Orphan Black Review: “Beneath Her Heart”

This week’s Allison-centered ep shows us past and present in Bailey Downs, as the Hendrixes’ histories catch up with them, and Kira learns more about herself.

Title: “Beneath Her Heart”

Cast and Crew

Director: David Wellington
Writer: Alex Levine

Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix / Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Helena / Rachel Duncan /Beth Childs
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Skyler Wexler as Kira
Kevin Hanchard as Art Bell
Elyse Levesque as Detective Maddie Enger
Jayne Eastwood as Nona Walker
Andrew Moodie as Simon Frontenac
Natalie Lisinska as Aynsley Norris
Eric Johnson as Chad Norris
Ryan Blakely as Reverend Mike
Alex Ozerov as Ramone
Illarion Michaels as Jake
Lily Gail Reid as Esmae
Christina Ferrel as Eileen
Marco Timpano as Forensics #1
Eileen Sword as Sister Irina


Dyad pressures the Hendrixes to reveal Helena’s whereabouts, while their pasts catch up with them at the Fun Fair. Sarah and Felix try to help, and Rachel solidifies her hold on Kira. A flashback shows us Alison’s past with Aynsley and Chad (who turns out to be a bit of a fun guy), and her first meeting with Cosima.

High Point

Apart from delivering the blend of drama, fun, and craziness that make Orphan Black‘s best episodes, we see Alison rise to the occasion, assisting her sisters in ways the other, seemingly more gifted, clones could not.

Low Points

I didn’t dislike Alison’s onstage rant, but it feels a little pat. Felix saves the day, somewhat.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 5/6

Story: 6/6

Acting: 6/6 This episode remembers how much the characters drive the show—its complex, tortured mythology notwithstanding.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 6/6 Despite recent developments, we’re once again reminded how grounded Orphan Black’s SF/fantasy/conspiracy thriller elements can be. Dyad may be a powerful corporation that can pull police strings, but its people remain rightly terrified of having their activities exposed.

In total, “Beneath Her Heart” receives 37/42

7 replies on “Orphan Black Review: “Beneath Her Heart””

  1. I liked seeing Alison contribute something other than comic relief too, it’s not the first time that she has stepped up to the plate, but it’s rare that she even gets an opportunity to make a big contribution – and the pay off is that the Hendrix’s no longer need worry about a couple of issues (plus a loose end being tied up for us). It’s also nice to see a big bad corporation that is not apparently all powerful – they clearly have their limits that are within the bounds of plausibility , especially given that blackmail is one of their recruitment methods as we found with Duko last season.

    The closing scene also seems a rather obvious setup, especially given the early comments about the spiny mouse and what we already know about the abilities of Helena’s babies. I wonder how far they are going to go with that, given the obvious parallels with a similar test in “Heroes” and given how much more sensitive the subject of what that entails is these days.

  2. Every now and then we need a reminder that Alison is absolutely batshit crazy. Crazier than all the other sisters. Including Helena. I don’t think even Helena would casually stroll into an office building with a friggin head in a bag.

    We got some insight about how her life started unraveling, though, which was nice.

    • Interesting questions: is she actually crazier, or does her context make her seem crazier?

      Or would anyone go crazy in Bailey Downs?

      • I think a combination of the three; don’t forget that Alison would have had her “mommy issues” even without Beth appearing on the scene. Couple life in Bailey Downs with the revelation that she was a clone, and you could easily have a seed would push an otherwise mostly sane Alison spiralling ever further into craziness.

        As for Bailey Downs, I think you could quite easily take the premise of Alison and Donnie’s lives in Bailey Downs, drop the clone element, and turn it into a highly successful dark comedy, especially if you could work a version of Helena into the plot somehow. The disjoint between the idyllic outward appearance and the reality is just going to keep on giving…

      • > Interesting questions: is she actually crazier, or does her context make her seem crazier?

        Alison straight-up murdered people in cold blood.

        Now maybe she’d never have gotten that far if her life hadn’t fallen apart (which might never have happened if the Clone Army didn’t show up at her door step). Maybe. But I think she always had an underlying mental issue that was juuuust under the surface. When I say she’s crazy… I mean in a diagnosable/treatable mental disorder kind of way.

Comments are closed.