Orphan Black 1.01 – Natural Selection

This chick has no idea how f-ed up things are about to get

I bet nothing strange will happen today!

Oh hello there, suckers! Welcome to the first episode of the brand new series Orphan Black. It’s a Canadian show airing on Space Channel and it looks very, very British and is full of mystery and intrigue and this and that and I don’t want to tell you too much and spoil you. Finally! A Canadian show that doesn’t involve the prairies, cattle, the east coast, the west coast, mountains, pinafores, diversity or Degrassi. GOD.

A young woman is on the subway. She gets off at Huxley station and you know right away that she’s a tough cookie. I mean, come on, lookit her hair. Braids on one side?! Dangerous. She also has some sort of English accent, leading me to think we are in London because I am an idiot and don’t know where Huxley station is. Luckily for me the next stop announcement is for New York and, using all my brain power, I decide she is ‘somewhere near New York’. I read on Tumblr that Huxley station is fictional and this is filmed in Toronto and heaven knows that everything on the internet is true so there we have it.

SO. The woman’s name is Sarah. She walks over to a pay phone and uses up what appears to be her last few coins to make a call. She tells the person who answers that she’s back in town and wants to see Kira. She’s denied and I’m pretty sure Kira is her daughter. There’s a weeping woman nearby but Sarah ignores her, pissed off that the person she was speaking with has hung up on her. Guess she isn’t going to get to talk to Kira either. Oh snap.

Sarah looks over at the crying woman again and observes her acting strangely. The woman seems quite distraught. As Sarah walks toward her the woman slips off her high heels and coat, which she then folds neatly and carefully places atop the heels. Her purse is next to them. Oh oh. That can’t be good.

The woman turns around just as Sarah comes up to her and whaaaaa? They look exactly alike. Sarah seems shocked while the mystery woman looks more like, “Oh. Of course you look just like me. Ugh. Like my day can’t get any worse right now.” Then she just calmly walks right into the path of the oncoming train.

SHA-BLAMMO

SHA-BLAMMO

Sarah is horrified and traumatized and teary as she watches people run around. The body is under the train and I’m surprised to see it’s still in one piece. Just goes to show what I know about getting hit by a train.

The dead woman’s purse is still on the platform with her shoes and coat. Sarah does what any logical person who’s just watched their surprise twin commit suicide—she trots over and grabs the purse and gets the hell outta there. She leaves the shoes though. I guess she’s not into heels so much.

Credits!

Sarah goes through the purse and pulls out a driver’s license. The woman was Elizabeth Childs. She finds some keys, cash, and two cell phones, one pink and one black. I barely need one cell phone never mind two, cause, honestly, the only person calling me is my Nanny to tell me the exact same thing she told me yesterday. Old people, right?

Sarah pockets the money from the purse and goes off to some seedy bar to have a drink and meet up with someone. That someone is the awesomely terrific Felix. Felix rocks. He has an accent and is a snazzy dresser and is supa gay. Yay! Hugs and kisses all around.

I would make this face every time Felix touched me

I would make this face every time Felix touched me ooh la la.

Now instead of starting their conversation off with, oh, I don’t know, maybe the crazy death of the person who looked just like her, Sarah and Felix catch up with casual conversation. Ok…why not? Felix asks about ‘Vic the Dick.’ Sarah says she was the one to hit him first this time. With an ashtray. Sounds like Vic the Dick kinda sucks as a boyfriend. Sarah then shows Felix a large bundle of Vic’s coke that she wants him to sell so I guess Vic is a drug dealer along with being an abusive asshole. Way to pick ‘em, Sarah. Felix isn’t thrilled with Sarah’s plan of him selling the coke so she can get her daughter and they can all take off together. Felix points out that Sarah left Kira with someone named ‘Mrs. S.’ for almost a year. Sarah is not the Mother of the Year we were thinking she was.

Sarah suddenly remembers the slightly strange thing that happened to her today and tells Felix about it. Felix’s reaction to hearing about a jumper is literally, “EW.” Haha. She shows the license and Felix is all, “Oh. You robbed the body” in the most adorable way. I love you, Felix. Sarah says she’s going to check out Elizabeth Child’s apartment and wonders if she had a twin. Felix talks about them being in foster care so I guess they don’t know if she had any other family. Dun dun dun!

Oh shit, Dead Elizabeth’s black cellphone rings. It’s someone named Art. Well, Sarah is having none of it and doesn’t answer. Suck it, Art, whoever you are.

