BBC America's sci-fi thriller Orphan Black—and especially Tatiana Maslany's brilliant performances in it—has taken TV critics by storm recently, and we're just as enthralled by Sarah, Paul, Alison, Felix, Helena, Art, Cosima, et al. While the series is on hiatus until April 2014 (sob!), we here at H&H are eager to relive the glory of Season 1 with a hiatus rewatch led by Kiersten Hallie Krum, who also recaps Lost Girl, every Thursday for the next few weeks or so. Won't you join us?!
(Haven't watched the series yet, or looking for a way to watch it again? BBC America has a list of places where you can watch the episodes; plus, Season 1 is now out on Blu-ray/DVD for Region 1.)
Now onto the recap of episode 5, “Conditions of Existence”...
Still wounded and unconscious, Helena is being ministered to by a middle-aged Man in Black. The room is abandoned industrial warehouse chic, bare bones and dirty with lots of metal (desk, bed, walls) and a cot with an army blanket. It’s like a throwback to a Gene Hackman Cold War flick. Yeah. This is bound to go well. Typical of Helena scenes, the image goes in and out of focus, a metaphor for how the world goes in and out of focus for Helena (I think) as her crazy tries to make sense of reality (which is often far crazier). I also dig the screeching soundtrack that heralds her POV scenes, another audible clue by which to understand which clone is which.
Helena slowly comes to as Man in Black rinses a cloth out in a large saucer-shape bowl of water, the absolute cure all for seeping side wounds, and disposes of her makeshift dressing. “Tomas,” she murmurs, more than halfway on her way to delirium. Tomas soothes her and exhorts for her to sleep. Though restless, Helena does as ordered.
At Beth’s condo, Sarah surreptitiously glances through the blinds and then deliberately turns the dead bolt before sitting at the table to Skype with Alison. I like how they use the VidPhone mechanism to cheat when they clones need to talk to one another. No split screen required. They commiserate about where Helena might have gone. Sarah: “Probably crawled back to the freaks who sent her after us.” Alison starts to freak about Sarah quitting the force, but Sarah cuts her off that it isn’t why she called. “I want to thank you for helping with Kira. I get to see her tomorrow and you set that up.” Taken aback, Alison cautiously allows she can tell that Kira is a special little girl and Sarah is very lucky.
Later as Alison gets in bed with Donnie, she elbows him back when he spoons her in an overture for sex. Heh. Donnie flops over onto his side like a disgruntled little boy. At the condo, Sarah is taking a shower. The front door deadbolt turns and someone slowly enters the condo. Okay, look, it’s Paul, obviously. He slinks up to the bathroom only to find the running shower empty. Soaking wet and clad only in a towel, Sarah/Beth leaps out in attack mode, nail file held at the ready. Paul quickly identifies himself. “You asshole!” Sarah yells in her native accent. Amused, Paul asks if she was going to stab him in the eye with a nail file. Sarah is less entertained. “Yeah, you sneak up on me in the shower, I am gonna stab you in the eye with a nail file,” she retorts back in Beth’s flat accent. Uncomfortable, she gathers the towel around herself and demands to know why he isn’t at Cody’s. Who is this Cody dude? Paul cautiously steps forward as he apologizes for scaring her and Sarah’s motivation immediately shifts. “How sorry are you?” she asks archly. “Beth,” Paul sighs. Sarah closes the small distance between them. “Get in,” she taunts. Cut to—ooohhhhh. Sexy shower time!
Later in bed, Paul stares at the ceiling as Sarah lays on her side with her back to him. “Beth, let’s go away,” he says quietly. “You’re off the force. I hate my job. Let’s pack our bags right now. I’m serious,” he adds. Sarah shifts to face him and says they’ll talk about it in the morning. Later that night as they both sleep with their backs to each other, Sarah dreams of men in white coveralls. They come into Beth’s bedroom and hook her up to machines in order to perform tests while she sleeps, which includes an electrode in her mouth on which she chokes. She wakes in a rush. It’s morning and Paul now spoons her in the bed. Shaking off the nightmare, she goes to brush her teeth—and coughs up one of the electrodes she choked on.
So. Not a dream then.
Sarah examines the electrode under the magnified makeup mirror. She scans her arms for further evidence her dream was real and locates a small puncture wound from where they drew blood. Paul knocks on the door and offers coffee, which Sarah refuses. She continues to examine herself for evidence of the secret medical examination and then scoots out of the bathroom, electrode still in hand, and furtively glances around for Paul as she dresses. Paul (shirtless, thank you!) enters with a mug of coffee and asks how Sarah’s feeling. “No gun. No badge. Nowhere to be,” he clarifies. Sarah is quietly freaking out over being experimented on while she slept while Paul is being all warm, supportive, and understanding lover. He again suggests they leave. “We don’t have any ties. I’ve got three simple words for you: Rio de Janeiro.” Sarah insists they can’t just get up and leave even as she hurries to the door to do just that. Paul wonders why not, especially as he’s now ready to give the level of commitment that Beth apparently wanted from him. Sarah pulls on her shoes and sweater and insists she can’t think about it at the moment. Paul finally clues into her quiet breakdown and asks what is wrong. “You’re shaking like a leaf.” He demands to know where she’s going and Sarah claims she’s just going out to get some fresh air and runs from him and his chiseled, detailed pecs and abs. What?! If they’re gonna deliberately leave him half nekkid, I’m gonna appreciate it!
