Did you ever wonder about the title of each episode on “Orphan Black”? I did! Do the titles hint at the science behind the human genome project, or possibly the future of cloning? Maybe the titles describe the pros and cons expected when a government or group of scientists decide to play Creator. Maybe, that person at the mall that looked just like you; wasn’t a doppelganger; maybe, it was your clone? Would a clone have the same rights as you? Let’s find out after the jump.
The clones, Sarah/Beth, Alison, Helena and Cosima are genetically identical, and yet, so very different. They share the same genome, they should be the same in every facet of their lives, but each clone behaves differently when faced with a threat or problem; Effects of Extreme Conditions? Was it because they were all raised differently? Are they the product of their environment or is behavior wired into their genes; Variations under Domestication? Helena is the mad hatter clone; is it due to her upbringing or a hereditary gene that the other clones may or may not share. Can the clones reproduce, have children; Sarah did, but Alison can’t. Is this a glitch in Sarah’s genetic code; Variations under Nature?
The clones are different in how they respond danger. Alison (my favorite) goes Terminator when threatened. Sarah is the wild card of the group and has better survival skills than the others. Cosima is the scientist, the investigator but can she outsmart Dr. Leekie, who may be the person responsible for the creation of the clones? Are the ways the clones respond an example of Conditions of Existence?
Olivier Duval owns a nightclub with some very unusual guests. All the people at this club believe in self-directed evolution and have gone as far as to genetically enhance themselves. Mr. Duval’s bodyguard, Astrid, has strange eyes, and I do mean strange. Mr. Duval has a tail? Yes, you read that right; a tail. Now ask yourself, if you could change any part of your body; enhance it. Would you want a tail?
Mr. Duval is a bit strange even for this show, but if science was able to change parts of your body to enhance your skills towards success or worse; forced labor, then this would explain the title; “Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner.” If science can give Mr. Duval a tail, it can also exploit people for certain genetically altered skills; slavery at its worst. Later, when Felix and Sarah/Beth follow Paul to the club, Paul attacks Felix, but don’t worry; they make up. Felix gets to check out the club and meets with Astrid.
The DNA Shell Game
The police are getting closer to finding out the identity of Jane Doe with Forensic science; the clones all have the same DNA, but Dr. Leekie using the same forensic science knows that Beth is not Beth. He wants Mr. Duval to bring in Sarah.
Thomas tells Helena to kill all the clones, but Helena likes Sarah. She’s different. Helena is also emo. That’s a person who cuts themselves. How do I know? Grandkids talk. Helena and Sarah do lunch and we find out that Helena was raised in a convent in Eastern Europe. That might explain her paranoia and fetish with razor blades.
Sarah learns about her childhood and that she can trust Mrs. S; Cosima is learning more about the mysterious Dr. Leekie and his self-directed evolutionary mumbo jumbo; Sarah is taken prisoner when she tries to save Paul. It seems that Paul is a good guy after all; Mr. Duval makes the mistake of showing Helena his tail… ouch! Alison was the only clone not featured this week, but Helena made up for the slack, big time.
There is real science featured in “Orphan Black,” you just have to dig your way through all the distractions to see it. But, maybe, that’s why I like “Orphan Black” so much.