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

Felix calls Sarah and tells her they’ve got a trans clone and she needs to come over.

Also, this one night stand has been here for three days. Help!

Also, this one night stand has been here for three days. Help!

Then Tony and Felix start making out which is a real mind melter based on the whole incest-uation. Someone tell me how to feel about these things! My vagina is confused.



Felix seems to be just as confused, but then Tony shows him the painting of Sarah and wants to know what the fuck is going on.

I find your art derivative and your face nommable.

I find your art derivative and your face nommable.

Back at the lab, Cosima and Delphine are getting high and enjoying helium. They are dancing and smooching and talking in chipmunk voices. It’s adorable as shit.



Delphine tells Cosima that she loves her, but Cosima says that she has to love all of them. Cosima also says that if Delphine betrays the clone club again, she has enough dirt on her to destroy her career. And also, she loves her too.

I know things are moving fast, but I really think we should get a kitten together.

I know things are moving fast, but I really think we should get a kitten together.

You're allergic to cats. How high are you?

You’re allergic to cats. How high are you?

Donnie and Alison are in the middle of a big feelings share and confession. Alison tells Donnie the truth about Aynsley, and Donnies tells her that he killed Dr. Leekie. This might be the first time I’ve ever liked them as a couple.

Staring contest until we both admit to murder!

Staring contest until we both admit to murder!

Tony has had enough of waiting around and leaves Felix’s apartment. He walks smack into Sarah, and is shocked. Felix introduces her as their sister.

This is the queerest version of "The Parent Trap" I've ever seen.

This is the queerest version of “The Parent Trap” I’ve ever seen.

Tony and Sarah check each other out, and Tony rightfully notices how hot they are. Sarah tries to induct him into clone club, but she’s not as good as Cosima is. Tony says he’s through with identity crises, and he knows there’s only one of him.

Hey brother...

Hey brother…

I prefer Brohim or Brosephus.

I prefer Brohim or Brosephus.

We find out that Sammy was ex-military, and his message to Beth was about keeping the faith and Paul being a ghost?

Speaking of Paul, Rachel is still looking for him. Duncan arrives at Dyad and Rachel meets with him, but she is cold and calls him “professor.” She apologizes for being unprofessional when they met, but he assures her it’s normal. Duncan wants to talk about old memories and Dr. Moreau, but Rachel brushes him off.

Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know...

Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know…

Rachel is wrapped so tightly that she can’t let anyone get close to her, least of all her father.

Meanwhile, Donnie shows Alison Leekie’s body in the trunk. Alison is annoyed that Donnie wrapped him so poorly, and used her gun to shoot him. Ugh Donnie, you can’t even murder well!

Well, those blood stains are never coming out!

Well, those blood stains are never coming out!

Felix tells Sarah that Ton has some of her worst qualities, and she assures Felix that he has the very best. Tony is still adjusting to the idea of having clone sisters, and he looks at the other portraits Felix has done.

Your hair smells so much better than Tony's.

Your hair smells so much better than Tony’s.

He says he’d get along with Cosima, but that Alison looks like a douche. They assure Tony that they’ll keep him away from clone drama for now.

Cosima is just wearing a bra under her lab coat? That's hella unsafe, bro!

Cosima is just wearing a bra under her lab coat? That’s hella unsafe, bro!

Back at Dyad, Duncan gives Rachel a list of items he’ll need for his work. He also says something about Kira being the prize, because she is obviously some sort of miracle child. Rachel asks how Sarah could have gotten pregnant, and Duncan tells her that Sarah is a failure of the system. The clones were designed to be barren.

I thought of every available choice a woman had, and I took them all away. Because science.

I thought of every available choice a woman had, and I took them all away. Because science.

While Rachel maintains her composure, we see flashes of her raging out and destroying Leekie’s office. It’s a rare moment of fury and emotion from Rachel, and it’s brilliantly juxtaposed against her calm response. Delphine walks in and Rachel tells Duncan it’s time to fix his mistakes.

Go fuck yourself forever.

Go fuck yourself forever.

Art returns to the loft and tells Tony that the cops found his car and that Dyad will soon be after him. He needs to get on a bus and disappear. Felix isn’t worried about Tony, and Tony assures him that he can handle anything.

So I had a really good time last night, I hope you accept my Facebook friend request

So I had a really good time last night, I hope you accept my Facebook friend request

Felix gives him a clone phone and Tony kisses Felix again. He also calls him a sister kisser, which is flirty/yoinks.

I'm more of a Google+ guy, actually...

I’m more of a Google+ guy, actually…

Cosima and Scott prepare to meet the original geneticist, and Scott is nervous because his lab coat is stained. Cosima tells him that she’s the clone they are working on, and he assures her it’s an honor to be working with her.

I'm the subject. I also had sex on your desk and ate all the yogurts you labeled in the fridge. We cool?

I’m the subject. I also had sex on your desk and ate all the yogurts you labeled in the fridge. We cool?

Delphine brings in Duncan and Cosima finally meets her maker. Before they can get into any science, Cosima has a coughing fit and collapses.

Should not have had 12 yogurts last night.

Should not have had 12 yogurts last night.

She starts to seizure as everyone scrambles to get help. They’re not gonna kill off Cosima, right? I swear to Jeebus, if they Chaiken Cosima I’m gonna be so pissed.

Help! We're losing a fan favorite character!

Help! We’re losing a fan favorite character!

Back at Mrs. S’s house, Sarah and Kira are asleep together. Kira wakes up, grabs Dr. Moreau, and settles in to read it.

A book? I was really hoping this drawer had Flaming Hot Cheetos.

A book? I was really hoping this drawer had Flaming Hot Cheetos.

Inside the book is all notes and diagrams of genetics. Does Kira understand it? Is she a child genius? Is she a swan baby? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Kids read the darndest things.

Kids read the darndest things.

Only two more episodes left of the season! See you next week!

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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.

    • 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.

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