(Photo: BBC America)
Warning: This recap for the “The Redesign of Natural Objects” episode of Orphan Black contains spoilers.
Orphan Black fans needed a comedy chaser after last week’s trauma-drenched ghost story. And while “The Redesign of Natural Objects” was less overtly hilarious than the Clone Club’s farce-heist excursion into Bright Born earlier this season, it did gift us with the endlessly GIF-able sight of Alison Hendrix performing in her church’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Seriously, that entire sequence will live on Tumblr from now until the end of our clone descendants’ lifetimes.
While Alison dominated the comedy spotlight, other characters scored some great one-liners as well. Take Cosima, who responded to Mika’s innocent query about the status of her illness with a perfect bit of gallows humor: “Incurable, so that sucks.” And then there was Adele’s reaction to meeting Sarah’s “twin sister” Alison at the prison where Donnie is currently behind bars: “You look just like her, except for less anger and more hygiene.”
For that matter, Donnie being in prison was pretty hysterical, too. Well, initially anyway. Having been bitten by the amateur theater bug full force, the big galoot tries to put himself into the mindset of a Big House veteran to impress his lunchroom seatmate. For a minute, Donnie is all Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock. But then the seatmate reveals he’s actually playing the bait for his colleague, a muscle man sporting a very distinctive Neolutionist tattoo. And in that split second, Donnie becomes a heck of a lot more like Tobias Beecher in Oz.
Saving her husband from an epic beating, followed by a brutal death, becomes Alison’s mission throughout the rest of the episode. At the same time, the writers’ attempts to convince us that she’d go so far as to betray her own clone sisters to the scheming Detective Duko in exchange for Donnie’s safety was something of a non-starter. Alison is too wily (and stubborn) to just give in to a bully’s demands. So when Sarah revealed that Alison had actually lead Duko into his own trap, it was less of an “A-ha!” moment than an “Of course!” moment.
A “Woah” moment, meanwhile, was Mrs. S’s businesslike execution of Duko for the crime of killing her mother, Kendall. And, to her credit, Kendall faced her death with far more stoic revolve than her executioner, who begged for his life until she put a shotgun blast in his chest. But first, she made sure to extract key details from him about Evie Cho’s endgame, which involves inserting those gene-altering robot maggots into millions of people under the guise of routine “gene therapy.” That makes the Clone Club our last line of defense, with Susan, Rachel, and Ira as unlikely allies.
The plan right now is to fertilize one of the few remaining viable Leda eggs, specifically Sarah’s, with sperm from one of the few remaining Castor clones…specifically Ira. The episode ends with Cosima en route to Susan’s island — looming forebodingly in the distance like the cover of a certain oft-mentioned book about a mad scientist — where they’ll either save the world or kill each other trying. We’re betting on the former, but also maybe the latter given the frostiness between Rachel and Cosima.
Onto the Clone Power rakings! And can Alison’s church perform “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” next year?
With thoughts of saving Delphine bouncing around in her brain, Cosima threw herself back into action this week, heading up the Leda/Castor plan and heading off to Susan’s island without a trace of fear. It’s good to have our science guru back.
Alison Hendrix/Superstar/Do you even know how awesome we think you are? This performance single-handedly redeems the whole Blood Ties fiasco.
Back on the horse and off the sauce after hitting bottom last week, Sarah made peace with Mrs. S by bringing Duko to their doorstep, and leaving the room so she wouldn’t have to witness her foster mother playing murderer.
We agree with Sarah that re-establishing contact with the Clone Club through Kira is a violation of maternal privilege. But it was good to see the newest clone in touch with her sisters again. And another missing clone, Helena, finally makes her overdue return next week.
Non-Clone MVP: Donnie
For taking that prison licking, while still managing to keep on ticking. And if he’s ever cast as an “ex-con” he’ll now have real-world experience to draw on.
Orphan Black airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on BBC America.