It's understandable if you don't remember everything that happened in Orphan Black's second season. Those ten episodes packed loads of betrayals, revelations, and freaky, freaky science. Let us catch you up on last season before the new season starts this weekend.
Season One ended with Sarah shooting Helena through the chest, apparently killing her, before sending a "screw you" message to Rachel. When she got to Mrs. S's house to pick up Kira and run away, however, she discovered that Siobhan and Kira were both gone and the house had been ransacked.
We open with Sarah unable to get a hold of her foster brother Felix or any of her fellow clones. She assumes that Dyad has kidnapped Kira and Mrs. S, but before she can deal with that, she has a run-in with these not-so-nice fellows.
That's Mark on the left. He's AWOL from the military and he's got a secret. The guy on the right doesn't last five minutes.
These guys are Proletheans, sort of like the people who screwed up Helena, but they belong to a different, breakaway sect. They try to corner Sarah in a diner and try to kidnap her, but she manages to get away.
She also manages to get a gun and infiltrate Dyad, pretending to be Cosima at an important Dyad reception. Dr. Leekie has been courting Cosima (in a professional sense; Cosima is still dating the dubious Delphine), hoping that Cosima will work with Dyad to research her own illness.
That's how she gets into Rachel's office and points a gun at the pro-clone. But it turns out that Dyad doesn't have Siobhan or Kira. Sarah still has the pleasure of kicking Rachel's ass.
Oh, and Helena's still alive! It turns out that she and Sarah are mirror image twins — and all of Helena's organs are reversed. So while Sarah shot her through the left side of her chest, Helena's heart is on the right. We saw Helena pull a piece of rebar out of her abdomen in the first season; it takes more than a bullet wound to finish her off.
So the good news is that she survived the gun shot. The bad news is that the Proletheans have been tracking Helena. Mark takes it upon himself to snatch her from the hospital.
Meanwhile in suburbia, Alison is reeling with guilt over her murder-by-inaction of her frenemy Aynsley, whom Alison suspected was hired by Dyad to monitor Alison's every move. At Aynsley's funeral, however, Alison gets proof that her own husband, Donnie, is actually her monitor.
This reignites Alison's not-even-slightly-under-control substance abuse problem. She starts hitting the nips and pills hard.
She also starts rehearsing for a musical, Blood Ties (a real musical about four friends cleaning up after a very messy suicide), and she runs into Angie, the cop who briefly served as Art's partner in the first season. Angie is still investigating the mystery of the identical women (despite Art's warnings that she should stay out of it), and she tries going undercover as a soccer mom in order to get close to Alison. She's pretty terrible at it, and Alison assumes she's her new monitor.
Sarah follows a trail of breadcrumbs and eventually finds Siobhan, who took Kira into hiding with the help of her old network, the birdwatchers.
Unfortunately, it turns out that the birdwatchers sold Siobhan and Sarah out to the Proletheans. Sarah and Kira make a hasty escape while Siobhan kills off her former allies. Yes, Siobhan is a piano-teaching, tea-making, child-rearing badass.
Note: Given the developments of this season, we expect Helena will become even scarier very soon.
Felix joins Sarah and Kira and they live on the run for a while until Sarah has the bright idea to break into a nearby house, promising Felix that it's an unoccupied summer cabin.
It turns out that the home is very much occupied — by Cal, Kira's biological father.
Cal is former tech entrepreneur who was burned by the military
industrial complex and possesses healthily paranoid streak. Once upon a time, Sarah stayed with him for a month and, conwoman that she was, stole $10,000 from him.
Despite all that, they rekindle their relationship and Cal agrees to help Sarah and Kira out.
Cal pretty much spends this season keeping Kira off the grid, sometimes with Sarah, sometimes without her. We won't see more of him in this recap, but he pops up hear and there throughout the season to lend his technical skills to the Clone Club cause and act bemused around his preternaturally perceptive daughter. He and Sarah are still romantically paired at the end of the season.
Over at Dyad, Cosima sets up her new lab.
And Delphine shows her increasingly depressing tapes of Jennifer Fitzsimmons, a clone who recently died of the same disease that's afflicting Cosima.
They autopsy Jennifer's body together. Delphine is such a romantic.
On the opening night of Blood Ties, Alison gets wasted in her dressing room. In the middle of one of her songs, she gets it into her foggy head that she'll point accusingly at Donnie in the audience. I'm sure that it seemed like a great idea at the time.
But she promptly falls off the stage.
