What else is she not bloody telling us?

Orphan Black delivers its most twisted, twist-filled episode of the second season.

Thus far.

Title: “Governed As It Were By Chance”

Cast and Crew
Director: David Frazee
Writer: Russ Cochrane

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Alison Hendrix/ Cosima Niehaus / Helena / Rachel Duncan
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Skyler Wexler as Kira
Michiel Huisman as Cal Morrison
Kevin Hanchard as Detective Art Bell
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Evelyne Brochu as Delphine
Peter Outerbridge as Henrik Johanssen
Matthew Bennett as Daniel Rosen
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Kristin Booth as Bonnie Johanssen
Zoé De Grand Maison as Grace Johanssen
Roger R. Cross as Carlton
Raven Dauda as Yvonne
Cynthia Gallant as Young Rachel

Full cast and crew information may be found here.


Allison awakes in rehab, Helena escapes the farm, Sarah finds herself in serious jeopardy, and we learn more about Project Leda. Apart from the obvious Hellenistic allusion, we know that a possibly military project, run by Rachel’s adoptive parents, Doctors Ethan and Susan Duncan, created the clones. We still don’t know why, but the suggestion that they contain very special genetic potential has been reinforced this week.

High Points

The episode features some stunning parallels in both the plotting and presentation. Helena and Allison both awake, disoriented, in very different private hells. The conclusion moves from Helena and Sarah’s disturbing yet affecting in utero reenactment to the Prolethean-created zygote.

Low Point

While keeping the thriller pace going, the show forgets to account for some key elements. A certain character’s survival and escape seems a bit fortuitous, for example. Even more surprising is that Helena, recovering from a medical procedure and wearing a bloody wedding dress, could make her way quickly from the hinterlands into Toronto without being detected.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6 The episode still features many original elements– Helena running through the field in her Lucia di Lammermoor dress, for instance—and this week had more horrific elements than usual. However, it also resembled, a little too much, the conventional thriller.

Effects: 6/6 Apart from the usual cloning of Tatiana Maslany (handled with particular deftness in the final moments), we also have some excellent cinematography. The camper by a tree at the side of the road gets the nod for tv master shot of the week.

Story: 5/6 See “Low Points.” Otherwise, we have a well-paced episode that brings our story closer to…. What, exactly? The more we learn, the more question get raised.

Acting: 6/6

Emotional Response: 6/6 This may be the most twist-filled and twisted episode to date.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 6/6

In total, “Governed as It Were By Chance” receives 39/42

Questions and Notes

The video that Sarah finds belies Cosmina’s assessment of Rachel’s childhood. Why, then, is the adult Rachel such a “cold bitch”?

The Duncans disappeared after 1976; what exactly was the point of their research, so central to the show? What makes the duplicates unique?

Nice touch: cloning was, to a ridiculous degree, in the public mind in 1976 and 1977.

The Continuum / Orphan Black connections continue, as Roger R. Cross shows up as a character this week.

Lucia di Lammermoor, the relevant scene: