Title: Orphan Black S2.E08 “Variable and Full of Perturbation”
Released: 2014
Series:  Orphan Black

Previously: Rachel reunites with her father, Sarah reunites with her daughter, Cosima receives her treatment (yay!) that she later finds out is from Kira’s stem cells (nay!), and Donnie continues the Hendrix family tradition of murder by literally and Donnie-ly shooting Leekie’s brains out!

How, HOW, is the show going to top that last scene of the previous episode?! (Dammit, Donnie — SAFETY ON.) By throwing a huge curveball within the first minute of this one! And thanks to Catie for rocking last week’s recap!

Clone Club Chronicles

We begin by making your recapper confused: “Wait, am I watching the right show? But those were the correct previouslies; who are these dudes?” OH SHIZZ, THERE’S A NEW CLONE ON THE SCENE! And his name is Tony! And he has decidedly different eyebrows than the rest of the clones! Tony also has terrible flow, which I get as a female clone fakeout. But for a show with typically great wig game, Tony’s hair leaves something to be desired. 

ANYWAY. Tony and his ex-military buddy/possible monitor, Sammy, are fleeing from a heist gone wrong. They were ambushed by dudes in suits, with Sammy dying shortly afterwards. But not before he gives Tony a message for good ol’ Beth! Which gets intercepted by Art, who has Felix try to get info out of Tony. 

Tony’s totally out of the loop re: Clone Club, and he’s not being particularly talkative. Flirtatious, though — yes. (More on that later. And by ‘more’, I mean GIFs.) It’s not until Sarah arrives and goes over the clone business that Tony finally relays Sammy’s message for Beth: “Keep the faith. Paul’s like me. He’s on it. He’s a ghost.” (I’m guessing Beth found Sammy when she was digging into Paul’s past?) And with that and a Clone Phone of his very own, Tony takes off back whence he came, away from the Dyad’s reach. 

Y’all, I love the idea of Tony and how the show has completed its LGBTQ bingo (although there are a lot more letters that could be highlighted), but Tony’s kind of a cheeseball tough guy. I can probably do a lot of uninformed armchairs psychoanalysis on that (which is precisely why I shouldn’t), but I’m glad the door’s been left open for him to return — esp. for him to meet his other sisters.

Speaking of the soccer douche, Alison’s rehab stint is finally over! Of course, Donnie wasn’t there to pick her up, since he was too busy drowning his Leekie murder guilt with tiny liquor bottles.

Donnie’s also feeling rightfully shitty about being a willing pawn to a fucked up experiment, plus any other Bad Husband behaviour that prompts this </3: 

But there’s hope yet for these two starcrossed kids, as they finally have an honest conversation and ‘fess up to the deaths that they’re each responsible for. Donnie shows Alison the poorly wrapped corpse that’s been decomposing in their sedan, and she starts cleaning up his mess. TRU WUV, Y’ALL. 

(Side note: I really hope we’ll meet Alison’s notoriously hateable mother one of these days. Any suggestions? My knee-jerk pick would be Megan Mullally (omg she can bring Retta with her!), but there are tons of awesome ladies I’d love to see on this show.)

So this is one of those weeks in which Sarah doesn’t actually do a whole heckuva lot. Before she meets up with Felix and Tony, she brings Kira back to Mrs. S’s. Mother and daughter make arts and crafts; “Oh hey, where’s Helena?“, “DON’T WORRY ‘BOUT IT.”.

Delphine swings by the house on Rachel’s behalf. Since Kira’s off-limits, Rachel proposes using Ethan’s synthetic sequences for a clone cure. Ethan’s confident he can do so, so it’s Take Your Father to Work Day at the Dyad. 

Having foolishly displayed any semblance of emotion during their previous interaction, Rach is all business with her father, er, Professor Duncan. Meanwhile, he’s all “my dear” this and “my dear” that. JUST LET HIM LOVE YOU, RACHEL. It’s not his fault he’s been in hiding ’cause your guardian had been trying to kill him!

