Orphan Black - It is Your Reality.

Posted on the 15 May 2014 by Cathy Leaves @cathyleaves
Orphan Black - It is your reality.Orphan Black:  2x02 Governed by Sound Reason and True Religion.
Only let the human race recover that right over nature which belongs to it by divine bequest, and let power be given it; the exercise thereof will be governed by sound reason and true religion.
If Orphan Black is profoundly about the struggle of each of the clones for agency and control over their own life, then the second season just adds more and more aspects to their lives that make it harder to gain back that power. Delphine took a sample of Cosima’s blood to DYAD without telling her. Siobhan made the decision to kidnap Kira and hide her within the network that she was part of when Sarah came to her. Donnie is Alison’s monitor, and an insultingly sloppy one at that, which completely ruins any fantasy that Alison might have had about how letting Aynsley die was righteous. Henrik is obsessed with the idea of how the clones fit into his world view of creation and science and religion, so he kidnaps Helena, to figure out if she is able to have children like her twin sister Sarah. Cosima surrendering to DYAD while holding on to an idea of independence, Mrs S thinking that the idealistic network of her past is still safe and untainted, Alison and her suburban life with all its trappings and cages – all of these things make it clear how far the freedom of the clones extends. And what it comes down to is each of them testing how solid their cages are, how much struggling it takes to break free. “She makes her own choices”. It’s one of the bullet points Rachel sends to Donnie, in the message that Alison accidentally sees, making it clear to her that she was entirely wrong about who her monitor was. It’s interesting to ponder the implications of that: so DYAD can’t interfere with the choices that the clones make, because it would somehow ruin the results of whatever experiment they’re running? Donnie is her monitor, which means that her whole life so far has been a lie, and the only people she has to rely on is her clones – who are unreachable and very much involved in their own life choices this episode – and Felix, who is devoted to this sister and Kira, and can’t help Alison, not even when she is absolutely certain that Donnie is in fact her monitor. It’s heartbreaking, that moment, Alison left behind while everyone else fends for their fate. Delphine and Cosima go to Leekie, apologetic about the fact that Sarah posed as Cosima and beat up Rachel (plausible deniability), and both of them, in how much they love each other, still are convinced that they are in control of the situation, because Cosima gets to demand whatever she wants for her new lab, because Cosima is working on her own biology, trying to save her own life, because Leekie is so forthcoming when it comes to information, and Rachel seems so invested in her research, especially when it comes to Sarah and her ability to give birth, and the source of the disease that Cosima is affected by (Rachel insists it’s not in the original DNA but in the process of cloning – we’ll see where that goes).Sarah can’t think straight as long as Kira is missing: She is still endlessly resilient and resourceful, unbelievably strong, but at the same time, her ability to plan and see traps and other people’s plans for her, she just utterly fails. She’s lucky that the trap she ends up walking into is Mrs S, not one that the Proletheans or DYAD set for her, but it shows how vulnerable she is when Kira is in danger nonetheless: and at the same time, she is so very much like Mrs S, a mirror image of her. Mrs S, who decides to trust the people she used to work with but ends up finding out that they were bought off by the Proletheans to deliver Sarah and Kira, the people she’s known all her life, she’s risked her life for, part of the machine that is geared against Kira and Sarah. We barely know anything about Mrs S, or what motivates her, but as shady as her past with LEDA is (we know that the Birdwatchers blew up the institute back in the day, losing one of their own in the process, but it’s still very unclear what her actual involvement was), she still seems completely faithful to Sarah, even if it means going behind her back because she thinks she knows better what’s good for her. Maybe in a show like Orphan Black, the biggest betrayal is not telling the full truth and taking away the ability to make choices.  
Sarah: Whose side are you on, S?Siobhan: Yours, love. It’s always been yours.
She is testing the Birdwatchers, and deeply mistrusting, but at the same time, she is putting Kira and Sarah in so much danger in the process of finding out where their allegiance lies. 
Meanwhile, Cosima is kidnapped by this new branch of Proletheans that believes in humanity changing and intervening in god’s creation, being given the power to affect and change its own fate: they help god’s creation to come along, as symbolized by the insemination of the cow. In contrast to Tomas, all the ways that Helena is different don’t add up to her being an abomination: she’s a potential proof of something, something to prop up that specific ideology. 
Henrik: Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.
Science is a tool of religion in Henrik’s point of view. He started as a scientist, but now he sees everything through the scope of religion: and the clones constitute, or at least potentially, the future of humanity to him – a humanity that has been left with the ability to determine its own fate. 
Random notes: 
JFC Mrs S. 
Should probably be pointed out that an actual cop STARTED clone club, so Art becoming part of it isn’t exactly that far out of line. I do not trust Angie. 
“She would say, almost daily, be true to who you are” Always interesting to find out more about people when they’re dead. 
I keep wondering if DYAD isn’t intentionally after having Alison finding out that Donnie is her monitor. It’s so sloppy, hard to believe he managed to pull it off for as long as he had, as terrible as he is at his job. 
Delphine: I just want to make crazy science with you in our new lab. 
JFC. I love Delphine to bits but she’s so smitten, it’s hard to see how she could ever be strong enough to withstand the power that DYAD has. 
The scene where Alison’s director touches her without having her consent is so perfectly symbolic of the show: She is struggling for agency over her own story, that musical and everything it means to her (and how it’s connected to Aynsley as both her friends and as Aynsley in that particular role within the community), and then the director goes on and completely disregards her need for personal space, operating precisely the way that DYAD does, just taking control of her and her body. Of course it’s played for the laughs – Felix coming in, calling him out on his bullshit – but at the same time it’s Orphan Black, in its very essence: it doesn’t need an all powerful institute to take control of the clones, sometimes it’s enough to put a man in a position of power and a woman into a room and have things play out. I fucking hope the guy gets punched in the face before things are over. 
Rachel: So. You’re gay. Cosima: My sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me. 
It’s a really interesting moment beyond the obvious, because Rachel WOULD HAVE KNOWN that detail of Cosima’s life for ages, and she seems so genuinely fascinated, like, maybe just by the fact that one of the clones could be gay, while she isn’t? Because DNA alone doesn’t determine everything. I think that’s Rachel’s angle in that situation (and some of it is maybe just wanting to throw Cosima off her game, which doesn’t quite work out, because as sheltered as she is, she’s probably gotten some bullshit for that all her life, because you do). 
Mrs S knows more about LEDA than anyone, enough to be concerned about others knowing about the project. 
Kira seems to have an uncanny ability to foresee the future, in addition to her physical resilience (also potentially relevant to ponder the meaning of her name). 

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