With 2013 in its final hours, we decided to look back on the year that was, and remember the moments from science fiction TV and television that really stuck with us, that we’ll still be thinking of years from now. Needless to say…
Orphan Black’s “Variations Under Domestication”
From the very first scene, BBC America’s clone-centered Orphan Black instilled almost every moment of the series with mystery and suspense, with a healthy portion of dark wit sprinkled all around. It’s one of the most stellar first seasons of any series I’ve ever seen, and it definitely shined the brightest in the hilariously tense sixth episode, “Variations Under Domestication,” in which actress Tatiana Maslany solidified her position as one of the strongest performers of the year.
This is the episode where the suburbanite Alison suspected her husband Donnie of being her monitor, and reacted by swinging a golf club into his face, knocking him down a flight of basement stairs, tying him to a chair, and burning him with a hot glue gun in order to provoke a confession, which never comes. Meanwhile, a forgotten neighborhood potluck is underway in the rooms above, and Sarah is at one point forced to pretend to be Alison in front of all her friends and neighbors while Alison is passed out drunk on a couch. It’s an astoundingly silly nailbiter that ends with both monitor Paul and the criminal Vic adding more awkward wrinkles to the situation. It’s a master class in storytelling and stands out in what was already one of TV’s biggest highlights.