He’s not at all well-wrapped!
–Alison berates her husband over his inadequate homicide concealment skills

Apparently, Orphan Black‘s creators didn’t think their show had induced enough WTF?!? responses yet.

Title: “Variable and Full of Perturbation”

Cast and Crew
Director: John Fawcett
Writer: Karen Walton

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Alison Hendrix / Rachel Duncan / Tony Zwicky
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Evelyne Brochu as Delphine
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Skyler Wexler as Kira
Kevin Hanchard as Detective Art Bell
Andrew Gillies as Ethan Duncan
Josh Vokey as Scott
Millie Davis as Gemma Hendrix
Drew Davis as Oscar Hendrix

Full cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

A new, and very different clone enters the story, as we learn more about he original project.

Siobhan, Sarah, and Ethan make a deal with Dyad. Ethan announces he has a potential cure—but he has other plans in the works, and has left some key notes with an unlikely ally.

Yet another player may be lurking in the background.

Events turn frightening at the conclusion—and we have little left of this season to resolve matters.

High Points

Suburban Alison and Donnie bond over their involvements with homicidal acts. For all the tension in their relationship, maybe they really do love each other.

Low Point

A couple of small questions: When Rachel trashes the office—are we seeing the event after others have left, or are we seeing her imagine the actions? And, given the caliber of Maslany’s acting, did we need this confusing scene to communicate Rachel’s anguish?

The Scores:

Originality: 6/6 It may have seemed forced in places, but any episode with couples making up over helium and homicide, a tabletop fantasy war in a lab, The Island of Doctor Moreau as a bedtime story, Felix making out with a transgendered clone of his sister, and….

Look, this episode went a lot of different places.

Effects: 6/6

Story: 5/6 I like the sense of unity created among these disjointed pieces, with H.G. Wells’ novel of genetic tampering1 and beast-men as a kind of leitmotif.

Acting: 6/6 Jordan Gavaris is in fine form, and the script gives young Skyler Wexler a chance to stretch herself a little. Tatiana Maslany’s unusual turn as Tony risks overshadowing some excellent performances by Tatiana Maslany.

Emotional Response: 6/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6 The most interesting new information may be Tony’s message regarding Paul. Do we have yet another faction involved in this dangerous game, one unknown at present?

In total, “Variable and Full of Perturbation” receives 40/42

Notes

1. Wells did not know modern genetics, and his Dr. Moreau tampers with life through vivisection and chemical modification. The novel remains, of course, an interesting cautionary tale, well-suited to Orphan Black.