Tatiana Maslany was robbed ya'll!!! Robbed!!! (deep breath) Okay. Now that I have that off my chest, let me get into why this feeling of displeasure over Ms. Maslany's Emmy snub is universally felt by those of us firmly in the Clone Club. Before I get ahead of myself, a brief show synopsis: Sarah Manning has spent most of her life in the gutter, so to speak. For a long time she was a thief and con-artist with no plans for the future but finding the next big score.
All that changed when she became pregnant with her now, seven year old daughter, Kira. Knowing she wasn't fit to raise Kira alone, Sarah asked her foster mother, Siohbhan Sadler, played by Maria Doyle Kennedy, to raise her until she could get her life together. Just a quick note: Both Sarah and Felix Dawkins (her foster brother), played by Jordan Gavaris, were born in the UK and raised in North America by Siobhan, who is from Ireland. When we catch up to her, she's at the end of her rope as her latest scam fell through. Then, in steps Beth Childs...and then... out steps Beth as she leaps in front of an oncoming train to her death right in front of a shocked Sarah. Shocked but quick on her feet, Sarah grabs Beth's purse and splits. After going through it and realizing she could pass for Beth, a new scam begins to take shape. First she'll drain Beth's accounts making her financially independent, collect her daughter and Felix. Sarah's side-kick among other things, Felix is an artist, drug dealer but most importantly, her best friend. The plan is to pull off the scam, go get Kira and the three of them will disappear. But as easy as it all sounds, the second she stole Beth's identity, her life was turned inside out. Thus begineth the road to Clone Club.
Not only does Tatiana play the lead character, Sarah Manning, she also plays several of her clones; all with completely different personalities, looks and speech. Doubters out there may be thinking, "big deal, so she throws on some differnt wigs and clothes for each clone character. It's all the same person." And that would be your first mistake. What Tatiana has done with these different characters I haven't seen on television before. Like, ever. It's not at all like watching the main character, Sarah, pretend to be other characters that look like her. It's like watching completely different actresses play several different roles. You never think, oh, that's Sarah when she's not Sarah. Don't believe me? Let's meet some of the clones, shall we?
In order of first appearance and importance:
Beth Childs: Detective, troubled, clone. This is where it all begins for Sarah. Beth is the first clone she sees and after that, all I can say is, buckle up.
Katja Obinger: The German who was in contact with Beth before meeting Sarah. Katja was the final push for Sarah to realize it wasn't a coincidence that Beth looked so much like her.
Cosima Niehaus: Brilliant, bohemian, lesbian, graduate student in microbiology. She provides Sarah with some of the missing pieces of what they are and the danger their existence poses. She's the heart of the group and closest to Sarah.
Allison Hendrix: Soccer mom, organized, suburban cliche and very dangerous when pushed. She wants nothing to do with Sarah or their orgins. She just wants to go on living her life as if she'd never discovered she was one of many clones.
Helena: No last name, none needed. Damaged. Assassin. Delicious as a character. Of all of them, she's the toughest clone. No matter what gets thrown at her, she somehow manages to bounce back. It's a long tough road bringing her into Clone Club, but totally worth every second she's onscreen.
Rachel Duncan: Ice queen, raised by Neolutionist. Calm and cold on the outside but seething with rage on the inside. She's smart, cunning and very likely a sociopath. You almost can't blame her for turning out the way she did. Her character brings on the nasty goose bumps whenever she's onscreen. There are several other clones that come in and out of the first two seasons, but the above are the core group.
What I love about this show is that it manages to take the viewer deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole with every new episode. If you like The Blacklist, Orphan Black (with a twist of science fiction) is right up your alley. Each of the clone characters evolve, which is quite impressive given they are all played by one very talented actress. They're not the same characters we met in season one and season two has them moving in directions you wouldn't believe given where they started. I can't wait to see what season three has in store for them. Without spoiling it, I will say that there is a reason Sarah is the lead clone. She's special and because of the singular nature of her creation, she's considered dangerous to those that created her and those that want her kind eradicated.
Alright, I know I've been going on and on about Sarah and the clones but I don't want to side step the role of Felix. If Cosima is the heart of the Clone Club, Felix is the glue that holds them together. Especially, Sarah. As amazing it is to watch Tatiana become several different characters, it's just as impressive to watch Felix connect with them, each in a different way. For my time, I think his relationship with Allison is the most endearing. Her suburban, white-bread life is everything he abhors, but he can't help but like her in spite of it. She has just enough crazy to make her interesting yet vulnerable at the same time (not unlike Sarah). A combination impossible for Felix to resist.
Now for the part many have been dying to know about: the "beef cake". Does the show have any and is the juice worth the squeeze? To that I say, I hope you're thirsty. In my personal opinion, Sarah's punk, street look is fun but not exactly sexy to the run of the mill hotty. But I guess a little punk strange has a special lure because she pulls MAJOR beef cake over the last two seasons. It's a fact that doesn't go un-noticed by other characters on the show.
Alright, Clone Club gonnaabe's, that's my endorsement. Now it's your turn, get caught up before season three. We're waiting for you...