Orphan Black Review: “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done”

Maybe they told him to be dead and go live in Guadalupe. Only he’s in our freezer.

The second last episode of the season grows tense as storylines converge, Helena pokes back, and Rachel plots. Alison and Donnie provide much-needed comic relief by disposing of a corpse.

Title: “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done”

Cast and Crew
Director: TJ Scott
Writer: Alex Levine

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Alison Hendrix / Rachel Duncan / Helena
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Evelyne Brochu as Delphine
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Skyler Wexler as Kira
Andrew Gillies as Ethan Duncan
Josh Vokey as Scott
Peter Outerbridge as Henrik Johanssen
Kristin Booth as Bonnie Johanssen
Ari Milen as Mark Rollins
Zoé De Grand Maison as Grace Johanssen
Michael Mando as Vic
Julian Richings as Benjamin Kertland
Michelle Forbes as Dr. Marion Bowles
Inga Cadranel as Detective Angela Deangelis
Millie Davis as Gemma Hendrix
Drew Davis as Oscar Hendrix

Full cast and crew information may be found here.


Helena makes short work of the Prolethians literal baby-farm, Alison and Donnie bond over body disposal, Cosmina gets a second chance thanks to her friends, and Rachel conspires to bring forth a nasty twist ending.

High Points

Do you want to do the body like this or like this?

Donnie steps up and he and Alison bond over their criminal conspiracy. I enjoyed watching it, but their triumph, I suspect, will be short-lived. They’ve actually done a terrible job of covering up a homicide.

Low Point

No big deals—Cosmina seems to function very well for someone with so pervasive a health problem, but some people do. Scott continues to be the repository of Big Bang Theory jokes about nerds. They’re minor and incidental to the episodes but, cumulatively, are getting annoying. Hopefully, like Donnie, the character will get to develop.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6

The blending of crime with the mundane works well, but it has been done many times before, even by this creative team.

Effects: 6/6

Story: 6/6 The show’s various storylines converge in this episode—but many questions remain unanswered.

Acting: 6/6 It’s a tough choice, but I’m going to give Helena this week’s award for Best Performance by Tatiana Maslany.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 6/6

I’ve often been baffled by the love given to American Horror Story, a show I’ve tried to like, and which lost me every season (and I didn’t bother watching the third). Yes, it has strong production values and acting. However, its crazy, convoluted plotting exists for its own sake. The weirdness is gratuitous. It has female characters and social issues, but these feel (to me, anyway) exploitative, not empowering. And its taboo content always feels like the product of some guys in a room saying, “oh, won’t this be très scandaleux?”

Orphan Black’s plotting, by comparison, actually goes somewhere. Its oddness and taboo content usually feel integral to the story and characters (consider this episode, which features some very ugly content, and one scene that is particularly difficult to watch as a man—but I never felt offended or insulted). The issues have been handled thoughtfully, and the female characters break the familiar limits of most television shows. When Henrik Johanssen tells Helena that “the women here don’t see it that way,” in response to her assessment of their roles as broodmares, we immediately understand how entirely wrong he is, and how wrong men like him have been, throughout the centuries.

In total, “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done” receives 39/42

2 replies on “Orphan Black Review: “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done””

  1. You know, the inept coverup may actually turn out to be a good thing in the grand overall plot. Given that Dyad was already planning to off Leekie and covering it up as a heart attack, having his body turn up with a gunshot wound would be problematic for them. They will definitely not want his body turning up. At a trial, there is too big a chance that what they have been up to will come out and attract attention from other powerful interests if not the legal system. It will be interesting to see what happens when Allison and Donnie get backed all the way into the corner, to the point where they really have nothing to lose.

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