As Orphan Black‘s first season approaches the halfway point you have to wonder if, like Ethan Hawke swimming like a three-post ment in Gattaca, they “never saved anything for the swim back“. Plot heavy high-concept shows like this have a habit of blasting out of the blocks like Usain Bolt before running out of gas in the finishing straight like Jim Peters at the Empire Games but so far it’s holding its own. After some frantic jostling for position we’ve reached the stage where the clones know they are being bumped off so they are naturally a bit on edge. Now they know Paul is Sarah‘s monitor Alison figures that husbland Donnie might be hers. His big box of secrets contained copies of Big Boobed Blowies and rarely has a woman be more relieved to discover her husband’s stash of grade D pornography. Thank God she married a low ranking pervert teed not a spy.
But with a shadowy organisation using her as a lab rat and plotting her death Alison’s thinking errs towards the paranoid. So as Donnie fusses around getting things right for the potluck party she does what any loving wife would do – clubs him unconscious with a 9 iron, drags him into the basement, gaffer tapes him to a chair and begins torturing him. In a way, he had it coming.
So as Donnie fusses around getting things right for the potluck party she does what any loving wife would do – clubs him unconscious with a 9 iron, drags him into the basement, gaffer tapes him to a chair and begins torturing him.
When he comes round he’s quite keen to know what the effing eff she’s up to but Alison is not in a sharing mood. She spills hot glue on his tits and she’s the one demanding answers. While there are no doubt men who would pay good money for this kind of treatment from Tatiana Maslany Donnie is less responsive and he howls in pain. “WHAT’S IN YOUR BOX?” she screams, slapping his face like she’s in a really dark episode of Deal Or No Deal. She wants to know what’s inside of his “special box”. She knows FULL WELL he switched the files he was keeping on her with such films as Squirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hannah Does Her Sisters and Jurassic Pork. To be fair to Donnie he looks very much like a guy who has no idea what the freaking eff she’s talking about.
“WHAT’S IN YOUR BOX?” she screams, slapping his face like she’s in a really dark episode of Deal Or No Deal.
But the potluck party must go on and while Alison plays the perfect host upstairs she co-opts Sarah into interrogating Donnie. After Sarah establishes that Donnie is probably just really boring old Donnie a drunk as a skunk Alison passes out in the basement leaving Sarah to impersonate her upstairs. The rarely seen fusion of sci-fi conspiracy and sitcom farce comes to pass.
It gets more complicated when Vic and Paul show up. That particular double act winds up with Paul interrogating Paul interrogates Vic with a nail gun and if this episode demonstrates anything it’s the endless possibilities of the suburban household for excruciating torture (particularly if there’s a DVD of FlashForward handy).
Cosima meanwhile is into some French piece of ass Delphine and even though she suspects she might be a monitor she scientifically notes that she’s i) hot and ii) French. You don’t have to be a biology postgraduate to know that Cosima would like to smash it like an Idaho potato. But in an interesting twist Delphine is banging weird Neolution guru Dr. Leekie (Matt Frewer who those who haven’t blocked out the 80s as the worst decade in recorded time will remember as Max Headroom). Is nobody what they seem on this show?
You don’t have to be a biology postgraduate to know that Cosima would like to smash it like an Idaho potato.
As Donnie and Alison go to bed that night he confesses there WAS something else in his special box. It was letters from an old affair he had when they were split up. So he accepts that her violent assault and torture of him was all his fault. Well that one turned out alright. If you gave a solitary fuck about Donnie you’d question the logic of this but in a show where the bad guys have tails probably best if we roll with the punches on this one. In Maslany we trust.
The verdict: Still on board for the second half.
Marks out of 10: 7.5