Orphan Black Hides Secret Literary Messages In Instagram Promotion

By Nick Venable | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

orphan blackI’m the kind of person who sees the forest from the trees, but it’s probably only because my forest exists on a tiny island in the middle of an ocean of despair. But I heartily admire the people who look into the trees from the forest and delve into the minuscule details that add curiosity to spectacle. One such person is Valerie Anne of the website AfterEllen, who rounded up all of Orphan Black‘s recent Instagram clips and decoded the hidden message hidden at the end of each of them. I didn’t even realize there were hidden messages. Sigh.

The brilliant BBC America series took a unique approach to promoting its upcoming second season by dropping eight clips in eight days, most of which were at a peak moment of conflict. As if I wasn’t bursting with excitement already. And at the end of each clip, just before the “#CloneClub” screen, is a flash of binary code, different for every video. As Valerie explains, they are all taken from a single source.

Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” Each of the screens is a line from his classic poem, published in his seminal work Leaves of Grass. The first clip features Rachel being threatened by what appears to be Cosima — I believe I wrote in error in an earlier article that it was Sarah, as the scene tries to make us think — and the line is, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” Perhaps a nod not only to the clone storyline but to the duplicitous nature of figuring out who is who.

Each quote pertains to each clip, as the one where Paul seems to join Rachel’s side completely is given the line, “Do you guess I have some intricate purpose?” This is quite on the nose, as he definitely asks her what she needs him to do. And for the one where she’s making out with Michiel Huisman’s new character, it says, “I and this mystery, here we stand.” Who is this guy, and why is he so damned lucky?

It’s interesting that they choose poetry as their literary tie-in, as the first season’s episodes were drawn from the words of Charles Darwin, and it’s been revealed that the second-season episodes will use Francis Bacon as their titular inspiration. I really hope they work Dr. Seuss into this somehow.

Check out the rest of the eight clips below and be damned sure to check out the second-season premiere on April 19. Let’s keep this gem of a series on the air as long as possible.