Orphan Black’s premiere and superbly exhilarating season ended with Sarah Manning running frantically so it is only suiting that the season picks in its second year with Sarah still frantically dashing further down the road. In last season’s finale, Sarah turned down Rachel’s proposal, briefly afterwards, ironically Sarah’s daughter Kira went missing. That is where ‘Nature Under Constraint and Vexed’ begins to unfold; moments later with Sarah worriedly attempting to discover a way to obtain her daughter back from confinement without resulting in Sarah sacrificing her well-being.
The actors/actresses as well as the director and plot coordinator did an excellent job with refreshing the audience on the past season’s events; in fact, the season two opener quickly evolves into a phone conversation call with the proclone, Rachel. Rachel makes it clear that she will give both Kira and Mrs. S back if and only if Sarah accepts the offer at hand, which obviously is unlikely to happen. This scene in itself is a bit vexed with Sarah using her hood to prevent any and all harm after an awkward brief moment of silence leading to a volcanic eruption of action, more specific, gun-fire. The scene moves onto the next with Sarah dodging harm wants again leading only to a glimpse of humor relief with regards to the clone Felix and Sarah. Before the rest of the plot unravels, it is time to have an overview of the other clones; Cosima is busy preparing to get her blood taken by her monitor-turned-girlfriend Delphine, despite of that I hope all paid close attention to the lighting in the room from the candle fire… Did anyone else pick up on how especially romantic that room was? No lights, a million lit candles – ah, I guess there is nothing like drawing blood to set the mood, one would suppose.
Then it’s time for my favorite clone Felix who seems to not have as much principles as the rest of the cast in his role. Felix often makes trips out to Alison when heading out to more rural territory. Felix is one to show up high on cloud nine and babbling on in a loud manner about gun matters, which as one could imagine is quite hysterical and at the same time not the best thing to do. What makes Orphan Black so different and a top leader in the television series is how expressed the details are with relation to the stylish suburban environment and scenes that are all associated mainly with Alison and Felix’s pairing. There is a consistency seen in the series with regards to the suburban setting. Here, as she talks about clones and guns, Alison puts back the ribbon and easily steers the conversation toward her role in the community.
The suburban duality has been played with before, just think back to when Weeds aired, it’s hard not to be reminded of such a series during some of Alison’s scenes – but it’s still one of my favorite things about Orphan Black. To put this more into perspective, Alison is a soccer mom who as no one would even imagine, has a gun connect; the kid who works at the big box store sells drugs and firearms out of his car trunk; one could call him a true a hustler under the radar so-to-speak. When Alison gets ahold of the gun Felix asks for, she then sends it over to his apartment as a lovely flower arrangement, complete with a homemade card; creativity and nature essentially under constraint as well as vexed as seen by this action.
Kudos to those who stuck out the 10-month wait; you’re all stronger than I am. It took only about a minute to get me hooked – basically from the second Beth jumps in front of that train – and then it took the introduction of Alison for me to realize what a great, special show that this is as well as what a talent Tatiana Maslany really is! Damn.
Alison quickly became my favorite clone and I loved the nuances in her character: the strict posture, the nervous way she rubs her fingers under her chin, the perfectly cut bangs and tight smile. She was tightly wound and in danger of unraveling at any moment – an organized unraveling, but an unraveling nonetheless – and Orphan Black kept edging her closer and closer without fully breaking her down for the added interest in the audience who watches. Then came that moment where she watches Aynsley die in the kitchen. To be honest I don’t know what I loved more about the scene; death by garbage disposal or torture by glue gun and how Alison does nothing to stop it. This horrifying scene, the point of no return for Alison, is why I was so anxious to start the second season – to see how Orphan Black would have Alison deal with her actions.
How would Orphan Black deal with this? In an intriguing way involving Alison putting herself into Community Theater! Oh, I love this. How do you deal with indirectly causing someone’s death? You join a community production and put everything you have into song and dance making audiences pose the question, is there anything Maslany can’t do? Art’s expression while watching this rehearsal is absolutely golden, by the way. Oh yeah, Art and Danielle are still unofficially investigating this case – Art’s attempting to win Sarah’s trust.
“Nature Under Constraint and Vexed” is just as packed with action as its title is packed with words. It has a lot of juggling to do with plots and characters and has input a lot of work to keep up the momentum of the much-praised first season) but the episode does an exceptional job keeping all the balls in the air and keeping everything interesting while planting some seeds for this current season. Cosima is still with Delphine, who is still working double-duty interestingly enough and yet is still suffering from the same respiratory disease that the Russian clone had. Alison is headed for a pretty big emotional breakdown and Sarah is headed for a battle with Rachel. The two already have a pretty badass fight in the premiere after Sarah pretends to be Cosima and sneaks in (side note: how fantastic is Maslany in the one-clone-pretends-to-be-another scenes?). Sarah hissing “You don’t own us,” before effectively pistol-whipping Rachel is definitely one way to grab our attention as an audience. The big reveal here? Rachel and her crew didn’t take Kira and Mrs. S, meaning Sarah now has to go after the people who actually have done so.
And after all that is mentioned, there is still more to be noted on. There is a gnarly scene that reveals Helena is still alive. The ending for superb and matched the standard of the episode as a whole and one like myself can assume that based on exhilaration and quality of this hour that Orphan Black based on the quality of this hour, it’s going to be a great season.