Orphan Black S05E03 Recap: The Alison Show
Alison does ‘shrooms, pills and booze, meets Rachel for the first time – and kicks her ass!
Our episode this week starts with a flashback to a dinner party held by the Hendricks with Ainslie and Chad (the husband that Alison bonked on the front seat of his car just before she watched Ainslie choke to death in her sink). Chad and Ainslie have a proposition for Alison and Donny, and Donny is a bit worried that they’re about to get all “free love” on them, but when Chad produces a bag of magic mushrooms, Alison throws caution to the wind and goes along with it. Beth is trying to contact Alison, but she’s insisting that they only look alike because of coincidence, nothing more. Cosima is waiting in the car outside Alison’s house, and Beth instructs her to go and make her face up to the truth. Alison’s world as she knows it is about to change forever.
My hand is all fuzzy and the air has turned purple…
Sober Donny is bringing water as Alison, Ainslie and Chad are tripping on the mushrooms, and when Alison’s phone goes off again telling her to go outside she meets “the other one” Cosima. They have a bit of a conversation, Alison is seeing Cosima in ways that Cosima has possibly never seen herself (but then again… I doubt it), and when Cosima proposes they get together, Alison freaks out, and goes back inside, saying she can’t deal with it. While Chad and Ainslie are playing piggy-backs outside, Alison has somewhat sobered up, and is staring at herself in the mirror, asking, “Why do I have this face? I could have had many faces. I could have been a cop, or a scientist, but I ended up microwaving mini-pizzas and chauffeuring kids to circus camp. Why this life?” Donny thinks her musings are because of the mushrooms, but oh Donald… there was so much more that was about to explode in your life! Later that night, she and Ainslie are lying in the grass, staring up at the stars, wondering if there isn’t more to life for them – more outside of Bailey Downs. Ainslie says there’s so much joy where they are, but encourages Alison to ‘go forth and prosper’ if she feels there’s some other purpose for her out there. That “escape to freedom” from The Truman Show music I mentioned in the last recap – it’s playing again now.
You’re the ‘other one’, and loooook… you have a nose ring.
But I really can not deal right now.
Cut to the present and Mr Frontinac is questioning Alison and Donny where Helena is. They insist they don’t know where she is and Alison tells him to tell Rachel that Helena is not going to let her suck stem cells out of her babies. Frontinac is trying to get inside Alison’s head saying Cosima is a very good scientist, Sarah and Helena are biologically priceless because they’re fertile, even MK had value… and then there’s you. This messes with her self-esteem big time, and she starts to wonder what’s the point of her existence. She’s a mother and a homemaker and does community work in a community that no longer wants her. What is her identity now?
I am here to make you feel shit about yourself.
You have succeeded.
Sarah, Kira, S and Felix are having a little memorial for MK, joined by Alison and Donny via a Skype session. Alison is so very sad, as they all are, but blames herself for not being there, that she could have done something, but didn’t. Sarah tells her there was nothing she could have done, they were all being watched too closely. S suggests they all lay low for the day; Alison comments she’ll just ‘go back to her useless life’, and Sarah’s attempts at reconnecting with Kira are still being rebuffed. S says she’ll take Kira to Dyad, and Sarah is freaking out that she won’t tell her what she did with Rachel.
RIP sweet MK
Back at the Hendricks household, Donny is trying to convince Alison that she should go to the Church Fall Fair. She’s not keen. Nona Walker is now in charge and this is not something that sits well. In her ‘useless life’, organising the church fair was something that gave her a sense of worth. As she’s searching around in one of her craft cupboards she finds an old bottle of pills from her pill-popping days, obviously secreted there for those days when an ‘emergency supply’ was required. Into her pocket they go. She wonders rhetorically, “Why do I love my sisters so much when they’ve ruined my life?” Donny’s reply, “You’re life is just waiting for you to come back and sparkle it up,” elicits a burst of energy from Alison as she decides to go and throw her support behind the fall fair as she ‘made it what it is today and she will not be sidelined by Nona Walker’, despite her fall from grace within the neighbourhood of Bailey Downs.
