Previously: Sequencing tech Scott found out that Cosima’s stem cell therapy—the one that appears to be working—was developed from Kira’s cells. Vic told Annoying Cop Angie that he will rat on Alison, if his charges disappear. A long time ago, Leekie blew up a lab, with Rachel’s mom inside.
Hey y’all! Your trusty OB recapper, Mandy W., is off cavorting at Book Expo America (lucky duck), so I’m here filling in. Just imagine me as one of Mandy’s clones, maybe? Oh, and—this is one episode that is awesome to watch unspoiled. So if you made it this far without having seen the episode, go!! Watch!! And then come back. You’ll be glad you did.
Clone Club Chronicles
Sarah and Mrs. S are back at Duncan’s house, picking through his rotting piles of hoarded detritus to find what we’ll later learn is a box containing the full history of the clone experiments, on three 8” floppy disks. (That’s a total of 240 kb, folks, so hopefully they have some VERY concise experiment notation). Mrs. S doesn’t like that Sarah won’t tell her who’s with Kira, but she makes an agreement: she’ll trust Sarah to take care of Kira, if Sarah trusts her to handle Duncan. Sarah doesn’t like it, but she says okay, and heads out to meet up with her wee adorable family.
Off in the woods, Cute Cal is running some encrypted searches on Dyad when he realizes that the computer’s webcam is on and spying on him and Kira. He ditches the laptop, and take evasive measures, but by the time he meets up with Sarah his suspicions are definitely piqued.
Sarah blames Kira’s overactive imagination, and although Cal doesn’t believe her, he’s willing to roll with it, because he is perfect. He even makes plans for the three of them to escape to Reykjavik (he’s got paperwork, money, people, all lined up) but Sarah can’t leave and won’t tell Cal why. Cal, with his infinite patience (and also infinite cuteness), has to accept this. He and Sarah and Kira are really ridiculously cute together, so I hope these two crazy kids can work it out.
At Dyad, Paul tells Leekie that Helena is back with the Proletheans, and Sarah disappeared. Leekie calls a woman named Marion Bowles, telling her it’s an emergency. When Bowles shows up, the first thing she says is, “Please tell me your hands have not been soaking in some gruesomely fecund jelly.” Well hello to you too! Also, “Gruesomely Fecund Jelly” is my new band name. Also, gross. Anyway, the two of them chat about how Ethan Duncan is alive after all, so THAT’S a thing.
Leekie says Rachel’s been taking things personally, so she won’t react well. Bowles says they may have to step in. “And she will lose.” Eesh.
Man, Leekie’s dance card is packed today. Mrs. S stops in to see him next, telling him that she has all the missing research from the clone experiments on disc. He asks to talk to Duncan in person. Mrs. S is temporarily thrown, but proposes a bargain: she’ll give him Duncan, if he gives up on Kira and lets them disappear once and for all.
Mrs. S checks in with Sarah before she pulls the trigger on arranging a meeting with Duncan, but Sarah is clear: Let’s blow up their shit.
At the rehab center, it’s time for arts & crafts with Alison and Vic! Alison starts ranting about her annoying neighbor Aynsley, and Vic turns on the supportive charm to get Alison to spill: she slept with Aynsley’s husband. Oh, and she killed Aynsley. Phew, what a relief to have that (not quite) murder confession out in the open! A few minutes later, though, Ali overhears Vic on the phone with Annoying Cop Angie, telling her he’s got big dirt on Alison, but he won’t give it up until he’s sure his charges have been dropped. Alison, of course, calls damage control Felix.
The two of them confront Vic, who won’t agree to keep Alison’s secret unless he can talk to Sarah. (Alison to Sarah: “I need you to come here, and clean up your doodoo!”) So Sarah drives over too, and it’s a clone party in rehab. Vic apologizes to Sarah, requests (and receives) a begrudging apology in response. Then he tries to get back together with her, and… collapses face down in a pile of glitter and feathers. I would expect nothing less from Felix’s handiwork.
