his new position as Rachel’s monitor has left a bad taste in my mouth. I feel both bad for him for the dubious consent involved with having sex with her, but also angry at him for becoming a DYAD lacky again so easily. He’s in a tough spot, though, and I suppose I should be a bit more sympathetic towards him.
Sarah and Helena’s plots intertwined briefly in the beginning, but Sarah ran off again within the first ten minutes of the episode. I suppose that’s sort of Sarah’s modus operandi. Sarah tried to drop Helena with Felix, but he was having none of it and passed her on to Art. Surprisingly this looks like a good match. Art is patient with her and understands both her simplicity and complexity. I really thought they’d be sticking around in their weird cohabitation for a while as Sarah ran off to deal with her own stuff, but this is Helena we’re talking about. She has her own way of taking control of her life and sticking to her own goals. He underestimated her ingenuity and she managed to escape his custody pretty easily. Her escape brought Sarah back into her story near the end of the episode, which I’m actually pretty pleased about. The strange relationship between Helena and Sarah is complicated, intense, and emotional. Now that they’re united again, I’m pretty eager to watch where things go.
I’m really happy to see Art so devoted to the cause. Both Sarah and Art are determined to uncover the mysteries surrounding Beth’s death for drastically different reasons. For Sarah the motivation is to learn enough about her own genetics to gain freedom for her and her daughter, while Art is probably more motivated by the pain of losing his partner and steadfast devotion to uncovering the truth. Art is a character that I didn’t expect to stick around much after Sarah stopped posing as Beth, but he’s become part of the clones’ extended family. Whether he will ever trust Sarah as much as he did Beth isn’t exactly clear, but it’s obvious that they have a solid partnership at this point.
While last week was severely lacking in Cosima and Delphine plot, we got some of them this week. It looks like Delphine’s faith in DYAD is getting shaken up even more now that it’s revealed that Leekie has been keeping information from them. I feel like Delphine’s only reason for being loyal to DYAD is because she feels it’s in the best interest of Cosima’s health. Once that gets taken away, there is nothing keeping her there. Leekie seems to be making an interesting play by defying Rachel and placing the blame entirely on her. When it comes to Leekie and Rachel, I’m much more sympathetic towards Rachel, but Leekie seems to be throwing her under the bus and trying to earn Cosima and Delphine’s favor. It’s another interesting note on the strange power play between Leekie and Rachel that I’m looking forward to watching unfold. I don’t trust Leekie, but all of his behavior throughout this episode almost makes me feel like I’m backing the wrong horse in DYAD.
We didn’t see anything from Alison this week. With so many characters it makes sense that some will get left out on occasion, but with the way she’s feeling so excluded from her fellow clones it’s really depressing to see her left out. She’s not only left out of their lives, but she’s left out of the plot as well. Shots of her in rehab would have probably slowed the pace down, though, so from a structural standpoint I can understand why she was overlooked this week. Still, I hope she’s remembered next week, appreciated by somebody, and no longer feels worthless. She may not be actively trying to take down DYAD like Sarah, Cosima, and Helena are, but she’s still caught up in this mess. Her life has been severely damaged because of it all and she shouldn’t be forgotten or ignored. People may belittle her for her “soccer mom” persona, but she’s still a human being who is suffering from a large amount of turmoil. Words cannot describe how bad I feel for her.
Moving forward, DYAD is going to have a tough time going up against both Helena and Sarah. Now that Cosima has revealed that she’s in touch with Sarah, the odds are stacked even more against them. I only hope that the characters I’ve grown an attachment to somehow survive as everything crumbles. It’s going to be an intense few weeks as season two wraps up and I’m looking forward to where this story takes us.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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