Cosima examines the electrode Sarah holds up to the screen over at Felix’s Fun Flat. “It’s an electrode,” she explains. Really? Is it? Huh. “From an electroencephalogram array.” These are the moments when my love for my closed captions is especially deep and strong. Cosima clarifies that this “EEG helmet” monitors electrical activity in the brain. Sarah recoils as she realizes that is truly was not a dream. Fee pats her shoulder supportively as Alison comes forward from the kitchen. “I knew it! How many times have I said it? We’re like lab rats in an illegal experiment.” Actually, I’m beginning to think she’s not too far off the mark there.
Cosima wants to know where Paul was during all of this and Sarah struggles to think of particulars but is only able to identify that there were two or three men in the room. Fee declares that Paul must have been a part of it and Alison, carefully laying her gun and spare mag on a towel on the coffee table, insists that there has to be someone monitoring the lab rats all the while. Cosima agrees that if it were her experiment, she’d want someone close observing the subject, “to keep tabs and accumulate data.” Sarah very carefully asks Cosima what they did to her. Cosima grimaces but decides that Sarah would know if they’d done anything…invasive. “Oh my God,” Sarah moans as Alison covers her mouth in shock. Cosima natters on that all that Sarah describes sounds merely diagnostic.
Sarah can’t reconcile Paul’s involvement in the situation. “Why?” Fee asks. “Because he slept with you?” Sarah objects, but the cat is wildly out of the bag. Sarah looks between the twitching, aghast Alison and Cosima’s silent inquiry. “Yeah, we sort of ended up shagging,” Sarah admits. “Dude, that’s complex,” Cosima gasps around a puff of weed while Alison blinks repeatedly. “You slept with Beth’s boyfriend?” she accuses. Sarah turns a silent, hard look on her. Yeah. Alison shakes it off. “Far be it for me. I may be sleeping with my spy as well.” Don’t beat yourself up, honey. Sleeping is all you seem to be doing with him.
She points out where she left the gun Sarah apparently asked for and goes to leave, but Sarah stops her and asks where the money is that she asked for too. Alison sighs heavily; she was hoping to get out of there before Sarah could remember that bit. She tightly asks what the money is for. “It’s a self defense fund, yeah?” Sarah shoots back. “Last time I checked, I’m the only one defending us.” Point. Alison seems to think she’s made one too because she pulls out an envelope stuffed with money. Shoving it up at the screen so Cosima can witness the exchange, she explains that it’s $20K and asks that Sarah use it wisely. What, does she want receipts too? “Yeah, I’ll bring you the receipts,” Sarah snarks. Snerk.
As Alison leaves, Sarah murmurs that she’s going to shoot Paul’s balls off. Hang on, sweetie. You may want use of them again. Cosima advises that Sarah only squeeze them a little (ha) as Paul is their way into the whole clone thing BTS. “If my blind subject suddenly became self aware it’d either be a Eureka moment…or I would terminate.” She warns Sarah to be careful. Sarah gets up to pace as Fee disconnects the call even as Beth’s police mobile rings. Sarah notes with irritation that it’s the cop shop for the third time that day and even as Fee advises she not answer it, Beth snaps at Art through the phone. Only it’s Raj the tech guy, not Art. Turns out Raj lent Beth some surveillance equipment and, now that she’s resigned, he wants it back before the equipment is inventory. “This is just about Paul, right?” he asks. Sarah side-steps the question and promises to get the equipment back to Raj in a few days. She hangs up and Sarah and Fee discuss the fact that Beth had Paul under surveillance before she killed herself. “Question is: did she find anything?”
Over at Alison’s house, Donnie is on the phone complaining to someone about his wife. “It’s critical. One minute she’s fine, the next it’s Armageddon.” He’s searching for something as he talks. “You tell me. If it gets any worse, what are our options?” Alison walks in and immediately attacks him for rifling through her vanity. His excuse of looking for scissors doesn’t wash as the scissors are sitting right there on top of the vanity. She interrogates him about the phone call but he quickly shoves it off on being about work. He sees the scissors in her hands and asks her to cut the tag on the back of his shirt. All totally plausible and yet I’m going on record now that Donnie is Alison’s observer. That was just too neat. Alison seems to think likewise as she cuts the tag and stares after Donnie suspiciously while he hurries downstairs.