By now, Family Day is upon us, and Alison has disappeared to meet up with Donnie and her children. While she’s gone, the rehab director shows up at her room and Sarah poses as Alison, ushering in this episode’s glorious #CloneSwap. Sarah, hastily dressing in a headband and pilfered cardigan, is dragged out to the Family Day assembly where she learns she’s giving the keynote address. AND, lucky Sarah, they’re also doing an exercise where she (as Alison) and Donnie have to swap roles and have a discussion. So now we have Tatiana Maslany being Sarah being Alison being Donnie, and yes, the #cloneception is gonna get you.
What’s especially cool about this part is getting to see a bit of the essential stubbornness that underlies each clone’s personality shine from Sarah through Alison. Even though her frustration and annoyance at the exercise is pure Sarah, it’s not hard to imagine Alison having the same reaction in that scenario. The writers (and Tatiana Maslany) have done a wonderful job of making each clone character a distinct woman, but sometimes seeing the small traits that carry through all of them—the nature instead of the nurture, if you will—is just as powerful. Their impulsiveness, their stubbornness, even their big easy smiles reserved for those they love… it starts to look like a real sisterhood.
While Sarah is play-acting with Donnie, Alison returns to her room to find Felix hanging out with Vic’s passed-out body. Her family will be touring the room shortly, so they have to get Vic out of there, NOW. Annoying Cop Angie pulls up, and draws nearer and nearer as Alison and Felix (with Vic slung heavily over his shoulders) run around the center trying to find a place to stash the body.
Angie calls Vic’s phone, and hears it ringing, but they drag Vic out of sight just in time and then use his phone to text her to meet up outside, heading her off. When Angie finally finds Vic, he’s passed out, nose bloodied, covered in glitter and feathers, behind the reception desk. “The stress of family day,” tsks-tsks a fellow inmate.
Back in Alison’s room, we are given one of the cooler clone shots of the entire series:
And then Donnie comes in, sees the two of them together, and Alison decides to let him know she knows he’s her monitor. But the shock on his face when he sees her with Sarah? Yeah, that’s real. Dumb ol’ Donnie has been monitoring Alison, but he thought it was just a very long-running sociology experiment he was recruited for in college. Sarah and Felix slip out, and the caper turns actually kind of heartbreaking as Alison and Donnie both realize that their marriage was ruined not by their incompatibility, but because of all the secrets they’ve been forced to keep from each other. It’s clear that they still love each other, or at least they have fond memories of the love they once shared, but something’s been incontrovertibly broken. “You ruined our family—and you’re so stupid you don’t even know why!” Alison spits, stalking out. Donnie looks sad, confused, and then furious.
At the lab, Cosima has the sexiest gynecological procedure ever as Delphine helps an anonymous tech/doctor inject the stem cells into the masses in her uterus. (Delphine’s assistance mostly involves kissing). The glow fades quickly, though, as Cosima overhears Delphine talking to Scott, and learns that the stem cells used in the procedure came from Kira. She’s furious with Delphine for not telling her, even though Delphine assures her that the cells were a plant from Leekie, and she didn’t know the source until after she knew they were working. There was no decision to make, and thus no reason to worry Cosima, she says, because this is the only way forward.
Aaaaand… the cells came from one of Kira’s baby teeth that she lost when she was hit by that car, Delphine tells her. So it’s a finite source… unless they bring Kira in for more harvesting. Cosima snaps.
Later, Cosima calls Sarah to tell her the truth. Sarah and Cal talk it out, and poor Kira, inside the RV, overhears their vague discussion about someone needing her teeth. Outside, Sarah and Cal hear a slam and a scream, and rush in to find Kira holding a tooth in her hand, yanked out by a piece of string she’d tied around a doorknob. “Will this help?” she asks, and my heart just breaks. “Whatever this is, it’s going to swallow you both,” Cal says sadly, as Sarah and Kira climb in the car to leave, heading back to town.