Sarah walks to Dead Elizabeth’s swanky apartment where no one’s home. Phew! Sarah snoops around and scoffs at the clothes she finds. Squares! Seems the boyfriend is out of town until Saturday, judging by the note left on the fridge next to his itinerary. Ha! He IS a square! Organization is for lamewads. Sarah also finds a few pictures of the happy couple. I’m sorry, did I say the boyfriend was a lamewad? Cause I meant to say hot. The boyfriend is hot.

Meanwhile, Felix and some guy are topless and talking narcotic quality. There’s a quick shot of Felix pulling his pants back on so they’ve obviously had sexy times together but we have been denied the pleasure of seeing any of it. Thanks for nothing, Space Channel. Topless guy tells Felix his coke is shit and won’t give him more than ten grand for it. Felix wants twenty and tells him he can do better than that. Before they can continue with their sexy bartering someone rudely starts banging on Felix’s door. Felix hides the coke and answers the door and looky here, it’s Vic the Dick. Hi Vic!

Topless guy wants no piece of this scene and leaves as Vic the Dick demands to know where both Sarah and the coke is. Felix is all, “…cocaine?” with big innocent eyes and I fall even more in love with him. He then snidely asks Vic what happened to his face. Vic informs him that Sarah blindsided him then took off with the coke and this will bring pain as he is on the hook for it. He is all blustering and threatening and then he holds up an apple and politely asks, “Can I have this?” He leaves, saying he’ll be back.

Sarah calls and Felix updates her with the Vic issues and how the dismal coke quality will only bring in half the cash Sarah wants. She says it’s not enough to get out and set themselves up with Kira. As they talk Sarah opens some envelopes and discovers that although Dead Elizabeth has maxed out her credit she has a brand new account with $75K in it. Felix logically points out that none of this matters because soon enough the police will identify the body and it’s time to drop this whole thing. But no, Sarah is struck with a plan!

She goes through home movies, watching Dead Elizabeth jog. Sarah practices Dead Elizabeth’s signature and later her American accent, “Damn right! Damn right!” as she dyes over the light streaks in her hair. Art calls the black cell phone again but she still ignores him. Sarah is pretty ballsy cause she has no problem dressing up in Dead E’s classy clothes and strolling into the bank the next day. And can I just say that the actress Tatiana Maslany has a killer body? That girl works out.

Meanwhile, Felix is back at the seedy bar. He reluctantly makes a phone call, telling the person on the other line that he knows the woman who killed herself.

Back at the bank, Sarah is about to meet up with Steven, the manager who knows Dead E enough to talk marathon times with her but not enough to know this is an impostor twin. She fakes her way through it when he asks about her latest charity run. However, Steven is concerned when Sarah tells him she wants to withdraw all but $500 of the $75,000 in her new account. He tells her that the bank doesn’t have that amount on hand and it will have to be special ordered to be ready in a few days. Pffft, I coulda told you that cause I totes used to work in a bank. She sweet talks/bribes him into getting it extra-special delivered tomorrow in fifties and hundreds and oh, could I sponsor your next charity run-thing? You sure can! Just run your card through and put in your password—RUH-RHO! No worries, Sarah thinks of these things because the card is not working and seems to be de-magnetized. This explains the shot of her running a card over the refrigerator door plastic earlier on. She tells him she’s not even sure if she even activated that card yet. Clever girl. Steven, the dumbest bank guy ever, makes her a new card and gets her to put in her password. I’m pretty sure this was covered on the money laundering and privacy and security tests I had to take back in the day. It’s not like withdrawing a shit ton of money in cash a few weeks after opening the account when all your credit is maxed is suspicious or anything. JUST SAYIN’.

Sarah pulls out a key and Steven asks her if she wants to access her safety deposit box. Sarah looks startled, not realizing what that key was before this. Sure! She’d LOVE to do that! Big charming grin.

Just as Sarah’s about to open the SDB the pink cell phone beeps a text message alert. There are a lot of messages: “Have arrived. Must see you. Where are you? Still waiting” but Sarah couldn’t care less and is all, “good luck with that” as she tosses the phone back in Dead E’s bag. I love how she is not one bit curious about what’s going on. All she wants is the money, Kira, Felix, and a life outta town with no Vic the Dick. Girl’s focused, yo.

Instead of the gold coins and diamond tiaras that most people store in their safety deposit boxes, all that’s in this one are some papers. Birth certificates to be exact. Alison Hendrix, born April 4, 1984. Elizabeth Childs, born April 1, 1984, and Katja Obinger, born March 24, 1984 in Berlin. That’s it. What, not even an old baseball card? Rip-off.