While she's still blackout drunk/stoned/in agonizing pain, Donnie convinces Alison to sign herself into a rehab facility. She doesn't like it, but even Felix recognizes that she probably needs it.
And she just so happens to bump into Sarah's ex, the perennially unlucky Vic.
No, it's not a coincidence. He's working for Angie as a CI. Alison ends up confessing about her semi-murder of Aynsley to him, and he later tries to blackmail her. This works out about as well as any of Vic's plans do. (In this case, he's found in a public corner of the rehab facility drugged and covered in craft supplies.)
While Alison thinks she is going through the worst trial in human history, Helena is actually in very real trouble. Mark has taken her to the neo-Prolethean ranch. While the old school Proletheans didn't believe in meddling with nature, these American Proletheans believe that science is a tool of God. And the Prolethean leader, Henrik, decides to use his science on Helena, right after a quick handfasting ceremony. (Helena is drugged throughout the whole thing. There are no "I do"s involved.)
At first it looks like Henrik is carrying Helena off to some honeymoon bedchamber...
But actually, he has different designs on Helena. Since Sarah is able to have children and Helena is Sarah's identical twin, Henrik figures that Helena can have children as well. He wants in on that miracle. He extract Helena's eggs and fertilizes them with his own swimmers.
Not all the Proletheans are onboard with this plan, however. Henrik's daughter Gracie thinks that Helena is an abomination and tries to smother her in her sleep.
Helena starts to asphyxiate her right back, but lets her go, escaping instead.
Gracie gets her lips sewn shut for her troubles.
Sarah ends up leaving Kira with Cal and returns to the city, where she hunts through Rachel's apartment for clues. She finds home movies of Rachel's surprisingly happy childhood with Susan and Ethan Duncan, the two people from the Project Leda photograph that Sarah received from her birth mother, Amelia.
It turns out, however, that Rachel doesn't live alone. Her lap dog/monitor/all-around scary dude Daniel lives with her, and he's a little too excited to find Sarah in his digs.
Just when things are looking very bad for Sarah, Daniel stumbles over and dies, his throat slit by a certain Ukrainian assassin.
Thus, Sarah and Helena are united. One of the sisters is clearly happier about this than the other.
With Daniel dead, Paul becomes Rachel's monitor. She makes him do it with her. It's pretty gross.
Sarah manages to prevent Helena from murdering Rachel (for reasons), and the two sisters make amends.
Sarah and Helena go on an adorable road trip to learn more about the Duncans, but the Proletheans track them down. Gracie tells Helena that Henrik has made her babies "whole" and will implant them in Helena if she comes back to the ranch. Helena likes the idea of children far more than she fears for her own safety, so she agrees to return with Gracie and Mark.
Sarah may have lost Helena, but she finally meets her mad scientist daddy: Ethan Duncan, who is still alive. Naturally, Mrs. S is connected to Ethan; her network has been hiding him this whole time.
Ethan is a little addled, but he's also a wealth of information. It turns out that Dr. Leekie was responsible for the lab fire that killed Susan and destroyed much of the Duncans' research. After that, he took over guardianship of Rachel and allowed her to become the peerless monument to emotional repression she is today. Sarah convinces him to come out of hiding to help Cosima treat her illness.
Also, He and Kira bond. After all, she's his only sort-of grandchild.
That's the lesser-known variation of Checkov's Gun — Checkov's Scifi Novel — that Ethan is reading to Kira.
After a small comedy of errors, Donnie learns about the whole business of his wife being a clone. When Alison confronts him about the fact that Donnie has been spying on her for their entire relationship, Donnie explains that he did it because one of his professors asked him to for a study. That's it. No blackmail. No secret obsession with eugenics. His professor asked, so Donnie spied.
Alison seems pissed more at his stupidity than at his deception.
Donnie, mad with grief over his (potentially) destroyed marriage, has a final meeting with Dr. Leekie, one where he waves a loaded gun at the scientist. The gun accidentally goes off in Donnie's hand, spraying Leekie's brains all over the interior of Donnie's car.
Later on, while talking through the state of their marriage, Alison confesses to Donnie that she let Aynsley die by garbage disposal. No one has ever been more relieve to discover their spouse was kind of a murderer. Donnie confesses right back.
He also enlists her help in disposing of Leekie's dead body. They end up encasing him in cement in the floor of their garage. If there's one thing that Alison is good at, it's cleaning up literal messes.
We also briefly meet another Leda clone: Tony, who happens to be transgender. Now Tatiana Maslany is just showing off.
Ethan agrees to go to Dyad to work with Cosima in her lab, which means some awkward encounters with his daughter Rachel.
