‘Orphan Black’ recap: The most confusing thing that happened this week (Season 2, Episode 9)


(Steve Wilkie/BBC America)

Well. The penultimate episode of “Orphan Black’s” second season brought up some interesting questions and a scene involving an, um, invasive medical procedure that will unfortunately be difficult to ever erase from our minds, no matter how hard we try. The three big questions:

* What does Rachel want with Kira?

So of course it was all an act, but at the beginning of the episode Rachel actually seems…nice. Or at least, understanding that Cosima will probably die (the growths have spread from her uterus and lungs to her esophagus and kidneys) unless she’s injected with more of Kira’s stem cells. She sits down with Delphine, Cosima’s lover/monitor/lab partner, and puts on her Concerned Face as they talk about Cosima’s options for treatment. Really, the only thing that can work — at least, until Duncan can find a cure — is convincing Sarah that that they need Kira’s bone marrow.

Delphine correctly assumes Sarah will say “no way, ever” given her disastrous relationship with the evil Dyad Institute. But as Rachel points out, Leekie is dead, and there’s no need for any more secret plans. “Things are different now,” she tells Delphine. “We could take this program in an entirely new direction.” Then, because Rachel is just that brilliantly manipulative, she tops it all off by appointing Delphine interim director of Dyad.

Newly emboldened by this promotion, Delphine goes to Mrs. S’s house to meet with Sarah, who has Mrs. S and a menacing henchman, Benjamin, standing by. Delphine pleads with Sarah — the only way to help Cosima get over the Deadly Clone Respiratory Disease is if she gets some of Kira’s bone marrow to reboot her immune system. Sarah is obviously not happy about this, but she doesn’t want Cosima to die; and Mrs. S offers that she knows a pediatric surgeon who could perform the procedure, and make sure that Kira doesn’t get anywhere close to Dyad.

So, Sarah reluctantly approaches Kira (she may only be 5-years-old, but she does have a choice in the matter) and asks if she would be okay with this plan. Kira isn’t a fan of giant needles, but she wants to save Auntie Cosima — she says yes. Cut to Sarah, Felix and Mrs. S surrounding Kira on a hospital bed as the doctor starts the bone marrow procedure. Sarah bursts into tears at the sight of it and thinks out loud: “What kind of mother am I?”

Meanwhile, Ethan — working with Cosima and Scott to find the cure — sheds a little more light on why the clones are having so many ailments. His wife, Susan, came up with the idea to make the clones sterile by preventing their ovarian follicles from maturing. Cosima (who by now needs an oxygen tank to help her breathe) gently asks why they chose that path instead of just tweaking the hormones. Ethan points out it was the least invasive solution — and unfortunately, they didn’t foresee the deadly consequences, but now he’s trying to help correct the mistakes. He makes sure to mention that each synthetic sequence has its own key, as  he has no intention of letting Dyad keep the codes and keep perpetuating the clone experiment.

Speaking of the horrible Dyad Institute, we see the only person colder than Rachel, her boss Marian (not Miriam — oops) enter the room. They exchange the least-emotional air kisses in history and discuss Leekie’s death, his “heart attack” in “the company jet.” “I’m bereft,” Rachel deadpans. Then they have one of those vague exchanges, where Marian notes that Rachel has learned a lot about her background lately, and wants to make sure she’s on track with some mysterious plan. “I know what your goals are,” Rachel replies. “I’ve only just taken charge.”

Hmmm. Marian regards her coolly and then says simply, “Sarah Manning intrigues me. Doesn’t she you?” Rachel’s face freezes. “Biologically, yes,” she responds, even though her relationship with Sarah is more of a rage/hate thing. Marian reminds her that it’s not just biology that has gotten Sarah this far. “You were bred,” Marian says. “But Sarah’s a product of chance.” Rachel assures Marian that Sarah is “in hand.”

Okay — so the plan has something do with the clone infertility and the fact that Sarah’s the only one who can conceive a child and that Rachel’s really upset by that? It sure seems that way, as Rachel takes a drink in a giant room filled with screens where she proceeds to torture herself by watching home movies of her happy childhood. She starts to cry and whispers “stupid, stupid” over and over. It would be sad if Rachel weren’t the devil. She freezes the picture wall with a photo of Kira and Sarah smiling together; she then places a phone call to a doctor where we only hear her side of the conversation, but says, “I need your expertise.”

What happens next is classic “Orphan Black” — when Delphine returns to report on Kira’s bone marrow procedure, she catches a glimpse of Rachel’s computer that has a picture of Mrs. S’s henchman, Benjamin, with the word “CONFIDENTIAL” scrawled across it. Uh oh — is he a double agent? Delphine assumes so and given that he’s in charge of guarding Kira, she panics and heads back to the hospital and calls Sarah, telling her to come downstairs immediately because she has information that she can’t deliver over the phone.

Then Sarah storms out of the car, back into the hospital and goes to gather Kira to get her the heck out of there — or does she? Felix asks what’s going on and then notices he’s getting a phone call from Sarah — wait, isn’t this Sarah? Nope, it’s Rachel in disguise; the Benjamin thing was all a ruse to distract Delphine and the real Sarah. Rachel plunges a needle into Felix’s neck and grabs a sleeping Kira.

