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ORPHAN BLACK Recap: Ipsa Scientia Potestas Clone Diaries

Note: This article may contain spoilers for tonight’s episode of Orphan Black. But considering you clicked through to an Orphan Black episode recap, we kind of figured that you’d already be aware of that. Still, I guess it has to be said.

You know, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about a show like Orphan Black. And Saturday night’s episode, “Ipsa Scientia Potestas” was a prime example of that. If the Bechdel Test were made for television, Orphan Black would be its golden child. It’s fast-paced and action-heavy; it’s science fiction deliciousness but grounded in a serious moral complexity.

And it also reverses gender roles — as evidenced by the one scene everyone will be talking about: the Rachel/Paul sex scene. Sure it was, at first glance, creepy and super intense, but so is Rachel — of course she is a control freak between the metaphorical sheets. (Leekie had been alluding to her ways for awhile now to Paul. “Personal security,” eh? EH?!) To see a television show put on such an active display of aggressive sexual power — something that’s usually reserved for men — and to see Paul in the role of “use what you got and give ’em what they want” that’s usually the role of the lady in the scene? Well that’s just spectacular. Not because of the act itself, but because it shows a much wider array of sexual and power proclivities, allowing women’s and men’s roles in the act itself to play both with the audience and the dynamics such an arrangement creates. And I dare say that’s television done right.

But it wasn’t all about sex and sexy times in this episode. It was actually a lot about Helena, too, after last week’s huge reunion. With Sarah and Rachel out for each other and Cosima trying to survive all this crazy science, it’s no wonder this episode felt like such a spectacular hour of television. What do the clones have to say about all of it? Well, read their diaries, below, and find out.


Oy this week is brutal, man. But I should’ve known that was going to happen after Helena killed Daniel like that. I’ve never —ever— been so scared in all my life as when she came skulking through the bathroom door. I don’t know how the hell she’s alive or why she’s here but, I guess she’s here for a reason, right? I mean why else? How else could she be?

I miss Monkey. So much, every day. I feel terrible for having to put Cal in such a dangerous position (and with her calling him dad all the time? Yikes, he did not sign up for that headtrip), but at the same time I’m glad he’s doing it. Probably good for her to be with him, at least for a little bit, yeah?

Meathead and I have got to keep one step ahead of Rachel. And Paul. Fuckin’ Paul. (Wait until I get my bloody hands on him…) And that means finding the Swan Man like yesterday. I have no bloody idea where Helena’s taking us to find him, but man… she clearly knows a lot more than me. How it’s locked up in her head I’ll never know, but if we can find him and figure out what he knows we’ll be in a better place. Or at least a little bit closer to answers. I’ve learned by now this shite is nothing if not complicated.
With every day my family grows. I do not know what to make of it. Sestra makes it very hard for me. She make me feel, calls me this meat-head name. She ship me off to Arthur, demands answers to things. Still I am glad to be with her, even if I am unsure about sestrabrother.

We are off on adventure now. Together. I like it when we together. There is much I feel inside about this. When we find the swan-man, I hope sestra let me kill him.

Well…with several hours of Dr. Leekie’s stem cell cocktail floating around in my body under my belt, I’m feeling…surprisingly good. Granted it’s still early and I’m well aware of the psychosomatics that could be at play here, but I’m hopeful. And positive attitude and hope accounts for a lot in the healing process. If that is what’s happening right now inside of me, genetically speaking.

I have to be frank, though: I’m not 100% sure if Leekie is playing us or not. Gosh, I sound like Alison now, don’t I, with this conspiracy garbage? (I should really pencil in some time outside of the lab.) Hopefully, if Sarah knows anything, this will help. I don’t know what would be worse: not getting the treatment at all, or getting the treatment, having it show positive signs of effectiveness, only to have it taken away. Actually, scratch that — the latter is far and away the worse option.

Of course, the worst has already come to pass. I cannot believe they lost the original fucking genome, man! Like, how crazy is that? Without any understanding of the who/what/where/when/why/how of the synthetic sequences within our DNA, we’re all, ostensibly, ticking time bombs with this polyp stuff. Or anything else that might be in there mucking about. Just because they were able to find work-arounds with the synthetic DNA on the viability front doesn’t mean that those very same genetics couldn’t do us harm in some other way. It’s just very irresponsible. Why weren’t there copies made? I find that incredibly hard to believe. There’s got to be someone out there who knows more. If nothing else, I’ve got to try and get to the bottom of some of this. Or at least start combing back through my genetic sequence.

How the heck do you think I feel?! Oh fiddlesticks I’m not writing in this thing this week. There’s nothing about existing in such absurd conditions that are at all worth remembering.


Theories, Thoughts, and Things
– OK so, the new Proletheans are officially horrorshows.
– And here I thought Mark was the creepiest member of that clan.
– Who SEWS their daughter’s lips together for “telling lies” like that?!
– And don’t even get me started on the solitary confinement tip.
– Mama Prolethean is a right nutjob. It’s always the wives that are particularly heinous in these scenarios, aren’t they?
– By the way, as messed up as it is, maybe they should force Gracie to carry the baby. It’d make for crazy-interesting television.
– Although that does mean we’d probably later see Helena carving the baby out of her belly oh god that is awful.
– Which means they should totally do it. Obviously.
– Speaking of Helena: this is the first time I’ve been genuinely OK and glad that she’s back. I was never the biggest fan of her coming back, but damn if they haven’t made a compelling case for why she needs to be there.
– Also: Helena and Art could 100% star in a sitcom spin-off. And it would be amazing.
– Rachel’s pathological need for control is so insane, so intense, and so absolutely nuts I want to see more of it.
– Of course the self-aware clone is, though.
– I’m D-Y-I-N-G to know more about her home life aren’t you?
– What do you think Leekie meant by “if one can rise above it” and “white whale”? It felt sort of über-vague with a purpose.
– Who the heck is Cal? He’s clearly not apart of the DYAD Institute.
– Unless the “DYAD Group” keeps things very separate.
– How many IDs and wallets did you count in there?
– Kira clearly knows there’s something more up with him, right?
– ALSO: I am pretty sure that Leekie and Paul are in on something bigger than the DYAD together. I think it all harkens back to Paul’s background and Afghanistan.
– Ooh maybe they’re government plants in the DYAD to keep control on the clone and cloning experiment. (GOSH I love TV conspiracy theories.)
– I was so HAPPY to see Colin but so sad it was all bungled — poor Fe!
– That said, I have but two words for you: LUBE HANDS.
– Lube hands. I meaaaaaaann…

What’d you think of this week’s episode? Let us hear about it in the comments!

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