So an important thing about Rachel: She really, really wants to have a baby. This seems to be related to her happy childhood with the Duncans, and the feelings she has never been able to recapture. So she's distraught to learn that the clones were actually made barren by design. Since they were experimental prototypes, it would be, ahem, irresponsible for them to reproduce. (Hey, even morally challenged mad scientists have their own codes.) The failsafe to prevent reproduction just didn't work with Sarah.
Ethan, Cosima, Delphine, and Cosima's lab buddy Scott quickly get to work.
Ethan quickly deduces what's wrong. In order to prevent the clones from conceiving, the Duncans introduced an artificial genetic sequence that led to an autoimmune condition. An unanticipated side effect is that, in some clones, it led to a severe respiratory condition. Ethan can reverse the condition, but it involves decrypting Cosima's unique artificial sequence, and only Ethan holds the key to the cypher.
However, there's one more catch: Cosima is so sick that she needs her immune system rebooted. The Dyad team needs bone marrow from — you guessed it — Kira in order to attempt the procedure.
Meanwhile, Angie and Vic continue their weird, unauthorized investigation of the Murder Hendrixes. Donnie, who has somehow found his stones somewhere between killing Leekie and waiting for the cement to dry, actually stands up to Angie.
Then he and Alison do it in the garage. It's kind of sweet.
Having returned to the Prolethean ranch, Helena allows Henrik to implant her with the fertilized eggs.
But Henrik isn't about to stop at one pregnancy. He also implants his and Helena's eggs in Gracie's womb, with plans to impregnate more women at the ranch.
Uh huh, you keep telling yourself that, buddy. The fact is that you got your daughter pregnant with your baby.
When Helena learns that Gracie is pregnant with Helena and Henrik's child against her will, she is not happy, and she goes into full-on Angry Angel mode. She encourages Mark and Helena to flee together, and she subdues Henrik and restrains him in his own lab, finding creative uses for his insemination tools.
Then she burns down the Prolethean compound. We don't know if Henrik survived.
While Kira is in a clinic having her bone marrow extracted, Rachel impersonates Sarah and kidnaps her.
So the human MacGuffin ends up in Dyad's custody. Rachel places Kira in a room that looks like it was designed by an automaton who had been given a list of things girls are supposed to like.
In the hopes of seeing Kira again, Sarah finally surrenders to Dyad. At intake, she's pokes and prodded and asked a number of extremely personal questions about her health and sexual history. She also consents to having her eggs harvested.
Rachel, not content with this victory, has Delphine reassigned to Germany, knowing full well that Cosima could die while Delphine is gone.
She also tries to convince Papa Ethan to give up his cypher key so she can decrypt her own artificial sequence and reverse her infertility. Instead of giving up the cypher, however, Ethan kills himself by dropping poison into his tea.
With Ethan dead, Rachel decides that she's going to have one of Sarah's ovaries removed instead of just a handful of eggs.
She's also convinced that Ethan left the cypher key somewhere that Sarah could find it, and she starts smashing the vials of Kira's bone marrow. It's part negotiating tactic, part tantrum.
Little does Rachel know that Cosima and Scott rigged up a little weapon for Sarah. Sarah pulls the release on a well positioned fire extinguisher and sends a pencil right into Rachel's eye.
Everyone escapes! For five minutes, everyone is in Felix's apartment and happy.
Clone dance party break!
Things look a little different the next day, however. Cosima has a near-death experience, but she's rewarded for failing to step into the light. Kira brings her Ethan's copy of The Island of Dr. Moreau, which is filled with notes and clues about his research.
Sarah pays a visit to Marion Bowles, a member of an organization called Topside, which "steers" the Dyad group.
Marion is also the adoptive mother of Charlotte, an 8-year-old clone of the Leda line. Dyad made 400 attempts to replicate Project Leda, and Charlotte was the sole survivor. Marion tells Sarah that, like Siobhan, she's emotionally invested in the clones.
Marion has another, less pleasant surprise for Sarah. It turns out that there were two lines of clones: Project Leda, which produced female clones, and Project Castor, which produced male clones for the military. And whose face do those male clones wear?
It turns out that there's a whole Mark clone army out in the world — and Paul is somehow involved. While Sarah is getting this unpleasant revelation, Siobhan is selling Helena out to Paul and the Castor army. Helena is in their hands now.
And Mark and Gracie are getting married.
Poor Gracie. The next season is not going to go well for you.
Orphan Black returns on Saturday, April 18th for its third season. Tune into BBC America at 9 PM for all the clone madness.