Fee and Sarah have gone back to the condo to look for Beth’s surveillance equipment. “What do we do if he walks in?” Fee asks. “Shoot him,” Sarah duhs, but at Fee’s chiding look, she admits she’s kidding as she powers up the laptop. “This place feels antiseptic,” Fee moans as he pulls on black gloves. “Paul’s whole world feels fake now.” He catches Sarah’s jaundice eye. “What? I don’t leave prints when I burgle.” Heh. Sarah rolls her eyes but leaves him to it as she goes through the laptop. Fee rummages up some of Paul’s business cards for TREXCOM consulting. “If fake Paul was observing Beth,” Fee calls over, “what makes you so certain no one’s observing Sarah Manning?” Point. Is it you, Fee? I bet it’s you. Sarah wonders who it would be what with Mrs. S. hating her and having not seen her foster mother in nearly a year. “I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt,” she allows archly. “A ringing vote of confidence,” Fee deadpans.
He moves into the bedroom closets as Sarah shuts down Beth’s laptop and admits that it holds no audio or video files and no transcripts. Fee pulls a wooden box down from the upper closet shelf and reveals a 9 MM pistol. I’m guessing. He and Sarah settle on the bed to go through the box. It’s Paul’s and, along with the gun, it holds several pictures or him in military combat uniform. Fee extracts a Purple Heart nestled in its box. “Looks like you’re not the only one keeping secrets,” he observes. Sarah’s already moved on to the hand-written letters in the box, letters from Beth to Paul, but she’s won’t let Fee read them as “they’re private.” They finally locate the surveillance equipment in the trunk of Beth’s Jag. Sarah decides it’s time to check out where Paul works. “Fake Paul. Fake company,” Fee suggests. “I’ll bet you money there’s nothing there.”
Downtown, Sarah enters the building where TREXCOM Consulting keeps its offices. She wanders on to the office floor—the very empty, unfurnished office floor. “No way.” Turns out it is indeed no way as, when she turns to leaves, “Beth” is called back by a leggy blonde who—hey! That’s Miriam McDonald who played Hot Fae/Anita on Lost Girl, or, as I like to call her, Blue. I swear, sometimes these shows make me feel like I’m playing a Round Robin of “Hey! It’s That Guy!”
“We downsized, remember?” Blue (look, I’m sticking with what works here) reminds Sarah/Beth. “Paul’s office is over here now.” Blue adds that Paul is in a meeting and asks if Beth would like her to get him. Sarah natters that she and Paul “kinda got into it this morning” so she’s brought him lunch as a peace offering. Blue leads the way to Paul’s new office.
Alison frets as she watches from her bedroom window as Donnie goes into the back garage/shed.
In Paul’s office, Sarah makes a show of placing the peace offering lunch down on his desk under Blue’s watchful eye and then takes a seat in the visitor’s chair.
Alison rummages through Donnie’s closet looking for proof that he’s her observer. Finally, in the bottom of a drawer, she finds a pair of pornographic DVDs. “Big Boob Blowies?” she reads, incredulous.
In Paul’s office, Sarah hurries to install the surveillance equipment under his desk. Back at Felix’s Fun Flat, Fee is already on the laptop monitoring the output. “You silly bitch, would you get your fanny out of there?!” he whispers into the phone as though Paul will hear if he talks too loud in his flat halfway across town.
Alison goes out to search the garage/shed. Under the tool bench, she finds a locked metal case that she immediately pulls out.
Back in Paul’s office, Sarah sits in the chair and opens his desk drawer. It’s empty.
Alison picks up a half saw and starts to frantically saw at the box’s padlock.
Sarah pulls open the bottom desk drawer. It too is empty. Paul walks in and observes that she brought him lunch. “Olive branch,” Sarah/Beth offers as Fee listens in. Sarah offers to talk about the morning’s argument with Paul but, as he crowds up against her in his desk chair, Paul decides he’d rather talk about last night, “in the shower.” Fee grins and settles back with some popcorn to enjoy. With a warm smile, Sarah lightly pushes Paul back, insisting as she rises from the chair that she only came to bring him lunch. Paul brushes her hair back to kiss her neck. “Something’s changed for both of us,” he decides and Sarah can only hum her agreement. “I know you can feel it.” But then he suddenly pauses and goes rigid (not like that!) when he sees the back of her neck. “What happened to your scar?” he asks in an entirely different tone of voice. Now Sarah is tense. “The scar on your neck from the mountain bike crash,” Paul continues, voice hard. “It’s gone.”
Felix chokes on his popcorn as he realizes how royally he and Sarah screwed up. Sarah tries to play it off casually, dismissing that it must be her new lotion as she moves out from behind the desk. Paul asks to see it again, but Sarah/Beth giggles, “You will really try anything,” and holds him off. “I will,” Paul agrees in the same light tone, but his eyes are still cold and the skin around them is pulled tight. He knows she’s lying and somewhere under his lust he knows she’s not Beth too, has always known it. He says he has to get back to work and thanks her for lunch, all good boyfriend-like. Sarah leave and calls back “see you tonight,” to which Paul calls, “okay” but they both know their next meeting will be vastly different.
