Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Orphan Black - Who are "We?"


Really Mrs. S, who are "we?"

Did anyone else face palm themselves when Mrs. S answered the door at Peckham's (aka, Ethan Duncan) home when Sarah went knocking?

This lady is ubiquitous!  (And you know she is on a mission because she is wearing her stealthy watch cap.)

Seriously, I am beginning to suspect they are doing some heavy back filling to the Orphan Black story line.  The more we learn the denser it has become.

I think we got our first clue to the "back filling" when the character of Carlton (Roger Cross) was introduced recently.  Secretly moving kids across the globe, whaaat?

Okay, about the "we."  Here's the reference from Mrs. S herself, "He came to our side 20 years ago.  We hid him in exchange for information about experiments in unborn children and a surrogate mother that ran away."  Siobhan was referring to Duncan and Sarah muttered "Amelia" when she made the connection.

But, "our side."  "We?" Who are "We?"

Here's another clue as to what Mrs. S has been up to all these years, "Just like you I got caught up in a struggle I didn't ask for."  "Only I've been at it longer so I'm better at it than you."

Ha!  Really?  Like that network of bird watchers that was part of your organization?  How did that work out for you Siobhan?  Don't be so quick to dis Sarah's acumen.


I can't quite place where Mrs. S first met Paul.  But as she cozied up to him in his car across the street she gave him a glib little smile (see above) and dropped a reference about Afghanistan being "all for naught."

She knows about Afghanistan???!!!  How?  In talking to Paul, she called Dyad a Hydra.  Is she one of the heads?

Here's something a little disarming.  During the episode we learned from Scott that stem cells were extracted from baby teeth probably from a niece or daughter.  This is what helped develop a possible cure for Cosima.  (Something Delphine wanted to be kept a secret.)

Are we talking about Kira?  Who had Kira for the longest time before she was reunited with Sarah?

Mrs. S!   Shocker!

Did Mrs. S trade these teeth to Dyad much like she exchanged Duncan all those years ago?  What was the trade for?  Does Mrs. S have someone inside Dyad or is she working for them?

Argh!

Yes, I'm sounding a little frustrated.  The density factor as far as the storyline is concerned is getting more convoluted with each passing episode.

That's why I suspect "back filling" in order to make things work and Mrs. S is the vehicle that drives this crazy train.

Theories and Hindenburg Moments.


So, did my theory about Duncan being the start of the Dyad group and the Proletheans have a Hindenburg moment (crash and burn.)?  I posited that he gave birth to both movements in my blog post last week.


It seems so.  He barely seems to be able to care for his birds let alone father two opposing movements in the Orphan Black mythology.   So you know what that means...

New theory!

So, if the reason for starting the clone research was to have, "Babies, little girls."  What were these little girls for?

Post apocalyptic reseeding of the planet in answer to humanity being nearly wiped out?  We are talking the military here (at least initially) and if the "other side" is experimenting with something that might wipe out mankind as we know it, then you better have an answer to that.

Clones and babies!


I had another theory where Helena once had a child or at least had developed a unhealthy attraction for Kira.  No Hindenburg moment for this yet.  But Helena seem to indicate she was just learning she was fertile.

Paul and Sarah working a long con?  No Hindenburg moment yet but I think I smell gas (Not Helena's farts.)  Someone might strike a match to this theory as Paul and Mrs. S had a conversation in the car that didn't shed any light that might help this theory.

Delphine a clone?  This theory is still up in the air but so was the Hindenburg once.


Can we back track a little to Paul?  What was his deal in Afghanistan?

At first I thought he must have gotten his men killed and that was his dirty little secret.  Then I thought he must have been trafficking in war orphans for Dyad and that was his even dirtier little secret.

But Mrs. S said Afghanistan would have been for "naught" if his information got out.  Was he rescuing kids?  Are people being held as leverage if Paul's complicity in whatever comes out?  Does Mrs. S know about this from Dyad?  Information traded for what?  (Arrgh!)


Who are these guys?  Yes, one is Duncan and the other three are apparently his associates in science.  Are we going to spend the rest of the season and next year chasing down the whereabouts of these three mystery guests?  Arrgh!

Wait, I know who can find them, Mrs. S!

Face palm.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Orphan Black - A Black Swan Event?

The "black swan theory" refers only to unexpected events of large
magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history. Such
events, considered extreme outliers, collectively play vastly larger
roles than regular occurrences.


So, Sarah and Helena are off to find the "Swan Man" that was revealed to
be Ethan Duncan, father to Rachel Duncan and by all accounts the
progenitor of Project Leda.