Before Rachel sends Ethan off to work with Cosima, she wants to know what makes Sarah such a special baby-making snowflake. In actuality, Sarah is a failure; the clones are supposed to be barren — a revelation that makes Rachel privately FLIP SHIZZ. She just wants to have it all, dammit! Why can’t her life be a crappy Sarah Jessica Parker movie?! But for serious: Rachel is so desperate for that kind of unconditional love, just like how she once loved her parents as a child. Ugh, now I fear for Ethan’s safety, when Rachel inevitably clues in on how freaking much she’s actually been loved all along.

Cosima is still pissed at Delphine for keeping the source of the treatment a secret. But secret nerd board game parties in the lab are totally cool, as long as no one minds the Runewars PWNAGE that Cos throws down.

With Leekie out of the picture and a long-term cure still so far away, Cosima and Delphine realize that time is too precious to be fighting with the one you love. (Although Cos makes it v. clear that the Clone Club comes first, and she won’t stand for Delphine messing with them.) It’s better spent getting high together and inhaling helium for shits and giggles, despite there being (I think) little reason for readily available helium at a genetics institute, aside from cryogenics. (Hmm, Season 3 idea?)

But we should have known that all this joviality is a precursor for much terrible. After she reveals her secret identity as 324B21 to Scott and she meets her maker Ethan, Cosima starts coughing — nay, spewing blood and full-on seizing OMFG NOOOOOO…!

*Not as good as this, though.

Felix Felicis

In the continuing saga of Felix Dawkins Is the Best, he (and the show) quickly and efficiently states the etiquette in addressing a trans man. 

Fee doesn’t want to be the one to initiate a newbie into Clone Club, but he can’t help being pulled into enemistry-tastic verbal sparring with Tony. Although I had a pot/kettle moment when Tony said a shot of testosterone would put some hair on Fee’s chest, and yet Tony’s legs are completely silky smooth like Tatiana Maslany’s are. It’s OK, Show! You’ll be completely follically accurate one day!

In matters of actual importance, Jordan Gavaris becomes the latest series regular to make out with Tatiana Maslany! So when do Art and Mrs. S get their turns?

Tony might not have been aware of it the first time, but DUDES — you’re both of you making out with your sister’s brother! And WHAT ABOUT COLIN? I am stubborn in my shipper allegiance. (See also: Paul vs. Cal, although Cal’s made up major ground lately.)

Mrs. S’s Home for Peculiar Children

Oh, Mrs. S — you card, you. Just, y’know, calmly reassuring Ethan that she ain’t bluffing with her threat to put a bullet in his head if Rachel doesn’t stay away from Casa Sadler. I hope she never has to, ’cause I want Ethan to stick around — esp. as Kira’s faux grandpa who tells inappropriate bedtime stories (which he also once read with Lil Rachel). But nested between the pages of his copy of Dr. Moreau is CLONE SCIENCE! So phew, at least the show isn’t asking us to believe THE KEY TO EVERYTHING EVER is only contained in three meagre floppy disks (i.e. a smaller file size than any single GIF in this post).

They Fought the Law

Art drops Tony off at Felix’s (turnabout is fair play), but he continues to be awesome by providing Fee with a steady supply of interrogative booze.

Neolution News

The official word on Leekie is that he died from a heart attack on a private jet, while Rachel thinks Leekie’s on the run, but really:

I just really wanted to use this GIF again.

So that means organizational shuffle at the Dyad! Rachel’s the new director, with Delphine reporting to her now, but Paul is MIA again. For a series regular, Paul sure hasn’t been in this season a lot, omg should I be worried? But at least someone’s vouching for his good guy-ness, even if it’s someone we’ve never met before, because I will desperately cling to any hope of a Paul rehabilitation.

Purely Proletheans

Nothing again! MISS U, HELENA. (Words I wouldn’t have thought I’d say this time last year… )

Stick to the Science, Geek Monkey

Sarah sends Kira’s tooth to Cosima’s lab, but not in time for it to make any difference, OMG PLEASE BE OK, COS

Next episode: Alison and Donnie really need to get rid of Leekie’s body, Helena moves in with her presumed sister-wives, Delphine gets promoted, and Cosima needs Kira’s bone marrow to survive. 


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.