Paul powers up his laptop as Felix listens for anything revealing. Paul pulls up a video of Beth in marathon training and pauses and then zooms in on a frame that shows the back of her neck and a large, gnarly scar. He slams the laptop shut and calls for
Blue Madison to clear his afternoon as something came up. Felix: “Shit!”
Back in Alison’s garage/shed, she is having no luck sawing the padlock off Donnie’s Sekkrit Box. Frustrated, she tosses the saw aside—which is when the garage door opens to admit Donnie. He gets out of the car and warily asks what Alison is doing. Visibly agitated, Alison swings the box as she paces back and forth. She demands to know what’s inside it. Donnie claims it’s private. This just makes Alison wig out even more. Donnie sneers that he’s entitled to a little privacy, “even in this house.” Aw, Donnie’s trying to find his balls…only to realize they’re truly ping-pong ball sized. Alison shoots back that coming from Donnie, that’s rich, and again demands he open the box, undaunted. Donnie tries to grab it from her but she won’t let go and they struggle with it between them for a few seconds before Donnie wrenches it free and rushes out of the garage/shed.
Across the border, down at the University of Minnesota, Cosima takes some clone blood from one of the test tubes in Katja’s metal case. She examines it under a microscope and declares that it looks fine. “No infections.” Across the lab table, her nerdish colleague asks what infection Cosima was looking for. Cosima snips off a piece of her own hair as she details a few of the symptoms of which Katja complained before she was assassinated. “Shortness of breath. Coughing up blood. That sort of thing.” He asks after the subject. “Ah, subjects,” Cosima corrects, “and if I told you that, I’d have to kill you.” They laugh lamely, and Cosima passes over a sample and asks him to run a test to check for genetic markers. Lab Partner hypothesizes that Cosima is thinking along the lines of cystic fibrosis and the like. She half-heartedly agrees and then asks if he can also sequence for the “bar code” gene. “That’s the one we use for species differentiation,” he reminds her, confused as to why she would ask for it if she’s looking for a disease prognosis. Cosima goes wide-eyed and plays dumb—“Is it?”—and Lab Partner laughs, pleased to be in on the joke for a change, and then tries to cagily ask what he gets out of it. “Um,” Cosima drawls, “how ‘bout you get to have sex? With yourself?” Lab partner stutters around a confused laugh, “Aw-Awesome deal,” as though he knows he’s the butt of the joke again, but can’t quite figure out how.
As Lab Partner scurries off, Cosima’s attention is captured by a woman at another lab table having a low-voiced if emotional conversation on her mobile…in French. With a grimace, the woman hangs up the call and tosses the phone on the table with the universally recognized gesture of “Men!” Catching Cosima’s interested eye, she smiles in apology and then, embarrassed, quickly gathers her thinks and hurries off. Conveniently, she’s left behind something that will no doubt prove to be important. After a pregnant pause, Cosima closes and locks Katja’s case and then idles over to see what the French woman left behind. It’s her grades and they’re all As & A+s. Someone’s got brain lust.
Sarah reads through Beth’s sad letters to Paul. She tells Felix via the mobile that Paul is a bastard. “Beth loved him but he wouldn’t love her back, and he wouldn’t leave her.” Felix notes that Paul’s certainly changed his tune now. “Sarah, he’s fallen for you,” he says bluntly. Behind him are several portraits of Alison, what is sure to be known as Fee’s Soccer Mom Series by snooty, art critics in the future. “God, what a mess,” Sarah murmurs, none the least because she knows she’s fallen for Paul too. A school bell rings and Sarah confirms that she’s outside Kira’s school at the moment. “Of all the things that scare me right now, Fee, this one’s the heaviest,” she confesses. It’s a high-beam into her character that, with life and death on the line from moment to moment, the thing that Sarah is most worried about is how her daughter will respond to her after so long apart. Sarah, for all her hard shell and grifter ease at turning a mark on a dime, has a soft heart full of love that she longs to dispense, even to her Clone Sisters.
Fee reassures Sarah that Kira can’t wait to see her. “She’s the only thing that matters, you know.” Felix does know, but someone is knocking at the door so he signs off. Looks like Cute Colin from the morgue has stopped by for a bit of a top off.
Kira runs out from the school, but slows down as she spots an apprehensive Sarah. Sarah reassures Kira that it’s really her this time. Kira comes toward her and then smiles. “I know,” she says confidently. She throws herself at Sarah who starts to laugh and cry at the same time as she holds her daughter. Kira wonders why Sarah is wearing such fancy clothes. “You don’t miss a thing, do you?” Sarah asks rhetorically. Kira examines Sarah and asks if she’s okay. “Yeah, I am now.”
They walk back to Mrs. S.’s house and Kira asks why Sarah never told her about Aunty Alison. Sarah admits she didn’t know Alison before, which Kira finds hard to believe since Alison looks just like Sarah. Sarah promises to explain it all to Kira someday. Kira asks if someone is trying to hurt them and Sarah wonders why she would think so. “Alison said you’re making sure we’re safe,” Kira relates. Sarah stops to promise that Kira is safe. From the front door, Mrs. S. asks if Sarah is coming inside and she does.