When she arrives and nosey Nona takes her down a peg or two for doing what ‘everyone said she’d do’ and ‘try to undermine her’, Alison marches into the church itself and pours all of the pills she brought along with her into a bottle of iced tea. Watch out Nona, revenge is about to be exacted, Hendricks style! When the pastor comes along to bless Alison for ‘working out her differences’ with Nona, Alison’s good Christian guilty conscience kicks in, and she grabs the bottle back from Nona, saying she’ll get her a different one as that one is old and out of date.
I’ll get you Nona Walker!
Rachel and Frontinac are looking over Aldus Leekie’s book on Neolution, which Rachel claims PT Westmorland wrote, but Aldus dumbed down for the ‘regular reader’. They’re also looking at the ultrasound image of Helena’s babies (ha! I knew that needle through the cheek doctor from last ep was one of them!), and they decide that Helena’s babies may be even more valuable than Kira. They decide to ramp up the leverage on Donny, believing him to be holding out on them. Rachel is cutting Kira’s fingernails (I’m sure this is significant!), and then gives her the gift of a mouse – some creepy creature that can slip right out of its skin and fur and then grow it back again. Kira tells her everyone says she shouldn’t trust Rachel, and then wisely evades the question when Rachel asks her if she does. Rachel tells her that she has ‘special genes’ that heal quickly, that it’s not necessarily a miracle when this happens, and later than night, Kira takes a knife from a bedroom drawer and prepares to cut herself…
NOT 13 Reasons Why… but a little clone offspring checking her healing abilities.
Art and Misogynist Matty turn up at the Hendricks house – Donny looking resplendent in the highland kilt he plans to wear for his performance at the fair later in the day answers the door – with a warrant to search the house. As Donny heads off to the Fall Fair he whispers to Art to keep them out of the garage… Art did not want to hear that, but off goes Mis Matty to see what’s there… and plant some evidence while she’s at it. Art is clearly unimpressed, but he’s powerless against her, and she makes no effort to hide or deny what she’s doing. The bloody clothing she’s hiding has clone blood on it, tying the Hendricks’ to the death of Pouchy (from S4). The plan is they get scared and spill the info the Neos need on where Helena is. Typical, disingenuous, dishonourable Neo. *roll-eyes* Then she notices the inconsistent concrete on the garage floor. “Huh? Kinda looks like a grave, don’t it?”
I am a performer, thank you very much
Back at the fair, Alison is copping grief from her bitchy church “friends” (nice Christian spirit there ladies), and stops by a memorial table to dead-friend Ainslie. Chad turns up they talk – what if it was their fault? Alison says there’s no changing the past, but her guilt and lack of self-worth are really starting to eat her up now. But wait – who’s that she spies doing the party deliveries for the fair? It’s Ramone the dealer, and she walks right up to him, smacks him on the butt and rebukes him for ‘ripping them off’. He gives her some story about her getting ripped off by the guy up the chain, and she decides she’s just a ‘colossal failure at everything’, and next thing the two of them are slamming down the booze and smoking some weed in the cab of Ramone’s truck. She thinks about how much her life has changed in the past year, and makes Ramone promise he “won’t end up in 10 years time in Bailey Downs wondering what the hell happened to your life.” Drunk and stoned, she lets loose! Bouncy castle here we come… won’t someone think of the children!!
No, really I shouldn’t… here give it to me!
Donny turns up and desperately tries to get Alison off the bouncy castle, but she tells him “talk to the bouncing hand Donny” – very bloody funny! She’s so high that she’s only half bothered to learn that the cops are searching their house, despite the bodies of Leekie and a Castor brother buried in their garage. Despite Art’s attempts to delay her, Matty’s pushes ahead and with a ‘yes ma’am I’m on it’ (presumably to Rachel), starts jackhammering into the cement, before handing Art a shovel and insisting he keep digging. Art knows exactly what they’re going to find soon – but not who – and Matty’s pretty happy that she’s actually got some proper evidence that they can use as leverage to find Helena.
Donny in his panic calls Sarah – Alison has relapsed with her teenage dealer, and there are cops crawling all over their house, can you please come and help. He’s parched, and finds a bottle of ice tea in Alison’s bag, and wouldn’t you know – chugs the whole lot down in one hit. That’s a lot of tea containing a lot of pills meant for Nosey Nona. Felix rushes to the Fall Fair, while Sarah heads to the Hendricks house to see if the situation there is at all salvageable.
