Orphan Black Season 1 Episode 3: Variation Under Nature

Orphan Black (Photo: Steve Wilkie / BBC America)

This week on Orphan Black, we get introduced to Clone Club. Alison’s kids get introduced to Felix, Cosima and Sarah get better acquainted, Katja’s murder becomes Beth’s case, and we all get introduced to Clone #9.

Previously on Orphan Black: we have met Sarah (petty criminal), Beth Childs (police officer who killed herself), Katja (the German with a suitcase of interesting documents, also killed), Alison (bitchy soccer mom), and Cosima (dreadlocks enthusiast). They all have little pink Nokia phones and they all look exactly like one another. What is going on?

We return to Alison’s house in the suburbs where Cosima wants Sarah’s background while Alison wants to know what happened to Beth. Sarah’s all “uh, I have questions,” but her new-found duplicates are not forthcoming. Cosima and Sarah trade questions back and forth until Alison snaps. “We’re clones. We’re someone’s experiment and they’re killing us off.” Alison’s daughter Jema comes downstairs to check on the noise, but Alison takes her back to bed. Cosima apologizes to Sarah, saying she wanted to ease into the whole “clone” thing.

Outside, Felix tries to fend off boredom in the car. There’s a tap at the window. A blonde woman walking her dog warns Felix he can’t be parked on the street at night and that this is a neighborhood watch area. She and her dog walk away and…what…what are you wearing?!

Orphan Black (Screen: BBC America)
Orphan Black (Screen: BBC America)

Anyway, Felix leaves the car to look for Sarah. He sneaks into the backyard of Alison’s house, but there is a security porch light that goes off. Alison sees the light and the shadow of someone moving in the yard. Cosima and Sarah stop talking to see what Alison is reacting to. Outside, Felix turns around and sees Alison with her ridiculously large gun pointed at him. Sarah gets between them before Alison fires. Sarah tells Alison to calm down before guiding the gun away with her hand. Once the gun is pointed to the ground, Sarah slaps Alison. “You point a gun at my brother again I will kick the living shit out of you.” Everyone goes back inside and scolds Sarah for breaking the first rule of Clone Club. Alison bristles at the word “clone” and Sarah roles her eyes, saying she didn’t know there was a club when she brought Felix. Sarah presses Cosima for a little more information, but she won’t talk until she has Katja’s briefcase. It’s a matter of life and death. Credits.

Back at Felix’s, Sarah and her foster brother go through the documents in Katja’s case. Felix offers a nice review of what we know about Clone Club so far, which is that there are eight known clones: Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Beth, Katja, the Austrian, the Italian, and the French woman. The case has the blood and hair of the three Europeans, which means they—along with Beth and Katja—are dead.

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Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it “TV Camp.” After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv