ORPHAN BLACK Redux: A Romance So Twisted (2013)

"Orphan Black"

“Orphan Black”

Last week’s episode “Variations Under Domestication” cranked up the insanity that had broken out as a result of Sarah’s (Tatiana Maslany) impersonation of her clone twin Beth (Tatiana Maslany), which then led to Sarah having to impersonate yet another clone in a pinch:  Allison (Tatiana Maslany), the seemingly idyllic housewife with the perfect life.  But Sarah had already learned the lesson of all that appears perfect on the outside maybe rotten to the core once you peel back someone’s personal life.

"Orphan Black"

“Orphan Black”

For Sarah had already discovered that Beth had a good reason for jumping in front of that train that fateful day when their paths crossed.  Beth’s life had begun to close in around her and she took her own life to both escape it and protect those she cared about. Beth had not only found out that she was part of a large cloning experiment, she found out that her boyfriend Paul (Dylan Bruce) was nothing more than someone sent to spy on her – a “monitor.”  Added into that toxic mix was the horror over having purposely killed a woman who was perhaps connected to the company that had made the clones, though in Beth’s defense, she had done it to protect her sister clones.  Then as if those three terrifying reasons were not enough to make one wish they were dead, Beth also found out that one of the clones was a deranged renegade operating under a religious delusion that it was her duty to kill them all to right the balance of nature. Beth may have been a cop, but nothing had prepared her for the life she suddenly found herself thrust amongst.

So imagine Sarah’s confusion and horror after she began to put together the pieces of Beth’s life and realized that she had gone from the “frying pan into the fire.”  Beth’s life looked all shiny and inviting from the outside, the glistening apartment, great car, devoted boyfriend, solid career and a bank account flush with cash.  It was just too tempting and Sarah gratefully slipped in Beth’s shoes that day on the train station, casually picked up Beth’s purse with her I.D. and just as ignorantly slipped into Beth’s life – impersonating the clone sister she never knew she had.

Yet that illusion was soon marred by the fact that Beth’s life was only perfect on the outside.  Sarah found herself having to explain where the large sum of cash had come from, whether Maggie Chen’s death was truly an accidental shooting, and having to fend off the overly inquisitive questions from both Beth’s partner Art (Kevin Hanchard) at work and her boyfriend Paul at home.  The walls had begun to close in on Sarah just like the prison-cage that Beth felt compelled to jump out of as she hurdled her body before that train.

"Orphan Black"

“Orphan Black”

But when Allison called demanding that Sarah cover for Allison by hosting the neighborhood block party while Allison interrogated her husband Donnie (Kristian Bruun) to see if he was her “monitor,” Sarah could hardly refuse after Allison had covered for her with Kira (Skyler Wexler).  As if that was not enough to keep both Sarah and Allison busy, both Sarah’s ex Vic (Michael Mando) and Beth’s ex Paul had decided to make uninvited appearances at Allison’s house.  Vic wanted in on whatever scam Sarah was running; and Paul just wanted to know what the hell was going on – especially after he found Allison passed out on the couch.

Clone-club had suddenly become a little to crowed and visible — and the secret was getting harder to contain.  But here’s the latest twist:  Paul may be falling for Sarah.

Paul had been protecting Sarah since he first began to suspect that she was not Beth.  Maybe he was drawn to the hot sex, or perhaps he was just curious, or perhaps he was feeling a bit protective of this new woman suddenly in his life, but Paul began to behave in ways not expected of a mere “monitor.”  Even Sarah had begun to wonder what was his true motives were for wanting to be around her as he had not killed her or revealed her impersonation to his superiors.  Paul had even proposed that they leave the country together even before he found out that she was not Beth.  Whether she was Beth or Sarah, Paul had stepped outside the bounds of his “monitoring” status and taken a decidedly personal interest.  His one task had been:  “As long as the subject makes her own decisions, there are no wrong choices.”  But Paul had not been content to let her make her own decisions or perhaps Paul thought that edict did not apply to Sarah, since she was not Beth.

"Orphan Black"

“Orphan Black”

In last week’s episode “Variations Under Domestication,” after a confrontation where Sarah had finally confessed that she was not Beth, Paul had followed Sarah to Allison’s house – conveniently intervening when he thought Vic needed a strong hint to get lost.  Alas, for poor Vic, this was not just another con that Sarah had set up and Paul was not the kind of person to try to negotiate with.  Sarah’s quick thinking got Vic out of there before too much physical pain was inflicted, but Vic really is not the sort of person to get the hint – even one as obvious as having holes drilled into his hand.  After Vic was out of harm’s way and having convinced Paul to leave Allison’s house before anyone else got hurt, we last saw Sarah and Paul back in Beth’s apartment ready to share a drink. Fortunately, Paul had second thoughts about drugging Sarah and pulled out the untainted booze instead.

Just what is going through Paul’s mind?  His primary function as a “monitor” should have compelled him to report Sarah’s impersonation and the fact that Beth was dead. Yet he continues to help Sarah in her charade. But why?  What is in it for him?  Now that Paul knows that he is part of an experiment to monitor clones, where does his primary duty lie?  He should be reporting the breach of protocol, yet he hesitates.  Is it possible that he really has fallen for Sarah, the woman who nearly seamlessly impersonated the woman he had monitored for 2 years?  If it is love, then what kind of twisted love is it?  His conduct is not exactly a testament to the kind of love where you would do anything to protect the person you love – or is it?  That’s the answer we’re dying to find out.

Hopefully this week’s new episode “Parts Developed In An Unusual Manner” will shed some light on Paul’s true intentions – whether his feelings are rooted in love or in a darker emotion.  With only four episodes remaining this season, not a single moment is to be missed.  So be sure to tune in for an all new episode of ORPHAN BLACK on Saturday, May 11th at 9:00 p.m. on BBC America.

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"Orphan Black"

“Orphan Black”

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