Back at the university, Cosima strides down the corridor and right past the French woman who just happens to be having herself a good cry right there in the middle of the hall. Cosima gently interrupts her to pass over the grades she left behind in the lab. “Full disclosure, I peeked. You’re French. You have killer grades,” Cosima fan grrls, conclusions she’s arrived at through the use of her keen scientific observation skills of eavesdropping on a conversation and reading a piece of purloined paper. French Woman thanks her with a wet chuckle. “I’m not usually like this,” she denies. Oh, come on, honey. You are exactly like this or you wouldn’t be in the middle of the hall for everyone to see. Cosima commiserates over French Woman’s bad breakup. “Long distance never works.”
Cosima confirms that French Woman is in microbiology too. French Woman is in immunology where she studies host-parasite relationships. I tell you all this now because I think, I’m not sure, but I think there’s a chance that might be significant. Hmm. Cosima: “Oh, cool! I’m Evo Devo!” French Woman goes wide-eyed as she translates the lingo. “Evolutionary Development,” she concludes and Cosima clarifies that Evo Devo is what they call it there. This doesn’t mean they wear upside-down planters on their heads while they do the experiments, right? I can totally see Cosima spinning the Machine That Goes Ping! while shouting, “Whip it! Whip it good!” French Woman introduces herself as Delphine and Cosima nearly bursts as she identifies herself. “Enchantée,” Delphine murmurs. Cosima dances in place as she returns the greeting.
At Mrs. S.’s, Sarah re-shelves a classic vinyl record and remarks on Kira’s independence. At the kitchen table, Siobhan smiles whimsically as she asks if Kira reminds Sarah of anyone. “Yeah, but I was much angrier,” Sarah answers easily as she joins her foster mother. “Even small. You were the one who introduced me to punk rock though,” she chides with affection. Siobhan notes Sarah took all of the attitude and none of the politics. Sarah is glad Kira didn’t have to bounce around the way she did at that age. Siobhan reminds her that Sarah was a little older than that when she came to live with Mrs. S. in London. “You got me this far,” Sarah acknowledges quietly. “I know that.” She lays her hand on Siobhan’s. Mrs. S. starts and looks at Sarah. I think this is the first touch of affection Sarah’s volunteered her in years. “I still need your help,” she admits. “Ah,” Siobhan says, not without affection. I knew there was a catch. But she settles back to listen without animosity. Sarah says she needs Siobhan to tell her what she really knows about Sarah and where she came from before she lived with Mrs. S. Kira, forgotten in the background for the moment, listens. Siobhan wants to know why Sarah needs to know now and Sarah lays it on wanting to square things away for Kira’s sake.
Siobhan says it’s as simple as Sarah being part of the foster system and Mrs. S. took in kids. “You know I don’t know who your parents were.” Sarah admits she already talked to Family Services in Brixton when she was in the UK. So she’s been puzzling over her origins for some time before meeting her Clone Sisters. She only wondered if Siobhan might have something else, something not in the files. Siobhan is picking up on Sarah’s anxiety and wonders if everything is okay. Sarah backtracks and hurries to reassure her foster mother. Siobhan asks whether Vic the Dick is still in Sarah’s life. “God no,” Sarah says with feeling. “That much I can promise. Vic (the Dick) is done.”
Cue Vic the Dick being hustled through a garage by an enforcer to stand before the drug lord, Pouchy. Vic the Dick tries to pal around with Pouchy, but by the crossed arms and pissed look on his face, Pouchy isn’t looking to renew old bonds. Vic the Dick immediately tries to explain that Beth/Sarah jumped in front of a train and he doesn’t even know why she did it. “She had the coke on her. So I’m thinking maybe the cops have it,” he offers. He asks for a week in which to get Pouchy his money. Pouchy slams his hand down on the desk and says that Vic the Dick said that last week. Vic the Dick pleads that he’s good for it even as the enforcer restrains him. He continues to beg for another week as the enforcer drags him over to the industrial paper cutter and slices off his finger. Vic the Dick screams in agony and pounds the table with his undamaged hand. The screen goes black. Vic the Dick VO: “I’m good.” Snort.
In Suburblandia, Alison pulls up in front of a shop called Spy Guys. She sends her kids off to get one chocolate bar each and then gets her own surveillance equipment from the creepy spy guy. Meanwhile, in the convenience store, Alison’s kids horse around and bump into none other than Vic the Dick who is getting bandages and drugs from the pharmacist. The kids take one look at his pale, wan face and immediately stop giggling. Bloody fingers badly wrapped in a dirty shirt, Vic the Dick takes his bag from the chemist, leans down to the kids and whispers, “stay in school.” He glances pointedly at his bloody hand. “I mean it, buddy,” he says to Alison’s son. Heh.
