Orphan Black Episode 208 Recap: “Variable and Full of Perturbation”

Hey Clone Rangers! Welcome to the recap of the eighth episode of season two of Orphan Black, the only show that rivals RuPaul’s Drag Race in terms of wig budget.

We open with a white van speeding through the streets before it pulls into a garage. A bald guy named Sammy is helped out of the car by a bearded bandit named Tony. Sammy’s been shot, and his dying words to Tony are that he needs to find Beth Childs.

It's okay bro, I've got some Fix-a-Flat and a band-aid, you'll be fine.

It’s okay bro, I’ve got some Fix-a-Flat and a band-aid, you’ll be fine.

The camera then zooms in on Tony, and we see Tatiana Maslany in a mullet wig and a goatee. We have a brand new clone and he’s a trans man!

Tony has a bandana, so he's all ready for A-Camp 2015!

Tony has a bandana, so he’s all ready for A-Camp 2015!

Back at Mrs. S’s house, Mrs. S is trying to convince Sarah that they hold all the cards regarding Dyad and Duncan. Felix and Kira arrive and Kira is reunited with Mrs. S. It’s a family reunion!

I don't know who Trevor Yuile is, but it looks like Siobhan has major beef with him.

I don’t know who Trevor Yuile is, but it looks like Siobhan has major beef with him.

Over at Dyad, Delphine tries to get into the lab but her key card has been de-authorized. Cosima opens the door and accepts a package from Delphine, but then kicks her out of the lab.

My homo senses are tingling: girl drama is afoot!

My homo senses are tingling: girl drama is afoot!

Look, I'm just here to give you back your Ani DiFranco CDs and your Blu-ray of "Lost and Delirious".

Look, I’m just here to give you back your Ani DiFranco CDs and your Blu-ray of Lost and Delirious.

I stream everything now. It's like you don't even know me.

I stream everything now. It’s like you don’t even know me.

Classic lesbian drama, except most break-ups don’t involve baby teeth. Scotty and Cosima drill into Kira’s tooth and harvest the cells. He says that the easier solution would be to get bone marrow from the child, but Cosima refuses to put Kira through that.

I've tested Delphine's ambiguous Facebook post for everything but I've got nothing. Maybe you should block her in your feed?

I’ve tested Delphine’s ambiguous Facebook post for everything but I’ve got nothing. Maybe you should block her in your feed?

Alison has been released from rehab, and is annoyed that Donnie didn’t pick her up.

I'm back from rehab and I want mimosas! JK, not really

I’m back from rehab and I want mimosas! JK, not really

She barges into her bedroom to discover that Donnie is drunk and in bed, still recovering from his accidental murder of Dr. Leekie. Alison is pissed because Donnie is already fucking with her recovery, so she spills some perfectly good booze all over his head. Their kids walk into the room looking confused. Guys, Alison’s kids are gonna need so much therapy.

"And as I was climbing over my husband's unconscious body to get a drink, I knew I had hit rock bottom."

“And as I was climbing over my husband’s unconscious body to get a drink, I knew I had hit rock bottom.”

Art meets up with Tony, and is shocked to see yet another clone enter the picture. Tony snarkily tells him he isn’t Harry Potter, which immediately dashes all my dreams of magical clones casting spells on the Prolethians. Oh well.

'Sup bro, you wanna buy a horcrux?

‘Sup bro, you wanna buy a horcrux?

Felix leaves to help Art with Tony, while Duncan questions Sarah about Kira. Duncan seems a little too interested in Kira, but Mrs. S is more concerned with ending the Dyad drama once and for all.

I'm sorry, but I'm Art's only gay friend and he has SO MANY questions

I’m sorry, but I’m Art’s only gay friend and he has SO MANY questions

Back at Dyad, Rachel has taken over Dr. Leekie’s office and is leaving a voicemail for Paul, who has disappeared. Delphine walks in and Rachel tells her that Leekie had a heart attack on the private jet.

Siri, block all spoilers for "Orange is the New Black" on my newsfeeds.

Siri, block all spoilers for Orange is the New Black on my newsfeeds.

Delphine is shocked, but Rachel tells her that Leekie buried important information and they may be on the verge of a scientific breakthrough.

Scientific breakthrough? Please say unicorns, please say unicorns

Scientific breakthrough? Please say unicorns, please say unicorns

Felix arrives home to find that Art has broken into his place and brought Tony. Tony is acting shifty and demanding to see Beth, but Felix convinces him that he’s safe. Felix and Art want to know what message Tony is bringing, and Tony wants to know what the fuck is going on.

Hey boy hey

Hey boy hey

I want to know why they couldn’t get better facial hair for Tony, but maybe that’s just me. Felix and Art duck into the hall and Felix sums up the situation by saying “Holy Tilda Swinton!” Felix then corrects Art on his pronoun usage, which is a pretty awesome thing to see on television.

