Friday, March 11, 2016

Orphan Black Season 1 recap – “Effects of External Conditions”

“Effects of External Conditions”


The episode starts with Helena patching herself back up.  Turns out, she broke into someone’s house.  A young boy finds her, and she – as she’s creepily covered in blood – shushes him.

Sarah goes to Alison to return the money and tell her about Helena.  She also tells her that she has a daughter, but unlike Alison who adopted, Kira is her biological daughter.  She also asks Alison to be available because she might need her somehow.  So Alison sends the kids to their grandparents and lets Donnie go on his weekly drinks.

Sarah calls Cosima about the knife Helena dropped.  The handle has this winged-fish carving.

The cops then show up at the house with the blood filled bathroom.  Art talks to the boy who saw an “angry angel.” When asked what the angel looked like, he points at Sarah.  Sarah speaks to him, letting the boy know that she isn’t the angel, and finds out Helena gave him a paper fortune teller and told him that Sarah would be coming.

Helena calls Sarah at the station saying she wants to meet.  Turns out there are codes on the fortune teller.  There are various addresses dealing with the case, and one new one. 

The cops and Sarah go to this new address and Helena – roughly disguised as Beth – goes into the station, eats Sarah’s muffin, and plants some things.  She even answers a call from Paul, asking that he come get her.

The address they go to is an abandoned building.  The walls of Helena’s lair are covered in stick figure “clones.” They’re going to work the case all night, so Sarah won’t be able to go see Kira.  And Mrs. S will not take a raincheck.  So Sarah calls Alison – who’s done community plays – to pose as her, and has Felix help her out.  Alison does manages to fool Mrs. S (for the most part, at least), but not Kira.  She explains that Sarah is doing something brave and so sent “Aunt” Alison, but that it all has to be a secret.  Alison, for Sarah, then asks to walk Kira home from school the next day.

Back at the station, Sarah discovers that Helena has left her some clues.  She discovers that Maggie had a winged-fish brand on the back of her neck.  She sends this to Cosima, who figures that there must be Christian fundamentalists who see the clones as an abomination.  And that they’ve probably warped Helena into thinking that killing the other clones is the only way for her to find salvation.

Paul shows up wanting to take “Beth” away, but Sarah talks him down.

Helena calls wanting to meet.  She sends a video and an address to Sarah.  The video is Helena/Beth sitting at the police station confessing to murdering Maggie Chen.

Sarah goes to the address in the email, recording a message for Art so that he might figure it all out.  Helena says that Maggie helped make the clones, but then saw the light.  She also says that she and Sarah have a connection.  Sarah works out that Helena was told she was the original.

Art is looking for Beth and looks around her desk.  He sees the impression of where Sarah wrote down an address, and it turns out to be Maggie Chen’s apartment.  He goes out after her.  When he shows up, Sarah let’s Helena escape out the window.  Helena collapses in an alleyway, and is picked up by a guy we later learn is Tomas.

Back at the station, Sarah gives up her badge because “she” wasn’t ready to come back to work yet.


I wrote up a rough draft of this review and then, since I was having a rough few days, I went and rewatched the rest of Season 1.  So now I’m back trying to write up my thoughts on a pretty standard Orphan Black episode.  There are a great deal of “meat” episodes that are hard to gush about.

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