Orphan Black keeps fresh by, paradoxically, drawing on Restoration comedy, spaghetti westerns, and mob movies. Characters who have been sidelined head front and center, as consequences from last week remain unrevealed and Rachel cracks a code.
Title: “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate”
Cast and Crew
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Alison Hendrix / Helena / Rachel Duncan
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Evelyne Brochu as Delphine
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Justin Chatwin as Jason Kellerman
Ksenia Solo as Shay
Josh Vokey as Scott
Terra Hazelton as Sarah Stubbs
Amanda Brugel as Marci Coates
Tony Cianchino as Pouchy
David Vena as Joao
Jessica Salgueiro as Luisa
Sheila McCarthy as Connie
Cosima requires clone pee to fool a urinalysis, and she makes contact with Allison, who (aided by Felix), is trying to buy her mother’s shop, make a winning school trustee speech, and save her husband’s nose. Hijinx ensue.
Meanwhile, Scott gets Rachel to break the code, and Siobhan heads to Mexico to save the twin clones who are stranded in a dusty cantina.
If the Hendrix plot still doesn’t quite integrate with the other stories, it takes center stage spectacularly, presenting a kind of old-time comedy with a dark edge.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Siobhan showing up in western gear to get Helena and Sarah out of Mexico, but the confrontation with Helena felt weak, especially by the standards of this well-written episode.
Effects: 6/6 We have some very effective Maslany and Maslany scenes this week, and everything falls into place.
Acting: 6/6 We gain significant insight into Allison’s character thanks in part to Tatiana Maslany’s scenes with Sheila McCarthy as her overbearing, manipulative mother. Kristian Bruun as Donnie, meanwhile, continues to develop into a nuanced character.
Emotional Response: 5/6
Overall: 5/6 The generic-verse throws us for a curve again; we get the sense Mexico isn’t far away (though we’re never shown how anyone gets there), but Allison and Luisa appear to be counting Canadian money this week.
I’m not even going to try to work out the show’s internal timeline.
In total, “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate” receives 37/42