I don’t know if any of you guys caught the season finale of Community last week, where the writers capped off an awful season by nearly destroying the darkest timeline by bringing the darker characters into the normal world. It’s a good example of the perils of having actors play against themselves via technical wizardry. In Orphan Black, I have to actively remind myself that Tatiana Maslany is the only actress playing these completely different clone characters. And while it’s obvious from scene to scene as the focus switches over from Sarah’s story to Cosima’s story, whenever Maslany shares the screen with herself, it’s a treat to watch and consistently blows my mind.
The best example in “Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner” is the dive diner lunch date between Sarah and the clone-killer Helena, who marvels at the niceness of the restaurant as she pours sugar on top of her Jell-o. Sarah is hard-boiled and no nonsense, while Helena is childlike in her inability to appear normal around grown-ups. She grew up in a Ukranian convent that saved her from abandonment She’s now under the rather harsh care of whoever Tomas ends up being. He continues trying to convince Helena she is the original, and I’m not sure if it’s just to give her a superiority complex or what.
Instead of going for the ramped-up situational drama that last week’s episode zigged and zagged through, this episode’s pacing is guided by the editing, which stitches together a bunch of smaller scenes that bring everything together in the end. And while there’s a lot of info-dumping and talking, much of it is important information.