Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Orphan Black: Different but Still Good

So far, we've had a twin theme going for this blog hop, thanks to Jami's review of The Parent Trap movies and Morgan's take on the Mario movie (the twin I refer to is Luigi, of course). Honestly, that wasn't what I was thinking when I proposed this hop, but since that's how this has played out, I'm going big, because the clones played by Tatiana Maslany on Orphan Black are almost innumerable.

Everything you've heard about Tatiana Maslany is true: she's an amazing actress, and she deserved that damn Emmy. It breaks my heart to think that she may never get another role again that allows her to show her range, but maybe that should be taken for granted because her range is vast.

The story followed clone Sarah Manning, a troubled young con artist living in Canada after her adoptive mother Siobhan Sadler aka Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) brought her and her adopted brother Felix (Jordan Gavaris) to Canada. The story opens when she happens to see a woman who looks exactly like her commit suicide. What Sarah thinks is going to be the easiest con of her life when she decides to impersonate the dead woman (whom she learns from her abandoned wallet is Beth Childs) gets progressively messier when she realizes that 1) Beth is a cop, 2) her boyfriend Paul (Dylan Bruce) has been lying to Beth, and 3) she's under investigation by internal affairs for an accidental shooting. It's just the kind of thing someone like Sarah might be motivated to abandon, but since all this is a play to get back her daughter Kira (Skyler Wexler), she's forced to stay and play it out.

Sarah discovers numerous clones along the way, and her journey becomes discovering why they were created in the first place and then freeing all of them from the shadow of the corporation from Hell that's been pulling their strings since before they were born. All of the clones--every single one of them--is imbued with her own distinct personality and story. Watch an episode long enough, and you'll be convinced you're watching multiple actresses, and not just because they look so different. What they all share is that they'll protect their loved ones at any cost (although for some it might take a little longer to open up). The primary clones were:

Just a sample
  • Sarah Manning: Tough, gritty, and vulnerable
  • Helena: Out of her mind and trained as a ruthless assassin from before she was in puberty in Ukraine, and thus has a perfect Ukranian accent
  • Alison Hendrix: The ultimate suburban control freak mom who, not surprisingly, also has a substance abuse problem
  • Cosima Niehaus: Brilliant, compassionate grad student who's trying to figure out the science of what she and her "sisters" are while she also tries to fight off the illness that's been bred into them
  • Rachel Duncan: As ruthless as Helena, as brilliant as Cosima, as controlling as Alison, and as vulnerable as Sarah, this "self-aware" clone was raised by the corporation who created them and desperately wants to take control of her own destiny.
  • Beth Childs: The police detective who puts together that someone has been hunting the clones. The mystery of why she committed suicide is what propels much of the action for the first half of the series.
  • Veera Suominen aka M.K.: the sole survivor of a massacre of clones in Helsinki, she's torn between justice for the sisters she lost and wanting to help the ones who are still alive.
  • Krystal Goderitch: a manicurist who just happens to stumble onto the corporate conspiracy that created them but somehow doesn't believe that the women she meets are her clones.
Confession: Krystal is probably my favorite (how do you not love a character who regularly says things like "So what? My Deep Throat's totally hot. Get over it."?), but they are all amazing and you root for all of them to survive (if not necessarily get what they want...Rachel!). And when they came together, it was magical (seriously, watch this clip of the famous Clone Dance Club and you'll understand).

Sometimes different is amazing.

Thanks so much for reading! Please check out Kerrie's blog tomorrow for her take.