As we have learned, Ethan Duncan along with his wife Susan, were thought
to have died in a lab explosion and fire that led to the destruction of
all the original materials connected to the clone project.

Ethan Duncan is not dead and I have a feeling when Sarah and Helena
catch up with him, Orphan Black will have a "Black Swan Event" the
magnitude of which may well change the narrative of this series.

As I noted above, a Black Swan Event is one of a serious and game
changing consequence.  The initial temblor of which is the fact that
Ethan Duncan is alive at all!

Why is this so significant?  Well for one it would have a serious
outcome for Rachel Duncan.  Her life was shaped by Aldous Leekie who
took her in after the Duncan's "died".  Rachel is a cold manipulative
and controlling person.  But as her childhood videos reveal, she was
once happy and loving child.  Did Leekie turn her into the clone we know
today?

More importantly, the fact that Ethan is still alive means all the
original materials were not lost, as Leekie proclaimed, because they
live on in the mind of Duncan.




Is there a greater significance to these revelations?  There is and it
has to to with where Duncan is hiding out.

The "Place of Screams."

As the episode concluded, Sarah and Helena were preparing to go on their
road trip in pursuit of Duncan.  Sarah pressed Helena as to where they
could find him and Helena came up with her "Screams" location.

Remember earlier in the episode when Art had Helena handcuffed and she
was going down memory lane to a place where the Nuns kept her in
"darkness"?  Helena confessed to Art that she basically "popped" the Nun
that treated her so harshly and now she is in the "dark."

Doesn't that door where the elder Duncan is pictured look a lot like a door that
would belong to a Convent?  How else would Helena recognize it unless
she was there?

Why would she call it the place of screams?

Self flagellation has a place in Christianity and more specifically in
the Catholic church.  It is known as "Mortification of the Flesh" and it
is meant to rid one's self of your sins and lead to sanctity through
penance.  A penance of pain meant to mimic Christ's suffering before the
Crucifixion.

It is important to remember that, Tomas, Helena's handler was a
practitioner of self flagellation and Helena's back is crisscrossed with
scars that no doubt came from flagellation either by her hand or the hand of
Tomas and the Convent.

No wonder Helena remembers that place as the "place of screams."

Here is where the "Black Swan Event" comes into play as a sea change for
Orphan Black.



What if the place where Helena knew so much pain, the place where Tomas
found his "religion" and the place where Duncan now resides is the
birthplace of of both the Dyad Institute and the Proletheans?

Yes, I'm saying the Proletheans with their wacky take on religion and their bizarre
spinoff (that now resides on Henrik's farm) may have originally come from
the repentant Ethan Duncan!

Here's my theory.

Grief stricken at the loss of his wife Susan, Ethan takes to the Convent
where Helena was raised and he starts a whole new movement out of the
guilt of creating the clones.   A movement presided over by Duncan and
carried out by Tomas and Helena to rid the world of his abomination!

The man that gave birth to the Dyad Institute (directly or indirectly) now runs an effort to rid
the world of his creation.  All wrapped in one neat location for Sarah
and Helena to discover.  Does he have anything to do with Henrik's
efforts and his "War for Creation?"

Maybe, or maybe not.  Henrik may have hijacked Ethan's work.  So Ethan
still may have fathered a new movement that he is partially responsible
for.  Something that is even more perverted than even Ethan intended.

Now do you see what I mean for a "Black Swan Event" for Orphan Black?  The man that gave "birth" to the clone evolution may well be the one that initiated the movement to counteract it.


Odds and Ends

"Fish Cult Freaks" 



Earlier, Felix had referred to the Proletheans as "Fish Cult Freaks."  Orphan Black has a way subtlety repeating it's thematic tropes.  Last time it was Helena being bound to Henrik in matrimony only to be followed later by Daniel binding Sarah in a similar fashion. 

After Felix and his "Fish/Freaks" comment we have Helena staring into a fish tank later to be followed by Helena gorging herself on some sardines.


Think Helena will have a run in with the Proletheans some day soon?


Head over heels with Felix


Did Felix have his moment in the sun or what?!!!  (Okay, he had two.)  To the accompaniment of Tears for Fears, Felix and Colin frolicked about the loft in an amazing sequence.  So fun! So hilarious!  Only Felix.


As wonderful as the previous moment was the next was horrifying.  Paul and the cops burst into the apartment and frame Felix for the murders of Daniel and Tom.

Poor Felix!

The Red Angel


Helena decided to leave a little artwork for Rachel and the others to peruse.  First was a self portrait replete with Helena's wild hair as the group entered.