By the time everyone figures out what happened, Kira and Rachel are long gone. Kira wakes up in a very pink bedroom where Rachel is waiting for her. Kira asks what’s going on. Rachel, not quite the maternal type, tells her that no, she can’t see her mommy. Oh yeah, and this is her new home. “You may even grow to like it here,” Rachel whispers. “Just as I did.”

Just how psychotic is Helena?

Maybe we do know the answer to that — REALLY psychotic. Those idiots at Pastor Hank’s (or “Henrik” as he may be more commonly known) breeding farm have no idea what they started when they bribed Helena to come back, saying they have her babies. More accurately, Henrik drugged Helena and stole her eggs, and then “made them whole.” Translation: Combined them with his sperm and now he’s injecting them into Helena for his own IVF experiment. Helena doesn’t seem to mind because as she’s said before, she really wants children, and will do anything to get “her babies.”

But it turns out Helena’s not the only one pregnant on Henrik’s farm — in addition to breeding horses and cows, he’s also been breeding humans. Evidence: A nursery with about 20 little kids running around. Henrik tells her one day, this room could be full of her children. “You’re part of our family now,” midwife Alexis tells Helena, which is something only really creepy people in movies and TV say. Alexis oversteps when she roughs up a little girl who is late to nap time, and Helena reminds everyone how scary she can be: “You touch her again, I will gut you like a fish,” she growls as she grabs Alexis by the neck.

That’s nothing compared to what she does when she finds out Henrik’s real plan. Henrik, because he’s the creep of all creeps, also impregnates his daughter Gracie with Helena/his babies. The midwife leads Gracie to a bed next to Helena’s in the barn, telling her, “Now that you’re both in a family way, you can keep each other company.” Helena seems cool with this at first, shoveling down food: “You might as well eat, you will be fat soon anyway,” Helena counsels her. Gracie’s on the verge of tears and furiously tells Helena that she’s technically pregnant with Helena’s babies. “They’re your genes, Helena,” she says. “Haven’t you been listening to anything my father said?” Helena delivers a classic Helena response: “Not really.”

Well now that Helena knows the truth, she’s out of there — she tries to sneak out in the middle of the night and Gracie joins her, but Henrik is waiting for them both with a shotgun. He smacks Helena across the face and grabs Gracie, throwing her in a cage. Mark , Henrik’s henchman and Gracie’s love interest, watches the whole thing happen and has finally had enough. “You had to put your own child inside her?” he says, horrified. Henrik tells him that Helena is a miracle. “She defies the laws of science, Mark,” he says. “It’s a sign I cannot ignore.”

While he’s delivering his grand proclamation, Helena has sneaked up behind him — she chokes him until he’s unconscious, while Mark helps Gracie out of the cage and they run away. A little while later, Henrik wakes up in his own lab: Helena has strapped him down and his feet are in stirrups. “Helena, we saved you,” he tries to protest. “I am the father of your children.” Helena ignores this and proceeds to shove the IVF instrument up into Henrik (“Is this how it works?”), set the entire farm on fire and run away.

Will Donnie and Alison get away with murder?

Somehow, this was the comic relief portion of the episode. Now that everything’s on the table — Alison’s a clone, Donnie’s her monitor, Alison watched Aynsley die, Donnie killed Dr. Leekie — the dysfunctional couple is closer than ever. They transfer Leekie’s body from Donnie’s car into a freezer in their garage (which basically is a slapstick routine in itself), and then determine that no one in Dyad seems to really care Leekie that is gone.

Still, there’s the question of what to do with the body. Donnie suggests throwing in the lake, but Alison rejects that idea: “Do we have a boat?” she asks, adding that thanks to “Dexter,” she knows random scuba divers can find bodies in water all the time. So, they jackhammer a hole into the garage floor where they can bury the body under many layers of dirt and cement.

That’s already a bonding experience, and even more so when the always-annoying Victor comes back to bother them once more. Alison thought she disposed of him in rehab after learning he was secretly trying to investigate her for Worst Cop Ever Angie, but he has returned. Donnie finds him snooping outside, and drags him into the garage at gunpoint, holding him over Leekie’s open grave. Eventually, Vic cracks and says Angie is waiting in a van outside.

Suddenly Donnie grows a backbone, grabs Victor and breaks into the van. He threatens a terrified Angie, telling her that he knows this is unofficial police business and that Art Bell got suspended for doing much less, so he’ll report her for harassment if she ever comes near his family again. And also, though she might be curious about the multiple women that look just like Beth Childs, she’s better off leaving it alone. “You can’t put it together,” he tells her. “And you don’t want to know what we know.”

He triumphantly leaves and helps Alison tidy up a crime scene, with Leekie buried beneath their garage. “I have never been more attracted to you,” Alison says, meaning it. They then proceed to have sex on the freezer where Leekie’s body was hidden.

And that’s a penultimate Season 2 episode in the world of “Orphan Black.” We’re a little nervous for next week’s finale.

RELATED READING:

Recaps: The most confusing thing that happened on ‘Orphan Black’: Season 2, Episode 1; Episode 2; Episode 3; Episode 4; Episode 5; Episode 6 ; Episode 7; Episode 8

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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