Orphan Black Review: A New Variable

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They had to give Tatiana Maslany the opportunity to play a male version of a clone, right?

Tony (formerly Antoinette), who we meet in Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8, isn't a male by birth, but is on his way thanks to testosterone. Whether he's had any surgery is still unknown, but he's packing something in his boxer briefs.

He's packing enough heat to turn on Sarah's brother, sister kisser Felix.

I've always wondered if Felix might feel a little left out being the only male in a sea of estrogen, but he's never complained. Discovering a decidedly male version of his flock of sisters proved that even he cannot help but be turned on by them all, as he gave in to a little lusty kiss with Tony.

As Tony told Sarah, "Look at us. Damn girl, we're hot."

Tony proved to be just as smart and wily as his sisters, but in the end he was sent off on a bus to keep him out of the clone business. He did have a message that he was to deliver to Beth Childs that brought him together with his sisters, however. His partner in crime wanted him to share, "Tell Beth keep the faith. Paul's like me. He's on it. He's a ghost."

What the hell?

Paul is currently missing in action. Rachel is seeking him out but he's off the radar. It seems he was off the radar with a lot more than Rachel which is why he's been playing so many different sides in the clone game. It still feels like he was genuine with Beth and ultimately with Sarah, for whom he continues to seem devoted.

Rachel sent out the message to Siobhan and Sarah -- if they hand over Ethan Duncan Kira can stay with Sarah. Cosima needs the help and Rachel needs to know if they can be cured so she can have a baby. To say she's shocked when she learns that Sarah is not a success but a failure is putting it mildly. The way they interlaced her speaking calmly with her subsequent enraged break was brilliant.

Rachel informs Ethan it's time to start fixing his mistakes, and that means rectifying his biggest -- that they were created to be barren. It makes total sense, if you think about it. Why would scientists make something they are not even sure will be viable with the ability to reproduce and create more of itself if it turns out to be a monstrosity? Even the best laid plans can go south and they made sure nothing would be out of their hands.

Except they were wrong. By design, they failed. Considering how small the batch was, their performance isn't commendable. A fairly large sampling of their product was defective not only in that they die, but that they can propagate on their own, creating God knows what? And, even though the Proletheans have turned the origination on its head, it was never about God. It was about science.

If he didn't hold the cure to many things in his hands, I would be worried for Ethan's life.

Ethan mentioned a passage from The Island of Dr. Moreau that he used to read to Rachel when she was a child. It was about forgiveness. Was his request of her memory pointed? Did Ethan give Kira her copy of the book, which is laden with what appear to be his notes, theories and formulas? Kira was certainly taken with it and something tells me she has an intellectual mind years beyond her age.

Cosima is running out of time and Ethan claimed he could cure her. He didn't think he could, he said he would cure her and assure the others don't get what she has. That's a strong statement considering the sampling of mistakes he made. Why would he be able to cure someone of something he never had the opportunity to study in their adult form? That seems odd to me.

I did love Scott learning Cosima was Clone 324B21. It brought me to tears. He was at first shocked and then in awe as he told her it was a pleasure; not to meet her, but to be working with her. It was absolutely the right thing to say and proves more than his geeky interest in Dungeon Overlord (which Cosima rules) that he is the right person to be working with her.

Meanwhile killer Alison is proving that watching Aynsley die wasn't just an anomaly. She and Donnie finally had time for a heart to heart and after she revealed her Aynsley secret, Donnie blurted out that he offed Leekie. Her reaction was fantastic. Donnie did not do a good job wrapping the body and oh my God he used her gun and returned it to her gun locker?! Donnie killing Leekie was lost in the details.

It was a fairly decent installment of Orphan Black, and its strength was in Jordan Gavaris and his many emotions dealing with the introduction of Tony rather than Maslany and her portrayal of several, wildly different characters. That's taking into consideration the terrific job she did with Rachel's reserve while speaking to Ethan and the rage afterward. As good as she is, she didn't sell me on Tony, but Gavaris playing against her did.

So what did you think of the new clone, what we learned about Paul and the clone's design? If you need to catch up, you can do it when you watch Orphan Black online via TV Fanatic. We also caught the lion's share of the Orphan Black quotes for you because there are so many lines that bear repeating!

What surprised you the most in Variable and Full of Perturbation?


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Just saw it. Orphan Black continues to astound me. It never occurred to me that the clones were designed to be barren. Now, it occurs to me that they are designed to die. They are continually underestimating Dr Ethan Duncan who managed to do things 30 plus years ago that they cannot manage now, 30 years into the future. What is worse is that, he knows it. You can officially call him a mad scientist and I'm scared. There is a reason why they kill the scientist first. The talk of Tony is cool and it makes sense. What does concern me is that people have a set idea of what transgender looks like. Consider the recent pageant contestant that was in full pageant regalia but refused to shave his beard. I believe the point the Orphan Black producers were making is that transgenders don't have a specific look, they just are. They can look like a man or woman or both. They choose what they want to look like with or without the beard. Allison and Donnie, we have to keep Donnie around because together they are a laugh a minute. Their interactions are priceless, I live for them. Whoever said the suburbs are boring? I would live next to Donnie and Allison.

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Just a few days ago I start watching Orphan Black and I couldn't stop until I finished all the episodes , and I have to say this show is AMAZING .
This episode was nice .
I also loved Scott's reaction when he find out about Cosima . Alison and Donnie's confession to each other was very sweet even when those confessions about murder but still. I missed Helena ,she didn't show up in the previous episode either .
I have question : will this show be renewed for a third season ?

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@ Bara'a

It hasn't been officially renewed but it would be a complete surprise if they decided not to renew at this point. It's loads of fun and makes you think, right?

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@ Carissa Pavlica

Thanks , I really hope to renewed , and yes I had really fun times watching all the episodes together and now the waiting for the next episode is very hard .

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I didn't like tony either, tatiana is a great actress but i didn't buy this performance, and the kiss with felix was very disturbing ( c'mon he looks like her sister !!) paul seems to be working for more than 2 sides which i find very interesting

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@ Domi

If Felix and Sarah were "real" brother and sister, it would have bothered me. However, they share no DNA so he shares even less with Tony. I'm really excited to see what comes of Paul's story, though!

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It was a great episode but I'll be honest, Tony's the first time I was pulled out of the OB illusion. Not that Tatiana didn't make the voice and mannerisms work but she didn't sell me on him either. There was just something about the long hair (plus goatee) that still looked too similar to Sarah. They really should have gone all out and given Tony shorter hair and the goatee. The character just didn't work and felt like dress up when compared to Tatiana's performance as Rachel.

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@ Henry A. Otero

Totally agree about Tony. They could have given her short hair or roughed up her face a bit with some stubble in addition to the goatee. The worst part, for me, was when he was taking a bath and I didn't see hair on his legs. What transgender is going to shave his already female looking legs?

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Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8 Quotes

Felix: Holy Tilda Swinton. Where in the hell did he come from?
Art: I kept Beth's cell phone open hoping it might ring some day. Can you clarify what's goin' on here?
Felix: That'd be a single chromosome.
Art: So I got it right. He's a transclone.
Felix: He's trans. He's yeah. Just another variation in my sister's skin.

Art's a cop. He's suspended, which is the only kind of cop I like.