Walking home, Sarah notices a parked car flashing its lights at her. Before she can react another car pulls up and cuts her off, playing a bit of the police siren. Cheeze it, it’s the cops! The plain clothed cop jumps out and Sarah’s sure the jig is up. He demands that she gets in the car and she stalls, asking what she’s charged with. The man obviously knows her, calling her ‘Beth’ and tells her they’re late. She gets in the car, freaking and barely holding it together. Cop guy wants to know where she was as they were going to ‘walk through’ something again. Apparently his ass is on the line too and she better be ready. Sarah insists she’s ready in the most unconvincing way ever. She sees some police paperwork sitting on the seat and realizes the guy is Art, the mystery person who’s been phoning Dead E. They drive off to whatever is so important. Bet ya wished you answered those phone calls and texts now, hey smart gal?

Down at the morgue Felix is identifying the body and flirting shamelessly with the technician or mortician or pathologist or whoever the guy is who works there. Either way, this guy cannot help but be interested in Felix and who can blame him? Felix is adorable as he identifies the person as his foster sister, Sarah. OOOOOOOOooooh. Twist! He’s so adorable in fact that he gets a date from the morgue guy.

Down at the police station Sarah is all, “This. THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE.” She finds out that Dead E was a detective right before they try to lead her into some sort of small hearing in a room. Looks like Dead E’s life isn’t as sweet as Sarah thought. Dead E did sumthin’ baaaad. Sarah insists that she has to use the bathroom where she tries to phone Felix to tell him to abort the mission but she only gets voice mail. Since this is inescapable Sarah does the only thing she can think of—she chugs a crapload of the liquid soap from the dispensers and it does not look pleasant. Luckily her plan works and back in the hearing room she vomits all over the table before she can be pressured into answering anything. Success! Take that, lawyers! That’s what you get for trying to do your job!

 

Welcome to the Vomitorium. These two are thrilled to be there.

Welcome to the Vomitorium!

Art sits with her in the hallway afterward and it’s obvious he has a soft spot for Sarah. I think he might have a hard spot for her too, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Art tells her that she has to forgive herself, that shootings happen and Sarah nods softly, wondering what the hell else could freaking go wrong this week.

Back at Felix’s loft, Felix is working on a painting of Sarah. Her eyes have X’s over them and this makes me giggle. It looks like he’s an artist as there are other works piled against the wall. Vic the Dick bangs on the door and Felix stomps over, slides his door open and dramatically slaps Vic in the face. Vic demands to know where Sarah is and doesn’t believe Felix when he tells him she’s dead. Felix is such a bad faker that you can’t blame Vic the Dick for not believing him. He says Sarah just told Felix to say that and refuses to listen until Felix takes him to see dead ‘Sarah’ for himself. Vic the Dick crumples into a pile of weepy goo over the body. Felix strolls over and gamely pats him on the shoulder in an unconvincing attempt at comfort, all the while eyefucking morgue guy. Morgue guy is into it. Ha, Felix!

We now find Sarah in an appointment with the court-appointed (I assume) therapist (also assuming). Or something similar. She’s playing the trauma card, saying she doesn’t remember much except that she…shot a civilian…? The therapist confirms. Maggie Chen, 44, single, church-goer. Sarah says she needs some work leave and is coolly informed that she’s already on suspension. Riiight. Sarah uses this as proof that she’s having trouble with ‘detail’. Hee! Oh Sarah, you wascaly wabbit you. The therapist tells her she needs to talk about this as she saw a cell phone and reacted ‘gun’ and shot the woman. Um…oops? Sarah makes another appointment as a stall tactic.

Felix and Sarah meet up in Dead E’s place and discuss. Felix insists that Sarah and Dead E have to be related, and also that Paul, Dead E’s boyfriend, is hot. Felix is very smart. He says that Vic is devastated and wants a funeral but Sarah says that can’t happen. Felix also sees the birth certificates and notes that the birth dates are all within a month of hers. She brushes it off because whatever, details and mystery and twins blah blah blah and tells him to sell the coke and split the money with Kira. He’s upset that Sarah’s suddenly planning on disappearing again, saying that she left Kira with Mrs S. ‘overnight’ and instead was gone for 10 months. He leaves, upset.

