Tag Archives: bbc

Variations Under Domestication

I love Orphan Black. (I’ve gotten past the inconsistency issue I blogged about earlier.) “Variations Under Domestication,” last night’s episode, was a brilliant comedy of errors, in which Sarah’s, Allison’s and Beth’s lives come together in “Scarberia”, aka Scarborough.

When subplots collide, there can only be two kinds of results – explosive or comedic. “Variations Under Domestication” followed the latter with genius results. Suspecting all clones—or genetic identicals—have watchers, soccer mom Allison is convinced it is her husband. She knocks him out with a golf club to the head and then ties him up in her craft room and tortures him by dropping hot glue onto his chest. Sarah comes to the rescue, switching places with a drunken and self-medicated Allison. She calls Felix in to bartend. If that weren’t bad enough, who should show up but Vic and Paul. The comedy ensues watching Paul brutalize Vic and seeing Sarah try to keep the neighbours—at Allison’s for a block party—out of the basement where Allison is unconscious and Donny is tied up, eyes covered with a pink sleeping mask and pink fuzzy earmuffs. With Allison’s neighbours convinced she is having an affair with Paul, Sarah and Paul sneak out to the garage where Vic has taken a nail through the hand. Sarah gets rid of Vic and she’s left to deal with Paul, who seems to be as in the dark as Sarah and her duplicates. Canadian Eric Johnson (whom I miss from his prior Rookie Blue gig), plays a randy neighbourhood husband. Hilarity, some slapstick (as in the torturing of Donny), some darker (as in what poor—yes, poor—Vic has gone through  with respect to the loss of fingers, beatings and now nailings, since the start of the series.

In the mean time, Cosima is at university, getting to know a blonde woman whom she suspects is her watcher. The blonde has ties to a scientist who preaches taking control of your own, personal evolution (played with gusto by Matt Frewer) and you just know he figures into the story behind Sarah and her “sisters’” cloning.

The episode begs the question of whether the clones really do have assigned watchers. If Paul was Beth’s watcher, Allison suspects Donny of being hers, and Cosima suspects her new friend of being hers, who is Sarah’s watcher? Maybe it’s Vic and that’s why he refuses to leave her alone. I’m voting for Felix in the role. Think about it…they’ve known each other since they were kids and he knows exactly what’s going on. Felix’s primary role is as Sarah’s confidant and fixer, but other than that, he’s comedic relief on his own. Aside from fencing stolen drugs and prostituting himself, Felix has to have a larger role. Wouldn’t it be great if he were simply playing the fool when instead he was the mastermind of the whole affair, or at least in league with the masterminds?

One more thought occurs. Allison adopted her kids because she couldn’t have any on her own. All of the sisters were surprised that Kira was Sarah’s natural-born child. What if that’s because Kira is another clone? Sarah could carry her to term because Kira’s DNA would have been genetically identical to her own. Keep in mind that other than the fact that Kira’s father isn’t Vic, we have no idea who the father really is. What if that’s because there is no father because Kira is yet another Sarah clone?

Time will tell, I guess, and we have a lot of that, considering that it’s been reported Orphan Black has been renewed for another season.

Graphic from thunderclam.wordpress.com

About the Author

Elise Abram, English teacher and former archaeologist, has been writing for as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until she was asked to teach Writer’s Craft in 2001 that she began to write seriously. Her first novel, THE GUARDIAN was partially published as a Twitter novel a few summers back (and may be accessed at @RKLOGYprof). Nearly ten years after its inception Abram decided it was time to stop shopping around with traditional publication houses and publish PHASE SHIFT on her own.

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