Alison exits the spy shop just as, with difficulty and swigging from the newly bought bottle of pills, Vic the Dick exits the convenience store. He spies Alison across the lot and stops in his tracks. Alison looks back at him but, with no idea who Vic the Dick is, moves to ignore him. “Sarah?” Vic the Dick calls. He starts to laugh sardonically while Alison very quietly starts to freak out. She turns away and hurries for her minivan. No longer laughing but still calling Sarah’s name, Vic the Dick pursues her. He can’t believe Sarah is alive and corners Alison between two rows of cars. Nervously, Alison insists she doesn’t know Vic the Dick. Ignoring her, Vic the Dick examines Alison’s face. “You bitch, you faked it,” he concludes getting his mad on. He screams at Alison. “How could you do this to me? Sarah, I thought you were dead!” He gets up in her face and Alison doesn’t hesitate to Mace him. Vic the Dick screams for a different reason now while Alison quickly digs out her tazer and zaps him. As he falls to the ground, moaning and writhing, Alison bounces in place, prepared to zap him again. Realizing he’s down for the count, she hurries away to the end of the aisle just as her kids arrive. Alison hustles them into the minivan while Vic continues to writhe in pain as he screams about Sarah to Alison.
Back at Mrs. S.’s, Sarah’s PinkMobile rings. “I was just assaulted by a disgusting thug who thought I was you,” Alison says in lieu of “hello.” Sarah has her describe said thug. “I don’t know! He was…urban.” Sarah: “What the hell does that mean?” Alison flounders for a minute and finally settles on “not white,” which is apparently enough for Sarah to recognize Vic the Dick. She asks for details. “I assaulted him back, that’s what happened,” Alison announces proudly. “Please tell me that’s not Kira’s father.” Sarah denies it unequivocally. Calmed by that confirmation, Alison asks after the status with Paul. Sarah explains how they found out Beth was spying on Paul and even located the surveillance gear. Alison is bothered that Beth never told her about that. “Is it true? Is he a mole?” Sarah admits that she doesn’t know yet. Sarah asks after Alison, but their moment of mutual care is over as Alison insists she’s fine and demands Sarah call her once she knows about Paul for sure. Sarah disconnects with an irritated sigh.
Paul returns to TREXCON Consulting to find “Olivier” waiting for him in front of a wall of windows that reflect Paul’s entrance and the picture on the back wall of the view up a spiral staircase. “What are you doing here? Is something wrong?” Paul anxiously asks. In contrast, Olivier is just too cool for school as he fiddles with his leather gloves. “We need to talk about Beth.” Oh, that’s not ominous at all. He asks how Beth was that morning. Paul puts his hands in his pockets and shrugs. “Fine,” he lies, badly. “Everything’s fine.” We see Olivier in frame as he turns to face Paul as he speaks, but Paul remains out of frame and is only visible in the scene via his reflection. Nifty.
At Felix’s Fun Flat, Sarah climbs the stairs only to hurry to hide herself as she see Cute Colin in the doorway taking leave of Felix. Not good form for morgue attendant to see a dead body from his morgue alive and kicking right in front of him. From afar, Felix teases that Cute Colin really doesn’t “do this sort of thing much.” Cute Colin: “You mean with a live person?” It takes Fee a moment to realize he’s kidding. “Oh! Morgue humor. You’re awfully cute.” That’s what I’ve been saying! They kiss and Cute Colin leaves and Sarah hustles into Felix’s Fun Flat just as Fee shuts the door. “The morgue attendant? Really?” she accuses. “Brilliant Fee. Shagging the bloke that we conned into identifying my body.” Offended, Fee insists that Cute Colin is the first nice boy he’s met in ages. “What,” Sarah snarks as she pours a drink, “like six weeks?” Offended, Fee gathers his kimono close and plops onto the couch. “No. At least eight.” Heh. Sarah wonders exactly where Fee thinks “this” is going to go. “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot rule number one. That your life is always more important than mine,” Fee bitches back. Sarah corrects that her life is just way more difficult and downloads Fee on Vic the Dick’s return and how he ran into Alison and now thinks Sarah is alive. Which, case in point, she is. Fee just gapes at her and Sarah finally waves it away and insists she’ll figure it out. “I need to know what happened at Paul’s office.” Fee sheepishly admits that he’s been a bit busy but did manage to record something before Cute Colin arrived to distract him.
Fee pulls up the feed and they listen to Paul and Olivier’s conversation from before and as it continues. Olivier asks if Paul is still worried about Beth’s mental health but Paul insists Beth is better. “Suddenly better?” Olivier repeats, skeptical. “You understand your role as monitor is not to interfere.” In FFF, Fee quietly repeats “monitor?” but Sarah waves him silent. Olivier leads that if there’s anything pertinent that he should know... “If there was, I would tell you,” Paul finishes for him. Sarah shakes her head at this confirmation that Paul is indeed spying on her. Or Beth. Or both of them now, I guess. Wow. Clone Sisters are shit with the hand-me-downs.
