HomeAll postsOrphan Black s01e02: Instinct

Orphan Black s01e02: Instinct

Orphan Black Instinct
A review by Nalini Haynes

Creators: John Fawcett, Graeme Manson
Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris
Watch this if you like: thrillers, SF and mystery arcs in a TV series
Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5

This review for ‘Instinct’ follows on from my Orphan Black s01e01: Natural Selection review, so if you don’t want episode 1 spoilt, don’t read the review for number 2.

Vic and Felix organized a wake for Sarah because Felix told Vic Beth’s body was Sarah. When Mrs S shows up with Kira, Sarah is devastated; Sarah doesn’t want her daughter, Kira, to think she’s dead.

While Sarah is on the phone to Felix, Vic gets annoyed because Felix is disrespecting everyone at the funeral. Meanwhile, another doppleganger tries to talk to Sarah; Sarah panics.

Then the doppleganger is shot.

Another shot barely misses Sarah, who flees in Beth’s car.

Beth’s and the doppleganger’s phones keep ringing.

Sarah searches the body, only to realize that the doppleganger is Katja, the German whose birth certificate Sarah found in a safety deposit box.

Eventually Sarah answers one of the phones and tries to pry information out of the anonymous voice at the other end of the call. The anonymous voice tells Sarah to ‘get the briefcase’ so Sarah goes to Katja’s hotel room, only to find it’s been trashed; whoever was after Katja probably got there first.

Sarah has to continue working with Art, Beth’s cop partner, increasing her risk of being caught.

Sarah has fallen down the rabbit hole; a sense of self-preservation leads Sarah on a search for answers. Although the end of the episode may not be overly surprising, it’s just another step towards Sarah — and viewers — finding out what is going on.

Orphan Black may be science fiction but it feels more like a thriller at this stage. As the world unfolds, we learn about Sarah, Felix and their backstories, largely through conflict: Sarah and Felix bicker like the foster-brother and -sister they are. This bickering and the resulting revelations add to the tension, raising the stakes. A mystery surrounds Sarah and the race is on to find the answers.

As this is my second watch of this series in a few months it’s probably not surprising that I highly recommend Orphan BlackMy review copy of Orphan Black season 1 was courtesy of Roadshow.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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