Orphan Black S1 Ep6 – Variations Under Domestication

So now I am afraid of the suburbs and tightly wound picture perfect soccer moms. Thanks, Orphan Black.

Last week we were left wondering just who the ancillary characters really were and what they had at stake. This week was a smash combo of edge-of-your-seat conspiracy and perfectly timed comedic beats. And you know what? It worked great.

The humor of Allison having a paranoid break, attacking and torturing her husband, really underlined that no one is safe from the conspiracy, and no one really even knows what it will cause them to do. Yeah, it’s funny, but it didn’t rob the show of its intensity , a feat that lesser shows would have failed at.Orphan Black s1 Ep6 Glue Gun

So to recap: Allison thinks her husband, Donnie, is her monitor, and decides to confront him on it. However, she has forgotten that it’s her turn to host the neighborhood watch potluck later that day. Needing to handle Donnie and the party she calls Sarah, seeing as how Sarah owes her for watching Kira. This gives Sarah a place to hide to distance herself from Paul and his questions.

To help Allison handle the party snafu, Sarah calls Felix up to tend bar at the party. Unable to manage the stress of a bound and gagged husband downstairs and the neighborhood watch party upstairs, Allison gives into wine and a fellow neighbor’s suggestion for “happy pills” and promptly passes out.

Not only did Paul GPS Sarah’s car to keep tabs on her, but Vic has broken into Felix’s loft and found online directions to where Allison lives. Both take their separate roads to the suburbs. So now 90% of the cast is playing Scooby Doo hallway chase scene in a party filled suburban home. Again, you’d think this would rob the show, but it actually added to the intensity because you start worrying about the wrong person going upstairs or downstairs. And they do.

Vic corners Sarah in Allison’s bedroom, while Paul walks in on a passed out Allison and a tied up Donnie. Paul heads upstairs followed by nosey neighbor, Aynesley, whom Felix believes is Allison’s real monitor. Paul and Vic take their confrontation to the garage, where Paul uses a nail gun to stamp Vic’s hand to a chair. Yeah.

Orphan Black S1 Ep6 TortureAynesley then discovers Allison passed out downstairs. Luckily she doesn’t open the craft room to find Donnie, and walks her to bed. While Sarah tries to talk Paul down and remove Vic from further harm, friggin’ Aynesley walks in bewildered because she just put Allison in bed, but “Allison” is now somehow downstairs with a strange man. This lady has a super power, and it’s that every closed door she opens reveals something she wasn’t meant to be part of.

All the while Cosima has been flirting it up with the French lady lab partner and going to crazy fringe transhumanist evolution talks. Oh, and the French chick is probably her monitor, if not working with the crazy fringe transhumanist evolution scientist dude from the lecture earlier that day.

So your two lessons are: delete your internet history before leaving the house, and don’t open doors that you have no right opening. If you see a closed door and it’s not in your own home, just go ahead and leave that thing shut.

This episode carefully balanced much needed humor while ramping up the intensity, and leaving us with more questions than we have answers. Well played. Well played indeed.


Want to catch up on the episode?  Find it on Amazon Instant Video.