Monday, June 03, 2013
Send in the clones
My God, “Orphan Black,” my good God. It’s hard to think of a show I became more quickly, completely and addictively engrossed in. A week ago I’d never seen a single episode and now I’m clamoring with impatient indignation for the second season to begin already. Spring 2014, really? I cannot wait that long for more Tatania Maslany. I will not. It’s wrong. It’s mean. I hate time and space.
Right, so let’s get right into it then. How about that finale, eh? WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! (Side Note: Those who asked for legal viewing options can purchase the show on iTunes of Amazon Instant. Those looking for less legal options are welcome to search the previous and current comments for alternatives.)
The show has made something very dense and complicated like a sci-fi clone conspiracy seem so edge-of-your-seat thrilling yet so heart-breakingly human. And none of it would work without Tatania who, if I was an Emmy voter, would singlehandedly sweep the Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and best Guest Actress categories. One cannot simply talk about how thoroughly and convincingly she becomes each different clone – Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena and now Rachel. One must truly see it to believe it. What makes it even more dazzling is how much we care for each disparate clone. Sarah, the scrappy survivor. Alison, the desperate housewife. Cosima, the questioning scientist. Helena, just batshit homicidal maniac. Yet each becomes more than just her archetype, to become deeply human, flawed and worth saving in our eyes – well, maybe not Helena. And that’s what makes this show so amazing. We’ve become a culture that loves to pick sides. But to pick between Sarah, Alison and Cosima is beyond cruel.
Which is why Alison signing the contract we all know she shouldn’t sign with Dr. Leekie is so deeply affecting. We want this tighty wound, booty-burn cardio dancing, best frenemy non-life saver to have a happy life. But we know very bad things are on their way. Same goes for poor Cosima, who is coughing her way to a Fantine-like end in a race against corrupt genetics. Plus, while I may not fully trust Delphine yet, I completely buy their connection – blinded her with science, indeed. And then Sarah, oh Sarah – the key no doubt to this whole unraveling puzzle along with her oddly resilient and precognitiant daughter, Kira.
Few TV shows so fully embody the concept of a page turner as “Orphan Black.” It’s not that the show teases us with manufactured cliffhangers. It’s that the story, and its pacing, is like a thrill ride we never want to end. Each answer leads to another questions which leads to another emotion which leads to us screaming, “MORE!”
Of course I want Sarah to find Kira, Cosima to live, Alison to be set free. But more than anything I want to story to keep revealing itself in wonderful, twisty and unexpected ways. Spring 2014, hurry up dammit.