Felix really needs Art to come correct with his pronoun game

Felix really needs Art to come correct with his pronoun game

Art and Felix discuss how to clue Tony into the whole situation while Tony rifles through Felix’s belongings. They try to get more information out of Tony, who says that he knows he and Beth are related. Art leaves to do a background check on Tony while Felix babysits him.

Tony is interesting, but this chin pube/mullet hair combo is bumming me out.

Tony is interesting, but this chin pube/mullet hair combo is bumming me out.

Sarah and Kira are enjoying some crafting together as they make a mobile of angels. Kira wants to know what happened to Helena, which is a good fucking question because Sarah apparently gives no fucks about her twin.

I haven't lost Aunt Helena, I just don't know where she is right now.

I haven’t lost Aunt Helena, I just don’t know where she is right now.

They hear some noises and Kira’s first instinct is to hide. Someone set up a therapy fund for all the clone kids, stat!

That's bullshit and you know it, mom

That’s bullshit and you know it, mom

But it’s only Delphine, who has come with a request from Rachel. She tells Sarah that Leekie is dead and that she thought he was the lesser of two evils. Dyad needs Duncan because he could have the key to a gene therapy cure which doesn’t require Kira’s stem cells. They want Duncan to come in to Dyad and Mrs. S says they’ll think about it.

So you two girls are lesbianing together? That's nice.

So you two girls are lesbianing together? That’s nice.

Back at the lab, Cosima is coughing up blood into a hankie but is quickly distracted by Scottie and some lab geeks playing Runewars, which appears to be like Settlers of Catan or Cones of Dunshire. Cosima joins in on the nerdy fun and proceeds to school these poindexters at their own game.

Plus five to sexterity, am I right fellas?

Plus five to sexterity, am I right fellas?

This game is better than sex...or so we hear.

This game is better than sex… or so we hear.

It’s all fun and games until Cosima starts coughing again and Delphine walks in. Cosima tells the battle bitches to beat it and she and Delphine talk. Delphine tells Cosima that she thinks Rachel killed Leekie. She also tells her that Kira’s stem cells are just a band-aid to a larger problem, but Duncan may have the real cure.

Why don't you forget this game, come back to my pace, and I'll settle your Cattan all night long.

Why don’t you forget this game, come back to my place, and I’ll settle your Catan all night long.

Also, she doesn’t want Cosima to die and she’s sorry for betraying her like a million times. Cosima says she is going to keep the promise she made when they first met: fisting. JK, they are gonna get high. I’m all for stoned lesbian shenanigans, but maybe Cosima shouldn’t be distressing her lungs anymore, am I right?

You've cast a level 9 druid spell on heart, girl

You’ve cast a level 9 druid spell on my heart, girl

Felix and Tony are hanging out and we find out that Tony’s parents were assholes. Tony wants to take a bath and borrow some of Felix’s clothes, but Felix isn’t having any of it. He wants to know how Tony survived on street as a trans bandit (great band name) and Tony says it’s more complicated than sex or gender.

There's room for two in this bathtub, btw

There’s room for two in this bathtub, btw

Oh honey, it always is. Tony then tells Felix to shut up and run him a bath, and Felix is like, run it yourself bitch! These two kids are getting along great.

Alison goes into her den and sees Donnie shuffling around looking sketchy. Donnie says he’s leaving, but Alison responds that they aren’t there yet.

I'm not masturbating, I swear!

I’m not masturbating, I swear!

I think they’ve gone way past “there,” but Donnie says she’s better off without him. Alison asks if he still loves her anymore, or if he ever did. Donnie dives into her lap crying and apologizing for lying/porn/rehab/hating her mother. It’s a long list. Alison says that everyone hates her mother and they’ve both made mistakes with porn and hot glue guns. But Donnie assures her his is worse.

Donnie, you can't hide from the world in my vagina.

Donnie, you can’t hide from the world in my vagina.

Watch me!

Watch me!

When Sarah finds out that Duncan can cure Cosima, she immediately decides to turn him over to Dyad. Sarah continues to show no concern that her twin sister/assassin is currently nowhere to be found. Am I the only person with buckets of sympathy for Helena?

Of course I know where Helena is....FUCK

Of course I know where Helena is…. FUCK

Art comes back with beer and some information. Turns out Tony was formerly Antoinette Selwicky, a convicted thief. Art thinks that Sammy was Tony’s monitor, and they think that whoever killed him will still be after Tony. Felix wants to hold off on bringing in Sarah until they can get more out of Tony.