Next was a family portrait that included Helena and what seems to be Sarah and Kira.  Very nice.


But, uh-oh, when Art and Sarah find Helena and Maggie Chen's secret lair we get a portrait of Helena and another child.  Is it Kira?  Did Helena once have designs on Kira?  Does she still?  Or are we to get another Black Swan Event for Helena?

This leads to the question, did Helena once have a child of her own?  Is that child now dead?  Have the repercussions from that event added to the trauma induced by the torture at the Convent lead to the Helena we know today?  Spooky.  This definitely deserves more scrutiny.

Speaking of spooky


Wow, the old fashioned ways sure can be tough on a girl.  Gracie had her lips sewn thanks to her little act of revenge on Helena and the secrets she is keeping.  You can add the threat to "carry" the child to term as told by Henrik's wife.  (I had theorized this in an email to the "C Word" Orphan Black podcast.)



I had also theorized that Mark and Gracie would make a lovely couple and possibly bring the child to term as the parents.  They are a cute together.

What did you say Leekie?


Did you catch the look on Delphine's face when Leekie told Cosima he was going to go around Rachel and restart the work for a cure?  Was Delphine excited for Cosima or she thrilled for herself?  I have a theory where Delphine is also a clone and is the last of her kind.  Does she suffer from the same affliction and will a cure benefit her also?


I get the distinct impression not everyone is going to walk off into the sunset, or should I say moonlight, together in this series.

What do all you monkeys, meatheads and leopards think?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Orphan Black - Mysteries Solved



In an earlier post, "Done Deal?" I had openly wondered if Henrik had taken Helena to the "Honeymoon Suite" and forcibly consummated their wedding day.  I thought it too easy and with a show with such a high standard for female empowerment it seemed to go against the grain they had set forth.

To my delight they indeed did not introduce a "rightful rape" to the show.  In fact, not only did they throw us a curveball it seems they have a slider in their arsenal also.


All signs pointed to Helena being carried off against her will.  But when Henrik approached a door with a strange portal window I thought, "Curveball!" and suspected a lab instead.


Indeed it was a lab.  But instead of raping Helena or artificially inseminating her, as I had guessed, they precipitated a different criminal act and stole eggs from her ovaries.  Which, I suppose, counts as some sort of rape and constitutes an artificial insemination at least by some stretch.




So the farm Proletheans are every bit the bunch of creepazoids we thought they were.  It makes you wonder why they went through the whole marriage charade also.   The topmost picture shows Helena with a wedding band on.  So in the mind of the Proletheans their act has been consecrated by God.  At least that is what I figure.

I have a feeling the "War for Creation" will take several bizarre turns.


Another question was who was driving the yellow truck that plowed into Sarah and Daniel as they were heading back to the city.


I was dead on with this one.  Cal came to the rescue.  Other suspects included Mrs. S, the Proletheans or even an innocent driver.

I figured Cal knew the back roads better than anyone and he would find a way to intercept Sarah.  Good job Cal.  (Did he leave Kira alone in the woods?)

Odds and Ends

 
Travis Verta!  What are you doing here?  Fans of Continuum will recognize the actor, Roger Cross as the Liber8 meany and guest child smuggler.  Nice sci-fi crossover.


Good to see the dynamic duo of Alison and Felix back together.  I wonder where they are going with Alison's storyline.  Is she going to step back from the precipice or spiral further into the abyss?  If so, to what end?


Daniel's dead right?  I mean, this time for sure?


Do you think Gracie will host the fertilized egg?  She seems pretty emotional and it would be quite an honor for her.  Well, in the Prolethean's eyes not hers.  Choke on that thought Gracie.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Orphan Black - Guardian Angel



As many of you know that read this blog, I don't go into recaps much.  Rather, I like to pick out salient points that serve the overall arc or mythology of the show I'm writing about.

Sometimes I'm motivated by homages, either deliberate or not, that inspire the writers that I think deserve exploration.

In this particular case, I thought I picked up on something that might serve part of the mythology of Orphan Black.

In the last episode, "Governed As It Were By Chance" we have another instance of Kira and her perceived special abilities or at least her unique prescience.

Before Sarah had left for the city, Cal and Kira were sitting outside the camper and Cal had made what he thought was an origami butterfly for Kira.  Kira immediately identified it as a guardian angel. 

As we learned by the end of the episode a guardian angel of sorts did in fact appear rescuing Sarah from imminent danger at the hands of Daniel


The devil was in Daniel whether he knew it or not and the mere invocation of Sarah's paper angel seemingly caused Helena to appear and make quick work of Daniel.

