‘Orphan Black’ recap: The most confusing thing that happened this week (Season 2, Episode 6)


Sarah and Helena (Steve Wilkie/BBC America)

Where to begin? The episode was a mix between a road trip comedy (featuring dream team Sarah and Helena on a quest to find “Swan Man,” a.k.a. Ethan Duncan and creator of the clone project) and a dive into a deep, disturbing world of what’s really been going at the Dyad Institute all these years.

First thing’s first: “Orphan Black” is obviously a creepy sci-fi drama, but at times can actually be hilarious. Namely, Helena’s short-lived romance with Trucker Hat Guy (Patrick J. Adams of “Suits”) while she waited in a bar for Sarah to come back from a fact-finding mission. Trucker Hat tried to rescue her from a creepy weirdo, unaware that Helena had it totally under control — when the guy got too close, Helena broke his finger. Fascinated, Trucker Hat started going shot for shot with Helena, not caring that she was a sociopath.

Naturally, things got out of control through a series of arm wrestling matches, more booze and a hot and heavy makeout session — and when the creep came back, Helena went crazy and bashed his head in. The cops came, Helena got arrested, but she didn’t care — she was in love.

Sadly, things took a turn for the serious when Helena’s “sister” came to bail her out of jail; that would be Gracie, Pastor Hank’s daughter who had her mouth sewn shut last week by her furious parents when she let Helena escape their farm. Gracie’s in desperate need for Helena to return, because Hank stole some of Helena’s eggs through a gruesomely invasive procedure — and if Helena doesn’t return to carry the baby, Gracie must step up to bat.

Unfortunately, babies are Helena’s weakness, as she wondered out loud to Sarah earlier whether she might also be able to have biological children someday. Strangely, Helena does seem to have a good rapport with kids. She allows Gracie and Hank’s chilling sidekick, Mark, to take her back to the farm. Don’t do it, Helena!

Other than that, the episode raised some major and very confusing questions. Here are four things we’re still wondering about:

Just how evil is Dr. Leekie?

Up until now, Dyad Institute director Dr. Leekie seemed like a kindly grandfather type who just happened to have a fascination with clones and science and evolving technology. But is he a cold-blooded murderer?

Ethan Duncan — by now an old man obsessed with birds — says so. “Dr. Leekie killed my Susan,” he whispers to Sarah at the end of the episode.

Ethan finally gives a little bit of backstory on Project LEDA and how the cloning experiment started: Ethan and Susan were geneticists recruited by the military in 1976 for a project attempting to clone human embryos. They succeeded, but an oversight committee declared them an “ethical failure.” How did Dyad get involved? Well, the Institute was the contractor — and when the military discovered what the Duncans had managed to do, Dyad persuaded them to push beyond the embryos into full-term.

“Why?” Sarah asked. “What did you want?”

“Babies,” Ethan responded. “Little girls.”

We do not get an explanation beyond that. Ethan goes on to ask about his daughter Rachel, now pretty evil, and the only self-aware clone since birth. “Do you know what Dyad’s done to her? What she’s become” Sarah asks. Ethan insists it’s not Dyad’s fault — it’s Dr. Leekie, the evil Neolutionist inside Dyad.

“They stole my daughter,” he says tearfully.

Sarah angrily tells him that it’s not just about him — she and the other clones are real people with lives, and they need help. And Cosima’s sick. “We’re sick,” she says. “Your little girls are dying. It can happen to Rachel too.”

“I tried to stop it,” he pleads with her. “You don’t understand…Leekie wouldn’t let us raise her. We were going to expose everything but he found out. Who do you think I’ve been hiding from all these years?”

Aldous Leekie is the answer to that question: He killed Susan, Rachel’s mother. Think Rachel knows about that? And also, what else went on during the cloning experiments?

Who does Siobhan Sadler answer to?

Excellent question, Paul. Siobhan/Mrs. S’s role in all of this has always been suspect. At first it seemed like she just an innocent foster mom. Then she disappeared with Kira to a “safehouse” and confessed she knew a lot more than she let on. Then she murdered a Prolethean. Now, she’s mysteriously at the home of Ethan Duncan (Rachel’s father and creator of the clone experiment, who now goes by the name Andrew Peckham) when Sarah shows up. “You knew,” said a stunned Sarah when Mrs. S opens the door. “You’re one of them.”

“I’m not one of them,” Mrs. S. replies. “Just like you, I got caught up in a struggle I didn’t ask for.”

What does that even mean? Mrs. S. goes on to explain that Ethan came to the States 20 years ago, and she and her “network” hid him in exchange for information about experiments on unborn children, along with a surrogate who ran away: Amelia, the woman who gave birth to Sarah and Helena. “Carolton found you in the foster system, and Dyad’s been after us ever since,” Mrs. S explains.

Okay, that clears up almost nothing. Later, Mrs. S. sees Paul (Beth’s ex-monitor/Rachel’s new boytoy and henchman) spying on the house and pleasantly approaches him with a gun. Mrs. S. informs him he’s not taking Sarah back to Dyad. If he does, he’ll have to kill her and Ethan first — and Ethan’s the only man alive who can give Sarah and her sisters what they need. She lightly informs him she knows all about what happened in Afghanistan (whatever blackmail Leekie has on Paul) and that they should probably be on the same team. “Who does Siobhan Sadler answer to?” Paul asks, extremely confused. We hear you, Paul.

What exactly did lab geek Scott find out about Cosima? 

Delphine hired Scott (Cosima’s fellow student at University of Minnesota) to come work at the Dyad Institute — Cosima already tasked him with doing some work for her. However, Cosima’s furious, since Scott didn’t really know what he was working on. Turns out Delphine told him about the clones, but he has no idea Cosima’s one of them.

Anyway, Scott tells Delphine he made a discovery while looking at various cells, and that it appears “whoever you cloned has a female relative, a niece or a daughter.” Um, is he talking about Cosima? Does she have a daughter? Does he somehow mean Kira? Delphine goes pale and demands that he not tell Cosima what he found out. Okay, but what did he find out?!

What’s Angie’s end game?

While Art is babysitting Felix and trying to put together all the evidence Maggie Chen had collected about the clone conspiracy, his cop partner Angie is up to no good. Although she promised she would stay away from the clones, she has enlisted Victor (Sarah’s shady ex-boyfriend) to enter rehab and get information from Alison. Desperately in need of an ally now that Donnie won’t even let her see the kids, Alison seems to be falling for Victor’s fake friendship. Uh oh.

RELATED READING:

Recaps: The most confusing thing that happened on the ‘Orphan Black’: Season 2, Episode 1; Episode 2; Episode 3; Episode 4; Episode 5

Review: BBC America’s ‘Orphan Black’ returns, engineered to near-perfection

Preview: ‘Orphan Black’: Everything you forgot from Season 1 that you need to remember

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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