I'm sorry, but I can't let you into the loft unless you bought Flaming Hot Cheetos

I’m sorry, but I can’t let you into the loft unless you bought Flaming Hot Cheetos

They find Tony in the apartment going through Felix’s paintings and shooting up some testosterone. He offers some to Felix, who declines. Also, there’s a flirt vibe going on between Felix and Tony that is mildly upsetting because he looks just like Felix’s foster sister. It’s an incest-adjacent situation at least.

Show me your best flirty face

Show me your best flirty face

How about this?

How about this?

Daddy like!

Daddy like!

Back at Mrs. S’s house, Duncan is reading The Island of Dr. Moreau to Kira. Sarah rightly finds it inappropriate, but it’s time to bring Duncan to Dyad. Duncan gives the book to Kira and tells her not to worry, as he’s nobody’s pawn.

I'm also nobody's prawn, just so you know

I’m also nobody’s prawn, just so you know

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Chelsea Steiner was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, where she works as a screenwriter/blogger/sex educator. She's the writer/director of Thank You Come Again, a queer sex positive web series based on her experiences working the Pleasure Chest, which you can follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She’s obsessed with dachshunds, Buffy, 90's dance parties, and roller derby. She loves the word "Jewess" and wishes more people used it to describe her. Follow her ramblings on Twitter and her cute puppy pics on Instagram.

Chelsea has written 46 articles for us.


  1. I have so many feelings about this episode!

    1. Tony gives me many feelings. I like the idea of having an trans* clone and the pronoun conversation was awesome. However, Tony just seems like a male version of Sarah, which is unfortunate. They gave all the other clones such distinct personalities and for awhile I seriously just though Tony was Sarah in that first scene until I caught a glimpse of his facial hair. Maybe he will disappear for awhile and come back with a more distinct personality/characterization.

    2. I definitely miss Helena and have all the sympathy in the world for her. She gives me all the feels. I hope she is back next week because the show is so much better with her!

    3. Catan pick up lines might be my new favorite thing, so thanks for that. The game they were playing definitely is reminiscent of Settlers/Cones of Dunshire.

  2. Tony’s greasy mullet and little chinbeard are kind of terrible, BUT I STILL LOVE HIM. I just. Am overcome with love for Tony, the little shit. (And am hoping next time he shows up, they’ll have given TMas a scrubby little moustache to go with).

  3. I think they sort of failed with the whole Tony thing. Character/makeup/fake hair/etc etc etc.
    But, um, I’m not okay with the fact that Helena is just MIA. I love Helena and I love cults, so of course I want to see more of her and the weird farm place and the psycho teenage daughter person. C’mon, Orphan Black, get your shit together.

    • I agree. Tony just seemed like a quick and dirty drag version of Sarah which bothered me but I understand that it’d be difficult to really alter Tatiana’s body for one episode…BUT STILL.

    • Yes. We KNOW this hair and makeup team are good. Why did they just pull back Maslany’s hair and call it a mullet (it doesn’t look like one at all) and then glue a few hairs to her chin? Every other clone looks like hours of hair/makeup work. We know they could have done better.

      I knew a trans clone was coming and I was so excited. This was a real disappointment to me, it just felt lazy.

      Also lazy was the hand-wave of Helena’s absence. She was a terrifying horror show last season but now Sarah just shrugs off the fact that she’s nowhere to be found?

      I have to say this was the first episode of the show that I really didn’t like. Bummer.

      (But most excellent recap!)

  4. I would like to talk about Tony’s mullet, isn’t it just Tat’s hair pulled back? and I noticed Sarah’s accent come through once our twice; however, I love the idea of Tony’s character and would love to see Tony and Rachel in the same room.

    If they kill off Cosima I will quite the show!

    As for Helena I was so happy when she got away from the cray cray religious cult and was hart broken when she went straight back to them. Sarah pulled a dick move just leaving her to fend for her self.

  5. I’m pleased about the addition of Tony to the show, but I really hope he gets given some proper character development and story lines that are really about him and his life, not just scenes where he’s there as someone for Felix and/or Sarah to interact with. I was really happy to see things like the pronoun conversation, though.

    Cosima can’t die. It is not allowed. She is too geeky and adorable to die. You got that, showrunners?

  6. I’m not a crier and I’ve never happy cried in my life. But I happy cried with the introduction of Tony. Is his character perfect??? No. Was that chin beard and mullet disgusting?? yes. Most definitely.

    It was my dream for them to introduce a trans clone. I never thought they’d ever do it. I get to see somebody similar to me on television. Cosima and Delphine serve to represent my sexuality, but I’ve never had a character whose gender I could remotely relate to. Tony is the start of that.

    (Tony’s last name is actually Sawicki. the OB tumblr people said so.)

  7. I have been waiting for this recap since the episode aired, because all the other recaps I read are done by straight cis people and the comment threads are full of straight cis people who don’t understand trans stuff and say stupid cissexist shit, and I don’t have the energy to Trans 101 all of them into the void.