Of course the truth was a bit more mundane than that.  Helena had simply followed Sarah from Mrs. S's home and made herself known at the right moment.

But how did Kira know Helena, or anyone for that matter would arrive in time to save Sarah?  If you recall from that earlier camper scene, Cal had openly worried about Sarah's safety.  Kira offhandly told him not to worry that her guardian angel would take care of her.  (By the way, the writers have hinted there is something special about Cal but I guess it doesn't have to do with any particular foresight of his unless it is latent and he has just passed it on to Kira.)

Kira has been pretty sharp when it comes to cell phone use and credit cards when it comes to their being tracked.  She's also adept at shop lifting and keeping her cool when confronted by a shop owner.  Can we add a special link to her mother and her "Aunt" also?   Can this link be defined as a sort of ESP or unspoken psychic link?  A source of intuition?


Helena did look pretty angelic in her wedding gown as she tore by Art (a bit of an angel himself) and headed straight for Sarah.  Her dress swooshed in the wind as if it was carrying Helena on the wings it provided.

Sarah and Helena seem to have a special link.  Should we define it as the link that often characterizes twins from birth?  Does this link extend to Helena's unusual physical attributes that, as fate would have it, spared her life at the hands of her sister Sarah?


Helena was presented with the opportunity to kill Sarah as she was completely helpless.  But no, instead, she embraced her "Seestra".   These two simply cannot kill each other.

Helena and Sarah may not be fully aware of their link whether fated or genetically engineered but Kira may provide that link between the two. 

Also, now that we know Helena is fertile this may mean Kira or any further offspring might exhibit other unique abilities.  Do the Henrik led Proletheans know this?  Does this have to do with God's work and the "War for Creation?"


I'm not saying the writers of Orphan Black think Angels exist.  I think it is just clever use of a metaphor.  I definitely think they want us to think there is a special bond between Sarah and Helena wherein the two are fated (or engineered) to be inseparable.

So what do you think readers, are Helena and Sarah each others guardian angels?   Do they have a special link that keep their fates intertwined?  It is a genetic link that was engineered but has also blossomed and muted inside Kira?

There is a lot more I want to write about for this episode but I'm pressed for time.  Hopefully I can return tomorrow with another post.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Continuum - Daddy's Little Girl



An interesting exercise in storytelling from this past episode of Continuum, "30 Minutes To Air."

For once, the white hot glare of time travel and it's two chief proponents, Alec and Keira, take a back seat to two other characters that will probably figure greatly as the season progresses. 

Even the the ever crumbling Carlos was spared.  (Although he did get a couple of sharp barbs in on Keira.  "We should just skip to the end where they start calling us Protectors" was a good one.)

It was Verta and Dillon that owned this episode just like two opposing chess pieces.  While they are not the King or Queen of this series they moved like a Bishop and Rook, slashing across the chess board in an effort to upset the others strategy.  (And oblivious to the pawns they will leave in their wake.)


Verta struck first in the deep future where he positioned himself to be captured by the Protectors thereby freeing his loved ones from suspicion.

As we learned by the end of the episode, Verta had deliberately given himself up by allowing his daughter to "betray" his position and absolving her and her mother from any suspicion in the future.  Verta had sacrificed himself and was removed from the board only to be returned (promoted) later in the game.

Verta took a chance his daughter would come to no harm.  Anything can happen in a police raid but Verta's plan was executed with such precision that it seemed almost foolproof.


Can the same be said of Dillon's plan?

That thump you heard by the end of the episode was everyone's jaw dropping and hitting the floor when we learned Dillon and his daughter were in cahoots to overthrow Liber8.

Dillon is playing a long game.  But instead of insulating his vulnerable piece he is throwing caution to the wind with a gambit that is fraught with peril.

Instead of a brief but dangerous police raid like Verta's daughter experienced, Dillon's daughter, Christine, will do prison time for three months.  Who knows what could happen in that interim and will Christine come out the same person as she entered?

When Christine gets promoted back to the board she may not be the player she used to be despite proclaiming her belief in her father. She did tell Dillon she actually believed some of the stuff Liber8 was selling.  Dillon told her this was good and would help them in their efforts.

This pawn may well stay benighted in a way Dillon didn't anticipate.  (Aside from the Patty Hearst joke.  Which was awesome by the way.)

So what do you think?  Which player made the better moves?  Did the respective Daddy's take too big a risk?  Will it play out as they planned?

In other news.....


Kellog got a comeuppance of sorts in this past episode.  It it game over for him?  Somehow I don't think Kellog is playing chess.  I think rather poker is his game.  He may have been dealt a bad hand in "30 Minutes" but I'm sure he has a few cards still up his sleeve.

Yes, I am calling him a cheat.

You have to believe he is going to set the two Alec's against each other in ways even their prescience wouldn't anticipate.  Think dead Keira.  Think Liber8. 

Think Emily.

What's your game dear readers?




Monday, May 5, 2014

Orphan Black - Done Deal?




Mysteries abound in the last episode of Orphan Black (Mingling It's Own Nature With It) not the least of which is, did Henrik and Helena do the dirty deed?

I was going to entitle this blog post "Consummation?" but the whole scene still creeps me out.  

"Consummation" still doesn't sit well. 


Let's take a look at how this penultimate scene played out.

First, we had the "family" gathered about.  Helena looked to be dressed in some sort of wedding gown and most of the guests (?) wore white also.  Then, the leading candidate for OB creepazoid of the week, Henrik, parted the waves of people and sat beside an obviously drugged Helena.


A bizarre and rather quick ceremony took place and from what we were able to understand Henrik and Helena are now bound in matrimony.  I didn't see any shotguns but this sure did happen fast.  No one raised their hand for dissent either but I don't doubt "first born" Gracie wasn't too happy with the proceedings.  (Mark seemed on board but I have my doubts.)


Amidst applause, Henrik quickly scooped up Helena and departed down a bleak and foreboding hallway.  Henrik spoke of a "War for creation" just moments earlier and characterized Helena as a "creation of man" but that God shone his light down upon her.  He also called himself an "instrument of God."

You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to guess what happens next.  But did it happen they way our collective imagination said it did?

In the previous episode, Henrik was speaking to Mark amidst all the cows and telling him how artificially inseminating them was just helping God's will along.  Earlier in this same episode we learned of new character Cal and how his scientific research helped bees in their pollination process.

Just a few of the "fertilization" metaphors we've run into lately.


So did they do the dirty deed?  

"Dirty" in many respects.  The charismatic and self anointed Henrik has forced himself upon Helena.  She did not consent to any of the aforementioned and was obviously not in full possession of her faculties.  (Well, is she ever?)  This is a TV series replete with the theme of female empowerment and to see a man force himself upon a helpless female does not sit well at all.  Add to that, Henrik often refers to this as a man's world. This just makes the teeth grind.

I have my suspicions about Henrik and the intent of Orphan Black for this particular scene.  He calls himself a man of God but it all seems too easy.  Did Orphan Black throw us a curve ball?

I'm probably coming down on the wrong side of this but instead of entering the "Honeymoon" suite with it's tiny window, I think instead Henrik is delivering Helena to a lab where he intends to artificially inseminate her and "help her along."

I know, I know, everything points to the fact that he probably raped her.  (Not how he sees it, hence the matrimony.)  But with this being a female empowerment show and all the fertilization metaphors I can't help but think that Orphan Black didn't go there.

Feel free to call me a hopeless sucker after the next episode.

The Second Mystery


Speaking of "Fertilization" what is the first think Kira asks of the new character Cal?


"Are you my dad?"

From the mouth of babes.

Well is he?  Sarah said the timing was right.  Is this another scam?  Sarah and Cal had sex that led to a child?  How pedestrian!  This is science fiction!  Who has sex like that anymore?  Where are the robots? 


Well, looks like they had sex the old fashioned way that night.  (Did anyone else think of Olivia's favorite part of the day when we witnessed this morning tableau?)  

But since these two are obviously attracted to each other why shouldn't they fall into each others arms?  It offers a telling counterpoint to the Henrik and Helena scene.

  • One scene shows consent, the other, definitely not.
  •  We see love between Cal and Sarah.  Well, at least Henrik is in love with himself.
  • The joyous product of Sarah and Cal is the miracle of Kira.  Do you believe in any miracles for Helena and Henrik.  (I sense damnation.)

It could be that Henrik forcing himself upon Helena will lead to a product of great evil and that is the point the writers are trying to tell us.  Perhaps I am too squeamish for that and I am only shielding myself from Henrik's maliciousness.

Good versus evil, love versus power.  The war for creation indeed.

One Last Mystery


Any thoughts into who is driving the yellow truck?

I say it is Cal.  He knows all the back roads and trails and found away to intercept the car.  Some say it is just an innocent driver and Sarah maneuvered the car in order to make a violent getaway.  A third option it is the Proletheans and nothing gets by them in their realm.

Or!

It could be Mrs. S!

Your thoughts?  

Crazy drivers?  Love, power or sex?

There is a lot to chew on right Helena?