Just as Donny is preparing to grace the stage - but given he is completely full of Alison’s downers, he’s more “Sleepyhead” than “Braveheart” – Alison tries to confess to Chad that she didn’t help Ainslie on the day she died, she just stood there and watched. But Chad won’t hear it, telling her instead that any problems were just ‘best friend problems’ and ‘she loved you so much’. This doesn’t exactly ease Alison’s guilt, but Chad says they must move forward, and Alison appears to accept this at this point. Donny’s dance is a disaster as he stumbles all over the stage, falling backwards (and seemingly honouring the time held tradition of what a Scotsman wears under his kilt!), before falling face-first forward in completely unconscious.
This is not a safety dance
Felix arrives in time to see Donny bare all (‘the weirdest people get one…’) and both he and Alison rush to his side to the snickers and snide comments from her ‘friends’ in the audience. Alison snaps. “I might have my demons, but don’t you dare go after my Donny.” She lets them have it about their hypocrisy and their pill-popping (‘you were buying them from me’), and a few people sit up, but probably no one will care because, at the end of the day it’s crazy alko pill-popping Alison making the ridiculous accusations. Orwellian almost, in their ability to behave in one way, but believe a whole other set of thoughts about themselves. Soon, Donny is throwing his guts up, much to Felix’s horror, but at least he’s cleaning his system of all the shit he’s just ingested.
Sarah is hiding outside the Hendricks’ garage trying to get Art’s attention. When he tells her it’s Dr Leekie in the grave, he just about has a heart-attack, and understands just how important it is that Rachel doesn’t find out who’s buried there. Sarah calls Alison and says Rachel’s going to go ballistic when she finds out who’s there, and Donny says he’ll just have to give them what they want – the whereabouts of Helena. Alison’s a bit pissed off that Donny didn’t tell her, but he explains he could only tell Sarah, who immediately says they will not be giving up where Helena is. Sarah is stumped for answers, and for once, Alison takes charge. “This is our doing. Rachel should know that.” [At this stage I had forgotten that Rachel and Alison have never actually met through 4 and a bit years of this show].
I can usually come up with something, but this time, I got nuthin’.
Think, think, think… I might just pay Rachel a little visit at Dyad.
Alison rocks up to Dyad. Rachel is as smug as she has ever been, congratulating Mr Frontinac on provoking her such that she has come in, presumably to ‘defend herself’ against her character assassination from earlier in the ep. Rachel comments that she’s never taken much notice of Alison’s files, and Alison tells her, “I’ve been in this fight since the beginning with Beth, even before Sarah, and I’m in it for the long haul.” She pushes a bag she’s carrying across the desk towards Rachel. Meanwhile Matty is still digging, and pretty soon there’s a headless Leekie looking at them and stinking up the place and – well not actually looking at them because he’s headless. At the exact same time, Rachel opens the bag, and THERE is the head of Leekie looking at her! She jumps backs in horror and suddenly realises that Aldus Leekie is buried in the garage, “Minus the head which was donated to science,” Rachel informs her.
There’s another where than one came from if you’d like.
Alison goes all hard-ass on Rachel. Do what you want to us, but we’re not telling you where Helena is – file murder charges, it’s your problem, not ours. Everything leads back to you and your office. She hands Rachel her phone and instructs her to get the police out of her house.
GET THEM OUT OF MY HOUSE
Art has decided he’s going to have to take drastic measures to protect the clone sestras, so he stands behind Matty and draws his gun. He’s kill her to protect them, himself and this whole sordid mess of which he is fully a part. Rachel calls and instructs Matty to stand down, and Art slowly puts his gun away. Rachel realises she’s been out-witted by the one whom she considered the ‘slow-witted’ one and claims, “I should like to out my hands around your neck and squeeze. Alison looks her in the eye and replies – then we’re not so different you and I.” Alison has kicked her ass! #GoTeamHendricks!
Alison has found herself, she’s popped loose, she’s taken charge, she feels empowered… and she goes home to tell Donny she needs to ‘go away for a little while to see who she is.’ They finish singing their duet, “Ain’t no mountain high enough” and all is good with the Hendricks!
I love you you big doofus, but I just gotta go and find me.
Oh and Helena – she’s hidden away in a convent. Will Dyad think of looking for her there?
Have we found something Tatiana Maslany can’t do? Hold a pen in her left hand convincingly?? ;-)