Sarah’s mobile rings. It’s Paul. Fee tells her not to answer, but of course Sarah ignores him and does. He asks where she is and the scene cuts to show that he’s back at the condo. Paul insists they need to talk. “I need you to come home.” Sarah/Beth is still righteously pissed over what she’s just learned about the man she’s sleeping with in both her guises. “Yeah, I don’t think so,” she snaps and disconnects. Feathers yet unruffled Paul calmly keys something into his phone. Sarah plops back down in a chair, twitching with anxiety. “He knows something,” she says to Fee. “Well you can’t go back there, you know that,” Fee declares and Sarah agrees. Her mobile chirps again. Paul has sent her pictures…of her walk with Kira. “Paul followed me straight to Kira,” Sarah realizes, horrified. The door to FFF slides back. Fee looks up as and Sarah follows his direction as Vic the Dick ambles into FFF. “Is this a bad time?”
Vic the Dick is actually quite calm. “You tazed me. You maced me. And you think I’m just gonna walk away like I’m nobody?” he says as he wanders across the room to where Sarah and Fee sit. Through this whole scene, Vic the Dick is sniffing and crying, so glad to see Sarah is alive and yet so hurt at how she played him and cut him out. Almost, you feel a little sorry for the asshole. Sarah tells Vic the Dick she was working a job and he would’ve ruined the whole thing. Vic the Dick guesses that Sarah must be on a roll now then. “And that coke that you stole from me…pretending to be dead…who do you think took the fall for that?” He holds out his bloody, bandaged hand and tells them how Pouchy took his finger and if he doesn’t come up with 15K, “he’s going to lobster me,” by taking a finger every week until all Vic the Dick is left with is a lobster claw. Huh. Sarah rises and when Vic the Dick orders her to sit down, she snaps whether he wants the money or not. Sarah gets Alison’s 20K and gives it all to Vic the Dick to cover his debt with the extra being for his pain and suffering. “It must have been some play,” Vic the Dick says pointedly. Sarah insists it’s piss off money. “You don’t get to know anything.” Vic the Dick holds up his four-fingered hand and declares that entitles him to know everything.
“How did you do it?” he asks, low and fierce. “Lying there in that morgue? Holding your breath, Sarah, while I am bawling? I’m crying like a goddamn child. You know what’s crazy? You know how stupid I am? I’m standing here looking at you, and all I keep thinking about is Myrtle Beach.” He tries to embrace her, but she shoves free and says it was all a long time ago. Vic the Dick goes on about how he was working with someone named Angel, helping the helpless against the supernatural baddies who walk the night. Wait, no, hang on. That was a mopey vampire with a soul. My bad. Vic the Dick reminds Sarah he got her in with the carnies. “I’m not proud of what we did!” Sarah exclaims. “We were on top of the world, Sarah,” Vic the Dick says. “We were parasites!” Sarah shouts. Vic: “No. We were in love!” “Not me. Ever,” Sarah declares and boy, does she mean it. “I think she means it, Victor,” Fee offers. Toldja. In a hard voice, Sarah asks if Vic the Dick wants that money. “Take it and go now. Right now, Vic!” Vic slowly bends to pick up the money. “It’s not over Sarah,” he promises as he shuffles out of FFF.
Soon as Vic the Dick is gone, Sarah shrugs back into her coat. “Is every man in your life a complete wanker except me?!” Fee exclaims. Well, yes darling, obviously. Ignoring this, Sarah tells Fee she needs him to go to Siobhan’s and make sure Kira is okay. Fee can’t believe that Sarah is going back to the condo to see Paul. “I will not let him threaten my daughter,” Sarah vows as she snatches up the mobile. Fee shouts after her, but Paul has hit the one thing that Sarah will not run out on again and she is not backing down from him.
Alison takes the metal box out from the work table again. This time, the padlock has been opened and when she looks in the box, it’s to find the same porn DVDs she found earlier in Donnie’s drawer. He switched out whatever was originally in the box for the DVDs, not knowing Alison had found his porn stash first. Convinced more than ever that Donnie is her monitor Alison presses her lips together and shakes her head.
Out in the woods that are so plentiful around high-end suburban developments, Donnie stands before a small fire talking on the phone. He insists that everything is fine and the other person need not worry. “If anything else comes up, I’ll let you know,” he promises. Disconnecting, he proceeds to burn whatever documents he was keeping in the metal box.
At the condo, Sarah sits outside in the Jag and stares at the condo when the PinkMobile rings. She sighs and rolls her eyes but answers. Fee has already filled Cosima in on the Paul situation and played the recording for her too. Cosima wants to know where Sarah is. “I’m about to go in and shoot Paul in the balls.” Cosima cautions that this is their chance to get answers. “He followed me to Kira, Cos!” Sarah shouts. Cosima knows this and what it means to Sarah, but she points out that Paul also covered for Sarah/Beth. “That Olivier guy, he asked if anything was wrong and Paul said no. Why?” Sarah admits that Paul may be falling for Fake Beth aka her. Cosima thinks this is awesome news and that Sarah can use it. “Who do you think got me into this mess in the first place, huh?” Sarah snaps. Cosima knows she has a point but still advises that Sarah “chill.” “I think that Olivier guy, he runs Paul. It sounds like some kind of double-blind.” She explains that “they” are keeping Paul in the dark too so he can’t skew the results either. Sarah loads and checks her gun while she processes. “You mean he may not even know he’s watching a clone?” Cosima says that’s exactly it. “But Olivier definitely knows. He’s the one we need to get to.” “You mind if I get through Paul first?” Sarah snarks and disconnects. Frustrated, Cosima slams her PinkMobile onto the desk.