    Tony in the context of this show is so far a pretty weak character, and this episode might be the weakest the show has had so far. It was very obvious that the creators/writers/Tatiana wanted to have a trans clone, but they didn’t know how to integrate him into the story, so they just kind of hamfisted him in there, which is disappointing, but hopefully as (if?) he shows up more, it will be from a more organic feeling place. Although, at this point, he is written about as one dimensionally as the rest of the male characters (minus Felix), so in that sense, he kind of fits right in.

    In the greater context of trans male representation in mainstream media, however, Tony may be the best character I have ever seen, because he is interesting. He is abrasive and unlikeable, but not a serial killer (thanks CSI!), and he performs this sort of hyper masculinity swag bullshit that a lot of trans men can tend to perform. That most likely wasn’t done on purpose, but it worked out for them regardless.

    Also, as a trans man who can grow the kind of awful facial hair that Tony has, I would like to commend the make-up team on awful trans man facial hair accuracy. That hair is unforgivable, though.

  8. My only problem with Tony is that he served no point in the story line. His story was that he’s trans and didn’t know he was a clone. Period. Every other character in the show, not matter how one dimensional, at least helped move the story along. Tony felt like a side note and maybe a “hey look how inclusive we are!” I hope he makes a meaningful reappearance and isn’t treated as an ornament. He seemed like he could be an interesting character, but we know nothing about him.

    • Hey Sophie, I think Tony’s main point in the story was to give an entirely new angle to Paul and maybe put a spin on the military’s involvement in Project Leda.I guess we’ll find out how significant that message was during the next few eps.

      • I’ll give you that he did provide a message, but his presence wasn’t even necessary for that. The message could have been delivered in so many other ways.

        I guess I should try to give an example of what I mean when I say he didn’t move the story along. So Art is probably the most one-dimensional characters on the show. Art is a cop. He knows about the clones and does cop-like things in the story, nothing more. At the outset of the series, Art served as a catalyst for Sarah to dig into the clone thing in order to stay one step ahead. Now he provides the law side of things, like when he used Felix’s loft to sort through evidence. That’s it. However, all that stuff is necessary to move the story forward, and only a cop could do it. Then you have Tony who provided a message about Paul. Anyone can give a message. I just hope he becomes a necessary character who is also mufti-dimensional.

  9. This episode showed me that I am both very gay and very straight for Tatiana Maslany.
    I also LOL when Cosima was having the seizure cause it looks like she’s doing the worm then cried 3 seconds later when delphine started screaming her name.

    How do I prepare myself for the season finale?!

  10. I literally watched this episode last night, immediately sought out AS for comfort and then died when it wasn’t up. I’ve been in the foetal position all night.

    I can’t discuss this show with anyone immediately around me…I’ve only just got a straight friend to watch Orange and even then she stopped watching ‘to protect her marriage’.

    So, a heartfelt thanks for having this wonderful corner of the internets. It always feels like coming home, but when you’re crushing on the lesbian couple in a show about clones and desperately hoping that one of them isn’t going to die, whilst concurrently searching for a unicorn somewhere in a scene and there’s no one you can call and be scream ‘OMFG did you just see that/I have all the feels right now/damn my eyes they’re leaking like I’m cutting up the onions for my fabulous home made pickles/and it’s just a freaking tv show!…

    ….well, it’s just times like that you need Autostraddle…

    • If you want some advice on how to rope someone into the show and not seem suspicious:
      Feed them two other predominately straight shows, like Homeland and then start them on OB,because “Celebrity you like” has also watched “Homeland” for example,and is now into Orphan Black.Orphan Black doesn’t start with the Lady Love untillater in the season, somaybe it’s time to test the waters.
      Also. Cosima is such a likeable character, you can totally get away with Paul/Sarah and Cophine speculations.Like maybe.
      P.S.:This European is kind of mystified how “Orange is the New Black” can endanger marriages.You don’t need to explain,it’s just baffling.

    • I can’t get my friends to watch it either… I just recently got one straight friend to watch Faking It with me, so I’ve had some victory! But sadly I too must rely on strangers from the internet to share in my agony over this incredibly amazing show that now occupies way too many of my daily thoughts…

  11. Agreed on the facial hair point. Even Max on The L Word had better facial hair and they totally butchered his storyline. also, does Tony have a mullet? I thought he was rocking some kind of half-ponytail situation haha.

    As for the incest thing, if you think about it, Sarah is only Felix’s foster sister. And they’re clones, not siblings in the same sense that she and Helena are. So the flirtation between Felix and Tony didn’t creep me out. For me it was disconnected enough to be okay, like when a character falls in love with their best friend’s sibling or cousin or something.

  12. I wish I could say I would quit watching if Cosima died… But dang it I just love this show too much!

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