Sunday, April 7, 2013

Orphan Black, Season One, Episode One: Natural Selection

Sarah is traveling on  a train and gets off to use a payphone to call someone to ask about Kira, but she is promptly hung up on.  A few feet away, a young woman is clearly upset and Sarah watches as she takes off her shoes and folds her coat.  When the woman turns, Sarah realises that the woman could be her twin, just as the woman walks onto the tracks and a train runs her over. Emergency crews rush over and Sarah returns to the woman's possessions. Sarah scoops up her bag and takes off running. 

Sarah walks onto the street an starts to go through the woman's things and learns her name was Elizabeth.  Sarah then heads to a bar where she is met by Felix and they embrace. Sarah says that she is there for Kira, who is her daughter but Felix reminds her that she has been gone for nearly a year and adds that he does not believe Mrs. S will let Sarah take Kira. Sarah then tells  Felix what happened at the train station and pulls out Elizabeth's ID to prove that they could have been twins.  Sarah wonders if she had a twin sister and decides to visit Elizabeth's flat. When Sarah arrives at Elizabeth's, she immediately starts searching through her things.  Based on the male clothes in the closet, Sarah surmises that Elizabeth had a boyfriend.

Felix has tried to sell the drugs Sarah gave him to his lover. Vic bangs on Felix's door demanding to know where Sarah is.  When Felix opens the door, Vic forces his way in, and Felix's lover quickly leaves.  Vic asks again where Sarah is, and Felix lies and responds that he does not know and that he has not seen Sarah in a year. Vic then asks where the coke is and Felix hands over a small amount.  Apparently, Sarah blindsided Vic by knocking him out with an ashtray and stole the coke from him. Vic makes it clear that he is now in trouble and until he gets the coke back, this means trouble for Felix as well. Vic says that he leaving and that Sarah had better be there when he returns.  Vic calls Felix a "fruitcake" and walks out the door.

Sarah calls Felix and tells him that unfortunately Elizabeth's credit is maxed but she has a great place to stay and Elizabeth's boyfriend is gone for the weekend.  Felix tells Sarah that her real boyfriend Vic has paid him a visit but assures her that he is just fine. Felix then informs Sarah that the cocaine she stole is horrible and that they will be lucky to get 10K for it.  Sarah is not impressed and points out that this is not enough money for them to get out.  Felix asks who Elizabeth Child's is and Sarah says that she was just a girl who looked like her and had a pretty nice life.  Felix wisely questions if Elizabeth's life was so great, why she killed herself.  Sarah comes across Elizabeth's bank statement and discovers Elizabeth has 75,000 in her savings account. Sarah says that this would be enough for them to get away from Vic but Felix says that Elizabeth's body will be identified any minute now.  Sarah tells Felix that she has an idea and she starts to practice Elizabeth's signature  and study her home videos. 

Sarah gets dressed in Elizabeth's clothes and heads to the bank where she has an appointment with the bank manger.  Felix calls the cops and says that he thinks he knows the girl who killed herself at the station last night.  Sarah sits down with the manager and says that she will leave 500 dollars in the bank to keep it open but wants the rest of the funds in cash.  Steven, the bank manager, tells Sarah that he recommends a cashiers check and that they don't keep that kind of cash on hand.  Steven informs her that it will take a couple of business days.  Sarah asks what she can do to put a rush on that and get the money within 24 hours. Sarah offers to sponsor his next charity event thing.  Steven agrees and asks Sarah if she wants access to the safety deposit box as well.  In the safety deposit box, Sarah finds birth certificates for two women: Allison Hendrix and Katja Wurzburg.  They were both born on April 4, 1984. Sarah takes the information with her when she leaves the bank.

As she is walking down the street, Art pulls up and demands that Sarah get in the car. Sarah tries to resist but he grabs her arm and stuffs her into the car saying that they are late. Art asks where she was and adds that they were going to walk through it again, but Sarah lies and says that she got held up.  Art warns her that she has better be ready. Art notices her clothes and says that she is over dressed.  

In the meantime, Felix has gone to the morgue to identify the body. Felix is beginning to show nerves but Colin the morgue tech assures him that he can do this.

Art has driven Sarah to the police station, grabs her arm and escorts her in.  When Lieutenant Gavin Hardcastle calls Sarah detective, she learns that Elizabeth was a cop before she died.  Hardcastle tells her to stick to her statement and that she will be fine and walks her into a room where clearly they are waiting to depose her.  Sarah makes an excuse saying that she has to go to the bathroom. Once there, she gets on the phone, calls Felix and leaves a message telling to him to abort because Elizabeth was a cop. It's too late and Felix is now looking at Elizabeth's dead body.  In desperation, Sarah starts to drink the liquid soap in the bathroom. At the morgue, Felix identifies Elizabeth as his foster sister Sarah.  

Sarah walks back into the deposition and a lawyer says that they are there to get her record of an off duty shooting which happened on October, 7 of this year, which resulted in the death of Margaret Chan. They ask her to begin and Sarah promptly pukes the soap all over the table. Sarah and Art are sitting together in the waiting room of a doctor's office and he says that he knows the shooting has her messed up, but she should try to forgive herself and that these things happen.

Felix is back in his loft doing a painting of Sarah.  Vic knocks and demands that he open the door.  Felix calls Vic a bastard and says that Sarah is dead. Vic does not believe him and Felix tells him that Sarah jumped in front of train because Vic is such an asshole. Vic still does not believe Felix so he shows Vic the death certificate.  Vic believes that he is being set up and so Felix takes him to the morgue where he sees Elizabeth's body and of course assumes that it's Sarah. Vic embraces the body and cries.

