‘Orphan Black’ Season 2: Ranking the clones. Who had the best story arc?


Which clone was best? (Steve Wilkie/BBC America)

And we thought there were lots of clones last season: That’s nothing compared to the crop that was introduced in Season 2 of “Orphan Black.” Now that we’ve digested the finale, it’s time to rank which one had the best story arc this season.

[RELATED: "Orphan Black" season finale recap]

1) Alison. This may be a controversial choice, but in terms of becoming about a million times more interesting, Alison wins the prize. She kicked off this season spiraling completely out of control, as she had just watched her irritating neighbor Aynsley choke to death via a scarf stuck in a garbage disposal. Terrified of letting anyone find out, she wound up relying a little too much on the booze and pills to get through the day, which literally sent her over the edge when she fell off the stage during her community theater performance. Oh, and she found out that her husband Donnie — not Aynsley — was her monitor all along.

Spending most of the season in rehab, Alison really shaped up — she formed a lovely bond with Felix and was determined to get better for her kids. And she handled any challenge thrown at her in rehab, including Sarah’s criminal ex-boyfriend, Victor, who was sent in by Worst Cop Ever Angie to gather info on the clone conspiracy. But she handled it all with typical Alison determination, topped off when Donnie found out about the clones and confronted Dr. Leekie, accidentally shooting him in the process. The funniest scene of the season involved Donnie and Alison conspiring to bury the body in their garage and get rid of a snooping Vic. Naturally, this brought them closer together than ever, and wound up having sex on top of the freezer where they hid Leekie’s body.

So, Alison ended the season newly sober, more attracted to her husband than ever, and in a good place with all her clone sisters. Yep, she definitely wins.

2) Cosima. Considering the fact that she spent the majority of the season battling a deadly respiratory disease that was caused by the people who created the clones, Cosima had a pretty solid year. She worked her science magic as she collaborated with Ethan Duncan to find the cure to her illness, and effortlessly ran the lab at the Dyad Institute — even stopping at one point to beat some other lab geeks at a board game. Plus, she remained delightful and in good spirits, despite her disease, and managed to maintain a somewhat healthy relationship with Delphine against all odds (secret-keeping, Delphine’s general annoying habits).

Cementing her No. 2 status, she rigged a nifty pencil-shooting machine to injure the evil Rachel Duncan in the finale, allowing Sarah and Kira to escape. And since she found Ethan Duncan’s secret genetic sequence hidden in one of Kira’s books, it looks like she might not be sick for too much longer.

3) Sarah. Poor Sarah. She may technically be the protagonist , but she spent this season mostly helping other people in a panic, all while she was running from Dyad while trying to save Kira. And honestly, it seemed like she was just digging through boring documents trying to learn more about the mysterious Project LEDA. However, she did keep Kira safe. And she reunited with her smokin’ hot/tech genius ex-boyfriend Cal (Kira’s biological father), so that was something. She also found Ethan Duncan and persuaded him to come back to Dyad to complete the gene sequence and help cure Cosima.

Otherwise, she just had a lot of bad luck, and wound up turning herself into Dyad in the end. But she was able to escape — and with some help from Marian Bowles, she’s finally learning the depths of the clone conspiracy. (Male clones, which are pretty frightening.)

4) Helena. Oh Helena — if she didn’t end the season kidnapped and on a random military plane to nowhere, we might have ranked her higher. After all, she accomplished a lot: She survived being captured at Henrik’s House of Horrors, and completed her goal of getting pregnant. Sure, it’s with creepy Henrik’s baby, but as she pointed out the best part of pregnancy is that you get to eat whatever you want — and Helena loves to eat.

While Helena did show some growth — she showed intense loyalty to her sestra Sarah and bonded with Kira and the other clones — she is still a total psychopath. It’s always one step forward, two steps back with her. She has a fling with a hot tow truck driver; but winds up arrested after getting in a bar fight. She saves Gracie, Henrik’s daughter; but then assaults Henrik with medical tools and burns the barn to the ground. Anyway, Helena always has a way of getting herself out of tough situations, but they usually involve extreme, uncomfortable violence. That’s not progress.

5) Rachel. What an awful, evil character; yes, she had a not-great childhood in which she was essentially used as a lab experiment, but her parents truly loved her. Instead of channeling her rage in productive ways, she just became a terrible dictator of the Dyad Institute, responsible for the deaths of many people while also trying to destroy Cosima’s chance at survival. Not too many characters deserve a pencil in the eye, but Rachel might be the exception to that rule.

6) Tony. Well, he brought us the word “transclone” — but otherwise, Tony didn’t do much except show up for an episode, act like a jerk, and bring a clue about Paul’s connection to Beth Childs. (A clue that didn’t really make any sense, though.) Oh well, at least he hit it off with Felix.

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; Episode 9

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 covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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