Orphan Black
Why You Should Be Watching Orphan Black: A Season One Recap

Heather Barefoot | 9 May 2014 15:00
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Episode One

beth pre train

Set in modern day Toronto-esque city, Orphan Black follows the life of one Sarah Manning, a street-hardened British woman with an affinity for black leather and cursing. The show starts with Sarah eyeing a distraught woman on the subway platform. The woman slips out of her heels, folds her blazer, and turns to look directly at Sarah...with a face that is exactly like Sarah's. Mystery Woman then walks directly in front on an oncoming subway train and Sarah, like any sensible person, steals the dead woman's purse and seeks refuge in a nearby bar.

Joining Sarah in the bar is Felix, who clues us in about Sarah's backstory: Sarah left her daughter Kira with their foster mother, Siobhan, and disappeared for nearly a year. Sarah informs Felix about the suicidal woman on the subway platform with the eerily exact Sarah face, named Elizabeth Childs and she decides to head to Beth's apartment and steal anything valuable she can get her hands on.

Sarah's snooping pays off at Beth's place where Sarah finds a bank statement $75,000 in Beth's name., which is more than enough money to set up Felix, Sarah, and Kira with a nice life somewhere far removed from her abusive ex-boyfriend Vic. Using street smarts, hair dye, and an aptitude for accents, Sarah adopts Beth's life long enough to con the bank. There she also accesses Beth's safety deposit box and finds birth certificates for several women including Alison Hendrix, Katja Obinger, and Beth herself.

Leaving the bank, Sarah is blindsided by Detective Art Bell whom believes Sarah to be Beth. Art drives Sarah to the police station where she is thrown to an Internal Affairs hearing regarding Beth's involvement in a line of duty shooting that resulted in the fatality of civilian Margaret Chen. After skillfully managing to postpone the hearing, Sarah is confronted by Beth's boyfriend Paul back at their apartment. With no other way to distract him, Sarah strips and tosses him on the counter for a quickie, successfully putting an end to his questions, for now.

At her false memorial service, Sarah meets Katja Obinger, a red-haired, German fashionista who, you guessed it, has the same exact features as Sarah. Amidst coughing up blood, a sickly Katja demands to see Beth's "scientist friend". Katja suspects Sarah isn't who she says she is and gives her a riddle to prove her identity: "Just one. I'm a few. No family too. Who am I?" but before Katja can react to Sarah's lack of knowledge, she's immediately shot in the head by a sniper through Sarah's windshield.

Episode Two

katja obinger

With a dead body in her backseat, Sarah answers Beth's personal phone and speaks with a nameless woman who confirms that someone is killing the lookalikes. Sarah buries Katja in a shallow, unmarked grave off the side of a random road and heads back to Felix's apartment where she pleads with Felix to tell Mrs. S that she's not dead. They finally decide to check the whopping $75k Sarah stole and find that Art has taken it, leaving the case file for the Maggie Chen case in its place.

Sarah meets Art and convinces him that the money isn't connected to the Maggie Chen case in any way. She proves to Art she won't crack under pressure by recanting the statement she will give at the rescheduled Internal Affairs hearing, and Art divulges another valuable nugget of info. Apparently, Beth had been high on a combination of prescription pills, shot Maggie Chen, and called Art for help prior to calling in the shooting. She assures him that he won't be brought into this investigation but he continues to hold her money ransom until she's cleared.

After retrieving Katja's briefcase, Sarah finds a mysterious x-ray and several blood and hair samples from Katja, a French woman named Danielle Fourner, and numerous other woman who all look exactly like Sarah. Right on time, Sarah receives another phone call from Nameless. Instead of pretending to be Beth, she answers as Sarah and is tested with the same riddle from before. When Sarah can't answer, she's promptly hung up on.

Thanks to the briefcase's information, Sarah heads down to Suburbia and finds yet another doppelganger, this time in the form of soccer mom Alison Hendrix. The meeting wasn't exactly seamless, but Alison arranges for Sarah to meet Cosima, a.k.a. Nameless, face to face.

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