Sarah is now sitting with psychologist Dr. Anita Bower and says that she cannot remember what happened at the shooting.  Sarah justifies this by claiming that she is missing herself and says that she needs some leave.  The doctor asks Sarah if she means extension. Dr. Anita Bower then asks if she has told Paul (Elizabeth's boyfriend) and how he is doing.  Sarah is dismissive and says that she doesn't want to talk about Paul.  Dr. Anita Bower responds that Sarah needs to talk to her about the death of Margaret Chan and the fact that she shot because she thought she saw a gun but it was actually a cell phone.  

Sarah has returned from the doctor and is in Elizabeth's apartment with Felix.  When Sarah checks Elizabeth's phone, there are a number of text messages asking where she is and saying that the person is waiting at the hotel. Sarah turns to Felix and says that she is not sure that Elizabeth's partner knows what is going on with her.  Felix points out that 75K in a brand new account looks a bit dodgy.  Felix then says that she and Elizabeth are clearly related and that every foster kid dreams of their lost family. Sarah points to the picture of Paul on the fridge and says that if her boyfriend looked like that she would jump in front of a train as well.  Felix tells her not to say that and adds that Vic is "keening like a banshee for a funeral."  Sarah says that they cannot have a funeral and that the whole sad part is that no one would notice if she died.  Felix comes across the birth certificates that Sarah took from the safety deposit box and their birthdays are all within a month of hers. Sarah takes them away from him and says that she is just going to finish what she started and then come back for him and her daughter.  Felix asks if she plans on disappearing again and Sarah replies that she has to. Sarah then instructs Felix to sell the coke and then give half the money to Kierra.  Felix turns in anger and responds that Sarah left Kierra with Mrs. S overnight and then didn't return for over ten months. Sarah says that she is trying to fix this but Felix is not pacified and says, "tell it to the angels Sarah," before leaving.

Sarah is going through Elizabeth's things when Paul returns. Paul is surprised to see her in a Clash t-shirt and when Sarah says that the Clash rock, Paul points out that she doesn't.  When he notices a bag on the bed he asks if she is planning on going somewhere.  Sarah says that it's just gym stuff and questions what he is doing back early.  Paul replies that he wanted to be there and asks how the hearing went. Sarah tells him what happened at the hearing but as they talk, she keeps backing away from him. Paul says that there is something different and to distract him, she jumps on him and starts to kiss him. The two end up having sex on the kitchen counter. 

Vic shows up at Felix's apartment and his face is bandaged.  Vic asks to come in and when Felix says no, he pushes into the flat saying that he cannot sleep because he keeps seeing Sarah's face.  Vic says that they need to have an immortal send off.  Felix agrees to a wake and so Vic hugs him and we get a not pleasant shot of Felix in his thong undies.

Sarah has got a bag packed and has snuck some money out of Paul's wallet. Paul sneaks behind her and puts his hands around her still naked. He tells her that they have not had that kind of hot action in two years, as she pulls away saying that she got up to go to the gym.  Paul asks again what happened at the hearing and Sarah says that she choked and that they have rescheduled it for a couple of days from now.  Paul asks her if she is back on the meds and Sarah says no.  Paul suggests that she didn't choke and that she is finally feeling things and therefore is more like the real her.  When he leans in for a kiss, Sarah pulls back and again says that she got up for the gym. Sarah then asks to use Paul's car and he tells her to use her own car. Sarah then claims that she cannot find her keys and so Paul walks over and pulls out Elizabeth's keys from what is apparently her regular place.

Once outside, Sarah finds the car by using the car alarm. Sarah puts the stuff in the trunk and drives off, without knowing that Art is following her.  Sarah heads to the bank to pick up the money from Elizabeth's account and leaves with a big smile on her face.  Sarah then heads over to Felix's and Art is still trailing her  While Sarah is inside, Art breaks into her car and discovers the bag of money in the trunk.  Inside the flat, Sarah finds the pamphlets announcing her wake.

At the wake, Vic is reading what he wrote for Sarah holding onto Elizabeth's ashes.  Sarah is watching from a distance using binoculars and calls Felix saying that she didn't want a funeral for this very reason. They banter back and forth for a few moments and Sarah tells him that she got the money and that this is their chance to all be together.  Vic interrupts and reminds Felix that they are at a funeral.  Suddenly, Mrs. S pulls up and Kira gets out of the car.  Sarah starts to cry realising that Kira will think that she's dead.  

When Sarah gets in her car, a woman gets in the back seat and wants to know why she missed the meeting and says that she got the samples she asked for.  Sarah tells her to stay back and the woman says that her name is Katja Wurzburg and that she brought her birth certificate for proof.  Sarah and Katia look exactly alike. Katia  tells her that her partner is following her.  Sarah says that she needs to go and Katia realizes that Sarah is not Elizabeth.  Suddenly, Katia falls to the side after being shot and as Sarah tries to drive off, more shots are fired.  Elizabeth's phone starts to ring and Sarah answers it. 

They certainly managed to pack a lot into the first episode.  Clearly, when Sarah jumped into Elizabeth's life, she got far more than she bargained for.  I am interested to see where this story is going.  

As this is the first episode, I don't really have much to add but I will say that Felix's character was kind of stereotypical.  He was clearly a very camp gay man and while there are certainly gay men like this, this is the only representation that the media seems to ever portray.  He is also the much overused gay BFF, who seems to be willing to do anything Sarah asks.  Since this is only the first episode, I am not going to judge to harshly because there is plenty of time for them to develop his character.

There is also Art, who we know little about.  He was Elizabeth's partner and is clearly suspicious because he has started tailing Sarah. Somehow I think he has his own unpleasant story going on but I suppose that is something we will have to wait to see.

What did you think of the first episode?