'Orphan Black' Review/Recap: "Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis"

Sabrina Petrafesa ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Tatiana Maslany and Michiel Huisman in the Orphan Black episode "Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis." Photo Credit: BBC America.
Tatiana Maslany and Michiel Huisman in the Orphan Black episode “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis.” Photo Credit: BBC America.
Orphan Black’s second episode, “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” picks up with two of the Castor clones who we have since learned are named Seth and Rudy (Ari Millen). We haven’t really seen the male clones together so this is our first time seeing what they’re like in each other’s presence. It was a good move from the writers since we don’t know much about them at all. In the opening scene, Ari Millen gives a kind of terrifying performance of the Creepy Twins sharing this unsuspecting girl.
After that incredibly uncomfortable scene, we get to see some lighthearted family time between Cal (Michiel Huisman), Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) and Kira (Skyler Wexler) to balance it out. The chemistry between Maslany and Huisman is not the hot and steamy type we saw between Sarah and Paul. Sarah and Cal’s relationship is rooted in their love for their daughter and their mutual sketchy pasts making them work together better than Sarah and Paul ever could. They create a dynamic between the three that is adorable to watch.
We finally see Paul (Dylan Bruce) for the first time this season. Now we’re seeing more of his true colors and what he means to Project Castor. As always, Bruce gives a performance that keeps the character a little sketchy. Even though we know his loyalties lie with the military, you can’t help but wonder about him. In this scene we see him administering a test that seems to test the clones mental capability. In a later seen with the Creepy Twins, we see them discussing what was wrong with Rudy during his test. They call it “glitching” and you can’t help but wonder if Seth has the Castor equivalent of Cosima’s sickness, but, instead of attacking the body it attacks the mind. With Cosima she becomes physically weak but her mind is completely intact, but Seth seems to have trouble keeping up with his test and cant concentrate or understand the question. In theory though, both sets of clones came about in the same way, so why wouldn’t any side effects be the same? Why do the female clones have a very physical reaction and the male clones have a mental reaction? And the question that will always come up: Why does it only effect some clones and not all clones? All questions that will hopefully be answered by the end of the season.
Ari Millen and Skyler Wexler in the Orphan Black episode "Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis." Photo Credit: BBC America.
Ari Millen and Skyler Wexler in the Orphan Black episode “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis.” Photo Credit: BBC America.
After last week’s revelation that Allison (Maslany) is running for public office we get to see her and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) begin to stress about paying for them to stay afloat and campaign when Donnie just quit his job. When low and behold Allison’s ex-drug dealer shows up at her kids soccer game informing her that he’s closing shop and you see a light bulb going off above Allison’s head. We’re about to see something great this season… Allison Hendrix is going to be a drug dealer. The soccer mom clone just cant help doing illegal things and it’s fantastic. It will be a great story line for this season. The writers obviously understand that Maslany’s Allison is at her best when she is doing something sketchy and they’ve chosen the best possible option for her.
Finally we see what’s happening to Helena. After Mrs. S handed her over to Paul last season (and causing a serious rift between Mrs. S and Sarah). Maslany plays Helena being tortured and hallucinating that creepy scorpion we met last week that she seems to be rather familiar with. Her most memorable scenes are with that scorpion, she completely disregards everything around her in true Helena fashion and instead pays attention to her little scorpion friend. Which is Maslany doing what she does best and playing along side someone (or something) that is not there. Helena is on a military base with the woman in charge — who must be who was referred to earlier as “mother” and she holds all the power. The short scene between the two speaks volumes, they are trying to manipulate Helena against her sestras who mean so much to her, but why? Why does Castor want Helena or the other female clones at all? They are adding more and more players to this complicated game of clones.
Maslany gives a heartbreaking performance of desperation and fear in wake of seeing her daughter with a gun to her head and it is unclear what Rudy is about to do. So this very well could be the last we see of poor little Kira. While this is happening, there is a stand off between Cal and Seth where we see the true effects of Seth’s “glitch.” Seth looses control, can’t think straight and starts mumbling about his life and the questions from the test that Paul gave him. Millen captures your attention during this scene and just like that the Creepy Twins are gone before they truly began. Rudy comes down and shoots a very cold “I love you” to his dying brother. It was surprising in the sense that Rudy could have tried to cure his brother as hard as Sarah and her sisters are trying to cure Cosima and keep her healthy. However, we still don’t know much about these guys, they’re still a mystery maybe this is how they were taught: that you must stay useful to stay alive. It’s an idea to ponder.
Tatiana Maslany in the Orphan Black episode "Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis." Photo Credit: BBC America.
Tatiana Maslany in the Orphan Black episode “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis.” Photo Credit: BBC America.
Just as the episode began, it ends with another Castor clone. Mark is back and the ex-prolethean is hiding in the bathroom from his wife burring off the mark on his arm. Of course Orphan Black is not Orphan Black without cliffhangers, so now it’s left us wondering, what are these marks, why do they have them, and is it connected to the military at all or a whole other sect of these clones?
Overall the episode did a great job of keeping you on your toes and even though there wasn’t as much action there was definitely a lot to think about. As always, Tatiana Maslany gave amazing performances as her clones and as the season goes on it seems that Ari Millen’s portrayal of the Castor Clones is well on it’s way to matching Maslany’s portrayal of the Leda clones. Any doubts we had in Millen are steadfastly disappearing as his performance becomes more and more mesmerizing. However, looking back on the episode, you could say that there was too much of the male clones. A huge pull for this show is how female-driven it is and if the writers aren’t careful and start to slack off on Maslany’s characters, it would be safe to say that fans will riot.
Overall Episode Grade: A-

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