Rachel and Paul show up at Mrs. S’s, and Rachel is allowed 15 minutes with her father. It’s touching, but sad—they’ve both lost so much. She, her empathy and humanity, and he, his sanity. While they catch up, Mrs. S and Paul talk about how this knowledge, for Leekie and for Rachel, is going to force both their hands.
Hands, indeed, are forced, but maybe not the ones we expected. When Leekie returns to his office, Rachel is waiting for him, cold as ice. She asks him about her parents, and Leekie explains that he was just protecting the science. He expects her to do the same, but she has other plans. She opens her cell phone and makes a call, putting it on speakerphone. Marian Bowles picks up, and asks if it’s over. “Not a happy task, I know. He was your mentor. But he lost his way with Sarah Manning. Serves us right for putting a lab coat in the big chair.”
Rachel stares, impassive, as comprehension dawns for Leekie. She closes the phone, and in a final act of mercy (maybe her empathy isn’t totally gone after all) tells him to flee. “It’s foolish to spare you, but you raised me. Nurture prevails.” He gives her an extremely awkward kiss on the forehead and departs, a doomed man saying goodbye to the woman he raised to make exactly this kind of ruthless decision.
Leekie walks anxiously down the street, shellshocked at his survival but feeling the presence of danger hot on his heels. When he realizes that the black sedan that’s pulled up next to him contains only dumb ol’ Donnie Hendrix, he actually laughs in relief. But while Donnie might not be out for his blood, he does want answers, and the gun he pulls on Leekie displays his seriousness. Leekie climbs in the car, and explains to Donnie that he’s just a pawn in a greater game. “Listen to me, you turnip. In 100 years time, no one will care about Donnie Hendrix except as a footnote in this experiment.” But Donnie—still waving the gun around—is furious with Leekie for ruining his marriage, his life. He won’t participate in the experiment anymore, he says emphatically, he quits. And—BLAM.
I hope you guys were unspoiled for that moment, because it was EPIC. I’m pretty sure I made the same face as Donnie, which was a “WHAT THE HELLLLLL JUST HAPPENED??” kind of deal. Because WHAT THE HELLLLLL JUST HAPPENED?
I wish we all had a Felix to call when things go decidedly south. He’ll come right over, drug your enemies, and help you hide the body—and it’ll all be done in a shower of glitter and feathers. You really can’t ask for anything more.
Mrs. S’s Home for Peculiar Children
After this episode, I really want to believe Mrs. S is on Sarah’s (and, ultimately, Kira’s) side. Her proud smile when Paul tells her that he can tell where Sarah got her penchant for burning things down from seems to support this. But she’s so tough and slippery, I can’t quite pin her down. I have a feeling she’ll continue to surprise us.
They Fought the Law
Awesome Cop Art is MIA this ep. Annoying Cop Angie continues to be the worst!! Also, her name is Angela DiAngelis??? WHAT KIND OF A NAME IS THAT??
Paul took Mrs. S’s advice to let Sarah go and lie to Leekie about it. So is Paul like a triple agent now? Somehow it seems like he isn’t smart enough to pull that off. He’s basically just a puppet, with several extremely smart and stubborn women pulling his strings.
Our favorite religious cult—and our favorite blonde Ukranian clone—are sadly absent this episode.
Stick to the Science, Geek Monkey
Sorry guys, I’m just still stuck on how tiny those 8″ floppy disks are and how much very important information they are supposed to contain. Also, if Cosima wants to continue her stem cell treatments, she’s going to need to find a way to safely harvest more cells from Kira—girl only has so many baby teeth. Now that she knows the cells come from Kira, though, she may not be so keen on continuing.
Next episode: Mandy returns to report on Donnie gone missing; Cosima’s illness getting much worse; and someone looking for Beth Childs. Remember her??
About the Contributor:
Catie grew up in Denver, Colorado, where she often stayed up past her bedtime reading with a flashlight and once sent homemade Hogwarts acceptance letters to her friends. Now an adult, she still loves books and TV meant for teens, but is grateful to no longer have a bedtime.