Alison carefully props her Husband Cam in the open hinge of her jewelry case. Donnie suggests that he’ll go sleep on the couch but Alison non-apologizes that he’s right and everyone deserves their privacy and then indicates he should join her in their bed.
Sarah carefully lets herself into the darkened condo and eases through looking for Paul. Paul turns on the light by the couch where he’s sitting and notes that he thought she’d turned in her side arm. “Huh?” Sarah manages. “Left jacket pocket, hanging low,” Paul points out with a nod of his head. Sarah sighs over being so easily found out. “Well, apparently, I’ve got a stalker,” she retorts. Paul picks his pistol off the couch and loosely holds it against his crossed leg, not aiming it at Sarah but near enough. He wryly indicates that she should sit and put the gun on the coffee table. “I knew,” he says as she does both. “I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew. It was that day you were supposed to be at the hearing. First time we’d had sex in months.” Sarah/Beth tries to shrug it off as that she just missed him. “You were wearing that Clash t-shirt,” Paul continues as if she didn’t speak. He laughs over his confusion in that moment. “And then, wham, you screw me, right on the kitchen counter.” Hmm, yeah. Good times.
Sarah/Beth shakes her head and asks if he’s complaining about all the hot sex she’s been giving him. “What are you saying?” Paul notes that she quit the force after refusing to ever even think about it. “And the scar on your neck just disappears because of what? Some cream? And now…” He pulls prints of Kira and Sarah together from his jacket pocket and tosses them on the coffee table before Sarah. “This little girl? I was there when Beth found out she couldn’t have kids.” Sarah tries to excuse Kira as her half-sister but Paul doesn’t even bother with that lie. “I watched you together. She’s your daughter, isn’t she?” Sarah/Beth bites her lip. “You’re losing it,” she murmurs with mock sympathy. But Paul is undaunted. He tells her he was watching some old video of Beth training for a half-marathon. “What was the last race you ran?” Caught, Sarah chews on her inner lip, much like Alison tends to do. “What city was it in?” Paul asks.
When Sarah can’t answer, Paul drops all pretence. Coming up from the couch, he aims the gun right at her. “Where is Beth,” he asks in a death voice. When she doesn’t answer, Paul gets to his feet. “One last time, whoever you are. Where is Beth?” “She killed herself,” Sarah finally replies in her native accent. “She jumped in front of a train.” Paul is knocked back a step by her accent. “You’re English. Who are you?” Sarah admits to being Beth’s twin. “Twin,” Paul repeats with bite, and there are real tears in his eyes for Beth. “Is this a test?” he asks. Sarah is confused. “A test of what?” Paul: “Beth didn’t have a sister.” He demands to know her name and Sarah identifies herself. “When Beth died, I took her identity.” Paul takes a menacing step forward. “Beth isn’t dead,” he grits through his teeth.
Unable to sit below him at gunpoint any longer, Sarah gets up from the couch and stalks into the kitchen without paying the gun any mind. I think she knows Paul would never shoot her. He follows her anyway, gun still pointed. “Look, I was just gonna clean out her bank accounts,” Sarah admits with exasperation. “I didn’t mean to get all tangled up with you.” Paul wonders if Beth really is dead, then how is he supposed to believe Sarah didn’t kill her. “Because you killed her,” Sarah duhs. Paul actually laughs in her face. “What?” Sarah reveals that she knows Paul is Beth’s monitor. Paul tries to act as though he doesn’t know what a monitor is. “You observe her,” Sarah continues. “You let people into her home. Like last night. Doctors came and medically examined her in her sleep. And she knew.” She pulls out the letters she found that Beth wrote to Paul. “You’re a plant,” she says, voice rising as she flings the letters at Paul. “And she killed herself because the man she loved turned her whole life into a lie.” Tears build in Paul’s eyes as she listens and begins to believe. “She knew you didn’t love her and she couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t leave. And now she figured it out.”
Paul tries one last time to deny it, “It’s a sick test. Isn’t it?” he asks, anger and pain rising. “Isn’t it?” he says again through his teeth. But he doesn’t faze Sarah. “She trusted you,” Sarah whispers. I trusted you. Paul’s hand and the gun in it, shakes. “How could you do that to her?” Sarah asks. How could you do that to me? Convicted, knowing Sarah means herself here, Paul’s face, arm, and gun fall. I’m so sorry. “You think I had a choice?” he says emotionally. In a stronger tone, Sarah demands he just tell her why. Paul sets his jaw. “They don’t tell us why.”
Next Week: “Variations Under Domestication”