Title: Orphan Black S2.E05 “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est”
Released: 2014
Series:  Orphan Black

Previously: Helena saves Sarah from Daniel’s wrath, and the Proletheans have created life itself </Cosima as Leekie>…!

WELPZ, we’ve reached the halfway point of the season. In that time, my opinions of these characters have been topsy-turvy flip-flopped eleventy billion times, with the exception of the core clones (and Fee, OBVIOUSLY). And that trend shows no sign of stopping in this week’s episode. 

Clone Club Chronicles

Meathead’s Helena’s initiation into Clone Club doesn’t exactly go smoothly. She gets passed around like a hot potato and handcuffed against her will, but at least she gets some free food out of it (Mini donuts! Sardines with mustard!*). But of course, no dainty mortal handcuffs can contain the Shakira-haired one; Helena escapes, leaving bread crumbs to her storage locker hide-out, back from her days with the Tomas and Maggie Chen Proletheans. (How does Helena have all these GPS coordinates memorized anyway? Did her genetic enhancements come with an eidetic memory? And SO MANY CREEPY DOLL HEADS.)

*Yuck. The mustard, I mean. And a little bit the mini donuts.

Helpful problem solver that she is, Helena and her sniper rifle are poised to take out Rachel. But Sarah manages to stop her in time, by appealing to their twinsies link. As the sestras walk off arm in arm, Art’s WTF face says it all. 

That expression is also a great segue for…

… Rachel and her new monitor, Paul. Along with inheriting Daniel’s job of reporting her health and well-being to Dr. Leekie, it’s now Paul’s duty to please that booty. (The third clone he’s shagged btw, as per Sarah and commenter Rachel K.) There’s just enough pushback to show us that the old Paul is still there somewhere, but the new one? He follows orders (mostly) well during control freak angry sex. Here’s an artistic rendition of what must have been going through his mind (and maybe some of y’all’s…?): 

Troy (Community): “I have the weirdest boner.”
GIF from giphy

Although putting my serious hat** on for a sec: there’s an undercurrent of sadness to Rachel’s mentality. By forcing her monitors to be her lovers (which: super wrong, and I am not defending that), it strikes me as her thinking that people can only make a connection with her out of obligation: her parents, Leekie, Daniel, and now Paul. I didn’t think it possible, but Rachel may have stolen the Most Messed Up Clone mantle away from Helena.

**A Napoleonic bicorne, methinks, since he and I are both short, and I presume he was equally big headed too. (I told you I’d only be wearing the serious hat for a sec.)

Meanwhile, Cosima and Delphine find out that Leekie’s been keeping a stem cell treatment that could treat Cosima’s illness on the DL. When they confront him about it, he defies Rachel and her heavy-handed tactics by proceeding with Cos’ treatment in good faith. In return, Sarah meets with Leekie to proof of Ethan Duncan being alive. If Sarah can find him within the next three days, Leekie will be able to get Rachel to back the shizz off. And so, it’s off to Ethan’s last known location, Cold River (“a place of screams”), Sarah and Helena go.

Felix Felicis

Fee is on Helena duty. 

But he hands her off to Art so that he can adorably prepare for a hot date at the Loft of Lust. (Cue the Tears For Fears!)

Oh yeah. He’s ready. 


Gahhhh this entire scene is PERFECTION. Allllmost makes up for the lack of Alison. Almost. Except this happens: 

Paul busts in on this potential lovefest to frame Felix with a murder (Daniel being the actual killer of a cop, back at Cal’s place), in order to get Sarah to do whatever Rachel wants. And OMG Felix’s terror is so painful to watch, and it’s made all the worse that Paul is the one causing it. DAMMIT, PAUL. Your recent actions are making it impossible for me to enjoy your shirtless scenes.

OK, I lied.

Mrs. S’s Home for Peculiar Children

No Mrs. S, but Peculiar Child Kira is still off the grid with Daddy Cal in his RV. With Team Paul taking a major hit this week, it’s a prime opportunity for Team Cal to step up its game. Doting father: check! Understanding babydaddy: check! Gun, fake ID, and a gas mask: say whaaa…?

Based on Rachel needing to dig up dirt on Cal — nothing we didn’t already know (micro-optics, anti-corporation), other than his last name (Morrison) — he’s def. not Dyad. So what the dealio is up with this guy? He does have a distant military connection, with his tech now being used to kill people… 

They Fought the Law

I can’t believe I was ever on the fence re: Art, ’cause he’s so much fun to watch now that he’s in on the Clone Club’s secrets. Sure, he may have gotten oinked at and handcuffed to his own kitchen, but the man had the presence of mind to Helena-proof his apartment! And again: THAT FACE.

Neolution News

Hmmm, trouble in genetically engineered paradise? Leekie and Rachel are butting heads over how to deal with Sarah, with Rachel having Paul keep tabs on Leekie. Which means Paul sees Leekie making the deal with Sarah, and he’s totally going to follow Sarah on her search for Ethan the Swan Man (as in Leda and the Swan, remember?). Leekie’s powerless to stop Paul, but he implores the latter to bring new intel to him first, instead of just tattling to Rachel.

Purely Proletheans

“O.MI.GOD.” That could easily be the new name for this category, since Henrik’s Proletheans are this show’s steady suppliers of squeamish horrors. Henrik and Bonnie turn the storied maxim ‘snitches get stitches’ on its head, by sewing Gracie’s (aka THEIR DAUGHTER’S) mouth shut for not ‘fessing up to what happened with Helena. They let Gracie stew in solitary confinement, but Mark sneaks in some milk for her. Y’all, not since Ian on Pretty Little Liars has lactose been so creepy, with the vibe-age between those two. And Gracie’s probably hoping her maybe-beau can find Helena but fast, since she’ll have to carry the petri dish baby if Helena’s not around to do so. (Tsk, “If I had a nickel for every time my parents threatened forced surrogacy on me… ” — you should use that extra nickel towards an emancipation fund, WTF.)

Stick to the Science, Geek Monkey

Perhaps to commenter Margaret’s chagrin, the patent rears its ugly head again! But neither Cosima nor Scott, her former colleague in Minnie, are experts in genetic patents, although they’ve surmised it could just be a relic from an era of “Patent first, ask questions later” legalese. Something of this magnitude suggests secret military involvement, with the Dyad only being a contractor. 

And that lab explosion that wiped out a handful of scientists but not Ethan Duncan? It also destroyed the original genome for the clones, so there’s no record of the synthetic sequences in the clones’ genomes. (Also, ‘genome’ and ‘patent’ definitely need to be Season 2 drinking game rules.)

Next episode: Sarah and Helena hit the road, Alison runs into a newly Zen Vic, Helena gets her flirt on, and Mrs. S gives Paul a talking to!


Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.