Orphan Black Is the Feminist Ass-Kicking 2014 So Richly Deserves

Maybe the perfect best friend would be like Helena: a combination of impulsive, carefree fun and homicidal mania (towards everybody else). I know she's my new ideal of a best friend, and Sara is a fool if she doesn't just love that crazy bitch to pieces.

Orphan Black Is the Feminist Ass-Kicking 2014 So Richly Deserves

If Helena wasn't your favorite clone when the episode started she may have been by the time the episode ended. Sara and Helena, heading off to the "place of screams" (Cold River) camped their way across the ambiguously mid-Atlantic-cum-North-American landscape, with plenty of shadow puppetry and cozy tent farts, until they reached the church where creator Duncan (Rachel's dad/monitor) has been visiting.

While Sara went inside to navigate boxes of nasty old files that looked like they'd been put together by the American Horror Story production team, Helena went into a bar for a dreamlike meet-cute that involved getting harassed, spraining her harasser's finger, and then having a gentleman step in to help back her up and feed her pork rinds.

Jesse's towing guy listened earnestly as Helena claimed the achievements of all the Clones as her own, then beat him round after round of arm wrestling, until a song came on that might has well have been her personal theme song ("I'm crazy, I don't need you to save me") and they slow danced for a while then got FROTTY (slang for frottage, trying to get it to catch on, what do you think?!) up on a pool table, inciting ANOTHER bar fight! Romeo and Juliet move over, this is now the greatest romance Western Civilization has ever produced.

Orphan Black Is the Feminist Ass-Kicking 2014 So Richly Deserves

Still, the brush with the law was enough to break up the "Sister, Sister!" vibe, and when it was time for Helena to get a ride out of the police station, Sara had left town and the Pro-Letheans were there with an offer she couldn't refuse: come back to the ranch and incubate your stolen, fertilized ovums! Every girl's dream, to be sure.

This seriously does break my heart. Helena is a chaotic shark but she has consistently longed for a family, it's devastating she has to achieve that end through Pro-Lethean means. And shame on Sara for not being there when she got out of jail! Gracie, still smarting from "being sewed silent," was no kind of welcome wagon.

Orphan Black Is the Feminist Ass-Kicking 2014 So Richly Deserves

Orphan Black Is the Feminist Ass-Kicking 2014 So Richly Deserves

Allison, my actual favorite clone, ran into Vic in rehab. His total yoga guru-style emotional repression made her think he was maybe cool now. NOPE! He's just good at parroting rehab talk and secretly working with the Boringest Cop Lady ever. Allison, watch out!

Cosima started her stem cell treatments and then got a new lab partner sprung on her by Sneaky Delphine and Sneakier Leekie. Is it not suspicious everyone she cares about is getting gathered into striking range by Dyad? Watch out, Cosima.

But the biggest news of the night was Sara tracking down Peckham to his Hoarder's style manse and having Siobhan greet her at the door. Mrs. S has been delightfully undefinable this season, morphing from caretaker to rogue to secret agent, and never has that dichotomy been clearer than when she served up Paul some tea and biscuits while telling him he'd never take Sara alive. Whatever Siobhan's deceptions, it seems clear at least that she will do anything to protect Sara.

Sara finally got some answers from the source about the cloning project and what it means and why it even happened etc. When she hunted down her creator and asked what the whole point of the Gov't funded, DRYAD subsumed human cloning process was, Peckham answered "Babies! Little girls!"

This may seem farfetched (aren't there easier ways to get babies?) until you consider stuff like this real world shituation: China's sex-selective abortion fad after they passed their One Child law has skewed their male-to-female ratio to the point where 30 million young men will probably stay single as a Cathy cartoon their whole lives.

And frankly the idea of female humans being patented like a product is waaay more plausible than that happening to guys.

Orphan Black has always been at its heart a deeply feminist show but this conversation in particular crystallized what the clones represent: all the things one girl could be if she so chose, and the struggle to understand how much of that choice is actually hers and how much just rains down from the atmosphere in clouds of social pressure, misogyny and wholesale abuse. Sara screaming at her creator that they were not just "little girls," they weren't concepts, they were flesh-and-blood individuals, is the full-body scream of 2014 feminism.

Orphan Black Is the Feminist Ass-Kicking 2014 So Richly Deserves

Orphan Black Is the Feminist Ass-Kicking 2014 So Richly Deserves

And I will always believe down to my sexy little bones that if Orphan Black were about a group of clone dudes, it would be known nationwide as appointment TV. There'd be none of this "Most underrated/overlooked show of 2013" business.

ANYWAY: this was a great episode. Maybe a perfect episode. We learned a lot. Leekie killed Rachel's mom! Does she know? Will Peckham help? What was that thing with the genes back at Dyad that Delphine is now keeping from Cosima? And what did you think about the big Project Leda thesis reveal?

[Image via BBC ]

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