Orphan Black Review: “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate”

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Kyle’s Review

I’ve been behind on the site for the last couple of days but hopefully, I’ll get back into the swing of things with my TV reviews—I’m only covering two shows at the moment.

Getting back to one of the two show’s I’m still covering, Orphan Black had an odd combination of characters in this week’s “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate.” Up until this week, we haven’t seen too much of Cosima and Alison together. If you’ve been watching the show for a while, you’ll know that these two were introduced during the same episode and they’ve known each other longer than any other set of female clones, but they haven’t shared too much airtime since their first couple of episodes, and there might be a reason for that: Cosima and Alison are so different that they don’t play well together.

Cosima drives the Dyad-Top Side story and figures heavily in the clones falling like flies (because of a flaw in their design that makes them deathly ill) arc, while Alison exists separate from any other clone, because she’s the comic relief. The only clone Alison meshes well with is Sarah, but Sarah and Helena are stuck in Mexico—we’ll get back to them in a bit. You can’t even say that Alison and Cosima have much time together in “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate” as Felix juggles the two of them at a political rally – you can’t have too many people catching a glimpse of the two clones – and when we see the two together, it undercuts the severity of Cosima’s storyline and forces deeper meaning in Alison’s arc. Usually, I’m okay with shaking things up but Cosima’s coughing up a lung, dying, and we’re making light of that, while this was the first episode of Alison’s harsh mom, so it’s difficult to get behind Alison’s need to please her mother. In fact, I’m still not sure she’s that interested in pleasing her mother because of how the episode ended. Unfortunately, most of the plottiness of this episode revolves around Cosima and Alison, but the good thing is that the other arcs worked well.

I would’ve liked to have seen more of Sarah and Helena as they reunited with Mrs. S. For those of you following the show, you’re aware that Mrs. S sold Helena out to the Castor Project, so this isn’t the happiest of reunions. We see just enough of Helena and Mrs. S talking out their differences, or rather punching out their differences, to know that this was a lengthy process of acceptance.

The other major arc had Scott, Cosima’s assistant, figuring out Duncan’s strange language (that holds the key to curing the sick clones) with Rachel. Yes, we have a Rachel sighting, and that’s a good thing. I’m still not sure if the Castor Project (who was absent in this episode) makes a good antagonist because we don’t know anything about them. We know plenty about Rachel. We know what motivates her, which makes me question why she’s helping Scott. That’s more interesting than a faceless government agency that we know nothing about.

Orphan Black’s “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate” could’ve used less Cosima and Alison and more of anyone else, but it’s still a solid episode.

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