Sarah’s just gotten out of the shower when who should come home early but the boyfriend Hot Paul. She’s full of ums and erms and nervously walks around, avoiding any contact with Paul as he asks about the hearing. Paul asks what she did to her hair cause it’s longer. He feels something’s different about her, which makes Sarah panic and do the only logical thing she can think of: she throws herself on him and does him right there on the kitchen table. Paul is totally into it but keeps looking at her womanly area and I’m all, is she the same down there? Like, what if Dead E shaves and Sarah has a full, proud bush? How is she going to explain THAT super growth? It’s not a chia pet, people. The worst part is that while Paul is clearly enjoying himself, Sarah is clearly doing whatever it takes to shut him up and is so not into it. All business for this girl. Sarah. Look at Paul. Look at him. This is a man to be enjoyed.

Vic shows up at Felix’s place, much to Felix’s annoyance. Vic is all sad face and wants a funeral. Felix finally relents and says it has to be an intimate affair. Felix is wearing a short blue silk role and is once again adorable.

Sarah tries to sneak out early in the morning but sexy boyfriend Paul is all nakedly trying to get back into her pants. She’s not into it and once again I say hello, Sarah, did you LOOK at Paul? Paul asks where she’s hidden that sex drive for two years and tries to kiss her but Sarah insists she has to get to the gym. Paul tells her that it’s good she’s off all the meds cause she’s feeling stuff again. I want to tell Paul that I, too, am not on meds and would be happy to feel anything he’d like. Call me!

fhisafhsaiohfo

“I can’t believe I had to have hot sex with that! FML!”

Sarah gets to the bank and leaves with her cash. She loves it when a plan comes together! Except oh what?  Art is following her and when she goes to Felix’s place nosy guy Art breaks into her car and finds the money. No worries, that doesn’t look suspicious or anything. Felix isn’t home but Sarah finds the funeral programs and is not happy. She takes off and finds them and watches it from afar with some binoculars. I guess Dead E carried binoculars in her car. Sure, why not? Mrs. S. shows up with Kira and Sarah freaks out, not wanting Kira to think she’s dead.

Depressed, Sarah goes back to her car only to find some woman with a German accent hiding in the backseat. Sarah’s all wtf it’s just one thing after another with this Beth Childs person. It’s Katja Obinger, one of the owners of the birth certificates Sarah found in the safety deposit box and guess what? She looks just like Sarah. Katja can’t figure out why Dead E/Sarah didn’t answer her million texts/emails. I mean, come on, she gave her birth certificate like she asked, for proof. Katja coughs blood into a hanky and breathlessly tells Sarah she needs to see her ‘scientist friend’. Katja tells Sarah that Art was following her and she was the one who flashed her lights to warn her. Instead of talking to the woman or thanking her for trying to help or yelling, “What the hell is going on?!”, Sarah just demands she get out of the car. Katja figures out she’s not Dead E. I guess Dead E was a lot nicer. Before Sarah can stammer out anything Katja gets her brains blown out all over the back seat of the car. This is not good. Sarah thinks fast, dives down, and peels the car outta there. As she races away a cell phone rings. It’s Katja’s, and it’s pink. It stops ringing and Dead E’s pink cell starts ringing.

Sarah picks it up. FINALLY.

Please like & share:
  • Miss H.

    Thank you for recapping this :) I have just started watching the show! Glad to have a companion piece to read after each episode.

    • Josie Morin

      Thanks for reading! I love this show so much and get so excited when I find other people that watch it :)

  • caia

    Hi, I just watched all of Orphan Black, and I’m so glad you’re doing the recap.

    Ha! I so had the same thought re: personal grooming. I guess either their down-there-styles were close enough, or else dead Beth went more au naturel than Sarah?

    It’s also super-impressive from an in-universe perspective that Sarah could copy Beth’s accent from two words on a video.

    Felix is fabulous. Even better is when you watch the special features and find out his real accent is like, Texan. Plus, the actress is Canadian/American, not a Brit. Full marks, accent coaches!

    • Josie Morin

      OMG Felix really IS the best!

  • Kristina

    Oh my gosh. Finally someone else who saw the stupidity of the banker in that scene. I just left a job at a bank for somewhere else, and all I could think while watching was, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THIS SHOULD NOT BE SO EASY!” I was shaking my head repeatedly at that silly nonsense. He also had his own office, so I was under the impression that he was a part of management… he is doing a terrible job.

    Also, currently watching through this show (I am a late starter, oops). I just finished season 2, episode 3. Now I’m reading through your entries. So far? Love it.

    • Josie Morin

      Welcome to the Clone Club party! xxx ooo